Hood River, Ore.: Weekend Escape

A bounty of late-fall fun awaits in Hood River.

Rasmussen Farms pumpkin patch, image

Pick a perfect pumpkin at the Rasmussen Farms patch.

Brewer Josh Pfriem holds one of his Belgian-inspired ales, image

Brewer Josh Pfriem makes Belgian-inspired ales.

Thomas Betts with two alpacas at Foothills Yarn, image

Thomas Betts raises alpacas at Foothills Yarn.

red classic car at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, image

Classics are on display at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.

hand-painted serving ware at Mystic Mud, image

Looking for a unique gift? Try the colorful wares at Mystic Mud.

Beet salad with candied walnuts at Nora’s Table, image

Nora's Table serves a delicious beet salad with candied walnuts.

Sample local ales, meet an alpaca, and drive the scenic Fruit Loop in this town along the Columbia River Gorge. Area code is 541 except as noted.

To do and see
Fruit Loop The 35-mile route passes through orchards, farmland, and some of the area's most impressive scenery. Off-season farm stands are few, but many shops and wineries welcome visitors year-round. 386-7697, hoodriverfruitloop.com. Glassometry Studios Make your own ornaments, take a metalworking class, or watch artist Laurel Marie Hagner blow art-glass pumpkins at her sprawling studio surrounded by farmland. 3015 Lower Mill Dr., 354-3015, glassometry.com. History Museum of Hood River County An 1800s apple press and vintage alpine climbing tools trace the area's history in the compact museum. 300 E. Port Marina Dr., 386-6772, co.hood-river.or.us/museum. Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum Two hangars hold hundreds of vintage aircraft and vehicles, including an 1899 Locomobile steam car and a 1917 Curtiss JN-4D "Jenny" training plane. 1600 Air Museum Rd., 308-1600, waaamuseum.org.

Shopping
Apple Valley Country Store Taste more than 50 kinds of jams and jellies, such as cinnamon-pear and blueberry-amaretto, or grab a slice of fruit pie at this rural shop. 2363 Tucker Rd., 386-1971, applevalleystore.com. The Gallery 301 More than a dozen artists display their work—ranging from quilted landscapes to handmade guitars—in a restored 1924 bank building. 301 Oak St., 436- 0281, thegallery301.com. G. Williker's Toy Shoppe Delight in old-fashioned wooden trucks, handmade aprons, and a gumball machine. 202 Oak St., 387-2229, facebook.com/gwillikerstoyshoodriver. Mystic Mud Studio Pottery Gallery Handpainted fruit and sunflowers decorate brightly colored tableware in artist Trudi Klinger's downtown store. 104 Oak St., 386-6463, mysticmudstudio.net.

Eats
Celilo Seasonal local produce shines in dishes such as roasted pumpkin soup and lamb loin with sweet-and-sour squash at this elegant corner restaurant. Save room for the molten chocolate cake with house-made ice cream. 16 Oak St., 386-5710, celilorestaurant.com. Full Sail Brewing Company Enjoy hearty salmon fish and chips along with 16 beers on tap at this river-view pub, then stay for an info-packed brewery tour. 506 Columbia St., 386-2247, fullsailbrewing.com. Nora's Table The intimate dinner spot features a rotating roster of international dishes paired with local wines. Breakfast served Fri.–Sun. 110 Fifth St., 387-4000, norastable.com. Pfriem Family Brewers The riverside brewery serves smoked trout fritters and crispy onion rings alongside Belgian-influenced ales. 707 Portway Ave., Ste. 101, 321-0490, pfriembeer.com.

Outdoors
Foothills Yarn & Fiber Meet friendly alpacas, learn about spinning techniques, then shop for plush socks at this homey hilltop Fruit Loop stop. Colorful scarves woven by the owners make excellent gifts. 4207 Sylvester Dr., 354-3542, foothillsyarn.com. Nella Chestnut Farm This tiny farm stand sells colossal chestnuts on fall weekends. Enjoy local red wine and roasted chestnuts under the trees at the annual roasting party (Nov. 2 and 3). 3435 Neal Creek Rd., (800) 400-3658, nellachestnutfarm.com. Rasmussen Farms Find apples, pears, and plenty of squashes at this 17-acre farm with scenic views. Don't miss Pumpkin Funland (through Nov. 11) with a corn maze and pumpkin bowling. 3020 Thomsen Rd., 386-4622, rasmussenfarms.com. Tilly Jane Trail Strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes for stunning views of Mount Hood on a 2.7-mile trek through old-growth forest near the historic Cloud Cap Inn. Off Cloud Cap Road, 352-6002, www.fs.usda.gov/mthood.

Get Going
Request the Oregon TourBook and a map of Hood River and The Dalles at AAA.com or any AAA branch. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels. For more information contact the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce: 720 E. Port Marina Dr., (800) 366-3530, hoodriver.org.

Photography by Joni Kabana; courtesy of Rasmussen Farms (pumpkin patch)

This article was first published in November 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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