written by Julie Lee | photo courtesy of Full Sail Brewing
Winter is (hopefully) behind us, and with the sun shining and trees blooming, now is the perfect time to experience the Hood River County Fruit Loop—a scenic 35-mile loop in the Hood River Valley. With a plethora of fruit and vegetable stands, luscious vineyards and noteworthy restaurants, it’s easy to eat and drink the day away, fruit loop style.
Full Sail Brewing Company
Erected from ashes of the abandoned Diamond Fruit Cannery is one of the great Oregon brewery success stories. A vision and an emptied savings account in 1987 led to a gold at the 1989 Great American Beer Festival for Full Sail Amber, and the rest, as they say, is history. Settle in with a smoked Gouda-topped Full Sail burger, pair it with that award winning Amber, and breathe in the resplendent backdrop. All troubles will disappear.
506 Columbia St., Hood River | fullsailbrewing.com
Celilo Restaurant & Bar
One of our favorites on the loop is Celilo Restaurant & Bar, with a modern ambience and a laser focus on seasonal and locally procured ingredients. Pasta is made superb with roasted Hood River organic shiitake mushrooms. Hanger steak dances on the plate with Dancing Roots Farm kale. Sunchokes take center stage in several dishes, from a purée drizzled over black cod to sunchoke chips topped on a simple green salad.
16 Oak St., Hood River | celilorestaurant.com
The Gorge Whitehouse
The Gorge Whitehouse opened its doors for the season on April 1. The historic home and working farm offers a farmers’ market style experience, with house-made wines and ciders, an impressive selection of local brews, fresh flowers, boutique gift items, fruits fresh from the branch and a food cart to soak up that delicious Heritage Bosc Pear Wine.
2265 Hwy. 35, Hood River | thegorgewhitehouse.com
Apple Valley BBQ
We’re always in search of great barbecue, and the Fruit Loop provides a smokin’ delicious option with Apple Valley BBQ. There is more than just barbecue offered, but we strongly recommend you head straight for the cherry wood-smoked ribs and the house-made mac ‘n’ cheese. If you must detour, get the jerked chicken sandwich.
4956 Baseline Dr., Parkdale | applevalleybbq.com
Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
If the 35-mile drive and fruit stand stops have made you extra hungry and ready to unwind, Double Mountain has some of the greatest wood-fired specialty pies, not just in Oregon, but in the country. Tipping back the classic India Red Ale (IRA) is a must.
8 4th St., Hood River | doublemoutainbrewery.com