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The Best Stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop – A Complete Guide

The Best Stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop – A Complete Guide

The Hood River Fruit Loop is one of the best destinations in Oregon for couples, families, and foodies. There are 28 amazing places to stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop, including u-pick fruit orchards, farm stands, bakeries, country stores, wineries, breweries, and more – all surrounded by a beautiful landscape with lovely views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood.

Every stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop is worth a visit, but if you are limited to one or two days, you simply cannot visit them all. To help narrow your choices, I have created a list of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

From starting your day at a bakery to picking fresh fruit, a farm-to-table lunch, a wine tasting, and a beer flight – this scenic wine and dining experience is a delicious adventure. By the end of this guide, you will know how to have a perfect day on the Hood River Fruit Loop

What is the Hood River Fruit Loop?

A scenic view of Mt. Adams behind tors of fruit trees along the Hood River Fruit Loop.

The Hood River Fruit Loop is a 35-mile scenic drive and rural farm experience that includes distilleries, cideries, wineries, breweries, u-pick fruit orchards, lavender farms, fruit farm stands, bakeries, and more. It is also an excellent destination for couples’ getaways and family trips.

A majority of the Hood River Fruit Loop stops are family-friendly. Almost every winery and brewery has a kid’s menu and playground. 

The scenic drive is one of the most beautiful areas of Oregon. The region has rolling hills, snow-capped peaks of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, and rows of fruit trees everywhere. 

Speaking of fruit trees, the Hood River Valley is an agricultural paradise. It has rich soil to produce some of the best fruits in the country. You can find strawberries, huckleberries (blueberries), marionberries (blackberries), cherries, pears, and apples across thousands of acres. 

Moreover, the Hood River Fruit Loop is known for its cherries, pears, and apples. So I would ensure you indulge in these fruits in any way possible. Whether in a jam, a freshly baked good, or picked from the tree. 

Best Time to Visit the Hood River Fruit Loop

Since the Hood River Fruit Loop is surrounded by beauty, you can visit this scenic destination year-round. Although, the best time to visit the Hood River Fruit Loop is during harvest season.

The harvest season begins in June and ends in October. June starts with the berry season, followed by cherries, apricots, and lavender in July. Then you can find juicy pears and apples in the fall (September – October).

How to Visit the Hood River Fruit Loop

A straight road leading to Mt. Hood.

There is so much to experience in the Hood River area that you need at least two days. In addition to the Hood River Fruit Loop, you can explore Mt. Hood, hang out at Lake Trillium, and chase waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge.

In two days, you can visit at least eight stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop. Each day can start at a bakery, an afternoon of picking fresh fruit, and finish with an alcoholic tasting. No need to worry about where to eat because most stops have farm-to-table dining options.

The Hood River Fruit Loop is only an hour and a half outside Portland. So you can easily make a day trip from Portland. However, you are limited by the number of stops. In one day (if you begin early), you could visit 4 – 5 stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

The Best Stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop

I tried to break down the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop by category, i.e., winery, bakery, u-pick orchard, etc. However, these places are so incredible that they often overlap as an u-pick orchard and winery.

So it is too difficult to place each stop into one specific category. Instead, I have alphabetically listed the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

To provide the best experience, I have included a bit of everything: a distillery, cideries, wineries, breweries, u-pick fruit orchards, a lavender farm, bakeries, and an antique shop. I hope you enjoy it!

Apple Valley Country Store

A hand holding a flaky fruit filled hand pie in front of Apple Country Store - one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

The Apple Valley Country Store is the perfect stop on the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop to find homemade jarred products to fill your pantry and to taste freshly baked goods.

For almost 30 years, this charming country store has been known for its delicious small-batch jams, syrups, pie fillings, pepper jellies, fresh fruit milkshakes, and freshly baked fruit pastries from the locally-grown produce in the Hood River Valley.

What makes the Apple Valley Country Store special is its dedication to supporting local farms. Everything is made in-house. They use real fruit instead of added sugar, and their products are free of preservatives and additives. Basically, everything is fresh and made with love!

In addition to buying one of the many small-batch preserves, you should try a fresh fruit pastry, a scoop of ice cream from their small batch creamery, Mt. Hood Creamery, and their famous huckleberry and marionberry milkshakes.

Year-round, you can order a special freshly baked or U-bake homemade pie filled with local fruit and made-from-scratch crust. If an entire pie seems too daunting, you can also order a small flaky homemade hand pie.

Fox-Tail Cider & Distillery

Fox-Tail Cider & Distillery is the first cider and distillery tasting room in Hood River – located only five minutes from downtown Hood River. The ciders and spirits are made from their fruit orchard or locally sourced from the Pacific Northwest.

All of the ciders are excellent. They range from dry to sweet, fruity to tart, and bold to light. What makes Fox-Tail Cider & Distillery unique is its distilled spirits. The vodka, Brandy, and gin are created from Fox-Tail’s apple ciders. So every spirit is 100% apple based.

Visit the tasting room to try Fox-Tail Cider & Distillery’s famous cider-tasting tray, the spirit sampler, or both. The cider-tasting tray includes ten ciders made on-site, while the spirit sampler comes with four spirits of your choice. You can also order a cocktail that incorporates in-house spirits.

The Grateful Vineyard

A cold glass of light beer from The Grateful Vineyard with Mt. Hood in the background. The Grateful Vineyard is one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

Do you like cider, wine, beer, or all of the above? If yes, visit The Grateful Vineyard to enjoy a glass of those libations with breathtaking views of Mt. Hood.

The Grateful Vineyard is a boutique winery, a small craft cidery, and a microbrewery making this establishment one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop. It is tucked inside Mt. View Orchards, the sister property and source of the fruit used to produce the cider, beer, and wine.

The hard cider is made from Mt. View Orchard’s row of 100-year-old apple trees. The craft beer is brewed with the orchard’s cherries, peaches, and pears for a sweet and crisp finish.

High-elevation sparkling wine is The Grateful Vineyard’s specialty thanks to its unique estate vineyard location, with an alpine elevation and lower temperatures. Their bubbly riesling and pinot noir are refreshing and divine.

To elevate your experience at The Grateful Vineyard, pair your glass of bubbly, cider, or beer with a seasonal pizza and enjoy it on the lawn with panoramic views of Mt. Hood.

The Grateful Vineyard is one of the best family-friendly stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop. Picnic tables are next to play forts with swings, slides, small tractors, and trucks. They also serve kids freshly pressed apple juice from the orchard that tastes so delicious it will rival your alcoholic beverage.

Hood River Lavender Farms

A cute bike in a field of lavender from Hood River Lavender Farms - one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

Hood River Lavender Farms is a beautiful place to visit year-round, but in the summer, it is breathtaking. From June – September, there are bountiful fields of lavender with the majestic Mt. Hood in the backdrop.

There are so many fun things to enjoy at Hood River Lavender Farms. You can frolic through the lavender fields, pick your bouquet, take that Insta-worthy photo, say hi to the resident farm animals, taste something sweet, and shop all things lavender.

The charming farmhouse gift shop at Hood River Lavender Farms has a large selection of lavender merchandise, ice cream, lemonade, and baked goodies. The farmhouse has lavender-scented candles, moisturizing lotions, essential oils, handmade soap, bath bombs, therapeutic wraps, and more – all produced from the organic lavender grown on the farm.

So after you capture your picture-perfect moment in the lavender fields, grab something delicious and a souvenir to bring home.

Kiyokawa Family Orchards

Kiyokawa Family Orchards is one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop for a fun family adventure, a u-pick fruit experience, and an abundant farm stand. It is also the largest u-pick orchard in the Hood River Valley, with over 150 varieties of apples, pears, Asian pears, cherries, stone fruit, and more.

The farm stand is as impressive as the orchard. It is a massive and well-organized market with descriptions of each fruit, which varieties are best for baking, free fruit samples, delicious apple turnovers, applesauce, and fresh apple cider.

Year after year, it is a crowd favorite among locals and visitors. The fruit varieties and views of Mt. Hood are excellent, but the friendly and knowledgeable staff makes Kiyokawa Family Orchards shine.

If you are visiting with kids, make sure you head to the awesome fort. It is literally a wooden castle!

Mt. View Orchards

A hand picking red cherries from a tree.

As one of the best u-pick apple orchards in the country with panoramic views of Mt. Hood, you cannot miss this stop on the Hood River Fruit Loop. Mt. View Orchards is a three-generation sustainable, 50-acre apple and pear farm with over 125 varieties.

In addition to apples and pears (their specialty), Mt. View Orchards offers u-pick sunflowers, dahlias, cherries, berries, stone fruit, corn, pumpkin, and more. During the fall, Mt. View Orchards hosts fun activities such as hay rides, a huge pumpkin patch, hot cider, and fresh donuts.

After you pick your fruit, grab a blanket and enjoy a picnic with farm-to-table food, cider, beer, and wine, all produced on-site at their sister property, The Grateful Vineyard. And remember to say hi to Carlos, the steer, the friendly farm resident.

Packer Orchards Bakery

Packer Orchards Bakery is the “Pear-Fect” place to visit on the Hood River Fruit Loop. It’s “Pear-Fect” because the bakery uses its sweet orchard pears for homemade jams and baked goodies.

The pears help reduce and, in some cases, eliminate the need for added sugar. It is a unique and great way to naturally enhance the freshness and sweetness of their products.

The bakery also has a fantastic assortment of salsas, pickled veggies, fresh fruit milkshakes, hand-dipped ice cream cones, local trinkets, seasonal fresh fruit from Packer Orchards, and more. Some baked goodies include fresh fruit pies and empanadas, handmade cinnamon rolls, and GIANT cookies.

Everything at the bakery is delicious, but you should get a fruit empanada and a freshly baked cookie. Since the Hood River Valley is known for its cherries, I recommend the tart cherry empanada and white chocolate cherry snickerdoodle cookie (try my recipe).

Stave & Stone Winery

Bunches of lavender with rows of grape vines with views of Mt. Adams in the backdrop from the patio of Stave & Stone (on the Hood River Fruit Loop).

Stave & Stone Winery has two beautiful Hood River Fruit Loop locations. You can visit a tasting room in the heart of Downton Hood River or at the vineyard. Both are fantastic, but the vineyard has breathtaking views of Mt. Adams behind rows of grape vines, making it one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

The vineyard is also adjacent to Hood River Lavender Farm. So you can enjoy both places at once. Better yet, enjoy a glass of wine outdoors with lavender fields on one side, a vineyard on the other, and spectacular views of snow-capped mountains.

Oregon is well-known for producing high-quality pinot noir throughout the state. Thus, Stave & Stone Winery has an excellent selection of award-winning pinot noir ranging from medium full-bodied to a pinot noir rosé and a refreshing rosé bubbly.

There are three different wine tastings to choose from – an introductory flight, an estate flight, and the legacy flight. I recommend the estate flight or the legacy flight. The legacy flight includes a food pairing for an exquisite wine experience.

In addition to fine wine, Stave & Stone Winery offers artisan charcuterie boards, artichoke dip, baked brie board, hummus, and more. So you can easily enjoy a glorious picnic lunch with a bottle of wine, delicious bites of food, and scenic views of lavender fields, vineyards, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams.

The Gorge White House

A hard cider flight from The George White House - one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop.

The Gorge White House is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated farm that offers hard ciders, wines, farm-to-table food, u-pick fruit, flowers, and more. It’s one of the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop to experience many things in one place.

I highly recommend visiting The Gorge White House for lunch. The farm-to-table food cart prepares delicious locally sourced burgers, refreshing sandwiches, and fruit-forward flatbreads.

A blueberry and sausage flatbread, pear caramelized onion flatbread, pear quesadilla, and a flight of hard cider from The Gorge White House.

The burgers and sandwiches are amazing, but the shining stars are the flatbreads and pear quesadilla. The chef utilizes the fruit harvested from the orchard to create unique flatbreads such as pear caramelized onion, cherry bacon, and blueberry & sausage. Trust me. They are all divine!

All of the cider is produced with the fruit grown in their orchard, and it’s some of the best in the valley. The hard ciders range from dry apple to a subtle honey lavender and sweet, flavor-bursting mixed berry. I loved every cider on the flight.

If you enjoy wine, you cannot miss The Heritage Pear Wine. It is a beautifully crafted wine from hand-picked Bosc pears from the orchard. It is subtly sweet and “pears” perfectly with the flatbread.

The Old Trunk

Step back into time at The Old Trunk Treats & Tinques. It is a family-friendly antique store with a soda fountain, soft-serve ice cream machine, fruit stand, and a quaint garden of flowers and berries.

As you walk into the store, you are welcomed with beautiful displays of unique trinkets begging you to go home with you. Moreover, The Old Trunk is one of those old-fashioned stores where you can feel the charm, and the owners are always there to help you.

Speaking of old-fashioned, one of the “treasures” inside The Old Trunk is the 1950’s antique shake machine. You can sit on horse saddle stools at the ice cream bar while you watch them blend fresh fruit into Tillamook soft serve ice cream. You can also order espresso drinks and house-made sodas and floats. Everything is made from artisanal syrups and local fruit.

The Old Trunk is also known for its fantastic vintage vinyl collection and rotating funky antique inventory. So look around the store because you never know what hidden gems you will find.

I hope my guide to the best stops on the Hood River Fruit Loop has provided enough information to plan your trip. Between the scenery, u-pick fruit experience, and all the places to enjoy farm-to-table food and drinks, the Hood River Fruit Loop will be a trip you will remember forever.