It’s a common request of event planners looking to book space: a venue that’s far enough off the beaten path to offer a sense of solitude, but close enough to a sizable city that travel time doesn’t eat up an entire day. Hood River, Oregon, fits the bill.
A tiny town nestled among several others (White Salmon is minutes away across the river; The Dalles is just a bit farther east), Hood River is located across the border from Washington state on the banks of its namesake and the Columbia River. And while the scenic locale offers dozens of opportunities to immerse oneself in nature, Portland is 60 miles west, making it an easy trip for travelers arriving by air, train, bus or car.
“You’ll find all the comforts of home in Hood River—where accommodations range from luxurious to laid-back—as well as the most incredible views of two mountains, Mount Hood and Mount Adams, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,” says Mike Glover, CEO of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce. “When the fun’s all over, you can extend your trip for a few days and explore Mount Hood and the Gorge on your own, or you can be pulling up at the Portland International Airport within an hour.”
Here are more reasons to make Hood River your next meeting destination:
The city of Hood River and its surrounding areas offer 25,000 square feet of meeting space, which can accommodate more than 2,500 people. Just over 500 hotel rooms are available, not including bed-and-breakfasts or vacation home rentals.
Outdoor activities abound to make meetings memorable. “Hood River is a natural playground during all times of the year,” says Glover, “with outdoor team-building opportunities around every corner, from cycling on the Historic Columbia River Highway to hiking, rafting, cooking, golfing, boating, paddling, skiing, wine tasting and so much more. There are oodles of things to do here to build an amazing off-site [outing].”
With 14,000 acres of fruit orchards, the area is becoming known for its hard ciders. In fact, Hood River hosts the annual Hard-Pressed Cider Fest every April, with cider tastings and music throughout the daylong event.