Hood River

Grandma’s Got Your Back: Why the Hood River Visitor Center is the go-to resource you didn't know you needed

You’ve planned the perfect trip, you’ve read all the reviews, and you’ve got a list of must sees, must hikes, and must dines. You are now a Hood River expert, only it turns're not.

- The super awesome diner with a 5 star Yelp review? Mom and Pop retired, closed the restaurant, and are now living their dreams out in Mexico.

- The scenic road bike ride along Dee Hwy? Turns out, it’s heavily congested and not a safe option.

While the Hood River Visitor Center might seem like the first stop on your grandparents' travel itinerary, it may just be in your best interest to heed their wisdom. We know, we know, it’s an antiquated idea—speaking with an actual person for recommendations in the age of apps, iPhones, review sites, and social media. However, your grandparents' fear of change is your golden ticket to a relaxing, enjoyable vacation.

Not sold? Let’s elaborate.

Hood River Visitors Center

The Hood River Visitor Center has all the information you need under one roof. Photo credit: Visit Hood River.

The Insiders Scoop

Any Gen Zer will agree, knowing the scene is what’s real. Not just knowing the best smoothie shop in town (hint: it’s Remedy Juice Cafe) but the best speciality smoothie that’s no longer on the menu (the Minty Matcha) is where it’s really at. Who better to tell you what’s what than local residents who’ve made it their job to know the ins and outs of Hood River? The Visitor Center staff are your people.

Informed Decision Making

So you can’t go on that super awesome waterfall hike you discovered in the 2002 edition of Curious Gorge because it turns out the trail is closed due to a past wildfire? The local Visitor Center will save the day! With daily monitoring of recreation areas and surrounding national forest the Hood River Visitor Center staff will provide you with tools for informed decision making from Hood River hikes, to COVID and wildfire closures, the local’s pick for beaches, and insider knowledge that will arm you with the information you need to truly enjoy a stress free vacation.

All the Maps!

We’ll make this short. Google Maps is not always to be trusted in rural areas. The local Visitor Center can provide you with maps, brochures, magazines, and more. You name it, they’ve got it!

Ramona Falls

Hikes like Ramona Falls offer the most amazing rewards, but the how-to information offered at the Hood River Visitor Center will get you there safely, easily, and stress-free. For example, wilderness permits are required May 15-Oct. 15. Photo credit: Visit Hood River

Service with a Smile!

Here’s the scenario:

You hit the road with your happy family 6 hours ago, it’s 4th of July weekend, summer is here, you're nearing Hood River, hanging on to the last bit of bandwidth both you and your kids have left, hoping the first-come-first-served campground will have a spot available for you. Not only is it sold out for the night and the night after that, but so are the local hotels.

So what do you do? I bet you can guess by now.

Give the Visitor Center a call and they’ll do their best to help locate a room, a camp spot, ANYTHING to get you and your frazzled family out of the minivan and off the iPads. You’re in luck, turns out Mrs. Jo at the Visitor Center snagged you a glamping tent at Westcliff Lodge.’s still camping, right?

Glamping at Westcliff Lodge

Westcliff Lodge offers these glamping tents and many other accommodation options. Photo credit: Westcliff Lodge

And last but certainly not least...

Good Ol’-Fashioned Conversation

Whether you call, email, or visit in person, you’ll get a friendly experience on the other end. As your gateway to Hood River, let the friendly and informed staff at the Hood River Visitor Center set the tone for the entire getaway.


Contact the Hood River Visitor Center:  

The Visit Hood River Visitor Center is located at the Hood River County History Museum off Exit 64 on I-84.

Phone: 541-386-2000


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