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Mt. Hood or Columbia Gorge for family reunion?

Mt. Hood or Columbia Gorge for family reunion?

Old Jan 19th, 2015, 02:32 AM
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Mt. Hood or Columbia Gorge for family reunion?

We would like to host a long weekend trip for our 5 grown children and their families. My mother and other family members may join as well. Two of the kids just moved to Portland so thought this would be a good reason to visit something closeby. We would go the first weekend in August and are looking for a suggestion of a hotel or good area to be where it would be easy to come together for meals and activities if we want to do things as a group, but also things to do individually. Important parameters: 1) less than 2 hours from PDX as some of the people who are flying may only be able to come for two nights and we don't want to spend all the time traveling 2) a pool for the kids (ages 1-11) to play in 3)access to a variety of activities -maybe horseback riding, rafting, hiking? that would be easy to arrange 4)real beds-no camping

I've looked at Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood but it's hard to get a feeling for what it's like in the summer as the website is currently all about skiing. Is Hood River the place to go in the Gorge? Would appreciate any help or suggestions!
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 08:16 AM
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Check out Hood River and the Best Western there. Two advantages of Hood River over Timberline lodge are that Hood River is a delightful town with a variety of dining options.

The popular Best Western Hood River Inn has rooms right on the Columbia River. Room rates include breakfast served in a delightful dining room. We have been staying there for years, and I advise you to book your rooms soon if you want to stay there in August.

HTtY
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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Your family may also like McMenamins on the Columbia River. It is not my cup of tea, but some our my family members like it.

HTtY
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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HTtY-Thank you so much for the reply. From what I know of McMenamins I think it might not suit us either so I will definitely look at the Best Western. Appreciate the help.
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 11:49 AM
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We stayed at The Resort At The Mountain last fall. It's close to both Mt. Hood and Hood River. But you can stay right at the resort and have a lovely time. Woodsy and relaxing, lots of amenities.

Check it out:

http://www.theresort.com/
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 07:40 PM
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Or I would consider Sunriver - it's a great family vacation place.
If that does not interest you then Hood River would be my preference. But Sunriver has something for everyone. You could even rent a couple of houses.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the additional suggestions - didn't want to get beyond 2 hours from PDX so I know Sunriver is out. I'll check out The Resort though. Looking now at vacation homes in Hood River area and may get a house with additional rooms at a nearby hotel as I don't see many large homes or even an area where there are many vacation homes together.

One area that has more than a few homes is The Welches - looks like a golf course community. Is anyone familiar with that? We don't golf but at least there are some homes located close together. Need to also get a feel for grocery and restaurants nearby. I don't really want to do all the cooking in with so many.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 08:32 AM
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You are right, there are more homes around Welches, but that really isn't an area with much to do. I would head towards Hood River instead. Yes, it will be a bit harder to find the homes you are seeking, but there is SO much more to do there!!!

Now I know you said Sunriver is out, but there is a small airport in nearby Redmond, just in case you were not aware. Sunriver beats Hood River and Welches by a long shot for trips like this. So if the people flying in don't mind taking a short hop to Redmond, that would work.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 05:37 PM
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Thanks mms for the info. This is harder than I thought-weve been spoiled by the availability of large homes at an east coast resort. I definitely like the idea of Hood River the best, just hard to figure out the right accommodation logistics!
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 05:46 PM
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Check out the possibility of vacation homes in White Salmon, Washington, across the Columbia from Hood River. Gorge Rentals, in Hood River, may also be of help to you

HTtY
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 05:49 PM
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Well, so actually The Resort at the Mountain is in Welches. For a family reunion, I think that area is a pretty good location. Even if you don't stay at the Resort, you can go there for any activities (did you happen to check out the Resort's website for activities?).

We went up to Timberline lodge one day, maybe a 30 minute drive and worth seeing the resort, going on some of the (very visible) trails up the mountain, lunch, etc.

From the Resort to Hood River and the Fruit Loop, I think it was around 45 minutes to an hour. Still very convenient.

I wouldn't worry too much, if Welches has the accommodations you need; there are plenty of things for a family to do.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 08:37 PM
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We stayed at the ROTM late spring (May) and it was wonderful. Off season , not many guests but the restaurants were open and great food. Service was exemplary. We didn't leave the resort for a week, walking, hiking and just relaxing.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 09:41 AM
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Thanks again everyone. I do see now that the Resort is also in the Welches area so will be looking at that. I think I've decided not too go all the way to the top with Timberline Lodge but I have contacted a few VRBOs in Hood River. Liking the idea of having a town that we can walk to. We have a variety of ages so I like the idea of different groups being able to head out for a beer or ice cream depending on the desire. Family reunions are great but we also like to "divide and conquer"!

One more question about the area - I see there are lots of watersports like windsurfing, paddleboarding, etc. But is there actual swimming in the river? Should I be looking for beach access or is it usually too cold? Since not all the homes I've looked at have central A/C maybe its not all that warm and sunny even in the summer?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 04:43 AM
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I have absolutely no experience there, but I remember coming across Skymania Lodge in my research for our trip to Oregon (although this is actually in Stephenson, Washington). It might be more than you want to spend, but it looks nice and gets great reviews.

http://www.skamania.com/
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Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 07:00 AM
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But is there actual swimming in the river? Should I be looking for beach access or is it usually too cold? Since not all the homes I've looked at have central A/C maybe its not all that warm and sunny even in the summer?

There are some swimming beaches along the Columbia near Hood River and downstream near Rooster Rock a clothing-optional beach if interested. (It IS Oregon, remember.) There are also beaches along some of the tributary rivers like the Sandy, Hood River etc. Water coming off Mount Hood will be quite cold; the Columbia itself is very deep and fast-moving, so use caution.

The Gorge is usually pretty warm in the summer, in fact there can be days when it's downright hot as warm air from eastern Oregon and Washington funnels through the gorge. Hood River is barely on the east side of the Gorge, i.e. a somewhat drier climate than even Troutdale on the wast edge, so the odds are slightly higher for consistent sunshine, but no guarantees of course.

Central AC is quite unusual in the Pacific Northwest; room AC units (in bedroom windows for example) are more common, but the majority of homes just do without.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 09:23 AM
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Regarding weather-- we went to Portland and Hood River in late June 2013 expecting a break from the Texas heat and found ourselves in an unusual heat wave, with temps in the upper 90s. One of our hotels did not have A/C and we were so miserable we left after one night. If I ever go again, I will be sure and stay somewhere that at least has some kind of A/C option. Hope for the best but be prepared for anything!
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 07:09 AM
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Just wanted to post a quick thank you to all of you who helped me decide where to go this last trip. We ended up in Hood River and it was absolutely fabulous! Had a total of 25 family members ages 1-82 and we swam, hiked, did windsurfing and paddleboarding, wine tasting, and beer drinking - lots of beer! We had 3 different houses that, though they were not close together, ended up really working out to give everyone some space at different times of the day, while still being able to all come together for meals and excursions. It was VERY hot while we were there - up to 105 but the water, shaded trails and beer (did I mention there was beer?) helped keep us cool. My 10 year old called it our "most adventurous" family trip and the west coasters were especially happy to have such easy travel. Was really happy to try something new for all of us - thanks again!
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 07:12 AM
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Thanks for the update.

HTtY
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Old Aug 11th, 2015, 09:40 AM
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Glad you had such a great time Yes, it has been a crazy hot summer here, hottest on record, with more to come. Also, yes, Hood River and beer just go together.
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