Pick Your Own Cherries on this Road Trip to the Hood River County Fruit Loop
Where: The Hood River Valley, in Oregon. Why: The Hood River County “Fruit Loop” Cherry Celebration (7/19–7/20; hoodriverfruitloop.com). What: A self-guided, 35-mile driving tour with stops at farms, wineries and craft fairs, the Fruit Loop is bursting with more than a dozen varieties of locally grown cherries—including Bing, Rainier and Stella—this month, the peak of the harvest season. Pick your own at several orchards along the loop, or take the easier route by purchasing locally made cherry jam, cherry wine and (mmm) cherry pie. What, you don’t like cherries? Never fear, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and marionberries are also in season, and should be ripe for the picking (depending on weather). Don’t like any fruit? The route—just under 70 miles east of Portland and cradled between the Columbia River Gorge and glacier-capped Mount Hood—also includes live music at various locations, such as the Apple Valley Country Store. Plus, you can tour lavender farms and—cuteness alert—alpaca farms.
Want more ideas on where to go berry picking around Washington state? Peruse this comprehensive list of berry-related fests, U-pick farms and places to take your bounty of fruit once you've picked it.