Hood River has maintained its old downtown structure, which is nice. However, it has also become a significant tourist location. Therefore, parking in the core of downtown is quite difficult to find. You will likely have to park some blocks west of downtown to actually find a parking place, and walk to where you need to walk. There is a pay parking lot across the street from the movie theatre, which is only two blocks west and one block north of the real main core of downtown.
Scattered around downtown Hood River you will find maps of the core business district, with a listing of stores, restaurants, and other places in which you can spend your money. Despite the very heavy auto traffic through the area due to the number of tourists and lack of much transit service, Hood River is reasonably walkable. There are some somewhat steep hills but nothing so steep as found in areas of, say, downtown Seattle.
These maps are available in a number of locations scattered all over downtown Hood River, and it shouldn't be too hard to find one.
You WILL wind up walking, at least during part of your visit. The town has become extremely popular with tourists, and parking is very limited. Thus, you will almost always wind up parking quite some distance away from where you want to go.
Every summer me and my wife make the trip from Florida to the Gorge - Hood River . This summer we got to experience a few "nights" out in town without the worries of trying to get transportation. Every summer we run into problems trying to get transportation around town.
We arrived right when a new company called Gorge Yellow Cab was starting. They are open 24 hrs 7 days a week, which was so awesome. One day we used their VIP service, which included a top-notch fully loaded SUV 4wd, new white (Dodge Durango) Dvd, leather, all the bells and whistle's. The next few nights we used their taxicab service, and I must say they were always at our doorstep within 15 minutes. Me and my wife thought is was exciting to see an actual yellow cab, being that we're from the big city.
The driver (Enrique) was very curteous (yet funny looking lol) and made us feel very
comfortable with his presence.
I highly recommend Gorge Yellow Cab for your transportation needs.
You can take a train, bus or car through the Gorge, but the River has always been the region's highway. If you don't have your own boat or sailboard, then head west to Cascade Locks and catch a ride on the Sternwheeler. This big steamboat leaves from the old flooded locks and goes upstream through some of the biggest terrain in the Gorge towards Hood River. Cruises last about two hours and they vary in price depending upon what type of a variety of cruise options you choose from. Cascade Locks, from where you tarry forth, is the site of old river locks which enabled water traffic to get around the now-flooded (by Bonneville Dam) rapids that gave name to the whole mighty mountain range - the Cascades. A community marine park has exhibits explaining history and picnic tables provide a nice place to enjoy lunch amidst Gorgeous splendor.