A Travel Price Comparison for Oregon Hood River vs. Portland for Food, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Hood River or Portland?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Hood River or Portland? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Hood River

Hood River is a agricultural, quaint, and scenic town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include skiing, nightlife, and food.

Portland

Portland is a tree-lined, nature-filled, and scenic city. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the live music, hiking, and shopping.

Hood River and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food


Is there more to do in Hood River or Portland?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Hood River. Although Hood River and Portland are popular destinations, Hood River has more sights and attractions for tourists. Hood River is very popular for its skiing, food, and impressive beauty, while Portland attracts visitors for its music and small town charm. Hood River is famous for its waterfalls, wineries, and impressive mountains. It is also well known for Multnomah Falls. Portland is famous for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty.

How is Hood River different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portland and Hood River. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Hood River or Portland Better for Skiing?

Hood River
Portland

Hood River is a town with good options for skiing and snowboarding. However, Portland is not a skiing destination.

Hood River is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. During the winter months, Hood River makes a nice base for nearby skiing. Timberline and Cooper Spur and both less than an hour away and offer great skiing opportunities.

Portland is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hood River or Portland?

Hood River
Portland

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Hood River and Portland.

While most people don't head to Hood River specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. There are a couple of interesting museums in town such as the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automoblie Museum, the History Museum, and 301 Gallery.

Portland offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Is the Food Better in Hood River or Portland? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hood River
Portland

Hood River is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Hood River. Head to the downtown or waterfront areas for the best selection of restaurants. Most restaurants pride themselves on using local ingredients and supporting local farms. Dishes use fresh and healthy ingredients that make simple but high quality meals.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.

Is Hood River or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Hood River
Portland

The nice nightlife scene is relatively similar in Hood River and Portland.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Hood River. There are breweries, wineries, and local bars in the area that offer a laid back place where you can enjoy the local atmosphere.

Portland has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.


Is Hood River or Portland Better for Music?

Hood River
Portland

Portland is a popular place for its live music scene. However, Hood River is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Portland is active and vibrant. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Hood River is not a live music destination.

Is Hood River or Portland Better for Hiking?

Hood River
Portland

If you're looking to go hiking, Hood River and Portland both have excellent trails.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Hood River. There's a diversity of landscapes in the area that include waterfalls, agriculture, vineyards, and high-reaching mountain peaks. The best way to experience these is through the many hiking trails. Drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway and stop off at the trails that lead to the waterfalls, or head south of town to explore the vineyards on foot, and to the north where you'll find mountain peaks.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Portland. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.

Is the Shopping Better in Hood River or Portland?

Hood River
Portland

Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both Hood River and Portland.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Hood River. Local shops sell local produce, artisan crafts, and wine. There are boutiques and independent vendors that are fun to visit and many visitors enjoy spending an afternoon shopping.

Many visitors go to Portland to go shopping. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.


Is Hood River or Portland Better for Families?

Hood River
Portland

Hood River is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Hood River is a very family-friendly destination. The area is filled with outdoor adventures that the whole family can enjoy. There's swimming, tubing, hiking, and even windsurfing. Make sure you check out the Waterfront Park and Powerdale Substation.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Portland. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.

Is Hood River or Portland Better for Couples?

Hood River
Portland

Hood River is a very popular place for romance. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Hood River makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy the scenic natural setting and charming hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area. There are romantic hikes, local wineries, and many great restaurants that you can try.

Portland makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

Is Hood River or Portland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hood River
Portland

Hood River and Portland are both excellent destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Hood River. There are a couple of hostels and some nice campgrounds in the area as well as many great hikes and a laid back atmosphere that backpackers appreciate.

Portland is a very popular town for backpackers and budget travelers. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.


Is Hood River or Portland Better for Students?

Hood River
Portland

Portland is a popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hood River is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Portland. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.

Hood River is not popular with students.

Is Hood River or Portland Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Hood River
Portland

Portland is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Hood River is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Portland has some public transit options. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

Public transit is generally limited in Hood River. There are buses in the area but you really need your own transportation to see the region efficiently.

Is Hood River or Portland a more walkable city?

Hood River
Portland

Portland is a very popular place for its high level of walkability. However, Hood River is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

Portland is a very walkable city. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

Hood River is generally not very walkable. While there are parts of the town that are walkable, if you don't have a car you'll miss out on the surrounding natural landscapes and most of the hiking opportunities.


For even more information, also check out Is Hood River Worth Visiting? and Is Portland Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portland or Hood River?

How long in Hood River or Portland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Hood River and Portland. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Hood River than Portland. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hood River, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hood River than Portland. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hood River that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Portland than Hood River if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Portland.


  • How many days in Hood River or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Hood River 2-3 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Hood River or Portland?

The beautiful town of Hood River offers nightlife and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With shopping and nightlife around the nature-filled city of Portland, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Hood River or Portland?

Hood River is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Hood River, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

With nightlife and live music around the destination of Portland, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Hood River or Portland?

Hood River is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Portland, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A week in Hood River or Portland?

Hood River is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

Portland is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, Portland or Hood River?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Hood River is $145, while the average daily cost in Portland is $180. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Hood River and Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hood River $78
    Portland $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hood River $156
    Portland $194
Compare Hotels in Hood River and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Hood River or Portland? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Hood River


Hotels in Portland


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Hood River Hotel Prices and Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hood River $46
    Portland $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

Also for Portland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer: $60
  • Tigard hotel or address to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • Private Transfer from Portland City Hotels to Astoria Cruise Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Portland Airport (PDX) to Astoria Port: $88
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $152
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $144
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $72
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $76
  • Lake Oswego to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Arrival Private Transfer Portland Airport PDX to Portland City: $148

Is it cheaper to fly into Hood River or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland and Hood River change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Hood River $40
    Portland $43

Typical Food Prices in Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

For Portland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Portland Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Walking Pizza Tour: $75
  • Secret Food Tour with Local Guide: $95
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Downtown Food Tour: $102
  • The Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour: $105
  • The Bustling Buckman Hood Food Tour: $105
  • Portland Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $110
  • All-Inclusive Downtown Portland Food Tour: $119
  • Alphabet District Food Tour: $119
  • All-Inclusive Walking Food Tour: $119

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hood River $18
    Portland $24

Tours and Activities in Hood River

For Hood River, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Gift Basket Factory Tour: $31
  • Orchard Tour: $31
  • Railbikes Experience: $211
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199

Tours and Activities in Portland

For Portland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2-hour Champagne Brunch Cruise on Willamette River: $102
  • 2-hour Lunch Cruise on Willamette River: $86
  • 7 Wonders of the Gorge 3.5-hour Jetboat Cruise: $90
  • 90 Minute Sailing Tour of Portland: $99
  • A Full Day of Wonder: Wine, Waterfalls, and Timberline Tour: $170
  • Aerial adventure above Portland, Oregon: $189
  • Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland: $75
  • Afternoon Multnomah Falls and Gorge Waterfalls Tour: $75
  • Air Tour of Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls from Portland: $199
  • Airplane Flight Tour over Portland, Oregon: $99
  • All Day Northern Oregon Wineries and Forest Bike Tour: $245
  • Amazing Private Gorge Air Tour for 3: $219

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hood River $19
    Portland $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnel Tour with Brewery Tastings: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $59
  • Guided Bike Tour with Brewery Visits: $65
  • Portland, Maine: Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $89
  • Portland, Maine: Local Brewery & Spirits Bus Tour: $99
  • Waterfalls, Mt Hood, and Wine Tour (Tasting Fees Included): $135
  • Silver Falls Hike and Wine Tour: $179
  • Bed and Breakfast Wine Tour - Small Group, Joinable/Sharable: $198
  • From Willamette Valley Full-Day Wine Tour: $210
  • Multnomah Falls, Hood River Excursion Train Ride & Wine Tour: $210


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Hood River and Portland, we can see that Portland is more expensive. And not only is Hood River much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hood River would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hood River and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Portland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Portland than you might in Hood River.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Hood River Expensive? and Is Portland Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Hood River or Portland?

Portland has a larger population, and is about 90 times larger than the population of Hood River. When comparing the sizes of Hood River and Portland, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Hood River or Portland?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Hood River or Portland in the Summer?

Both Portland and Hood River are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Hood River in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Hood River is generally around the same temperature as Portland. Daily temperatures in Hood River average around 68°F (20°C), and Portland fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

It's quite sunny in Portland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Hood River. Hood River usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Portland during summer. Hood River gets 338 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 338 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Hood River usually receives around the same amount of rain as Portland. Hood River gets 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hood River 68°F (20°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Hood River or Portland in the Autumn?

Both Portland and Hood River during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Hood River for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Portland because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

Hood River is around the same temperature as Portland in the autumn. The daily temperature in Hood River averages around 55°F (13°C) in October, and Portland fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

In the autumn, Hood River often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Portland. Hood River gets 155 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 155 hours of full sun.

Hood River usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Portland. Hood River gets 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hood River 55°F (13°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Hood River or Portland in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Hood River and Portland. The winter months attract visitors to Hood River because of the skiing, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Portland this time of year.

It's quite cold in Portland in the winter. The weather in Hood River can be very cold. In the winter, Hood River is around the same temperature as Portland. Typically, the winter temperatures in Hood River in January average around 40°F (4°C), and Portland averages at about 40°F (4°C).

Hood River usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Portland during winter. Hood River gets 86 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 86 hours of full sun in the winter.

Portland receives a lot of rain in the winter. Hood River gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Hood River usually receives around the same amount of rain as Portland. Hood River gets 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hood River 40°F (4°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Hood River or Portland in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Hood River as well as Portland. The natural beauty are the main draw to Hood River this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Portland for the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In April, Hood River is generally around the same temperature as Portland. Daily temperatures in Hood River average around 51°F (11°C), and Portland fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Portland. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Hood River this time of the year. In the spring, Hood River often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Portland. Hood River gets 231 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 231 hours of full sun.

Hood River usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Portland. Hood River gets 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Hood River 51°F (11°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Hood River

Hood River Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)