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The Oregon Fruit Loop is located just south of Hood River Oregon. It makes a great destination on it’s own or can be an easy Portland day trip with kids. Honestly, our favorite part of visiting the Fruit Loop with kids was that even though we were close to a major city, we still felt like we were tucked away in the country. The Hood River Valley is absolutely amazing and is a must visit during the summer and fall when the fruit loop is at its peak. After taking a grand tour of the Fruit Loop with our family, I’m excited to share the most family friendly Fruit Loop spots we discovered.
How Long Does It Take To Drive The Hood River Fruit Loop?
The Oregon Fruit Loop is 35 miles long with nearly 30 stops along the way. It’s also referred to as the Hood River Fruit Loop. The whole drive makes a great day trip as most places are open from about 10-5. If you’re in a rush, you can easily spend just a few hours here and stop at the places you’re most interested in. You probably don’t want to stop at all of them, so we’re just sharing our favorites. In addition to the stops listed on the Fruit Loop Map, we’re sharing a couple other stops in the Hood River Valley that are great for families.
What Makes A Fruit Loop Stop Family Friendly?
The most family friendly Fruit Loop stops were the places that really went the extra mile to make kids feel at home. Some of that was with the food, others was with the space to run around and still with others it was the animals. On this list, we haven’t included vineyards, breweries, or hard cider stops since those obviously are appealing to an adult crowd and aren’t geared towards kids. Below we’re sharing our favorite Hood River Fruit Loop stops for kids and families to enjoy together.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Fruit Loop in Oregon?
The best time to visit the Oregon Fruit Loop is between July and early October. Before July, there isn’t as much to pick and many of the stops have pretty limited hours. If you’re wanting to pick a specific fruit along the way, you’ll need to know what’s in season at different times.
Best Time for Picking On the Hood River Fruit Loop?
|Cherries||July to Early August|
|Apricots||July to Early August|
|Blueberries||Mid July to Mid August|
|Peaches||August to Mid September|
|Pears||Mid August to Late September|
|Corn||Mud August to Mid September|
|Apples||Mid August to October|
|Lavender||August through September|
|Gourds and Squash||October|
Best Stops on the Fruit Loop With Kids
There are so many fantastic stops here that it really was hard to narrow down the best Fruit Loop stop with kids. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are easily several best stops along the way, so here are some of our favorites and why they’re amazing.
Best Family Friendly Farm Store
This was the cutest shop along the entire Fruit Loop and my kids literally wanted to buy everything. From the second we walked in, the whole shop was filled with the most delicious smell of baked goods and delicious treats. Inside the shop you’ll find a massive variety of preserves and honey as well as local in season produce. The ice cream counter can’t be missed, and they even make their own completely homemade ice cream that you can buy by the pint to take with you.
While you’re there you can also grab more food to take home for later with their huge variety of pies (the chicken pot pie looked absolutely AMAZING). Our kids were completely sucked in by the bakery and chose the most delicious loaf of Rosemary Parmesan bread and cheese blocks for a snack, but we could have bought just about everything there. The cookies are also amazing and after trying several, we all decided that the white chocolate cherry cookie was the absolute best.
Best Fruit Loop Farm To Visit With Kids
This is the place to go if you want your kids to be able to just have fun and play around the farm. When we went, it was sadly closed, but we could easily see how much fun it would be when open. They have a huge U-Pick farm here and often host family events, so it’s a fantastic stop. The Packard Farm Place is located a couple of miles east of the bakery and we recommend visiting both stops. This is the best Fruit Loop stop with kids!
Best Stop To See Animals On The Fruit Loop
This stop is a beautiful Lavender Farm that smells just like heaven. The shop there is filled with hand made lavender goods with everything from soaps and essential oils to fresh made lavender lemonade. While you’re here you can pick your own lavender, but best of all, make sure that you go and check out their goat herd. While we came here for the lavender, the highlight for our kids was the goats and they spent a good chunk of time watching them and laughing at them as they were running through the pasture.
Other Fun Fruit Loop Stops for Families
The grounds of the Gorge White House are absolutely stunning, so you’ll love taking in the views here. This stop has a variety of things available for both kids and adults so it’s a great place for the whole family to enjoy. For the kids, the U-pick farm is a must visit. We picked strawberries there and they were the sweetest strawberries we’ve ever tasted! The farm also grows tons of flowers, so you can go home with a fresh bouquet as well. Make sure to check out their amazing food combinations at the food cart if you’re looking for lunch.
This is another cute little farm shop, with a U-pick orchard. The best time to visit Draper Girls is in July to take advantage of the fresh cherries and enjoy picking them right off the tree. During July, they host a cherry picking bonanza complete with fresh pressed cherry cider, which sounds amazing.
This is a new spot in Parkdale on the south end of the Fruit Loop. They have some delicious looking ice cream flavors that are all hand crafted locally. This shop has limited hours and is mostly open on the weekends from 12-6pm. This is our top pick for ice cream in Hood River Valley.
If you want to go out for brunch along the Fruit Loop, this new spot is probably the best we’ve seen. WIth a menu based on homemade biscuits, you’ll love the homemade taste and delicious comforting flavors. Check their website for opening times.
If you’re looking for a fantastic place to pick your own berries in Oregon with kids, this is the place to go. They specialize in all of my favorite fruits, so I absolutely love this place. Here you can pick blueberries, raspberries and of course, cherries. The best time to go is during mid to late July when you can get all three of these crops in season at the same time.
Also, if you’re traveling with an RV in the area, Montavons is also a Harvest Host stop, so make sure to call ahead and request a stay if you’re a member!
If blueberries are your true love, you’ll want to stop at this blueberry picking farm along your way. Open from mid-July to mid-August, you can enjoy all the blueberries you can pick on this cute little farm.
Apple Valley store is full of delicious foods to eat there as well as a big variety of preserves you can take home with you. They’re most well known for their fresh baked fruit pies and their berry milkshakes which are both sure to be a hit with the family on the Fruit Loop. Sadly when we went, this bakery was closed for the day which was disappointing for our kids who were craving a good milkshake! Next time we take the kids to Hood River, we’ll be back here since everyone told us how great the shakes are!
Do I Have To Visit The Fruit Loop To Get Local Produce?
No, you don’t. If you don’t have the time or interest to drive the Hood River Fruit Loop, then make sure to stop by Hood River on Saturday Mornings. From 9-1 on Saturday mornings you can visit the Gorge Grown Farmers Market at the intersection of 5 and Columbia in Hood River. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of local offerings in Hood River and it’s a great family friendly event.
Best Places to Camp Along The Oregon Fruit Loop
If you’re going to be camping along the Oregon Fruit Loop, make sure to join Harvest Hosts first so you can stay at Montavons berry farm. With Harvest Hosts, you only need to pay a small fee (it’s seriously SUCH A DEAL) and you can stay at any of their locations for free all year long!
Head to this link for 15% off your Harvest Hosts Membership