Why go in winter: An hour from Portland, OR, Hood River’s famed pear orchards are covered in snow and its sophisticated après-ski restaurant scene is booming.
Base camp: Mt. Hood’s powdery slopes are just 38 miles from town.
Claim to fame: You can ski and windsurf in the same day.
Number of outdoor outfitters: 14
Tough choice: Downhill, nordic, or snowshoe?
Dress the part: Rent the sweetest gear―Burton snowboards, Tubbs snowshoes― at Doug’s Sports (rentals from $15; 101 Oak St.; 541/386-5787).
Pre-ski boost: The extra-frothy cappuccino at Doppio Coffee + Lounge (310 Oak; 541/386-3000).
Après-ski pint: There’s Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom ($; 8 Fourth St.; 541/387-0042) for a pungent Hop Lava IPA, or the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub ($; 506 Columbia St.; 541/386-2247) for its wassail and a brownie sundae made with Imperial Stout.
New and notable: Sophie’s Restaurant ($$; 1810 Cascade Ave.; 541/386-1183) is creating buzz for wickedly good homemade almond ravioli with white truffle sauce, an instant belly warmer.
Overheard: “Dude, it’s like Vail at one-sixteenth the price.”
More: Plan a day in Hood River