The Ultimate Guide to Summer in Portland
With its long days, warm weather and beautiful sunshine, summer is one of the best times of year to visit Portland. After cold, rainy winters, the city comes alive with festivals, outdoor events, summer sports and markets. Plus, nothing beats a Portland craft beer on a hot summer afternoon. With its food cart pods and outdoor patios, Portland restaurants and bars also get in on the summer fun. Here’s how you can make the most of summer in Portland with this handy travel guide covering everything from food and drink to shopping.
Explore Summer in Portland with Provenance
With so many amazing things to do in and around Portland during the summer, you want to stay as close to the action as possible. That way, you spend more time enjoying Portland and less time looking for activities. Staying at one of our Provenance hotels in Portland’s lively downtown area, you’re within walking distance of everything from shopping to dining to hiking. Downtown also provides easy access to major highways and interstates like I-405 to quickly get out of town to wine country or the Oregon coast.
Portlanders don’t waste time staying inside during summer, preferring to spend all their time outdoors. That’s because the city is full of events and festivals during the summer months.
Beer lovers will want to hit up the Portland Craft Beer Festival and Oregon Brewer’s Fest for a hoppy good time. Throughout the summer, cyclists take to the city streets for Pedalpalooza, an annual cycling event lasting all summer with creative, themed rides. All of our downtown hotels offer complimentary bike rentals, so you can hop on a bike and join in the fun.
You’ll also find cool pop-up events throughout the city like Piano, Push, Play where old, restored pianos are left throughout the city for anyone to sit down and strike up a song.
And don’t worry, music fans! The long, warm days also call for live music and lots of it. Summer is the time to experience fun outdoor music festivals like the Waterfront Blues Fest, the Cathedral Park Jazz Fest and the Pickathon Music Festival. Concert halls, theaters and open-air venues feature both local and famous touring acts, with the chance to see your favorite artists and discover new, rising stars. So be sure to ask who’s playing around town at the front desk of your hotel.
Whether you want to hike up a volcano (don’t worry, it’s dormant) or head to the beach, Portland’s unparalleled access to the great outdoors is one of its best features. The best part is you don’t even need to leave the city to spend time in nature!
From Mount Tabor to Forest Park, you’ll find tons of beautiful urban parks dotted throughout the city. Located in the West Hills overlooking downtown, Washington Park is a summertime must-visit thanks to the International Rose Test Garden. With over 10,000 different rose bushes in 650 varieties, the gorgeous, multi-colored roses hit full bloom in summer, infusing the air with the scent of roses set against the scenic backdrop of the city skyline and Mount Hood. Forest Park offers wild hiking trails just steps from downtown, and the sloping lawns and expansive views from Mount Tabor in Southeast Portland make for a great picnic spot.
Summer in the Pacific Northwest calls for cooling off in the region’s many refreshing rivers, watering holes and lakes. You’ll find great water sports right in the heart of town, from kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding along the Willamette River to sunning at local beaches like Sellwood Riverfront Park Beach. Further afield, lakes like Trillium Lake offer kayaking, SUPing, and swimming with a side of Mount Hood Views. In the Mount Hood and Columbia Gorge area, you’ll also find a wide variety of hiking trails fit for all levels.
Finally, heading to the Oregon Coast makes for a fantastic day trip from Portland. With its dramatic sea stacks, tidepools, and broad, sandy beach, Cannon Beach is an especially popular spot for a seaside outing. You can also combine your beach adventure with food by heading to Tillamook and visiting the famous Tillamook Creamery for tours and tastings of their house made ice cream and cheese.
A Summertime Foodie Foray
Summer is prime time to enjoy Portland’s spectacular dining scene, from food cart pods to restaurants with sunny outdoor patios. With comfortable seating areas and a wide variety of foods to choose from, eating your way through Portland’s many food cart pods is a great way to enjoy the warm summer weather. The buzzy new Hinterland Bar & Carts, with its stylish outdoor seating areas, craft cocktail bar, on-tap beers and diverse food carts offering barbecue tacos, vegan Mexican food and classic burgers is one such spot. Here’s some of our other favorite food carts and pods around town.
As for restaurants, Portland is overflowing with amazing food. Local favorites like Bullard Tavern and Jake’s Grill are just steps away from your hotel room in the downtown area. But there’s so much incredible dining to be had around the city, it’s hard to go wrong. You’ll find something for all tastes, from Mexican to Thai to Italian. If you’re looking for recommendations, be sure to ask your front-desk staff, as they’ll have tons of suggestions for places to try.
Summer also calls, or rather screams, for ice cream. Salt and Straw, Nico’s, Fifty Licks and Kate’s are just some of the best spots to grab a sweet treat around town, from New Zealand-style fruit ice cream at Nico’s to plant-based options at Kate’s (and we love plant-based food, thanks to Plant-based Papi at Sentinel’s Fortune bar).
A Toast to Summer
If you’re looking for a refreshing libation, Portland has you covered too. Of course, this city is famous for its craft breweries. After a day of hiking or kayaking, nothing is better than a cold IPA or Pale Ale from a local brewery. Several of the most popular breweries in the city — 10 Barrel Brewing, Deschutes Brewery and Von Ebert — are conveniently located within walking distance of Sentinel, Dossier, Hotel deLuxe and Hotel Lucia. If your tastes tend more toward cocktails and spirits, you can visit Portland’s many craft distilleries and tasting rooms along Distillery Row, including Freeland Spirits and Straightaway Cocktails.
Downtown Portland is full of inventive craft cocktail bars, several of which you don’t even need to leave your hotel to find! Head down to Sentinel’s trendy Fortune bar for electrifying DJ music and inventive cocktails. The Driftwood Room at Hotel deLuxe is an intimate, retro bar to rejuvenate yourself on timeless classics like Manhattans.
You can also head out of town to discover Oregon wine country in the Willamette Valley. With over 500 wineries to choose from, it’s impossible to go wrong as you dive into the world of pinot noir. Most winery tasting rooms also come with sweeping views of estate vineyards and the surrounding landscapes. These are some of our favorites. Around town, wine bars like Domaine-Serene Wine Lounge at Sentinel, Bar Diane, Les Caves and Bar Norman offer opportunities to taste both local Oregon wine and national and international bottles without even leaving the city.
Shop 'til You Drop
Better bring an extra-large suitcase, because you’ll be hauling home a Mount Hood-sized amount of souvenirs, mementos and locally-made goods to remember your time here at the end of the trip. Just steps away from our downtown hotels, Pioneer Place Mall next to Pioneer Square has everything from luxury goods to local Oregon-made wares.
Summer is also a great time to check out Portland’s many seasonal outdoor markets like the popular Portland Saturday Market. Located in Tom McCall Waterfront Park near downtown, this massive open-air market has hundreds of vendors every week selling everything from delicious food to original artwork. You can also check out the offerings at neighborhood farmer’s markets over the weekend, or stay up late for the artsy Portland Night Market which has food, drink, music and tons of artisan crafts.
If you love vintage shopping (and if you’re staying at Hotel deLuxe, you probably do!), Portland has tons of excellent vintage and retro shops. Magpie, House of Vintage, ARTIFACT and Hollywood Vintage are some popular vintage clothing stores close to downtown, and Lounge Lizard and Vintage Pink are local hotspots for mid-century modern furniture and vintage decor.
Experience Summer in Portland
Staying at our downtown hotels like Sentinel, Dossier, Hotel Lucia and Hotel deLuxe gives you near-instant access to all of Portland’s best summer activities and more, with stylish, comfortable rooms and our signature Provenance amenities waiting for you at the end of a long day of exploring. You can also choose your hotel to fit your style. The glamorous, Golden Age of Hollywood allure of Hotel deLuxe is perfect for vintage and cinema fans, while those seeking the quintessential Portland experience of art, culture and fun will find it at Hotel Lucia.
From dining to shopping to music festivals, you’re bound to have a packed itinerary during your summertime visit to Portland. At Provenance, our mission is to help you discover the heart and soul of the city you’re staying in, and this summertime guide is our ode to summer in Portland and everything it has to offer.