Summer Activities » Portland, OR

Summer Activities in Portland, OR

In a city where outdoor activities and sports reign supreme, this list of 10 summer activities in Portland, Oregon is just the tip of the iceberg! Start here and get out in the Rose City this summer.
Max 5 stars
My Rating
Rollover to rate this

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island is only ten-miles outside of downtown Portland, but when it comes to summer activities, it feels worlds away. Pack up your car with summer essentials -- a picnic, lots of water, blankets to sit on, beach towels, bikes, frisbees, sunscreen -- and spend the entire day here... there is so much to do and see that even long-time Portland residents love exploring the beaches and trails. There aren't many resources on Sauvie Island, so come prepared. You can choose your own adventure once you get to the island -- bust out the bikes and check out the island or find a quiet beach, kick back in the sunshine and just relax.

Waterfront Blues Festival

Celebrating its 25th year in Portland in 2012, the Waterfront Blues Festival is held over an extended Fourth of July weekend, combining the best of everything summer has to offer -- live music, great food, Portland sunshine and a huge fireworks display over the Willamette River. You don't have to be a blues expert to enjoy this festival, but we're pretty sure that after spending the day immersed in it, you're going to be feeling the slow, smooth, soulful vibe that blues music gives off. If what you're really into is the fireworks for the Fourth of July, head down in the afternoon, enjoy lunch and grab a good seat -- it gets packed for the show and although every seat in the house has a pretty good view of the fireworks, spreading out a blanket to give yourself some room is certainly nice.

Hopworks Urban Brewery

It's a Saturday afternoon in Portland. The summer sun is shining and the hipsters are out doing things that would even make the creators of Portlandia proud. What could be better than sitting at Hopworks Urban Brewery, enjoying a fresh pint of a hoppy, organic IPA while catching up with your friends and pretending that summer will last forever? Hopworks is a Portland staple -- they draw in a large biker community (bicycles, not motorcycles, mind you) and create some of the most popular craft beers in the city. Plus, their brewery is just somewhere you want to hang out -- kicked back, no rush to be bumped from your table and plenty of beers to try to keep you going all day!

Sherwood Robin Hood Festival

We promise that there won't be any robbing from the rich to give to the poor at the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, located just outside of Portland in Sherwood, Oregon. The festival happens each summer, typically towards the end of July, and is full of old world charm. There is no entrance fee for the festival itself, in the true spirit of Robin Hood, of course! Activities include a bit of a Renaissance twist such as reenactments, knighting ceremonies, archery contests, castle building competitions, food, music, a parade and more. Costumes aren't required, but you may feel left out if you aren't wearing one!

Oregon Coast Beaches

Need to escape the city for the weekend? The ultimate summer destination, when you live in Portland, is the Oregon Coast. It only takes about an hour to get to the beach, but you're going to want to spend more than just the afternoon exploring. One of the most popular destinations on the Oregon Coast is Cannon Beach, home to the famous (and huge!) Haystack Rock. When the tide goes out, you can walk out to the rock do check it out closeup. It takes some hardcore summer heat to warm up the water enough for any serious beach swimming, but if you don't mind a bit of a chill, splash away in the saltwater surf. And speaking of surfing, the Oregon Coast is a popular destination for surfers -- don't forget a drysuit or wetsuit -- you're going to need it!