Our favourite ways to spend summer in Portland, OR

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Portland. The name alone evokes images of a fiercely independent city, with a love for entertaining new ideas, the outdoors, and small-scale industry. If you’re spending the summer in beautiful Portland, it can be hard to devise a travel itinerary, with so many options to explore. Read on for some of our favourite ways to do Summer in the City of Roses.

International Rose Test Garden & Portland Japanese Garden

Highlighting Portland’s strong affiliation with Roses is the International Rose Test Garden, where over ten thousand Rose Bushes bloom through the summer. Nearly seven acres of Roses in whites, yellows, pinks, purples and reds provide a relaxing stroll for couples and many gorgeous photo opportunities. Visitors can also cross the street and stop by the Portland Japanese Garden, where groups can meditate for a while or spend a moment over a pot of tea. On occasion, there are also small-scale cultural marketplaces and events at the Japanese Garden, so do keep an eye out when visiting.

Oaks Amusement Park

A thrilling throwback, Oaks Amusement Park has entertained the Portland area since 1905 as one of the nation’s oldest operating theme parks. Take a photo on the historic Herschell-Spillman carousel, dating from 1912, or try classics such as the Zero Gravity and Rock-O-Plane rides. Visitors searching for more intense experiences can find the Adrenaline Peak and AtmosFEAR attractions. Children and families can enjoy slower-paced kiddie coasters and a variety of carnival games. There is also a Roller Skating Rink and Mini Golf for group activities. Aside from these, Oaks Amusement Park also doubles as a location for plenty of festivals and smaller events for the Portland area year-round, so there might be something extra depending on when you visit. For a retro, fun day at the theme park, come to Oaks. 

Festa Italiana

Festa Italiana is a great way to embrace the Italian-American heritage of Portland in the summertime, all in a fun environment. Solo travellers, couples, groups and families alike will all enjoy the delicious variety of Italian cuisine from savoury favourites such as Spaghetti and Calzone to sweet delights like Cannoli and Sfogliatella. Live Italian music performances and various tastings for imported wines and local breweries and vineyards are also available for enthusiasts. Stay for the raffles, Bocce tournament and Italian Mass. 


Outside Portland at the Pendarvis in early August is the Pickathon Music Festival, one of Portland’s largest and most vibrant events. Aside from the green, nature-immersed setting with branch tunnels and trees, the festival is also famous for its commitment to green practices, with earth-conscious energy and recycling also a part of the festival. Some of the names that have played at Pickathon include Black Milk & Nat Turner, Dinosaur Jr., KING, Robyn Hitchcock, Danie Norgren, Jen Cloher, Khruangbin and Tyler Childers. For a different festival experience with music and nature, come to Pickathon. But be sure to book well in advance, as ticket sales are capped at 3500.

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