View of the Portland Oregon old town landmark signage with jumping deer at sunset, during the best time to visit Portland

Best Time to Visit Portland (in 2023)

👉 Jump to: Best Time to Visit Portland | Travel Seasons | Weather & Climate | Tips | FAQ

The best time to visit Portland is in the summer when the weather is dry enough to permit all outdoor activities. Fall is another great time to hit the big city for cooler weather and to witness brilliant fall foliage in Mount Hood National Forest. 

Of course, the best time to visit Portland depends on what activities in Portland you have in mind. As a west coast local, I’ve visited Portland in every season and will break down the best of each in this guide. I’ll also cover when to visit to avoid crowds, the best time for families, and more!

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When is the Best Time to Visit Portland?

Portland is a top Pacific Northwestern city to visit year-round but June-September is the peak tourist season. The popular summer season has ideal weather to explore Portland and check a lot of the most quintessential things to do off your list. Still, the other three seasons have some attributes that’ll help you appreciate other top things to do in Oregon.

The best time to visit Portland is different for each traveler. There’s no standard, linear time frame to visit Portland, rather, when to visit depends on what activities you have in mind. Let’s break it down:

When to Visit Portland for Good Weather 

View of the people wandering around the Cannon Beach with the rock formations in the background
Cannon Beach, a quintessential Oregon Coast destination only 1.5 hours outside of Portland

The “best weather” in Portland is subjective. Depending on what activities you want to do in Portland, the best weather for you may not be the same as the best weather for a hopeful Portland skier.

Summer experiences the driest weather in Portland with only the occasional summer downpour. This is the ideal time to visit Portland if it’s your first time and you’re hoping to hit all the tourist spots and all the top things to do in Portland.

Late spring is the best time to visit if mountaineering in the high Cascade Mountains right outside of town is your main goal. However, winter bears the perfect weather for you if your main prerogative is to hit the ski runs down Mount Hood.

When to Visit Portland for Cheap Prices

View of the heavy rain at the Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden during a rainstorm

The best time to visit Portland for cheap prices is in the off-season winter months. Most hotels and big attractions will be discounted at this time due to low tourism rates. Consider visiting Portland in January-March if budgeting is your main goal.

Travel after the holidays to save some big bucks on accommodation. You may even find deals on top tourist attractions like Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Portland Art Museum throughout the week. 

The wintertime brings fun holiday festivities like the Winter Light Festival and the Holiday Ale Festival. It’s also the ideal time to hit the ski slopes in Mount Hood National Forest, only 1.5 hours outside of Portland. 

👉 Pro Tip: Stay at the cozy Timberline Lodge right at the base of Mount Hood for early access to sunrise ski runs.

When to Visit Portland for Families and Kids 

View of the colorful exhibit at the Portland Art Museum
An exhibit at the Portland Art Museum

The best time to visit Portland for families and kids is in the summer months. Portland comes alive with fun city events at this time and top Portland attractions are in full swing under the summer sun.

Wander around the International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Zoo, or the Portland Japanese Garden during the summer with your kids or pack a lunch and have a picnic in Washington Park without a threatening thunderstorm looming on the horizon.

The summer months are the best time to visit Portland with kids so your whole family can get a true Portland experience. Live music lines on the Downtown Portland streets, coffee shops are bustling with digital nomads and beer lovers are found in full effect at local Portland breweries during the sun-shining summer months.

When to Visit Portland to Avoid Crowds 

View of the people inside the café at Lolo Pass Hostel
The cafe at Lolo Pass Hostel is always bustling with digital nomads

Visit Portland during the winter, late fall, and early spring months to avoid crowds. The peak Portland tourist season is in the summer when the weather is dry but prices and crowds are tenfold. 

Visiting all the top tourist attractions without heavy crowds is a hefty payoff for visiting in the winter and bearing the cold. Top destinations like Multnomah Falls are also free at this time and certain Portland, Oregon campsites are either discounted or free.

If I don’t rent a house in Portland, I usually stay in a hostel and oftentimes have the dorm room completely to myself during the winter months. Empty hostels and quieter hotels are other major pluses of visiting Portland in the winter.

👉 Pro Tip: I’ve stayed at Lolo Pass Hostel a few times in Portland. This hostel has a huge digital nomad reputation and a ginormous lobby workspace, complete with an on-site cafe, inviting remote workers to stay for a few hours and finish some work.

Portland Travel Seasons


A woman facing infront of a huge barrel at Oregon Brewers Festival
The Portland Craft Beer Festival (photo: sirboyce / Shutterstock)
  • 🎷 Waterfront Blues Festival – The biggest blues festival kicks off in Portland each July and summons more than 100,000 blues enthusiasts. Located right on Waterfront Park, this festival celebrates the Fourth of July in the grooviest way possible.
  • 🍻 The Portland Craft Beer Festival – Taste local Portland-brewed beers, wine, and ciders at one of the most popular beer festivals in town. 
  • 🌈 Portland Pride – Celebrate pride with a colorful parade, live music, community events, and more each June in Portland. This Rose City LGBTQ+ festival is one of the biggest in the Pacific Northwest and welcomes paraders of all backgrounds.


View of the fall foliage landscape and the Mount Hood in the background
Mount Hood looms in the distance behind the fall foliage of the big city
  • 📽️ Portland Film Festival – Film lovers flock to Portland from all over the country in October for the Portland Film Festival, a weeklong fest with workshops, film premiers, and guest speakers.
  • 📚 Portland Book Festival – The Book Festival (AKA “Wordstock”) hosts thousands of bookworms at the Portland Art Museum. Trade ideas and plotlines with other book enthusiasts next time you’re in Portland in November.
  • 🎭 Rose City Comic Con – Head on over to the Oregon Convention Center to celebrate your favorite fictional characters with thousands of other Oregonians. Don’t forget to put on your best dress for a chance to win the costume contest!


View of the two street musicians in Portland Market
Acoustic Portland musicians 
  • 🎶 Portland Old Time Music Gathering – Hunker down with some good, old-timey tunes at this Appalachian-style music festival. Rediscover bluegrass string bands each January at one of the best roots music festivals around town.
  • 🪕 Portland Folk Festival – Three days of iconic folk tunes showcase top Portland folk artists at this midwinter festival. Rediscover your love for Americana music at the Crystal Ballroom.
  • 🎄 Portland Winter Light Festival – Light up your dark wintry Portland night at this glowing holiday festival in town. Watch the 2-week interactive light festival with a steaming thermos of hot cocoa to ring in the holiday season.


Colorful firework over the Willamette River and Portland skyline
Fireworks mark the start of the Portland Rose Festival
  • 👽 UFO Festival – Unleash your inner wild side at this extraterrestrial event held every May in honor of the first UFO sighting around Portland. Alien parades, marching bands, and extraterrestrial expert talks make this special event far out.
  • 🌹 Portland Rose Festival – One of Portland’s oldest festivals is a local favorite. Get onboard the Ferris wheel, watch the evening fireworks show, or play arcade games at Portland’s Rose Festival.
  • 🍺 Portland Farmhouse & Wild Ale Festival – Portland’s biggest brew festival is dedicated to uniquely-brewed concoctions. Head over to the Glendoveer Golf Course in Northeast Portland for a tasty experience.

Portland Weather and Climate

Portland has a moderate climate with wet, cold winters and dry summers. The coldest month in Portland is December, with average temperatures ranging from 46-37 degrees. January and February aren’t much different, with average temperatures only 3-5 degrees warmer.

The hottest months in Portland are July and August, with temperatures averaging 81-57 degrees. This hot summer weather typically extends into September and in extremely hot years, October as well.

Tips for Visiting Portland

Explore Outside of the City Center

View of the lush landscape near the road with a scenic view of Mount Hood
Driving on a country road outside of Portland with Mount Hood in the distance

With so much to do in Downtown Portland, it’s easy to get stuck in the city center the whole time you’re in town. Explore outside the big city to get a more holistic experience in Portland.

Consider renting a car and exploring the Mount Hood National Forest, 1.5 hours outside Portland. This is one of the most scenic places to hike near Portland with dense alpine forests and turquoise lakes, perfect for fishing. 

🚗 Where to Rent a Car: Discover Cars is my go-to rental company along the west coast. Having your own car makes getting around Portland that much easier and saves you money on rideshares in the long run.

Always Bring a Jacket

Always pack a jacket when traveling to Portland, even in the summer months. Summer nights frequently drop to 50 degrees so it’s best to be prepared for any weather while visiting Portland.

I recommend the Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket because it’s not only warm and comes in fun colors, but also packs into its own pocket, saving size in your suitcase for other travel essentials.

Get Creative With Your Meals

View of the people dining at Thai Peacock seen from the second floor
Looking down at the first-story diners at Thai Peacock in Downtown Portland

Portland is one of the culinary backbones of the Pacific Northwest. I recommend eating out at least once a day while in town. 

Fun bites include Voodoo Doughnuts, magically delicious donuts with rather unusual flavors, and Thai Peacock, some of the best Thai food in Portland. The Cartopia Food Carts are another fun place to eat in Portland. Choose from a variety of flavors and enjoy your local meal in the fresh air.

Take a Walking Tour

The best way to get to know a new town is with a walking tour. Whether self-guided or with a guided Portland tour like this one, you’re guaranteed not to miss a thing by exploring Portland on foot.

Take in the local sights, sounds, and smells with a walking tour and photograph some of the most famous street art in town around the Alberta Arts District.

Don’t Skip Washington Park

View of the lush International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park on a sunny day
The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park

Washington Park is Portland’s crown gem. This is the best place to venture to if you don’t know where to start in Portland. With plenty of attractions to choose from like Pittock Mansion, the Hoyt Arboretum, and the Portland Japanese Garden, this huge inner-city park is the place to go.

Fun special events in the park include Tai Chi, guided art classes, and a mushroom discovery walk in the arboretum.

Keep an Umbrella on Hand

It’s always a good rule of thumb to carry an umbrella close at hand when visiting Portland. Even if visiting in the summer months, unexpected rainstorms are no stranger to the area.

I always keep a light, compact umbrella like this one in my tote bag when in Portland and have been saved by the bell multiple times.

Take Public Transportation

It’s easier than you think to get around Portland with public transportation. Whether you opt for a bus, train, aerial tram, or public city scooter, transport anywhere in town on a small budget thanks to reliable public transportation.

Go Brewery Hopping

View of the pool table at the basement bar in Portland
Playing pool at a basement bar

Portland has one of the most up-and-coming brewery scenes in the Pacific Northwest. I recommend dedicating at least one evening to brewery hopping in Portland to get to know the local flavors.

The Pearl District has a large concentration of breweries, most of which are within walking distance or short rideshare of each other. Exploring local Portland breweries is the best way to meet Portland locals and explore the city on foot.

Explore Downtown Portland Concert Venues

Portland is known for its multitude of concert venues. Going venue hopping is one of my favorite things to do in Portland. From burlesque shows to heavy metal, alternative music, pop, and everything in between, you’re sure to find it all in Portland.

Check out multiple venues online to see who will be playing while you’re in town. A few of the top venues include McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, Mississippi Studios, Wonder Ballroom, and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 

Dedicate at Least 2 Days to Exploring Portland

A box of Voodoo Doughnut and two cups of coffee on the hood of the car
Enjoying my famous Voodoo Doughnut and coffee on the roof of my rented car in Portland

It is possible to explore some of Portland’s top attractions in a quick day or 1-night trip but I recommend dedicating at least two days to exploring all the top attractions Portland has to offer.

I’ve stayed in Portland for as long as six consecutive days in a row and still haven’t even scratched the surface of seeing all the top sites. If possible, allow yourself a minimum of two days in town and even more if you can afford it.

Bring a Portable Phone Charger

Odds are, you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in Portland. A portable charger is one of the top items to bring when visiting Portland. Whether you’re out hiking or skiing down Mount Hood, on a Portland walking tour, or spending all day in top Portland museums, a portable phone charger will save the day should you run out of battery.

I have the Anker Portable Charger and it hasn’t failed me yet. A rechargeable portable battery is one of the most essential travel items to pack so you aren’t stranded without directions or any photos.

FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Portland

When is the rainy season in Portland Oregon?

November-March is the rainy season in Portland Oregon. Rainstorms are frequent almost every week during this time, with slight chances of snow as well.

What time of year is best to travel to Oregon?

The summer months of June-September are the best time to go to Oregon. Summer experiences its hottest and driest weather, meaning no attractions are off-limits and no roads are closed due to snow and ice.

What is the best month to visit the Oregon Coast?

Early fall is the best time to visit the Oregon Coast. There are fewer crowds at this time and the weather is typically still dry. In addition, most hotels have more availability in the fall with slightly lower costs than in the summer.


Thanks for reading my complete guide on the best time to visit Portland! Be sure to also check out our where to stay in Portland guide for the best travel planning tips.

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