Best Time to Visit Portland, Oregon

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Sunrise in a city with buildings and trees with a mountain in the background
Portland has something for everyone throughout the year from events to adventures

Portland is Oregon's largest city and one of the most popular travel destinations in the Pacific Northwest. But its climate varies from month to month, making it important for travelers to plan the timing of their trip accordingly.

From hot, dry summers (June-September) to chilly, wet winters (December-March), Portland offers a variety of experiences for tourists depending on what they want to do and when they visit the city.

Are you coming to Portland for its film and music festivals? Maybe to experience its coffee shop and brewery culture? Or perhaps you're an adventure seeker ready to hit the slopes on a pair of skis?

Portland has something for everyone, with events and festivals scattered across the city throughout the year. In this article, you'll learn about the best time to visit Portland, Oregon, for optimal weather, the lowest rates, and to get the most out of what the area has to offer.

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Portland Vacation Planning Questions

A city skyline with a river and buildings and skyscrapers in the distance
Things to consider when planning a vacation to Portland, Oregon
A road with buildings and trees by the water with the "observatory" in the center
June to September is the best time to visit Portland, Oregon, for many outdoor events

When is the best time to visit Portland, Oregon?

Different times of the year offer varying ways to enjoy the city. But for most travelers, the summer months of June through September is the best time to visit Portland, Oregon.

That's because the warm, dry weather brings a plethora of outdoor events to the area. So, summer is the perfect time to go on a tour of Portland and experience the city in its best light.

A popular time to visit Portland is for the Fourth of July holiday when the city hosts its multiday Waterfront Blues Festival packed full of music and fireworks.

For budget travelers, however, January and February are the best months to visit Portland. Rainy weather and few tourists mean low air travel and lodging costs—even at the city's nicest hotels.

A fountain in a garden surrounded by roses of different colors and green bushes
Portland is known as "Rose City." The rose garden is visited from May to September

When is the best time to visit Portland Rose Garden?

Roses are one of Portland's biggest draws. It's known as the Rose City, after all. Public gardens are everywhere, the most famous being the International Rose Test Garden, commonly known as the Portland Rose Garden.

The rose garden is popular from May until September, although the best time to visit is usually in late June when most of the 7,000 rose bushes are in full bloom. Be prepared for huge crowds around this time, however, as many visitors plan well in advance to be there every year.

May and July provide good views of the blooming roses with slightly fewer crowds, although the Portland Rose Garden remains popular all spring (March-June) and summer (June-September). You can even find places to stay in Portland near the Rose Garden, so you have easy access whenever you want to take a relaxing stroll.

The best time to visit Portland, Oregon, to see the Japanese Garden is in October
In October, the Portland Japanese Garden turns hues of orange and red

When is the best time to visit Portland Japanese Garden?

The Portland Japanese Garden features eight separate areas spread over 12 acres. It's a scenic destination during any month, but some parts of the year are better than others.

April is an excellent time to visit Portland if you want to see the cherry blossoms in bloom at the Portland Japanese Garden.

But for most people, the best time to visit is in October, as the autumn (September-December) weather brings colorful changes to the area's trees.

The Portland Japanese Garden turns hues of orange and red, creating a wonderful backdrop unique to this time of year.

The garden can be crowded in April and October, so plan accordingly if you visit the Japanese Garden during those months.

A bridge over a river with a city in the background and snow-covered terrain
January and February are the cheapest months to visit Portland for indoor activities

When is the cheapest time to go to Portland?

The cheapest time to go to Portland is in the winter months of January and February. This is due to the cold weather and heaviest rainfall of the year.

Most people spend their time indoors during these months. So it's the perfect opportunity to catch a performance at one of Portland's many theatres or warm yourself up on a haunted pub tour.

December is equally wet and chilly, but holiday travel and the city's seasonal events keep hotel and airfare costs high through the end of the year.

The most expensive time to visit Portland is in the summer (June-September). If you're looking for the best value, you should probably avoid this time of year, as rates across the city are at their highest.

A large glass building with a glass front and a sign "Portland International Airport"
January and February are the best months for cheap flights to Portland, Oregon

When is the cheapest time to fly to Portland?

Airfare is often the most expensive part of travel. If you're looking for cheap flights to Portland, Oregon, January and February are your best bets.

That's because the cold temperatures and frequent rainfall mean few events during the early months of the year. People choose to stay inside. Theatres and Art Museums are popular destinations, as are the city's coffee shops and breweries.

But just because the weather's bad, it doesn't mean the city's dead. There are still plenty of things to do during the slow months, including the two-week Portland Jazz Festival.

If you want more outdoor adventure from your trip, you may want to consider visiting in the months of November or March.

Rain over a green bridge and a river with trees in the background and a grey sky
Portland, Oregon, experiences heavy rain from December to February

What is the climate in Portland, Oregon?

Rain is common for most of the year, although the summer months of June-September are typically quite dry. In July, there's less than an inch of average rainfall. This time of the year also sees temperatures reach the 80s during the day. For many visitors, summer is the best time of the year to visit Portland, Oregon.

In the spring (March-June) and autumn (September-December), the temperature remains moderate. Rain is common during these months but is usually just a light sprinkle, except for the end of autumn, when the rainy season kicks off from November to January.

From December to February, heavy rain is frequent. The cold, wet climate makes outdoor activities unpopular, although the Winter Light Festival in February offers a break from the dreary winter (December-March) weather.

A red and white lighthouse on a rocky coast with grass and a blue sky
Portland shines from June-September as rain is rare

What is the average rainfall in Portland, Oregon?

Portland sees rain throughout the year, but November to January is considered the rainy season.

The largest average rainfall comes down in December. It's not uncommon to see more than six inches of precipitation that month. November and January are nearly as wet, with each seeing average rainfall above five inches.

Rain showers are still common in the spring months of March and April, though not as intense or long-lasting as during the wetter season.

Portland shines during the summer (June-September). Rain is rare, and the wonderful weather makes the city's outdoor spaces alive.

Many popular events take place over the summer, including the Portland World Naked Bike Ride and Cathedral Park Jazz Festival.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Portland

A bridge over a river with trees and a mountain in the background
Portland, Oregon, information regarding weather, pricing, and crowds

Portland in January

Winter (December-March) is in full swing in Portland in January. It's still the rainy season, so expect frequent, heavy showers and cold temperatures.

Few events are held in January on account of the weather. The most noteworthy exception is the Fertile Ground Festival. Put on by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, the event showcases productions and performances by artists across the city.

If you're aiming to visit Portland in January, plan to be spending much of your time inside. Visit the Portland Art Museum, and afterward, stop at the nearby Oregon Historical Society Museum.

Ready to brave the elements and try some winter sports activities? Just a short drive away, Mt. Hood is a popular wintertime destination for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.

Portland in February

The rain begins to let up in February, but you can still anticipate wet and chilly weather. By the end of the month, however, daytime temperatures will reach the 50s.

Tourism hasn't begun to pick up for the year, so it's easy to find great deals on flights and lodging across the city. For budget-conscious travelers, February is the best month to visit Portland, Oregon.

February is Black History Month, and Portland is brimming with ways to celebrate. Events are held throughout the month, with two of the most popular, the Cascade Festival of African Films and the NW Black Comedy Festival.

Plan to spend February indoors, soaking up Portland's culture of theatres, art galleries, and coffee shops.

Portland in March

March marks the beginning of spring (March-June) in Portland, and the rainy season's (November-January) heavy downpours have turned into the occasional drizzle.

There's more to do and see around Portland in March, but the rock-bottom hotel prices of January and February begin to rise.

Portland Dining Month takes place in March, with acclaimed restaurants around the city offering three-course prix fixe meals at value prices.

This is a popular time for foodies to explore Portland's diverse culinary scene, including the popular Underground Donut Tour.

By late March, nature begins to blossom with colorful flowers and trees coming into bloom. This provides an opportunity for savvy nature lovers to visit before the crowds start to arrive in April.

Portland in April

April marks the real kickoff of spring (March-June) tourism in Portland. As the chance of rain falls and temperatures rise, travelers start to flock to the city.

Cherry trees bloom in April, attracting visitors to Portland's numerous parks and botanical gardens.

Although April is not as lively as the peak summer (June-September) months, it sees its fair share of big events. For example, the One Motorcycle Show is billed as the largest custom-motorcycle gathering in the world.

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival also takes place every April, attracting visitors to its 40 acres of tulip fields, train rides, and wine tours. The dates of the event shift to coincide with the more than 100 varieties of tulips coming into bloom.

Portland in May

May is a magical time in Portland. Spring is in full gear, flowers are in bloom, and nearly all of the city's attractions are open for the upcoming summer (June-September) busy season.

The temperature in May can reach the 70s. Although not as dry as the summer, significant rainfall is rare during the month. This brings plenty of activities and events to all parts of the city.

The fun-for-all-ages Bricks Cascade is the largest LEGO convention in the region. Also, adults can celebrate Oregon Wine Month by visiting the area's many vineyards as they open their tasting rooms for the year.

Looking for other great outdoor activities in May? Check out the farmers' markets or take to the Willamette River for a scenic lunch cruise.

Portland in June

The summer (June-September) travel season kicks off in June. Warm temperatures, minimal rain, and the end of the school year bring loads of tourists to Portland.

Families make up a large portion of June's visitors. They're drawn to the city because there are a ton of things to do in Portland for kids.

From stopping at Oaks Amusement Park (in operation since 1905) to taking a tour of Portland's best pizza, you'll find no shortage of family-friendly activities.

June is also the best time to travel to Portland, Oregon, for the roses. There are plenty of public gardens in full bloom, and the Portland Rose Festival—a tradition since 1907—is one of the year's most significant celebrations.

Portland in July

Portland feels like paradise in July. The temperature highs peaks above 80 degrees. It's also the driest month, with less than an inch of rain on average.

The waterfront Oregon Brewers Festival draws more than 50,000 attendees to its four-day event, while the newer Portland Craft Beer Festival becomes increasingly popular each year.

Fourth of July weekend is always a busy time in Portland, with fireworks, concerts, and other outdoor events common across the city in celebration of the holiday.

Art enthusiasts flock to St. Johns neighborhood every July for the St. Johns Art Walk to shop some of the area's best artists.

There's also the Portland Highland Games, a competition and festival celebrating Scottish heritage.

Portland in August

If you're wondering when to visit Portland, Oregon, for some warm weather, August is it. Temperatures average above 80 degrees most days. Plus, there's very little chance of rain.

Peak tourism season is winding down in August, but the city remains active. Prices continue to stay high, but this means there are still many festivals and activities to enjoy this month.

"Keep Portland Weird" is the city's most well-known slogan, and there are plenty of weird things to do in Portland in August.

Embrace your stranger side at the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, or go underground and tour the 19th-century Shanghai Tunnels once used by the city's shadowy underworld.

Active visitors can participate in the Bridge Pedal—a biking event that brings thousands of bikers through Portland's streets and across its bridges.

Portland in September

September marks the end of Portland's busy summer (June-September) season. But even though the crowds are dying down, there's still plenty of fun to be had across the city.

The Portland International Raceway hosts the Grand Prix of Portland over Labor Day weekend. Later in the month, the Rose City Comic Con draws tens of thousands of visitors to the Oregon Convention Center.

Summer may be ending, but September is a new beginning for nearby Willamette Valley wine country. Harvest season begins this month and runs through October.

Wineries are in full operation at this point, and most connoisseurs consider September the best time to visit Portland to take a Willamette Valley wine tour.

Portland in October

The weather begins to get colder in October, and rain sets in more frequently. But there's still plenty to see and do this month in Portland.

October is the best time to see the foliage change colors in the fall (September-December). Trees are covered in beautiful arrays of green, yellow, orange, and red.

This offers some of the most stunning landscape scenery of the year. It also brings flocks of tourists out to nearby nature sites like Multnomah Falls and Silver Falls to enjoy the last good weather until spring (March-June).

Travelers can celebrate fall around the Portland area with several outdoor events this month, including the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta and the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest just a short drive away.

Portland in November

November is the best month to visit Portland, Oregon, if you enjoy sitting in a coffee shop watching the rain fall and coat the world outside.

It may be the beginning of the city's rainy season, but November's weather isn't as cold as the chilly winter (December-March) months that are coming.

There's still plenty to do and see before the area slows down until spring (March-June).

November's most well-known event is the Portland Book Festival. Hosted by the Portland Art Museum, the festival brings together authors, readers, and aspiring writers.

This month is also your last chance to check out the city's weekend and farmers' markets, as most close for the season by the end of November.

Portland in December

Despite the cold weather and frequent rain, Portland is still a popular destination in December. Unfortunately, hotel and airfare prices remain high through the holidays.

Budget-conscious travelers are best off waiting until after the first of the year when rates plummet for the remainder of the winter (December-March).

Popular events in December include the Oregon Zoo's ZooLights display of more than a million-and-a-half holiday lights and the Christmas Festival of Lights at the Grotto.

Another reason many people travel to Portland in December is to take part in skiing, snowboarding, and numerous other winter sports at nearby Mt. Hood.

Even though snowfall is rare in Portland, Mt. Hood remains a popular snow-covered destination for winter outdoor activities.

In Summary

For fabulous weather and an abundance of events and attractions, the peak summer travel months of June through September are the best time of year to visit Portland, Oregon.

But to be fair, there isn't a bad time to see the city. That's because the area has something to offer all year round.

Even the slow, rainy months of January and February provide visitors with popular draws like skiing, snowboarding, and tubing on Mt. Hood.

From the flowers coming into bloom every May to the leaves changing color every October, Portland offers something for everyone, no matter when you choose to visit.

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Written by Jonathan Davis

JDavis WRITER Jonathan is a Florida-based travel writer who can't seem to stay in one place for long. With more than two decades of trips under his belt, Jonathan has a wealth of information to share about travel within the United States and abroad.

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