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Summer Fun in the PNW

  |  Local Happenings

Summers in the Pacific Northwest can’t be beat. If you enjoy the outdoors, consider yourself a foodie, or are most content listening to live music, then this is the place for you. Portland, Vancouver, and Central Oregon have a lot to offer over the next couple of months and while we can’t highlight everything, below is a list of some of our favorites.
Start planning now!
Get Outside
With the rivers, lakes, mountains, and beaches the most logical activity would be something that gets you outside. There are many warm weather hikes for you to enjoy, no matter your location, and are all just a short drive away.
For those in Vancouver, we suggest taking full advantage of Columbia Springs guided walks. Held during the first and third Wednesdays of the month, these walks are offered through October 4th and consist of an easy walk with a tour themed around plants, animals, geology, local history, and the local fish hatchery.
Bend also offers a walking tour that caters to out of town visitors. Hosted by the Bend Visitor Center, you can join a local expert to learn about the historical downtown and the must see places of Bend and Central Oregon. If you’re looking to get away from the city, take a tour of the Lava Tubes and learn all about what lives and grows below ground.
Last, but not least, Portland has a variety of walking tours that will get you outside and educate you about the city. Whether it’s taking in all the sites that make Portland great, exploring historic Portland – both above and below ground – or diving into the “Beyond Bizarre” elements of Portland there is sure to be something that piques your interest.
Enjoy A Show
There’s nothing greater than relaxing on the grass and taking in a live show. Luckily, Vancouver, Central Oregon, and Portland all have venues that are catered to just that. Whether it’s a local band or a famous artist, they are welcome on our stages.
For the big time shows, take advantage of both Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, located just outside of Vancouver, and Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend. Their summer schedules are packed and they both have plenty of lawn space to spread out and enjoy the show. If a smaller venue is more your scene, check out Vancouver’s noon concert series at Esther Park, Bend’s Memorial Clinic Free Summer Sundays, or the historic Edgefield located on the outskirts of Portland that hosts concerts on their lawn.
Beginning July 7th, Vancouver will start their Friday night movies in the park. A fun activity for friends and family that encourages you to explore the parks in your area. You can also soak up some culture by attending Lake Oswego’s Festival of the Arts. The 54th annual event will be showcasing recognized and emerging artists June 23 – 25. And, Vancouver has their own Recycled Arts Festival that invites more than 120 vendors to display their artwork made from at least 75% recycled and repurposed materials.
For a little more action – and a little more country – stop by one of the area’s many rodeos. The Vancouver annual rodeo is in its 46th year and will take place at the Clark County Saddle Club June 30th to July 3rd. The St. Paul Rodeo is in its 82nd year, hosted at the same time, about 30 mi. South of Portland. And, over in Central Oregon, Sister’s annual rodeo is in its 77th year and is held over June 9th to June 11th. All guarantee a good time!
Eat Local
If food and drink is more your speed, summer is the ideal time for our communities to show what they have to offer. Vancouver’s Craft Beer & Wine Fest is held at Esther Short Park and is in it’s 5th year. Bend’s Brewfest and the Oregon Brewers Festival, hosted in Portland, celebrate the local craft beer, food, and wine.
For fresh produce and something on the healthier side, Farmers markets are opening all throughout the Pacific Northwest. Some of the spots we suggest hitting are the Columbia Tech Center Farmers Market in Vancouver, Central Oregon Saturday Market in Bend, and Portland’s Saturday Market down by the waterfront.
The Bite of Oregon boasts a “stunning celebration of Oregon, its food, its people and its extraordinary quality of life” and the Bite of Bend showcases “the region’s unique ingredients, cuisine and culture.” Both are can’t miss festivals that showcase many of the things that make their communities great.
Get out there and experience the best that our communities have to offer this summer!

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About the Author

Megan Swindells

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