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Best Time to Visit Oregon | When to Go & Travel Tips

Best Time to Visit Oregon | When to Go & Travel Tips

Planning a trip to the Beaver State? Do some research before packing up and making the trek to Oregon so you know the best time to go to get the best deals possible.

From rugged shorelines to towering mountains, Oregon has it all. The breathtaking landscape in Oregon will have you coming back for more exploring.

Vast wilderness plus some of the best nightlife on the West Coast makes Oregon a perfect destination for your getaway. We will provide you with information to make your trip out west at the best time possible.

Find the most affordable hotels, the best parks to visit, and the least crowded times. So, read on to let us help you avoid common traveler mistakes and help you know when not to visit Oregon. 

Why You Should Visit Oregon

Bright blue river flowing through a forest during the best time to visit Oregon

Sarah Quintans/Shutterstock

The main draw to Oregon is its diverse landscape and scenic views. Adventure-seekers from all over the world come to Oregon to experience the wilderness. 

Oregon is home to five National Park sites: Crater Lake National Park, California National Historic Trail, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, and John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon.

These offer varied sights, sounds, and wildlife while also providing plenty of insight into the rich history of the state. Besides these national sites, Oregon has some of the best dunes in the country, while sand surfing and dune buggies make for a memorable experience.

Many of these dunes are located right off beaches featuring unforgettably spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Some even allow dogs, albeit on a leash (though others will allow a pooch to run free!). 

However, the Beaver State is not the reserve of those who love nature. Portland, the largest city in Oregon, boasts some of the finest breweries and nightlife on the entire West Coast. Yet, exquisite restaurants and art museums are not limited to the city. 

In fact, the state attracts avid craft beer and wine drinkers from around the country. Visit vineyards and try wine tastings or witness the brewing process of delicious beers.

Overall Best Time to Visit Oregon

South loop trail on the Trail of Ten Falls during the best time to visit Oregon

Joshua Rainey Photography/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Oregon is early-June to mid-August. You will experience the warmest temperatures and driest weather in the state.

That makes it an optimal time to visit Oregon if you anticipate lots of outdoor activity and exploring on your trip. Choosing summer is a good idea if you want to attend events, as Oregon is host to numerous music festivals, jamborees, art festivals, plant festivals, and more.

If that does sound appealing, be sure to check the schedule so you can plan your trip accordingly. The summer months in Oregon are around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bear in mind that one or two days can have temperatures that can readily exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even then, the evening should be relatively cool and pleasant.

Overnight temperatures average around 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. This weather is great for camping in the vast wilderness or enjoying a night in downtown Portland.

Cheapest Time to Visit Oregon

Photo of a woman hiking a mountain in shorts and throwing her hands up during the cheapest time to visit Oregon

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The cheapest time to visit Oregon is mid to late September, though there are also great flight prices up to November. By September, the weather will be colder than in August but still comfortable. 

The average price of a week-long trip to Oregon around this timeframe is $1,628 for a solo traveler. Flights can range anywhere from $425 to $996 for economy seating. There are still fairs and festivals happening in late summer all over Oregon.

What’s more, September is one of the most spectacular times to take a hike. You could even get involved in the Pine to Palm 100, a grueling 100-mile marathon that runs through southern Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains Range.

Least Busy Time to Visit Oregon

South loop trail on the Trail of Ten Falls during the best time to visit Oregon

Joshua Rainey Photography/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Oregon is in the winter months. Most of the tourists have gone home, and only the locals remain. The parks and attractions are much quieter and less hurried.

Oregon’s winter weather is not as extreme as other states, and late fall to early winter will have comfortable temperatures.

Daytime highs are typically in the high 50s to low 40s. Below-freezing temperatures do occur in Oregon but not often. If you don’t mind a couple of rainy days and some cooler weather, fall is a great time to visit Oregon.

To visitors, it might seem as if the state has transformed into one giant pumpkin patch (with one of the most notable being Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch October Festival). 

There are countless mazes to be seen, while some rugged outdoor adventures are still practical. Indeed, as it is the least busy time of the year, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a cabin to rent and have a memorably cozy experience in nature. 

Worst Time to Visit Oregon

West Linn street with fog in the distance during the worst time to visit Oregon

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There is not really a bad time to visit Oregon. After all, the state has something for everyone. So, ultimately, it depends on the type of trip you want to experience.

Some people want an outdoor adventure hiking and exploring the wilderness, while some want to enjoy nightlife and festivals. If you want a quiet vacation to get away from people, then you will find that summer is not the best time to visit.

The National and State Parks are likely to be packed to the rafters with people enjoying the nice weather and wilderness.

That also means booking a reservation is going to be a challenge, while prices are likely to jump for hotels, flights, and car rentals. Similarly, it may be prudent to avoid visiting the state during national or state holidays, such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

You will likely find that it is next to impossible to get a hotel or even find a spot at a restaurant without securing a reservation well in advance.

With all of this being said, it needs to be reiterated that there is no bad time to visit Oregon so long as you plan ahead and know what you want from a vacation in the Beaver State.

Things to Consider

European style street car in Portland during the best time to visit Oregon

Robert Crum/Shutterstock

When it comes to visiting Oregon, there are a few things you will need to consider before coming to the state:

  • Weather: Winter to spring weather tends to be very wet with heavy rainfall. If you plan to spend most of your time outside, summer and early fall may be the best bet when it comes to planning a vacation. The comfortable temperatures and dry weather allow you to be outside all day without getting soaked.
  • Budgeting: It is recommended to budget $60 to $100 per day for a single person’s daily expenses. The price can be lower if you are going on a camping trip and cooking your meals. A trip to the city staying in a hotel and eating out will be more expensive than a camping trip, grocery shopping, and cooking meals over a fire on the beach. 
  • Plan for discounts: If you are on a tight budget, September has plenty of discounts going on for flights because of the end of the busy summer season. 
  • Buy tickets at the right time: It’s a good idea to book your departing flights at the end of the weekend and travel through the middle of the week to get better deals! Tickets that depart on Wednesdays are also cheaper than Friday or Saturday tickets. 
  • Festivals: If you want to experience art and music festivals in Oregon, summer is the best time to visit. Cities like Portland and Salem will be holding all types of fairs and festivals popular with tourists and locals alike.
  • Sales tax: Fun fact, there is no sales tax in Portland. That does mean that some of their original prices will be higher than those you’d find in the Midwest for example. However, the price you see is the price you pay. Go crazy buying souvenirs!
  • Gas Stations: If you aren’t from Oregon, you might be surprised to see that they do not pump their gas. Gas stations are employed by people that will pump gas for you!
  • Choose your transportation: If you don’t plan on venturing further from a big city like Portland, you may not need a car on hand. The city is walkable and has excellent public transportation, such as rail and buses. However, the more outdoorsy you get, the more you will rely on cars as many national parks are only accessible via one. 
  • Dress appropriately: Bring your waterproof jackets, because the winter months see a lot of rainfall in Oregon. This can make outdoor adventures difficult, but give you the authentic Oregon experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

Highway 206 with Mount Hood and Mount Rainier in the distance for a piece on the best time to visit Oregon

Dadivrh/Shutterstock

Want to know even more about the extraordinary state of Oregon? Then keep reading for answers to several common queries.

What are the best beaches on the Oregon Coast?

There is no straight answer to this question as it will depend on the preference of the person you ask. Oregon is fortunate enough to have both soft, sandy beaches and rocky beaches. 

If sandy beaches are what you are into, Gearhart, Warrenton, Cannon, Rockaway, and parts of the Yachats are a good fit for you. Should you head south of Cannon Beach you will find more rocky beaches while most of the Yachats is rocky as well!

What are the most photo-worthy bridges and waterfalls in Oregon?

Multnomah Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls found in Oregon. There are two falls divided by a bridge here, making it a popular choice for scenic photography. 

Latourell Falls is another busy waterfall in Oregon that is known for its beautiful, picturesque sights. St. John’s Bridge is a great spot if you are looking for an extraordinary contrast between city life and nature.

What are the best options for getting around Oregon after landing a flight?

If you plan to stay in one city or area for most of your trip, you can most likely get by without spending the money to rent a car. Public transportation like buses and light rail allows for easy transportation. 

Bicycle rentals are available in most towns as well. If you plan to travel out to the parks and wilderness, renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle is your best option. Fortunately, you’ll have a pick of choices when it comes to rental companies. 

What is Portland, Oregon best known for?

Portland is a city known for its sustainability-minded inhabitants, bike-friendly streets, creativity, and proud individuality. In this vibrant town, you will discover different arts, coffee, craft drinks, food, and music on its numerous streets. Besides its residents, Portland has a reputation for beautiful, varied architecture and its 12 bridges. In fact, it has acquired the nickname “Bridgetown” due to that.

What is the number one attraction in Oregon?

It is no surprise that the top attraction in Oregon has to do with its beautiful landscape. Crater Lake National Park attracts visitors from around the world to its crystal-clear waters surrounded by jagged mountains. Located within the Cascade Mountains of southwestern Oregon, visitors from nearby California often come by to see the National Park. 

Why doesn’t Oregon have a sales tax?

All of the taxes needed in Oregon are paid for in personal income and property taxes. This means that people who are least able to afford taxes do not have to pay as much because they typically do not have property or make as much income. To negate the lack of tax, Oregon shifts the burden to income and property taxes to make up for the lost revenue.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Oregon?

Oregon is a beautiful state that has something for everyone to see. The fall and winter months are the quietest but have the most rainfall.

The summer months have beautiful weather and fun festivals to attend. Travel in September to enjoy the cheapest flights, good weather, and a less busy overall trip.

However, there’s never a bad time to visit. So, whichever season you choose to visit, you’ll have a blast and plenty of activities to choose from and sights to see. Safe travels!