Are you wondering what the best time to visit Portland, Oregon, is? We’ve got you covered. Find out when the peak tourist season is, when Portland is cheapest, and when the weather is best below.
We’ll examine the best and worst times to visit Portland based on temperatures, rainfall, flight prices, and more. Follow this guide and find the best time for your wallet and schedule, including the best time for hotel deals.
We’ve also considered yearly events, festivals, and activities in our round-up because we know that the best time to visit Portland depends on your interests.
Whether you like hiking the trails or settling down in a coffee shop, we’ll find the best time to visit Portland for you!
Why You Should Visit Portland
Portland is one of the best cities to visit in the Pacific Northwest. It’s funky, artsy, and full of life, from the famous coffee shops to the microbreweries. There are many reasons to love Portland, from its friendly cycling routes to its innovative food carts.
Portland is for art lovers, nature enthusiasts, and people who love to try new things. Go bicycling if you haven’t before, and get a cool new tattoo if that’s your thing. Don’t forget to see live music or attend a jazz festival.
Did we mention how dog-friendly Portland is? You can bring your pup to farmer’s markets, plant-based restaurants, and cultural festivals in Portland. Your dog is even welcome at most breweries.
The city has a vibe like no other, and it’s perfect for people who love the outdoors and green living. In this friendly, walkable city, you’ll feel relaxed and in touch with nature, and you might find a new passion for local produce and cold-brew coffee.
Overall Best Time to Visit Portland in 2023
The best time to visit Portland overall is between June and August. At this time, the tourist season is at its peak. The famous Portland roses are in full bloom, and locals and visitors are out to celebrate.
During the summer in Portland, the weather ranges from the lower 50s to the upper 80s. It never gets too hot in Portland, and you’ll enjoy some cool, breezy days.
Remember to dress appropriately because most Portland buildings don’t have air conditioning. You may experience a few rainy days, but the rain is typically moderate between June and August.
Like many cities in the Pacific Northwest, Portland is famous for drizzly showers, but most of the wet days occur in the winter months. There’s always something to do in Portland, but the summer is especially tourist-friendly.
Summer in Portland has tons of events and outdoor celebrations, and whether you like draft beer, music, or local plant life, there’s a festival for you.
Attend the Festival of Balloons in June, the Portland Craft Beer Festival in July, or the Dahlia Festival in August. When you visit Portland in the summer, you can enjoy all the outdoor fun in the area.
Go swimming in the Willamette River, hike Mt. Tabor, and check out the Oregon Zoo. Don’t forget to visit the Hoyt Arboretum and see over 60 different species of endangered trees.
Cheapest Time to Visit Portland
The cheapest time to visit Portland is between November and February. During the winter months, tourism decreases, and you can score deals on hotels and flights.
A round-trip flight to Portland may cost around $400-$500 in the summer months, but you can score flights as low as $300 for a round-trip in January. Hotels can even get down to $75 a night in Downtown Portland.
As one of the northernmost states in the United States, Oregon can get quite chilly in the winter. Portland reaches the mid-30s during the cold months, and you’ll probably see some snowy days.
Because of the low temperatures, not many people visit in the winter. Seize the opportunity and enjoy cheap accommodation in the winter months. You can still have fun in Portland on a budget.
Avoid the cold and plan to spend your afternoons in a cozy coffee shop, or warm yourself up with some of Portland’s best brews in the taprooms. Bundle up in your warmest winter gear for a snowy hike, or drive up to Mt. Hood and go skiing.
You may be wondering how this budget-friendly time compares to the best time to visit. The cheapest time has fewer events and colder weather, but it is still a fun time to visit.
Least Busy Time to Visit Portland
January is the least busy time to visit Portland. Tourism is in the offseason, and the weather encourages most Portlanders to stay inside.
You won’t experience packed crowds at places like the Oregon Zoo or the World Forestry Center, and you can enjoy a quiet atmosphere at the restaurants, museums, and nature parks.
Flight prices depend on where you’re flying from, but costs are typically lower in January. However, this less busy time comes with a downside. Portland isn’t exactly buzzing with activity in January, so there’s much less to do.
The farmers’ markets, a hallmark of Portland, are not open. There are fewer festivals and events, and you might have to spend your vacation indoors.
Follow these tips to have a great time visiting Portland in January.
- Go out to eat on Mississippi Avenue.
- Attend the Portland Folk Festival.
- See a musical at the Keller Auditorium.
- Rent ski equipment and hit the slopes.
- Escape the rain and read a book in the historic Multnomah County Central Library.
Worst Time to Visit Portland
December is the worst time to visit Portland. It’s the rainiest month of the year, with over 36 inches of rainfall on average. Even though Portland is drier than Seattle and other Northwestern cities, you’ll experience a downpour of rain showers if you visit in December.
Portland is called the Rose City for a reason. If you visit in January, you’ll miss out on the beautiful roses, dahlias, and other flowers that make Portland a vibrant city.
The city is also famous for its cycling culture, and you won’t be able to cycle through the streets as much in the rain. Another reason to avoid December is the holiday season.
December is part of Portland’s offseason, so you might think hotels and flights would be cheaper around this time.
However, travel increases in December due to holidays and school vacations. Accommodation and travel prices will skyrocket in response to rising demand. Try not to visit Portland in December.
You’ll experience wet, rainy days and end up overpaying for accommodation and flights. However, if you decide to travel to Portland in December, check out these helpful tips below.
- Bring a rain jacket and galoshes.
- See the Christmas Festival of Lights.
- Get some holiday shopping done downtown.
- Indulge in Portland cuisine in the Pearl District.
- Book tickets for the Oregon Symphony.
- Research to get the best deals on flights and hotels.
Things to Consider
Check out this list of things to consider when traveling to Portland.
Expect to spend about $900-$1000 per person for a week in Portland.
Be prepared for rainy weather. Bring or purchase clothes you do not mind getting wet, galoshes, and hats. The rain in Portland is more of a steady drizzle than a deluge of water, but it’s safe to bring an umbrella just in case.
Save Money by Shopping at Trader Joe’s
You can easily spend a fortune at grocery stores like New Seasons Market. Shop at Trader Joe’s to save money, and you can lower your budget during your trip.
Purchase a Hop Fastpass
Consider purchasing a MAX Light Rail pass. If you’re flying into Portland, skip the rental car and get a Hop Fastpass for the Light Rail train instead. The train runs through all major areas of Portland, and it’s a great way to get around.
Keep in Mind the Season
Consider what you want to do in Portland when choosing a time. If you like skiing, visit in the winter. If you’re more of a festival person, go in the summer.
Slow Pace and Laidback Atmosphere
Get ready to adjust to a slower pace. If you’re used to a hectic lifestyle, you’re in for a surprise. Portland is more laidback, and you may find strangers stopping to chat as you walk through town.
Be Wary of Bikers
Keep an eye out for bikers. Cycling is huge in Portland, and you’ll need to watch for people on bicycles when driving, especially if you visit in the summer.
Illegal To Pump Gas Yourself in the Summer
Don’t pump your gasoline yourself if you’re taking a summer road trip to Portland. You may be surprised to learn that it’s illegal in Oregon! Instead, the gas station staff will take care of it for you.
Comfortable Style in Portland
The dress code in Portland isn’t like most cities. If you’re used to glamming up for a day on the town, you’ll be overdressing in Portland.
You’ll see many people with tattoos and piercings, and people aren’t afraid to express their style. Most people wear casual t-shirts, hiking gear, or rain-friendly clothes, so pack your bag with comfortable items when traveling to Portland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions travelers ask when planning a trip to Portland, Oregon.
What is the rainy season in Portland, Oregon?
The rainy season runs from September to December. This heavy precipitation is due to the strong winter jet stream that affects the entire Pacific Northwest.
If you want to see some Portland showers, go during December when the rain is heaviest. Avoid the rain and visit during January, when Portland only receives around four inches of rain.
Can you get around Portland without a car?
Yes, Portland is one of the best places to be without a car. All the neighborhoods are very walking-friendly and have everything you need within a few blocks.
Or, get in touch with the Portland bike scene and start cycling. Other options include the MAX Light Rail, bus line, street cars, or electric scooter rentals.
Is Portland a safe city to visit?
Yes, Portland is a safe city, but crime is usually worse in the busy downtown, so you’ll want to stay aware if you’re walking around at night. However, the majority of Portland is residential and pretty safe to visit.
If you’re staying in an area like Nob Hill, East Moreland, or Arlington Heights, you won’t have to worry about safety.
The best place for safety is the Northwest region of Portland, and it’s only ten minutes from all the fun activities Downtown. Check out the Portland crime statistics to learn more.
Why is Portland so great to visit?
Portland is a hub for arts, culture, food, and music. It’s one of the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather is temperate with light rain. People move to Portland to get in touch with the city’s relaxed, free-spirit vibe, and if you visit, you’ll find a friendly community of people who love the town.
Portland is not very expensive, and it’s a residential city with few high towers or busy city centers. We think it’s one of the best cities to visit because it combines nature, coffee, culture, and friendlessness into one town.
Is Portland weird?
Portland is famous for the “Keep Portland Weird” slogan, and you’ll see it plastered over tourist items and local shops in the city. However, the “weird” culture of Portland is more of a hipster vibe, as you’ll see coffee shops, traditional tattoo parlors, and breweries in every neighborhood.
Portland is a quirky hub for outdoors-loving people who have dogs, dress in hiking gear, and run vegan restaurants or organic juice bars. In summary, the weirdness of Portland is about finding self-expression, and the town is welcoming by nature.
Is Portland or Seattle better?
There are several considerations if you’re trying to decide which city to visit. Portland has more green areas, access to nature, and arts culture. Seattle is a bigger city with more restaurants, hotels, and entertainment.
It depends on what you want to do, but we think Portland is the best option for a vacation. Portland has less crime and better weather than Seattle, and there are more outdoor options and festivals in Portland.
Does it snow in Portland?
Portland gets about 4.5 inches of snow per year. However, the city is well-prepared and has snow equipment from November to March, and you probably won’t have to worry about snow during your trip. Precipitation in Portland is typically rain, not snow.
When there’s winter rain in Portland, there’s snow on Mt. Hood, so you can still enjoy skiing. Don’t forget to look out for winter weather in other areas of the country that could affect your flights.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Portland?
The best time to visit Portland depends on your preferences. There’s something to do every season, whether you’re blazing the trails at Marquam Nature Park in the summer or visiting beer and cider tasting rooms in winter.
However, we think the ideal time to visit Portland is in the summer. When the weather is sunny, you can enjoy all the fantastic events and festivals and truly experience Portland.