The city’s arts offerings come into full swing every fall, with a seemingly endless array of things to do, see and experience. Autumn is the prime time to explore Portland’s independent theater, big musical productions, opera, ballet and symphony scene. In addition to celebrations of the spookiest season spookiest (which brings Halloween events, haunted houses and festive corn mazes), Portland starts gearing up for the holidays. The city’s lack of sales tax means built-in savings when you shop (we recommend finding some made-in-Portland souvenirs to commemorate your trip to The Rose City). Fall heralds the return of Portland’s NBA Team, the Trail Blazers, along with locally beloved annual events like Portland Open Studios, the Queer Film Festival and Portland Book Festival (just to name a few). Read on for our picks of the top things to do, see and experience during a fall visit to Portland.
In September and October, days tend to be mild and partly sunny as the weather begin to cool. Rain showers becomes more common and the leaves start changing color (making hikes and outdoor strolls more beautiful than ever). Temperatures — and rain — both begin falling in earnest starting in November.
What to Pack
For a trip to Portland in the fall, we recommend packing several layers and a rain-proof jacket. Old-school Portlanders tend to shun umbrellas, but they can come in handy to shield glasses and faces from heavier showers. To avoid getting stuck in the mud or drenched in a puddle, a pair of rain boots is also worth bringing on your trip to Portland.
The Corn Maize on Sauvie Island
The Corn Maize, located on Sauvie Island north of Portland, offers visitors five acres of physical and mental challenges in a corn field.
Chapman Swift Watch
Every September, spectators gather to see the world’s largest roost of Vaux’s swifts swarm and spiral into the chimney of a Northwest Portland school.
Labor Day Weekend Events
To properly celebrate the working class, Portland packs an extra-long weekend of relaxing events and exhibits.
Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival
Portland's Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival, returning Sept. 5–15, 2019, unites visual artists, musicians and performers from around the world every year.
Grand Prix of Portland
Every fall since 2018, Portland International Raceway has hosted the celebrated open-wheel racing with the Grand Prix of Portland.
Feast Portland Food and Drink Festival
This foodie festival, held every September, has cemented Portland’s reputation as a culinary capital of the world.
Portland Queer Film Festival
Portland Queer Film Festival returns every fall with an annual showcase of narrative and documentary films from around the world.
Portland Open Studios
For two weekends every October, Portland Open Studios invites visitors to explore the houses and offices of artists across the city.
All Jane Comedy Festival
Portland's five-day comedy festival showcases nearly 50 female comedians each October.
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a water course.
As summer winds down, Portland ups the ante with performance art, live music and dining events throughout September.
October events in Portland include a giant pumpkin race, "can't miss" film festival, corn mazes, haunted houses and other autumn and Halloween-themed events.
Get cozy with downtown's holiday tree lighting, Willamette Valley wine or a good Northwest-made movie.
These fall hikes near Portland prove that autumn is an ideal time to explore Oregon wilderness, admire seasonal flora and fauna, and visit nearby farms.
Autumnal beauty abounds in Portland, and there are plenty of prime places to revel in leaf-crunching relaxation.
Stay cozy with creative autumnal beverages like spicy drinking chocolate, gingerbread chai and S’mores Stout from Portland restaurants, bars and cafés.
Wine Country Thanksgiving
During Oregon’s premier tasting and cellar-stocking event, more than 150 wineries open their doors to the public, offering samples of favorite selections.
Holiday Shopping Events
Do your holiday shopping for locally made gifts at hip parties, makers' fairs, sprawling sales and garden grounds filled with handcrafted items.
Portland Holiday Events
Like an Advent calendar loaded with sugary treats, the days leading up to Christmas in Portland hold an abundance of sweet memories.
Holiday Light Displays in Portland
Portland is full of bright ways to embrace the shorter days of winter; here are some of the stars in the city’s constellation of holiday light displays.
Downtown Holiday Events
Downtown Portland becomes a winter wonderland with unique shopping, events, food and fun.
Holiday Events at Pioneer Courthouse Square
Portland’s living room bustles with free, festive activities every holiday season.
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