Your grill is fired up, your flip flops are out of storage and your summer bucket list is drafted — now head to Downtown Portland for the summer’s hottest events! The city’s sunniest season makes it easy to fill your calendar with the ultimate summer fun. From vibrant farmers markets to bustling art walks, there’s so much to eat, see and do right in the heart of the city.
Know Before You Go
To slow the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, effective Aug. 27, a statewide mask mandate is in place. Oregonians and visitors ages 5 and up are required to wear face coverings in all public indoor settings, as well as crowded outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status. This rule does not apply to individuals actively eating or drinking.
Additionally, some event organizers and venues may require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID test, for admission. Other events may be canceled, postponed or held virtually. Please check individual event websites for the most up-to-date information.
Summer Fun at Pioneer Courthouse Square
This outdoor summer concert series serenades tourists and office workers on their lunch breaks by bringing some of the region’s best musical talent to a stage in the middle of Pioneer Courthouse Square on Tuesdays in August. Radio station 101.9 Kink has curated impressive lineups for the eight free concerts, so bring your brown bag—or grab a bite at Carts on the Square — and soak in the tunes. Noon Tunes are presented by The Oregonian and 101.9 Kink.
Summer Food and Drink Events in Downtown Portland
Portland State University Farmer’s Market
This summer, Portland State University’s Farmer’s Market fills two entire city blocks with organic produce, baked desserts and prepared foods (which, by the way, make for excellent local gifts for people from out of town). You’ll also see chef demonstrations, market music and a lineup of food education events all summer long. (Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m.)
Shemanski Park Farmer’s Market
With its carts and vendors selling delicious meals under a lush green canopy of trees, this downtown farmer’s market at Shemanski Park is a popular lunch spot for good reason. Portland residents and visitors also use this shaded destination to buy locally grown groceries for dinner — or supplies for an alfresco picnic. (Wednesdays 10 a.m.–2 p.m.)
Summer Festivals in Downtown Portland
American Indian Day Celebration
The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is presenting its 14th annual American Indian Day Celebration, featuring vendors, educational booths, food, entertainment and more. Head to Pioneer Courthouse Square for this free event, returning September 27 from 12–7 p.m.
Summer Art and Music Events in Downtown Portland
Portland Art Museum
The city’s renowned Portland Art Museum is open year-round, but its summer offerings make it the perfect destination to take a break from all your outdoor adventures. Stop in to get artsy on Friday evenings, when museum admission is just $5 after 5 p.m.
First Thursday Art Walk
Art galleries in downtown Portland open up their doors to the evening air for the monthly First Thursday Art Walk. Stroll from gallery to gallery, where you can check out the latest installations and thought-provoking work while sipping wine and enjoying live music on summer evenings.
Summer Events to Move Your Body in Downtown Portland
Explore the city on two wheels by checking out one of Biketown’s iconic orange bikes — just ride safe, follow the rules of the road and don’t pedal on sidewalks in the downtown area. Wondering where to start? Waterfront Park hugs the west shore of the Willamette River and is a favorite car-free thoroughfare for getting around.
Looking forward to zooming around The Rose City on an e-scooter? Be sure to wear your helmet and stay off sidewalks for a safe and enjoyable experience. Read our tips and tricks for staying safe and having fun using e-scooters in Portland.
Even More Summer Events in Downtown Portland
Portland Saturday Market
While the largest, continuously operating, open-air crafts market in the U.S. runs rain or shine, the summer Portland Saturday Market usually enjoys the latter. Longtime Portland dwellers and visitors support small businesses selling everything from handmade soap and screen-printed shirts, to lawn art and mouth-watering truffles. (Waterfront Park, Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)
Portland Adult Soapbox Derby
The PDX Adult Soapbox Derby at Mt. Tabor Park pits grown-up kids against each other every August in pursuit of speed and laughs.
Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts
Musicians and fans alike flock to concerts at the Oregon Zoo each summer to enjoy live music, sunshine and friends.
Summer Free for All
Portland Parks & Recreation offers over 400 free events including free movie screenings, concerts and rock climbing.
Swimming Holes Near Portland
Stay cool all summer long at these serene swimming spots, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest — and all less than an hour away from Portland.
Columbia River Gorge Tours
Explore the waterfalls of the national scenic area just east of Portland with a guide and driver.
Summer Concert Round-Up
Portlanders' pent-up desire for sun may explain our skill at making the most of summer's long days and warm nights with outdoor concerts.
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