Oregon is a place for all seasons. Featuring temperate summers, lush spring blooms and a cozy fall and winter, there’s truly no bad time to visit the Beaver State.

Whether you’re looking to hit the ski slopes, get a taste for some of the country’s finest wines or simply take in a spectacular view, Oregon offers a little something for everyone 24/7. Here’s a guide to help you decide the real best time to visit Oregon (hint: it’s all the time).  

Enjoy ideal weather from June to early October

Best time to do everything

Enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming, beach-going, restaurant-hopping or wine-tasting? The summer and early fall months in Oregon offer long, mostly sunny days and the opportunity to explore every facet of the state’s expansive offerings.

The winter and spring rains have come and gone, and by June, the roses are in bloom, the coastal temperatures are mild and the views of the Cascade Range’s volcanic peaks are pristine. Oregon is the most crowded (and expensive) in the summer, with locals and tourists alike seeking out the sunniest spots, but there are more than enough activities to go around. 

Visitors who want to avoid the city crowds can hike Mt. Hood’s epic trails in the morning and be back to Portland by late afternoon for a taste of the city’s vibrant food and beverage scene. For scenic views and award-winning wines, make a day-trip to the Oregon countryside for an afternoon of vineyard hopping (reservations required!). 

The best road trips in Oregon 

Looking for a place to surf, swim, or relax? Look no further than the Oregon Coast, where the normally foggy weather breaks just in time for the peak summer season. Spend the day surfing in the chilly Pacific Ocean waters at Short Sand Beach, and warm-up afterward with a bowl of Oregon’s famous clam chowder at Mo’s while you watch the waves break along the rocky shore. 

Travel Tips: Of course, the high season in Oregon means higher prices on just about everything: hotels, plane tickets, and rental cars included. But if you play it right, there are a few ways to stay out of the fray. 

Do your best to book early and often, and take advantage of the free cancellation available at most hotels and restaurants around the state – it’s a great way to lock in a reservation without too much commitment if you end up finding something else to do. If you’re really on a budget, consider one of the shoulder seasons, when many of the best activities are still available with thinner crowds and lower costs. 

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Skiers and snowboarders on chairlifts at Mount Bachelor in Oregon
There's a wide selection of top ski resorts within driving distance of Oregon’s major cities © Bobbushphoto / Getty Images

Hit the slopes from February to May 

Best time for cold-weather adventurers

Although the bulk of the rainy season hits Oregon from January to April, the late winter and early spring offer much to the visitor who wants to beat the warm-weather crowds and is willing to get a little wet along the way. 

As opposed to many ski destinations where the best snow is found in the early season, Oregon’s resorts often hit peak levels in February and March, with fresh powder and smooth runs all the way through the end of April. 

With a wide selection of top ski resorts within driving distance of Oregon’s major cities, it’s a prime way to break out of your winter hibernation and get outside. Be advised: although much of Oregon sees fewer visitors in the late winter months, skiing may be the only exception. As an outdoorsy state, residents from all four corners flock to the ski hills once the snow is packed. However, there are a plethora of smaller resorts to visit (read: Ski Bowl, Timberline, Hoodoo, and Cooper Spur), so price and crowd-conscious visitors can still have some fun for a fraction of the cost. 

As long as you’ve got a good rain jacket – a must for Oregon! – Portland and the surrounding metro area isn’t a bad place to be when it’s dreary outside. After all, the city receives nearly 40 inches of precipitation per year, so life in the Rose City is built for rainy days. 

11 best beaches in Oregon 

Spend a few hours perusing the bookshelves at Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world, and then cozy up with your newest read at one of Portland’s numerous top-tier coffee shops. If coffee isn’t your thing, take a stroll up 23rd avenue and step out of the cold for a cup of legendary Smith Tea at the company's first-ever tea café, newly opened. 

Travel Tips: Being outside of the peak season, this is generally a less expensive time to visit Oregon, as most fair-weather visitors have already come and gone, and many locals are on their annual hunt for warmer temperatures in other regions. 

Hotels located centrally within the major city limits (Bend and Portland) will remain somewhat pricey, but accommodations in the greater metro areas are certainly down this time of year.

Reservations for popular restaurants, eateries and other experiences are still recommended, but they should be much easier to come by during the shoulder season. Consider checking on availability a couple of days in advance, but no need to plan too far ahead. 

A woman rock climber ascends a cliff at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon.
Reach incredible heights on a visit to Smith Rock State Park © thinair28/Getty Images

Avoid the Oregon crowds in November to January 

Best time to visit on a budget

It’s difficult to say there’s a “low season” in Oregon, but the months of November to January are perhaps the quietest in the Pacific Northwest. Early-season rains begin in earnest in November, and the mountains won’t receive enough snow for skiing until mid to late December. That being said, visitors looking for cheaper plane tickets and less crowded attractions will be rewarded, as many of the state’s primary destinations remain open during the offseason. 

In the city of Portland, take a walk through the famous year-round farmer’s market, featuring an array of the lush Willamette Valley’s best fruits, vegetables, meats and fresh seafood. If you’d rather catch your own dinner, test your luck on the Columbia River in November – the start of the elusive steelhead season – or venture to Central Oregon, where the pre-winter cold is no match for clean rock-climbing lines and excellent views at Smith Rock State Park

For folks hoping to escape the outdoors for a little while, Oregon’s own Portland Trailblazers (better known as just the Blazers) offer a guaranteed fun and affordable time for families and sports fanatics alike. 

Travel Tips: Cheaper travel, easier bookings, the rare bluebird winter day with none of the hustle and bustle of the peak season – what’s not to love? If you’re on the lookout for a steal, keep your eyes on the flurry of travel emails that go out around the holidays. 

Although not a massive city compared to other major urban epicenters, Portland often pops up as a budget destination this time of year, especially if you’re traveling from the West Coast. It's not unheard-of to find round-trip flights for $150 or less, leaving more room in your budget for the fun stuff. Happy discount hunting! 

January: Chase the perfect powder day in Central Oregon

An almost-shoulder-season month, January might be wet and cold in the Pacific Northwest, but it doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of fun. Some of the best things to do in Oregon are nearing their peak in the month of January, whether it’s skiing at Mt. Bachelor, chasing an idyllic, snowy view from the rim of Crater Lake or spending a cozy afternoon at Sister’s Coffee Company near Bend, Oregon.
Key Events: Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race (Joseph, Oregon)

February: Stop to smell the roses (and trees!) in Portland

The earliest roses in the International Rose Test Garden in Portland start to come to life in February, just in time for Valentine’s Day and the official entry of the blooming season in the Pacific Northwest. Take advantage of a break in the weather for a stroll through the lush Forest Park, and keep your eyes peeled for one of nearly 1000 varieties of plants and animals that call Portland’s magnificent urban forest home. 
Key Events: Portland Seafood & Wine Festival, Oregon Winterfest (Bend) 

March: Keep your rain jacket close and go for the big one

March marks the “false spring” so familiar to year-long Oregon residents, in which uncharacteristically sunny days break through the cloudy doldrums to offer a preview of the coming summer months. Notably, this is also the most popular month for catching Oregon’s coveted steelhead, which make their way from the ocean to the Columbia River in droves and provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience to anglers lucky enough to snag one. 
Key Events: Portland International Film Festival (Portland), Oregon Chocolate Festival (Ashland), Oregon Whale Watching Week (Oregon Coast)

People sitting and walking under cherry blossom trees in full bloom
Take a stroll through Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park to catch the Japanese cherry blossoms in bloom © DaveAlan / Getty Images

April: Snag the perfect profile pic 

Although warmer than March, April’s still-regular rainstorms are a photographer’s dream, as already blooming flowers are given another dose of nourishment from Mother Nature. Take a stroll through Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park to catch the Japanese cherry blossoms in bloom – just don’t forget your camera. 
Key Events: Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival (Woodburn), Earth Day Fair & Parade (Bend) 

May: Beat the crowds to the summer fun

As Oregon emerges from its winter slumber, restaurateurs, artists and sundry makers ready themselves for the busy summer season. May in Oregon happens to be the best time to hit several marquee events before much of the tourist population arrives. Sunny days are commonplace, and Oregon’s major cities offer a slew of options. Try the Portland State University Farmers Market any Saturday morning in May, and make sure to stop by Enchanted Sun Burritos. Also worth noting is the annual Brewfest in Bend, which often takes place in May and truly kicks off Central Oregon’s summer brewing season. 
Key Events: Portland State University Farmers Market (Portland), Bend Brewfest (Bend)

June: Be ready for anything 

Despite being squarely in the summer months, Oregon remains an unpredictable venue in June. It could be 100°F, making it the perfect time to go for a swim at Hagg Lake, or it could be on the chillier side, more appropriate for a hike in Columbia Gorge. The great news is that anything in June is bound to be beautiful, whether you’re enjoying a beverage on Ferment Brewing’s stunning patio (the summer shandy is a must) in Hood River or simply taking in the sights from a lazy float down the Deschutes River. 
Key Events: Gorge Hops & Hogs Festival (The Dalles), Portland Rose Festival (Portland)

July: Get outta town  

It’s warm, it’s sunny, it’s flat out one of the best months of the year in Oregon. It can also be crowded, so instead of hitting the main attractions, try visiting some lesser known spots outside of town. The annual Robin Hood Festival debuts in July in Sherwood, Oregon, and features some of the finest medieval sundries this side of the Mississippi. If stealing from the rich isn’t your thing, try the nationally renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, featuring period costumes and a whole lotta shows running throughout the summer months. 
Key Events: Hood River Lavender Daze (Hood River), Oregon Brewers Festival (Portland)

August: Test your tastebuds

No season is better in Oregon than August if you’re hoping to test out your wine tasting skills in the Willamette Valley. Known for rich volcanic soil that provides the perfect nourishment for Pinot grapes, this region offers a plethora of lush scenery and premier vineyards. While there are plenty of views to go around, be sure to book your reservations sooner rather than later to secure the best seats in the house: Adelsheim, Stoller, and Domaine Roy & Fils to name a few! 
Key Events: Cascade Lakes Relay (Central Oregon) 

four hikers cross a wooden footbridge over the head of Sandy River in Mt. Hood National Forest
The Beaver State is flush with opportunities to get outside, especially during the autumn months © Dee Browning / Shutterstock

September: Take a hike (or a run) 

Fall is a great time to get outside, and the Beaver State is flush with opportunities, including the iconic Wallowa Mountains, nicknamed “Little Switzerland” for their snow-capped peaks and awe-inspiring views. If you’re looking for an even bigger challenge, head south to Ashland for the annual Pine to Palm 100-mile race, set each year for the second week of September. Led by legendary trail runner Hal Koerner, this race attracts both top talent and eager spectators, and it's a fun event no matter how you participate  
Key Events: Pine to Palm 100 (Ashland), Hood to Coast Relay (Mt. Hood)

October: The corniest time of year  

A fall visit to Oregon isn’t complete without a visit to one of the state’s many pumpkin patches. While most places offer a corn maze, a hay ride and some pumpkins on the side, Oregon’s rich soil provides a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies in addition to the traditional crops. Don’t be surprised to find yourself leaving with an armful of Brussels sprouts, green beans, corn and a homemade fresh berry pie; just please, please, please don’t forget to snag a fresh cup of apple cider on your way out! 
Key Events: Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch October Festival (Portland), Bella Organic Farm’s Haunted Corn Maze (Portland)

November: Peep the leaves before they leave

Depending on the weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest, prime leaf-peeping season can be on the early side, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less gorgeous. While many tourists are hitting the downtown attractions in Portland, take a quick walk on the city’s Northwest edge through the Hoyt Arboretum to catch 1100 varieties of trees in various states of color. Did we mention it’s free?  
Key Events: Portland Book Festival (Portland) 

December: Savor the (less crowded) holidays

As many tourists depart for fairer-weather destinations, take advantage of the quieter streets and fall in with the locals. Visit John’s Marketplace for a taste of the region’s rarest winter brews, and then stop by the Portland Night Market for a seasonal experience like no other. With just a handful of open dates per year, the market showcases as many local vendors as will fit in the vacant warehouse space, with more than enough free samples to go around. 
Key Events: SantaLand (Bend), Portland Night Market (Portland)

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