Top Events

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival, February
  • Spring Whale-Watching Week, March–June
  • Celebration of Light, July
  • Pendleton Round-Up, September
  • Bumbershoot, September

January

One of the quieter, greener months in the lowlands and on the coast, where the rains fall. Mountain resorts bustle with skiers and boarders taking advantage of the white stuff, especially around the New Year.

Truffle Hunting in the Cascade Mountains

The Northwest's best native edible truffles are ripe for the picking this month; Eugene becomes a hub with its Oregon Truffle Festival.

Polar Bear Swim

Hundreds of shivering, brave souls plunge into the icy waters of English Bay Beach in Vancouver, BC, on January 1 to celebrate the New Year.

February

A good time to visit the three metro areas, which become the territory of locals during these gray days. Book ahead for snow-related activities, though; resorts and mountain cabins fill up quickly.

Chinese New Year

Vancouver's large Chinese population celebrates with parades, cultural activities, dragon dances, traditional art and – of course – plenty of great Chinese food.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

In Ashland tens of thousands of theater fans party with the Bard at this nine-month-long festival (that's right!) highlighted by world-class plays and Elizabethan drama.

March

Early blooms are harbingers of the region's long spring and upcoming fruit bounty. Major destinations on the coast and in the mountains become crowded with local families during spring break; book early.

Spring Whale-Watching Week

Spot the spring migration of the gray whales anywhere along the Pacific Coast. Around Oregon's Depoe Bay it's semiorganized, with docents and special viewpoints. The northward migration happens through June.

Moisture Festival

Seattle embraces its humidity with comedy, circus and burlesque acts that appeal to the whole family.

Victorian Festival

Port Townsend, Washington's Victorian jewel, dresses up in frilly costumes. Tours of period homes, fashion shows and ball dances offer fun.

April

Even though the rains continue, warmer temperatures and spots of sun inspire more outdoor activities, especially in the drier, eastern part of the region. Easter weekend can be crowded everywhere.

Skagit County Tulip Festival

Acres of red, purple, yellow and orange tulips bob in the breeze as visitors partake in wine tastings, art shows and bike rides near the expansive fields surrounding La Conner, WA.

Hood River Valley Blossom Festival

Celebrates the fruit bounty of Oregon's fertile Hood River Valley, with food, wine, crafts and a 35-mile agricultural tour route known as the Fruit Loop.

Spring Arts Walk

Olympia, WA, celebrates the coming of spring with visual arts and performances. The highlight is a 'Procession of the Species' parade, which honors Earth Day and involves creative and colorful plant and animal costumes.

May

Spring has sprung, but don't leave the rain gear at home. Memorial Day weekend can be busy at campgrounds and parks despite the occasional drizzle.

Northwest Folklife Festival

This Seattle festival is celebrated with hundreds of musicians, artists and performers from all over the world.

Victoria Day

Originally honoring Queen Victoria's birthday, this Canadian holiday now celebrates the current sovereign's birthday (and the unofficial start of the summer season) with parades and fireworks.

June

Blooming roses and outdoor celebrations mark the beginning of summer. Hotels fill up fast in the cities and on the coast.

Portland Rose Festival

Music concerts, floral parades, children's events, carnival rides, dragon-boat races, milk-carton boat races, fireworks and a half-million spectators.

Britt Festival

An outdoor summer music celebration in Jacksonville, OR, featuring world-class jazz, blues, folk, pop, country and classical-music artists – including some mighty big names.

Bard on the Beach

A season of four Shakespeare-related plays takes place in the Vanier Park tents in Vancouver, BC. Runs through September.

Sandcastle Day

Cannon Beach, OR, becomes transformed by art created with…sand. Expect stunning creativity and execution – these aren't your typical sand-bucket castles.

July

Soak up the sun during the region's summer peak. Farmers markets are going strong this month, and the coast and mountains (and everywhere in between) are flooded with visitors.

Oregon Brewers Festival

Enjoy Portland's summer weather at this fun beer festival, where 80,000 microbrew lovers eat, drink and whoop it up on the banks of the Willamette River.

Seattle's Seafair

Three-week party that includes live music, a torchlight parade, hydroplane races, air shows and even pirates.

da Vinci Days

Kinetic sculpture and home-built electric-car races happen at this funky arts-and-science celebration in Corvallis, OR.

Berry Picking

Walk the rows of local farms and fill your bucket with blueberries, boysenberries, marionberries and raspberries.

August

While the greener parts of the region may brown a bit this month, it's still a great time to be outdoors. Book early in the major cities, on the coast or at campgrounds.

Pacific National Exhibition

Seventeen-day summer fair with family-friendly shows, music, concerts and a fairground in Vancouver, BC.

Washington State International Kite Festival

Huge kite festival on the sand at Long Beach, WA. Look for new world records, including the largest kite flown and the most kites aloft at one time.

Garlic Festival

Chehalis, WA, celebrates this aromatic bulb with crafts, music and tons of garlic-laden food (of course).

September

Cool nights but reliably sunny days make this one of the best months to visit. Kids are back in school, and fall harvests begin for wine grapes, mushrooms and more.

Pendleton Round Up

Country music, dances, art shows, a Native American powwow, bronco-breaking and Western pageantry preside here in Oregon, at one of the country's most famous rodeos.

Bumbershoot

Seattle's biggest arts and cultural event boasts two dozen stages and hundreds of musicians, artists and theater troupes, attracting over 100,000 spectators.

Vancouver Fringe Festival

Wild and wacky theatricals at both mainstream and unconventional Granville Island, BC, venues.

October

Even though the weather begins to get wet this month, hearty Northwesterners still head outdoors for bike races, coast visits and beer fests.

Vancouver International Film Festival

Highly regarded film festival screens some 380 international films and documentaries from around 75 countries.

Fresh Hop Beer Festivals

The year's fresh hop beers are ready and the festivals begin. Look for the biggest ones in Yakima, WA, Hood River, OR, and Portland.

Cross Crusade Race Series

Competitors ride intense laps through mud and over barriers in the largest cyclocross race series in the US, which occurs in Portland and surrounding areas. Spectating is fun too, involving beer and cowbells.

November

Book early for Thanksgiving weekend lodging. The most avid skiers and boarders will take to the slopes for early snows, while city shoppers hit the streets.

Eastside Culture Crawl

An open-studio art event, which takes place over three days in Vancouver, BC.

Wine Country Thanksgiving

Nearly 200 wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley open their doors for three special days. Visit some of the small, family-owned wineries usually closed to visitors.

December

The holidays mean larger crowds at mountain resorts and in cities. Find solitude on the coast and in rural areas.

Victorian Christmas

A Christmas past: witness a community tree lighting, Father Christmas parade, vintage-dressed carolers and roasting chestnuts in Jacksonville, OR.

New Year's Eve in Seattle

Washington's ground zero for the New Year is the Space Needle, where revelers dress up, count down and drink champagne as fireworks go off.

Ski Season

Skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes in search of powder and fun, from Eastern Oregon to Whistler, BC.

Festival of Lights

What could be a bigger bang than an international fireworks festival? Head to Vancouver for this explosive event, and prepare for three nights of the best fireworks you've ever seen.