Category Archives: Places to Go

2015 Summer Events Guide: Street Fairs

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Alberta Street Fair

August 8 on NE Alberta Street

Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook
Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook

Three hundred vendors will line this iconic Northeast Portland street at the heart of the Alberta Arts District, welcoming you to an afternoon of food, art, entertainment and activities. And not just any activities: 3 v 3 Street Soccer goes down at 11 a.m., and Portland Bike Polo plays at 4 p.m.

And, since this is a fair in Portland, there are two beer gardens on the street: one open until late at 11th Avenue and one with wine, too, at 29th Avenue.

Head out »

Celebrate Hillsboro

August 8 in Downtown Hillsboro

Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr
Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr

More than a street fair, this is an event that showcases an entire city. Still, it’s got a block-party vibe, as it’s put on for Hillsboroans by Hillsboroans. (While Hillsboroans doesn’t sound quite right, is the official demonym for the city’s residents—although the people seem to prefer Hillsboroite.)

The city’s official Top 11 Reasons to Celebrate Hillsboro list includes live music, a sustainability village and magic shows. The number one reason? You could win an Apple Watch when you cast your vote in the first-ever Best of Hillsboro Awards.

Go celebrate »

Jade Night Market

August 15 & 22 at PCC Southeast Campus

Photo: APANO

The goal of the Jade Night Market, now in its second year, is to surface and celebrate the community centered around SE 82nd Avenue & Division Street. The district, so called for its blend of Asian influences, has a vision to become a center of art, entertainment and cuisine by 2018. If the success of last year’s Night Market is any indication, it’s well on its way.

This year’s Night Market is focused on two Saturdays in August, each featuring 80 vendors, plenty of performances, a Portland Brewing beer garden and an expected crowd of over 20,000. Market-goers young and old will have their pick of several ethnic cuisines, and the chance to see everything from Chinese yoyo-ing to Bollywood dancing to a set from The Slants, a self-described “Chinatown rock” band.

About that beer garden: Portland Brewing has made a limited edition Night Market Special Lager spiced with lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger.

Hop on the bus »

Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways

August 23 in Inner Southeast Portland

Photo: Michael Andersen on Flickr
Photo: Michael Andersen/Portland Afoot on Flickr

Think of this as a fair that celebrates many streets. Walk, ride, scoot or stroll from park to park in Inner Southeast Portland, without vehicle traffic.

Some highlights along the way:

  • Disc golf, a bike skills track, slack lines and all-day Zumba classes at Colonel Summers Park
  • Live music, Circus Cascadia, Shakespeare and a slip-n-slide at Laurelhurst Park
  • A bouncy house, music and dancing at Sewallcrest Park

Plus, keep an eye out for the roving Umpqua Bank ice cream truck.

Start at Laurelhurst Park »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Keeping cool along (and in) the Willamette

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon Brewers Festival

July 22–26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Photo: Oregon Brewer’s Festival

For five days in July, revelers on the waterfront will soak up the sun — and some of the world’s best craft beer. This festival is the biggest and oldest celebration of our “Brewvana” heritage, with 90 brewers pouring their award-winning wares. And with live music, on-site restaurants and a root beer soda garden, there’s more to do than sample suds.

With an expected crowd of 85,000 over the long weekend, parking will be scarce. Add to that an afternoon of drinking, and leaving the keys at home is the way to go. We’ve got plenty of bus service and MAX stations just a token’s toss away from the festival grounds.

Fun fact: When the festival started in 1988, only four microbreweries existed in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer); now you might find that many in your neighborhood.

Head out (and don’t forget sunscreen) »

The Big Float

July 26 between Poet’s Beach and Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Do you really need encouragement to hop in the river on a Sunday in July?

Start at the Tom McCall Bowl (the waterfront just south of the Hawthorne Bridge) and join the parade marching a half mile down to Poet’s Beach, floatation device in hand. Hop in and float back to the park, where the beach party will be in full swing, including a band barge, two giant slip-n-slides, food carts, a beer garden and kids’ activity area.

But there’s more to this one than a giant party on the river. It’s about awareness: the Willamette River, once the site of dozens of sewage overflows each year, has been deemed safe for summer recreation — including swimming — since 2011, when the Big Pipe project was completed. Now, even sensitive groups like children and pregnant women can enjoy the river without risking their health.

Grab your floaties and hop aboard »

Red Bull Flugtag

August 1 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Photo: Red Bull Flugtag

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this event on the river flugtag, which means “flying day” in German. Maybe it’s that “plummeting day” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This celebration of human-powered flight will see 20 local teams launch themselves off a flight deck 28 feet above the Willamette. Will they plunge or will they soar? With team names like Soarin’ Sasquatch, PDX Flying Carpets and Flutter Punks, the answer is probably something in between.

In case you missed it, this is what happened last time Flugtag came to town:

Grab a good seat early »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Outside Portland

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon International Air Show

July 17–19 at Hillsboro Airport

For the first time in eight years, the Blue Angels will grace the West Coast’s biggest air show. Which means you’ll see something like this:

Video from the Slot position during the Diamond Half Squirrel Cage maneuver on take-off. Like the video??? Please share and like the page!

Posted by U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Saturday, June 6, 2015

(but from a more comfortable distance)

One Blue Angels member that isn’t an F/A-18 Hornet will get its own show, as “Fat Albert,” the team’s support C-130T Hercules, demonstrates surprising agility in a solo performance. Plenty of other aircraft will be on static display, in addition to 20 aerial exhibitions scheduled across the weekend. Be sure to check the schedule before you go!

Get there on transit »

(Bringing your bike? Free parking is available on-site!)

First City Celebration

July 25 in Downtown Oregon City

Photo: Downtown Oregon City

As its name implies, Oregon City was the first city in the Oregon Territory, established in the mid-1800s. This year’s First City Celebration is centered around Marketplace Oregon City, which features more than 80 local artists and merchants, but there’s a lot more to it:

  • Seven live music acts throughout the day
  • Craft beer and wine garden featuring local brews, wine and spirits
  • Kids’ Activity Zone
  • History actors and period music in the Heritage Village
  • Food carts
  • And, most awesomely: an Oregon Trail Game-themed 5K fun run — yes, it’s based on the classic 1980s computer game — in which participants make decisions like whether to ford a river or go hunting, all to avoid a terrible fate like death by dysentery.

Take the bus »

Washington County Fair

July 30–Aug. 2 at the Washington County Fair Complex

Photo: Washington County Fair
Photo: Washington County Fair

County fairs exemplify summer, and this one’s been around over 150 years. And while you can still buy livestock at auction or get tips from a master gardener, these days you can also try 30 different midway rides and catch a Flo-Rida concert. So it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone.

It’s already convenient to get to the fair grounds on transit, but a free shuttle from the Fairplex MAX Station to the gates makes hopping on the Blue Line an easy choice — unlike whether to ride The Zillerator or The Freak Out first, or which food you’d like deep-fried from the concession stand.

Take the MAX Blue Line »

Flicks by the Fountain

Every Friday in August at Beaverton City Park

flicks (1 of 1)

This year’s movie lineup is flawless — and that includes the foreign film you may not have heard about, Song of the Sea, which received a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Aug. 7 – Big Hero 6
  • Aug. 14 – Song of the Sea
  • Aug. 21 – Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Aug. 28 – Jurassic Park

Each movie begins at dusk, so check this handy page and get there early, just in case.

Get there on transit »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Waterfront Activities, Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: 4th of July

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival

blues2 (1 of 1)

It’s fitting to spend the 4th of July listening to blues by the river, and even more so to end the day witnessing the biggest fireworks display in the state.

The Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, now in its 28th year, is a marquee event for the Portland region, featuring 100 artists over four days. Looking at this year’s lineup, you’ll see that the festival also spans generations: among the acts are flat-out legends like Buddy Guy and Gregg Allman, along with rising stars like YouTube sensation Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Oregon native Ty Curtis.

To get your fill of blues (and Zydeco, and R&B, and jazz…) and to secure the best seats around for the fireworks show, the Oregon Food Bank suggests a minimum donation of $10 for entry. Or, get a pass to cover the entire festival, including re-entry, for $40.

Get there easily on bus or MAX »

Portland Craft Beer Festival


At last count, there were 58 breweries in Portland. If you think that’s something to celebrate, you’re not alone. Nearly every one of those brewers will be on hand at PCBF to showcase a beer, with styles ranging from lagers to sours to stouts and, of course, IPAs.

More of a cider fan? Or maybe you’re the wine & cheese type? There will be something for you, too, along with food carts, coffee and ice cream vendors.

This three-day festival (open only to the over-21 crowd) goes down in The Fields Neighborhood Park; get there by bus or streetcar.

Plan your trip »

Beaverton Freedomthon


Starting your day with a little exercise isn’t a bad idea (especially if you’re thinking of drinking all the beers at PCBF). It’s worth getting up early to beat the heat at Freedomthon, a 5K run/walk starting outside Beaverton City Library — every participant gets a medal, a flag to wave as they cross the finish line and a spot at the Pancake Bar. It’s a fast and flat course, and it runs along closed streets. Is a personal record within reach?

Take the bus or MAX to the starting line (or to the Pancake Bar) »

Hillsboro 4th of July Parade

The Oregonian Photo: Benjamin Brink
The Oregonian Photo: Benjamin Brink

The Grand Marshal at this year’s event is retired Hillsboro Police officer Steve Vuylsteke, who’s been attending since long before he earned his stripes. It’s clear that the parade is a product of a close-knit community, but this is much more than a small-town affair.

According to the presenters at the Hillsboro Rotary Club, the parade is one of the largest this side of the Mississippi. It’s accompanied by a pancake breakfast and a fun run. If that sounds like a great way to start your Independence Day, just hop on MAX »

Oaks Park 4th of July Spectacular

The Oregonian Photo
The Oregonian Photo

Rides are open until midnight at Oaks Amusement Park’s annual 4th of July event; time it right, and you might catch the fireworks from the ferris wheel. (Or the Scream’n Eagle — but that’s a very different experience). Picnic spaces are first come, first served, so be sure to snag a spot to relax in after a round of mini golf and a spin through the roller rink. Entry to the “Coney Island of the Northwest” ranges from $2–$5 per person at the gates.

A note on getting there by transit: Oaks Amusement Park is on the Willamette, nestled within acres of parkland. If you’re going car-free, it’s best to get there on the Springwater Trail, a major pedestrian and bike path that happens to offer some incredible views. Service to this section of the Springwater will improve drastically when the MAX Orange Line opens later this year. Then, stations at OMSI/SE Water Ave and SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek will put riders right on the path to the park!

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Waterfront Activities, Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Join in and Catch the Orange!

This September, we’re welcoming our fifth MAX line—the Orange Line—to our transportation system, along with a chunk of additional bus service, and we couldn’t be more excited! In the meantime, we’re hosting a series of fun events all around town.

Only 100 days until Grand Opening—Will you be catching an Orange Line event?

transit on tap logoBuses, and trains, and brews! Oh my!

For those who love transit and beer, combine your passions at our Transit on Tap talks. The talks occur monthly and, through August, have an Orange Line-centric topic of discussion. (Our upcoming event is all about what crews unearthed during the construction of the Orange Line—intrigued?)

Bike over the bridge

Be one of the first to bike or walk across Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, before it opens! On August 9, the 20th Annual Providence Bridge Pedal will send bicyclists across the bridge starting at 6:30 a.m., followed by an afternoon preview for all bicyclists and pedestrians from 1:30 p.m. through 4:30 p.m.

firework_lgBright lights

On August 22, the MAX Orange Line Fireworks Spectacular will light up the night. This one-of-a-kind fireworks display kicks off near Tilikum Crossing at 9 p.m.

We’ll be “flipping the switch” to turn on the Tilikum Crossing lights during First Light on September 10 at 9 p.m. (Learn more about how the light display program works.)

The big day

On September 12, it’s time to catch the Orange! Celebrate the grand opening of the MAX Orange Line and Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, with a day of adventure and fun!

View the entire Catch the Orange event calendar »

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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The Spring Break Staycation Guide

Waterfalls, blossoms, showers and sunshine: spring is when Portland really sings. If you’re lucky enough to have a break in the coming weeks (or if you’re looking after someone who does), why not plan the ultimate staycation? Here are some activities just a hike, splash or cycle away—We’ll take you there!

Hit the trail!

Stone House on Lower Macleay Trail. (Brian Lum)

Macleay Trail

Start along the trail at Lower Macleay Park, under the NW Thurman Street Bridge, and follow charming Balch Creek upstream. After nearly a mile you’ll come across a cool remnant of Forest Park’s past: the Stone House. This old structure was a rest station until the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, after which it was deemed damaged beyond repair. It’s fun to explore the ruins now, and it makes for an interesting photo op!

Now that you’ve walked to a little house, why not hike up to a big one? Head up the Wildwood Trail from here to visit Pittock Mansion. Don’t worry if you’re too tired to tour the house: the lawn provides a great place to eat a sandwich, as well as an amazing view of downtown Portland.

Get there by bus »

Tryon Creek State Park

It’s easy to enjoy a park like Tryon Creek, Oregon’s only state park in a major metro area. Are you a hiker? It’s got miles of trails, including the accessible Trillium Trail. Equestrian? Try the North Horse Loop—or the West Horse Loop! Cyclist? A bike trail lines the park’s eastern edge. Just want some peace and quiet? Take a seat in the Glenn L. Jackson shelter and watch the wildlife.

Get there by bus »

Greenway section of Fanno Creek Trail. (Finetooth on Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Fanno Creek Regional Trail

The segments making up the Fanno Creek Regional Trail will one day become a premier recreational corridor. For now, think of it more as a choose-your-own-adventure. Follow the historic Oregon Electric Train route and you’ll find picnic areas, play equipment and restrooms along the way. In Greenway Park you’ll pass through grassy fields and follow Fanno Creek. Keep an eye out for the Fanno Farmhouse!

Get there by bus »

For more, check out Transit to Trails »

Splash into spring!

Mt. Scott Indoor Pool. (City of Portland)

East Portland Indoor Pool & Mt. Scott Indoor Pool

The most important thing to know: these pools have slides. It might be more accurate to call these “aquatic complexes”—bring the family and friends, because there’s an area for everyone. The competitor in the family can go for a P.R. in backstroke in the heated lap pool. The thrill-seekers will love waterslides of all sizes, and you’ll all enjoy the lazy river.

Get to the East Portland Indoor Pool by bus »

Get to the Mt. Scott Indoor Pool by bus »

Beaverton Swim Center

The L-shaped pool here is kept at about 86 degrees—If that isn’t enough to get you in the water, how about dropping in for some Zumba? Whether you’re splashing through Open Swim or taking a class called Deep Water Warrior, you’ll find your groove here.

Get there by bus»

Check in to a new museum!

Oregon Rail Heritage Center. (Sam Churchill on Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Did you know Portland is the only U.S. city to own two operating steam locomotives? You can get a guided tour of each at this museum tucked away near the future Orange Line MAX OMSI/SE Water Ave station. On Saturdays, after you’ve taken in the latest exhibit, hop aboard the charming, family-owned Oregon Pacific Railroad passenger train for the short trip down to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. All aboard!

Get there: Portland Streetcar CL Line »

Washington County Museum

Interesting things are going on here on the second floor of downtown Hillsboro’s Civic Center. An exhibit called INNOV8: The Silicon Forest in Washington County tells the story behind tech in the region, then challenges visitors to think about the future. Other exhibits examine the area’s history, from the Kalapuya Indians to David Douglas to immigration during World War II.

Get there by MAX or bus »

Museum of Contemporary Craft

Although it’s been around in some form since the 1930s, the identity of this surprising little museum has changed many times over the years. And so has crafting—Visit the exhibitions here and you’ll be amazed at the vitality, vibrancy and balance between utility and beauty found among the collection.

Get there by MAX or bus »

Still thinking about skipping town?

20110708 trimet red line.0530
MAX Red Line to PDX. (TriMet)

If you’re heading out for a proper vacation, we’ll get you to PDX. Be sure to plan extra time getting there, though—The Port of Portland is forecasting record Spring Break travel this year, meaning it could take longer than usual to check in and get through security once you’re at the airport. And don’t forget—getting to Union Station is a snap, too.

Have a fun, safe break!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Take TriMet to holiday tree lighting events

Pioneer Courthouse Square TreelightingLet us help you get in the holiday spirit—take a bus or hop on the MAX to these accessible tree lighting events in the greater Portland area!

Portland: Celebrate 30 years of lighting the 75-foot tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 28th.

Lake Oswego: The tree lighting events at Bigelow Plaza and Millennium Plaza Park take place on Friday, November 28th at 5:30 p.m.

Gresham: Take part in the Spirit of Christmas on Saturday, November 29th, at the Arts Plaza. The lighting of the 60-foot Ponderosa pine tree will begin at 5 p.m.

Hillsboro: The annual tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. on November 29th at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza.

Cornelius: Join the annual tree lighting ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park on December 5th. The event begins at 6 p.m.

Tualatin: Head to the Lake at the Tualatin Commons on December 5th for the city’s tree lighting ceremony. The countdown to tree lighting and Santa’s arrival starts at 6 p.m.

Tigard: On December 5th head over to Liberty Park for the Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival! The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

Beaverton: The 11th annual tree lighting ceremony takes place December 5th at 7 p.m. at City Park (across from the City Library).

Sherwood: Catch the tree lighting event on December 6th during the city’s Winter Festival. The lighting ceremony takes place in Cannery Square Plaza after 4 p.m.

Milwaukie: The Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for December 6th—the lighting event follows the Milwaukie Umbrella Parade and should begin around 4:45 p.m. at City Hall.

Fairview: Join the city’s eighth annual tree lighting on December 6th at 6 p.m. The event takes place at Fairview City Hall and Community Park.

Oregon City: The annual tree lighting event downtown begins at 5 p.m. on December 6th. Following the lighting ceremony is the opportunity to sit and take your picture with Santa!

Avoid the hassle of traffic and parking and allow us to get you to the festivities—plan your trip at