Category Archives: Places to Go

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

PCB

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

Watercolorheader

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.

More Posts

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 9 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.

More Posts

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 »

fanno-1
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!

pool-1-2
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!

ORHC-1
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.

More Posts

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 trimet.org.

3 ways to kick off the perfect Oregon summer

This is our city’s time to shine. Summer is Oregon’s reward to its citizens for all those gray months. And it’s catnip to tourists who you’ll no doubt be entertaining.

Here’s a breakdown of just a few of the must-dos in Downtown Portland as well as a long list of the lesser known goings-on inside and outside of Portland that shouldn’t be overlooked.

1. PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE EVENTS

It’s called “Portland’s Living Room” for a reason. During the summer it’s rare to find the Square not teeming with music, flowers or food.

flicks on the bricksSome of our favorite events include:

Noon Tunes. Otherwise known as the perfect lunch hour. Enjoy free concerts every Tuesday and Thursday from July 15 to August 14.

Flicks on the Bricks is great way to spend an evening downtown. Come see the Square magically transformed into Portland’s largest outdoor movie theater! Live pre-movie entertainment begins at 7 p.m. every Friday from July 26 to August 16.

Yoshida’s Sand in the City. No time to go to the Coast? Then come to Portland’s biggest beach party. Sand in the City takes over the Square on July 18-20.

Finally, Festa Italiana brings Italy to Downtown Portland with lots of spirited entertainment and food from August 21 to 23.

2. OPEN MARKETS

Our area is known for its outdoor markets and every year they just keep getting bigger and better.

Farmers Market Here are three that can’t be beat:

Portland Saturday Market: A lot more than tie-dye and patchouli can be found at this downtown market which has become the largest outdoor arts and crafts market in operation with well over 200 booths. The food stalls and live music alone make the Saturday Market worth the visit. (Open Saturday and Sunday through December 24)

Portland Farmers Market: With eight locations all over Portland there are more than enough opportunities to see what foods you might fall in love with this summer. The most popular location is on the PSU campus at SW Park Avenue and SW Montgomery Street. There any Saturday you can visit over 130 booths of deliciousness. (Saturdays through December 20)

Beaverton Farmers Market: Open since 1998, Beaverton Farmers Market has been around even longer than Portland’s Farmers Market and it has just as many booths! (8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May to November)

3. TRANSIT TO TRAILS

Enjoy the mild temperatures and rainless days while you can!Transit to TrailsThe Portland metropolitan area has more than 10,000 acres of parks and natural areas. Here are some of our favorite trails from North Portland to Tualatin to Buxton and a lot of points in between that you can visit by taking TriMet.

Of course this is just a very short list of some of the top must-dos. Even though the Rose Festival is over there are more than enough events to keep you busy until September! So enjoy the summer and let TriMet help make your trips easier.

Your comprehensive list of summer events

 

Spring Break Staycation Guide

cherryblossomSpring is here! Save on major travel expenses like airline tickets, lodging, gas and meals by taking a spring break “staycation”. Pick up a 1-Day Pass (only $5 each) and let us take you out to explore these local attractions that are ideal for keeping money in your pocket.

Go old-school and become a tourist
See the city through a visitor’s eyes and do what they do. Visit the Portland Art Museum, OMSI, the Portland Japanese Garden or the Zoo. Maybe it’s trying Dim Sum in Chinatown or roller skating at Oaks Park. Always sure to please is the Portland Saturday Market, with arts and crafts in its open-air marketplace.

Spend a day at a park
There are no shortages of parks in Portland. Pack a picnic, blanket and chairs. Spread out and let the kids run around while you sit back and relax. Take TriMet to one of many trails and parks in the area.

Swim day
Sure, spring break in Portland often means dodging rain, but it doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you’re in Maui and enjoy a day at the pool. Find an indoor community pool and dive in.

Find what’s fresh at a farmers market
Head to your local farmers market for some fresh and colorful fruits and veggies. Get the kids in on the fun and have them choose what to buy for dinner!

Get lost
In places such as Powell’s Books or Forest Park, it’s easy to wander and get lost. Bring the kids, dog, friends or family for an outing you’re sure to enjoy.

Paradise-bound
If you are heading out of town for spring break, let us take you to PDX or Union Station.

Plan your trip
It’s easy to explore Portland on TriMet over spring break. Check out the many other destinations you can discover on buses, MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and Portland Streetcar.
Plan a trip today!

Pin it
Be sure to pin and save your favorite Places to Go on Pinterest.

 

Jennette Zarko

Jennette Zarko

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Communications Coordinator. I help develop and maintain TriMet's web and social media content. My family uses a combination of carpooling, Portland Streetcar, biking and riding Line 38 to get to work and school. It’s just how I like it - a little different every day! You can also occasionally catch me performing around Portland with various improv groups.

More Posts

Holiday events to get you in the spirit of the season

Holiday tree at Pioneer Courthouse SquareFrom Santaland to the Grotto’s Festival of Lights to ZooLights, there is an abundance of holiday events to help you get in the spirit of the season. Pick up some 1-Day Passes or use our mobile ticketing app (for your smartphone) and let us take you there!

Holiday Connections
December 5-7
A treasured Portland tradition for all families, the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus sing a rich array of seasonal music. Plan your trip

The Portland Bazaar
December 6-8
From woodworkers, metalsmiths and cutting-edge fashion designers to bakers and chefs, the Portland Bazaar is a curated holiday fair that celebrates the high-quality handmade work being produced by Portland’s creative community. Plan your trip

Photo courtesy of Dick Thies
Christmas ships light up the night

Christmas Ship Parade
December 6-21
2013 marks the 59th year for the Christmas Ship Parade on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. An average of about 55 to 60 boats sail between the two rivers.

Santa on the Bricks
December 12-23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
December 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Head to Pioneer Courthouse Square to give Santa your wishlist. Enjoy heated warming tents with chestnuts on the fire, roasted almonds and hot chocolate. Plan your trip

Tuba Christmas
December 14
Pioneer Courthouse Square hosts more than 250 tubas performing holiday songs. Tuba Christmas has become a Portland tradition and unites our musical community as we celebrate the season. Plan your trip

Breakfast with Santa
December 14 and 21
Join Santa for breakfast at Bridgeport Village. 100% of ticket sales will be donated to charity. Plan your trip

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Photo by Blaine Truitt CovertGeorge Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert

The Nutcracker
December 14-24
Take a trip into a land where toy soldiers fight rat armies, snowflakes come dancing to life and the sugarplum fairy rules with the wave of her wand. The Nutcracker promises to create memories your family will cherish forever. Plan your trip

 

 

The Lights on Peacock Lane
December 15-31
For many people, going to see the lights on Peacock Lane–Portland’s Christmas Street–is a must during the holidays. The lane has been known for some of the most impressive Christmas decorations in Portland since the 1920s. Have you joined in on the tradition yet? Plan your trip

Santaland
Through December 24
The tradition of visiting Santaland and sitting with Santa as you share your Christmas wishlist continues at the Macy’s store in Downtown Portland. Have you been naughty or have you been nice? Plan your trip

Peek-a-boo Santa
Peek-a-boo Santa

Santa at Pioneer Place Mall
Through December 24
Bring your little ones to sit with Santa and capture the enchanting moment with a picture. Plan your trip

Santa at Clackamas Town Center
Through December 24
Santa has made his way from the North Pole and is ready to greet children of all ages. Be ready with your Christmas list in hand! Plan your trip

Santa at Washington Square Mall
Through December 24
Visit Santa at his holiday lodge. Sit on the jolly man’s lap and get a picture to commemorate the holiday. Plan your trip

Photo courtesy of Craig PaupFestival of Lights at The Grotto
Through December 30
The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. With over 500,000 lights, nearly 180 choral performances, a petting zoo, carolers, puppet shows and hot chocolate for you and your whole family, what’s not to enjoy? Plan your trip

 

 

 

ZooLightsZooLights Glenn Peters
Through January 5, 2014
No ZooLights 12/24 and 12/25
More than a million LED lights transform the Oregon Zoo into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. If you ride the bus or MAX to the Zoo, you can get $1.50 per person off ZooLights admission. Plan your trip

Marisa Scheidegger

I'm TriMet's marketing communications coordinator. I write content for TriMet's web and social media, and customer-facing print materials. When I'm not working, I'm spending time with my husband and two incredibly bright and funny kids.

More Posts