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  • Writer's picturePhil Evans

Beats, Boats, and Bites: Your Ultimate Portland Summer Guide

Welcome to Portland's sizzling summer scene! Our city comes alive during the warmer months with a diverse array of events and activities to suit every taste. From toe-tapping music festivals that showcase Portland's renowned local talent to big-name concerts drawing crowds from across the Pacific Northwest, there's no shortage of rhythm in the air.

And when the heat calls for a refreshing dip, we've got the inside scoop on the best family-friendly swimming spots to cool off. Whether you're a longtime local or just visiting, get ready to dive into a summer full of unforgettable experiences in the City of Roses.

The must-see options

If you’ve ever spent a summer in Portland, you know there are some festivals you just can’t miss. They’re widely known across the state and a popular stop for most music lovers during the summer:

Other festivals we want to highlight this year:

  • The TeaFestPDX 2024 (Jul 13): A celebration of all things tea! Enjoy shopping at the vendor booths and learning about tea in their classes.

  • La Strada dei Pastelli Chalk Art Festival (Jul 20): Hillsboro's La Strada dei Pastelli Chalk Art Festival invites attendees to engage directly with buzzy and upcoming artists as they create vibrant chalk drawings (each piece will be a whopping 10'x10' on average when completed).

  • Harefest (Jul 18- Jul 20): Dozens of tribute bands rock out on three stages for the two-day festival. Tickets are required and you must be 21 years or older.

Popular concerts coming to Portland this summer:

Other than the festivals, we have some exciting concerts coming to our city this season, with shows from several artists including Blink 182 (Jul 13), Olivia Rodrigo (Aug 10), and Foo Fighters (Aug 16).

Outdoor Fun in the Summer

Our city offers a variety of popular public shore options you can visit during the summer season, including Sauvie Island, Walton Beach, and Sturgeon Lake. And if you need more options for less crowded family-friendly options, here are some swimming spots you’ll love:

  • Blue Lake Park: A great place if you want serious exercise or a lazy day on the water, a kid-friendly romp or a grownup picnic.

  • Dabney Park: A popular spot that doesn’t get too crowded and offers plenty of space for families to relax and enjoy nature and go swimming, sunbathing, boating, fishing, and golfing.

  • Glenn Otto Community Park: Bordered by the Sandy River on the east, a swimming beach, riverfront access, picnic area, children's playground, open play area, restroom building, meeting hall and the caretaker's home.

Stay cool with Dairy Hill

Looking for the ultimate ice cream experience in Portland this summer? Look no further than Dairy Hill Ice Cream. This local gem stands out with its commitment to quality and serving their community.

With their friendly staff and enthusiastic service, and generous portions, this is an option we definitely recommend to spend your warm Portland evenings. Luckily, Dairy Hill now has five locations, so you can catch them either in Hillsdale, Hawthorne, Lake Oswego, Sellwood, Moreland, or West Linn.

High-quality Mexican Cuisine: El Mas Chingon

There’s no shortage of great taquerias, taco trucks, and Mexican restaurants in Portland but today we want to recommend the Tacos served by brothers Roberto and Rene Torres at their truck El Mas Chingon. We had the opportunity to get to know the Torres brothers a while ago and learn more about their experience building this business.

The restaurant's lively atmosphere and friendly service make it an ideal spot for both quick bites and leisurely meals with friends. Try their hand-pressed corn tortillas in three different flavors (white corn, yellow corn, and blue corn) with the best carne asada and queso fresco. Also, don’t miss their enchiladas and fish tacos and indulge in what we think are some of Portland's most delicious tacos.

Best place to get in shape this summer: HOTWORX

Looking to kickstart your summer fitness routine? Look no further than HOTWORX. They offer a diverse range of innovative workout options to suit every preference and fitness level. Challenge yourself with their high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions for maximum calorie burn, or try their cutting-edge virtual infrared workouts for a unique, technology-enhanced experience. For those seeking a mind-body connection, their hot yoga classes provide an invigorating way to increase flexibility and strength while detoxifying your body.


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