The Best Time to Visit Oregon for a Memorable Experience

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If you want mild weather for outdoor sports and sightseeing, the best time to visit Oregon is from June to August.

However, if you love winter sports or want to save money and avoid the crowds, go there during December to January.

What to Expect from Oregon?

Oregon has diverse landscapes and activities: coastlines, wilderness, food and wine festivals.

So, to find out when is the best time to visit Oregon, first ask yourself what you want to do.

Best time to visit the Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast

But don’t ignore the other months. Depending on your needs, you may find that you should schedule your trip on another part of your year.

Here, let’s look at the best time to visit Oregon based on your interests and the kind of experiences you can expect during that season.

June to August: best time for enjoying the outdoors

Oregon summers are a paradise for nature lovers.

The weather is warm and dry, which is perfect for exploring the state’s most famous attractions:

  • You can hike up the  Columbia River Gorge
  • Go birdwatching at the Crater Lake National Park
  • Take a boat ride down the Grande Ronde
  • Or enjoy swimming and other watersports at the beaches

Summer is also festival season!

So if you love music, this is really the best time to visit Oregon.

You can catch the Waterfront Blues Festival (one of the largest blues festivals in the United States), The Pickathon Indie Music festival, Sunriver Music Festival, and more.

Throughout the summer, the state also holds fairs, parades, and sports competitions.

For example, in June you can join the Rose Festival, and in July you can catch the Robin Hood festival and see people dressed up in Medieval costumes. So, before finalizing your trip dates, check the list of events for that month.

December to January: best time for winter sports and budget travel

We have to warn you: Oregon winters can be cold and gray, with lows of 14°F (-10°F) during the coldest weeks of January.

However, if you’re willing to bundle up, there are still many reasons why this season can still be the best time to visit Oregon:

  • First, you can enjoy winter sports. The snow really starts to build up in December, so you can go snowboarding and skiing at the state’s many ski resorts. Some are isolated and quiet—perfect if you want to get away from it all. But if you also want a taste of city life (and Oregon’s famous dining scenes) consider the Mount Bachelor ski resorts in Bend, Central Oregon or Mount Hood in the city of Portland. It’s the best of both worlds!
  • The second benefit of going during the winter is the price. Oregon is mostly known for its outdoor nature attractions, so the cold months are considered “off-season.” You can get bigger deals on flights, hotels, and entrance tickets for attractions.
  • And lastly, you avoid the tourist crowds. During the winter months—especially the coldest weeks in January—you’ll only see locals and few fellow budget-minded travelers.  

So even if you go to a popular event or spot (like the Portland Book Festival or the Portland Night Market) you won’t be surrounded by a swarm of people.

September to November: Best time for wine tours, farm tours, and glamping  

While autumn can bring chilly weather and rain, it also introduces another side of Oregon.

The mountain trails and nature parks are now ablaze in leaves of red and gold, and you may spot migratory birds that you wouldn’t see at any other time of the year.

Portland, Oregon September visit
Portland, Oregon

Many sites also have cabins or special tents set up, for a glamping experience that lets you enjoy all the beauty of nature, without the cold and inconvenience.

Fall also signals the start of October Fest, and a plethora of wine tours and wine tasting events.

Oregon is already known for its food tours, but this time you can also enjoy their craft beers and local wines, and even get a special tour of the breweries and vineyards along the way.

Many farms will also open their doors during harvest season. You can go picking for fruits and vegetables, or participate in special seasonal Thanksgiving activities, like Bella Organic Farm’s Haunted Corn Maze.

March to May: Best for spring festivals, whale lovers, and beers

These are Oregon’s rainiest months in the year, so you won’t be able to go to any nature spots unless you’re willing to walk through mud.

However, Oregon still has a lot to offer for visitors during this season. The most special attraction is whale watching—especially in March, when the state celebrates Whale Watching Week.

You can catch entire families of migrating whales, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that already makes this one of the best time to visit Oregon.

Oregon lake kayaking in Summer
Oregon lake kayaking

The rains also make flowers bloom. If you go to Woodburn, Oregon you can join the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and see over 200 acres filled with thousands of yellow and red tulips.

And if you’re a serious beer aficionado, consider going to Oregon during the Brew Festival in May. The packages start as low as $40., and you can savor nearly 70 kinds of beers that can’t be found in any other part of the United States.

When is the best time to visit Oregon for you?

 Traveling is a unique, personal experience.

We’ve listed the reasons to visit Oregon at different times of the year, but the question of “When is the best time to visit Oregon?” really depends on what you want or even how much you’re willing to pay for it.

Look at the pros and cons, and schedule your trip according to your heart’s desire.

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