With the late snow we got in February, I was afraid summer would never come this year. Oregon summers can start as early as May or as late as the middle of July- you never know which way it's going to go! Luckily, we have gotten some really nice weather in the last two weeks, and it has inspired me to start planning to take advantage of the beauty and fun Oregon has. So without further adieu, here is my Oregon summer bucket list!
1) Go to the Drive In- https://www.99w.com/
My husband and I discovered the drive in when we were in high school, and it has become an annual pastime for us. We love getting friends together and grabbing pizza, snacks, and games and heading out to Newberg. The drive in has been open for 65 years, and definitely feels like a step back in time! They show current movies, and their prices are super reasonable considering you get two movies. Pro tip- get there early, especially in the summer because the spots fill up fast! We normally get there between 5:00 and 6:00. The drive in is open Friday-Sunday, and some Thursdays in the summer.
2) Hood River Lavender Fields- https://hoodriverlavender.com/
We've all seen the pictures of fields of flowers on Pinterest, and although my allergies may kill me, I want to experience it in person! Hood River Lavender has U-Pick hours starting in May and ending in September. Their big event of the summer is the Lavender Daze Festival which is July 7-8 this year. This is the height of the lavender season, and will be a beautiful time of year here in Portland!
Credit: Hood River Lavender
3) Painted Hills- https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/painted-hills/
Spencer and I have a wedding to attend in Central Oregon this summer, and it's about an hour and a half from the Painted Hills. This has been something on my bucket list for a while, but the five hour drive from Portland has always been daunting. The wedding is the perfect excuse, and I'm super excited! There's hiking trails of various difficulty in the park, and the views look amazing!
Credit: Kevin and Amanda
4) Berry Picking- http://www.pickyourown.org/
This is another past time that I do every summer! I usually pick blueberries, which start being in season around 4th of July, but in Oregon there's so many berries to pick, we may have to go multiple times! Strawberries are usually in season earlier in the summer, and blackberries are towards the end. Use the website above to find farms in your area, they have listings nationwide!
5) Crater Lake- https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/7-wonders/7-wonders-of-oregon-crater-lake/
When I was thinking about places to go this summer, I realized I hadn't been to Crater Lake since I was 10. Even scarier- that was almost 15 years ago (I feel old!). My husband went with a friend a couple of years ago, and I realized I wanted to go back after I saw his pictures. It's pretty cool to have a national park in your home state, and I want to go back now that I will appreciate the beauty of it (rather than complaining about the long "hike" as a 5th grader!)
Credit: National Park Service
6) Opal Creek - http://www.opalcreek.org/hiking/trails/
My little brother went to Opal Creek a few years ago when he was playing baseball in Central Oregon for the summer. The pictures he brought back were incredible, and he said the water is so clear. It is on the way to Bend from Portland, which is one of our favorite places to go for the weekend. With many hiking trails in the Gorge closed due to widespread wildfires last summer, trails like Opal Creek are a great alternative for people in the Portland area.
7) Silver Falls - https://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=151
This trail is another great alternative to hiking trails in the Gorge, and is closer to Portland than Opal Creek. The hiking trail is a 7.2 mile loop with views of waterfalls along the way. My parents have done this hike before and loved it. It's also pet friendly, so I'm hoping we can take Sooky with us too!
Credit: Oregon State Parks
8) Thor’s Well/Devil’s Punchbowl - http://www.mapmaiden.com/2017/10/09/oregon-coast-thors-well-agate-beach-devils-punch-bowl/
We went to the Oregon coast for the first time this year a few weeks ago, and we had an amazing time! When we go back later this summer when the weather is warmer, I definitely want to check out these two sites. The Pacific Ocean is amazingly beautiful, and it's hidden gems like these that make exploring the coast so fun!
I can't wait to get started on the list! I will be posting updates as the summer goes on!