Summer in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is what it’s all about. Locals brave the long rainy season to enjoy the lush, green summers full of sunshine and perfect weather. But no summer in the PNW is complete without a few day trips, hikes, and other outdoor activities. If you don’t have time to complete a road trip around Oregon and Washington, that’s okay. We’ll make sure this is a summer you’ll never forget.
Things to do in the PNW this summer
1. Take a hike
One of the best summer activities is hiking through the Columbia River Gorge. We recommend heading up to Beacon Rock. It’s an easy hike with fantastic views of the river and the Gorge. The recent Eagle Creek fires changed the scenery in the Gorge, closing some trails that Pacific Northwesterners consider staples for a successful summer. Before you head out, make sure to check this map of trail closures.
2. Ride the waves
If you’re more adventurous, try your hand at the world-class windsurfing or kitesurfing in the Gorge. Summer is the perfect time for this sport, and the Gorge has a wide variety of locations for surfers of all experience levels. The Wall is a challenging place for experts, while the Hook is a great place for beginners to learn.
3. Coast to the coast
No summer is complete without strolling your favorite beach and sticking your toes in the water. While you’re visiting the ocean, be sure to stop at a scenic viewpoint on the Oregon or Washington Pacific Coast Highway. Despite its name, the view of Cape Disappointment will not disappoint!
4. Visit a few watering holes
Have a drink on a brew pub patio with your dog. Oregon and Washington have some of the best beer in the world, so make sure you take some time this summer to relax at your favorite brewery with your furry friend.
5. Travel wine country
Not that wine country. Go wine tasting in the famous Willamette Valley. Aside from beer, Oregon is well-known for making great wine. There’s nothing better on a sunny day than relaxing with some friends and visiting several local wineries.
6. Stroll the sound
As touristy as it seems, your PNW adventure wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Pike Place Market in Seattle. Grab some coffee at the world’s first Starbucks, buy a bouquet of fresh flowers, and stock up on fresh, local seafood.
7. Have a berry good time on Sauvie Island
Speaking of locally grown foods: Pick some marionberries on Sauvie Island in Portland. This local variety of blackberry is a fan favorite among Oregonians, and is perfect for jams, pies, crumbles, or snacking.
8. Blaze some trails
Take a bike ride through the sunny countryside. Whatever kind of cycling you enjoy, Washington has the trails to accommodate you! (We’re fans of the BPA Trail.)
9. Hit the water
Go kayaking in the San Juan Islands. If you have an adventurous, outdoorsy spirit, this one’s for you. For our money, kayaking is the perfect way to enjoy summer in the Pacific Northwest.
10. Root, root, root for the home team
Summer is for America’s pastime, so be sure to hit a Mariners game in Seattle. If baseball isn’t your sport, celebrate summer by attending a Timbers or Thorns game in Portland. Providence Park is the perfect place to enjoy the weather and cheer on your team while drinking a craft beer.
Make the most of the sunny PNW summer before the rain comes back and before schools starts up again. As long as you’re kayaking and kitesurfing around the region, you’ll probably need a place to store all your gear. We’ll help you find a secure spot in Oregon or a safe place in Washington to store your stuff. Happy summer!