Portland Summer 2016 Plans


My favorite bridge: St. John’s photo cred Jennifer Donley 

As long time readers already know, I like to make a plan for my time in Portland to make the most of my summer. I only get a few weeks a year to spend time with my family and friends so I try to plan my time carefully each year. Last year I spent most of my summer backpacking around 9 countries in Europe, with only two weeks left at home, so I still have some catching up to do from last year’s list.

However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have several new-to-me activities/places I want to see and do this summer! I will be road tripping to and from Alaska with my Aunt and one of my cousins at the end of June/first week of July.  Then I will be in Vegas July 15-18th. Basically, I will be in Portland from Monday, June 13th to Saturday, July 30th and I want to make the most of my time!

Special Summer Events in Portland:

Cider Summit NW– June 17-18- 150 artisan ciders from the NW and around the world, eat good food, and hear live music at The Fields Neighborhood Park.

Yoga Day – Tuesday, June 21- in Pioneer Square there will be yoga classes and live music.

Naked Bike Ride– Saturday June 25th– No I wont be baring it all (I think this is a teacher no-no), but I am in full support of bike safety and body positivity. I would love to find a bike this summer and ride in this event… in a bikini. Gather in Col. Summers City Park at 8 p.m. for a 9 p.m. ride.

Waterfront Blues Festival– July 1-4- I think I might be in Alaska during this time, but I had to put this on here just in case because it is a fabulous festival with fantastic music. $35 for a 4 day early bird pass.

Mississippi Street Fair– July 9, 2016- is said to offer, “200 local vendors and craft booths, six stages of entertainment, a kids’ corner, food carts, and a beer/wine garden on N. Mississippi Ave. from Fremont to Skidmore. Free.”

The Big Float– Sunday July 10- I’ve never done this and it is only $5 (plus your own lifejacket and inner tube). I feel like this is something my family might enjoy too: music, a float down the Willamette River, and a summer beach party.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival– July 15-17- jazz music right under my favorite bridge!

Flicks on the Bricks– July 22nd and continue through August 19th for 5 Fridays they will show a free movie at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

People in the street- July 24, 2016 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)- 8 miles of car free NE streets are closed and people get to walk, bike, or enjoy activities in one of the local parks while cars banned from the area!

Oregon Brewer’s Festival– July 27-31- I don’t like beer, but my friends do. I always hope to find some delicious ciders or a beer that actually tastes good to me (ie- it doesn’t taste like beer!).


I love the food in Portland- probably more so than most visitors because while I’m in Venezuela for ten months out of the year I mostly eat at home. Here are some restaurants that I’m looking forward to visiting this summer:

My Brother’s Crawfish I want to try their crawfish boil and seafood gumbo. They also have a great happy hour from 3-6 most days!

Pine State Biscuits– I’m not sure my parents have been here yet so that is excuse enough for me to return to this delicious breakfast spot.

Langbaan– A couple summers ago I ate at PaaDee just in front of Langbaan and my friend told me that if I want to go I need to try to make reservations weeks in advance because they only have eight seatings per week. The menu is a set multi-course meal and everything is said to be delicious. Apparently the restaurant is literally hidden behind a trick book case!

Little Bird Bistro– Last summer I had one of the best meals of my life at Little Bird’s sister restaurant Le Pigeon so I have high hopes for this one. Happy hour here from 2:30-5 could easily be a late lunch and looks like a good value.

Beast– I want to do the six-course chefs tasting meal with wine pairing.

Ox– These days, I usually only eat meat when I go out to eat (mostly because it is hard to find in stores Venezuela unless it is sausage), so I don’t mind going to a place that specializes in mostly meat.

Podnah’s Pit BBQ– I usually go for lunch and dinner to this delicious BBQ haven, but I really want to try it for breakfast one of these days.

Sushi– Usually I end up going to Yuki or some random conveyor belt sushi place, but I keep meaning to try Bamboo Sushi. My friend recently suggested a place called Masu Sushi.

Pok Pok has always seemed over hyped to me, but I still want to try it once.


Salt & Straw– I can’t help but return here every summer. I just love their ice cream so much that I almost never eat it during the rest of the year.

Pip’s Originals– I know Portland is famous for Voodoo Doughnuts (I swear I saw four people with large to-go boxes from Voodoo on the plane as I left Portland last summer), but my friends seem over it. I don’t usually crave doughnuts when it’s hot out, but if I do, I want to go here.

Fun Activities:

Salsa Dancing– I LOVE the Portland salsa community! I started dancing salsa in Eugene in 2004 which was also pretty fantastic, but every summer I return to Portland where I am greeted by great dancers who always include me in their events. I want to dance as much as possible- especially at Casino Friday’s. Just need to figure out transportation. Alejandra, can I carpool with you?! Keep up to date with salsa events on this website and on facebook.

I always love going berry picking at Sauvie’s Island with my friends.

Visit my Uncle in Lincoln City and go hiking on the coast with him.

Visit Powell’s Bookstore: I just can’t help but visit here at least once a summer!

Hike through Forest Park– I seem to do this with Sophie once a summer and I love it every time.

Go to the Portland Cheese Bar and get supplies for a picnic at Mt. Tabor. The Cheese Bar has over 200 cheeses (with a focus on local and regional cheese), wine, cider, and beer as well as a deli with pre-made stuff.

Camping with family and/or friends

See a movie at a McMenamin’s theater- Kennedy School is still my favorite

Visit the Portland Japanese Garden– I haven’t been here in a few years and I think it is one of the most gorgeous spots in Portland.

Portland Saturday Market- I am accustomed to going to the farmer’s market every Saturday in Venezuela (there are plenty of those in Portland too), but in Portland you can find tons of hand-made artisan stuff here.

Guided Bike Rides– Every summer I gain about 10 pounds because I come to Portland and just eat my way through the city and then don’t exercise at all. I want to try out one of these free events to meet other people that love their bikes. … I just need to find a bike first. Any leads on a bike that is lightweight and is less than $200 (second hand is great!)? Maybe the Greenways of East Portland -Tuesday, July 19, 6:00 p.m. (meet at 5:45).

Portland Timbers Soccer Game– I don’t really know anything about soccer other than I like looking at the players and hanging out with friends.

What else should I add to my summer to-do list? 




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