Image: David Owen

Bite of Oregon
For a few days each August, the Portland waterfront takes on the look and smell of a giant backyard cookout as the best in local food, wine, craft beer, and entertainment come together to make one of the city’s most appetizing traditions. Menu options range from smoked pork ribs and corn on the cob to fresh Dungeness crab cakes with lemon aioli. Once you’re stuffed, pick up a pint of Henry’s Blue Boar Ale, let the kids play tag on the enormous lawn, and watch the setting sun turn the Willamette impossible shades of orange. August 7-9;

Big Screen on the Green, Portland Parks Series
Forget the drive-in; Portland’s got the sit-in. Each summer, Portland Parks and Recreation brings movies to various parks throughout the city. The parks are equipped with high-definition screens and outdoor speakers that will make you feel like you’re skipping down the yellow brick road right beside Dorothy. Even better, the entire event is free, including the popcorn.

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock tide pools
Sure, your budget may be tighter this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the summer with your head in Hawaii and your feet in the backyard kiddie pool. Take a day trip to Cannon Beach, a speedy hour and a half from downtown Portland, and enjoy an afternoon milling around Haystack Rock’s rich tide pools, all packed with sea anemones and bright-orange starfish.

For more Cannon Beach activities check out our Getaways

Rafting the Clackamas River
Summer can be the season for lounging and languishing. Sometimes, though, you need a good, hair-raising rush. River-rafting guides like Oregon River Experiences take groups down the Clackamas River for a three- to six-hour family-size adventure. Tackle Class III rapids like ‘Powerhouse’ and ‘Slingshot.’ Just be sure to pack a change of dry clothes for the return trip home—a sense of adventure is one thing, but a sopping wet seat is quite another. April 1-September 7;

Pickathon Roots Music Festival
Portland’s music scene tends to be more about skinny jeans than straw hats, but by bringing a fierce lineup of local bands to the lush eighty acres of Mount Scott’s Pendarvis Farm, Pickathon has successfully upped the ante for what a music festival can be. This year, Blitzen Trapper, Dr. Dog, John Doe and the Sadies, and others will rock the wilderness. July 31-August 2;