9 Reasons Oregon Has the Best Summers in the Country

Written by Ashley Day
Updated: September 4, 2023
© Michael 1123/Shutterstock.com
Share this post on:


The land of Oregon is where summers paint a picturesque canvas of magnificent nature and unforgettable experiences. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon emerges as a summer paradise, offering diverse delights that make it the ultimate destination for warm-weather adventures. With pleasant weather, stunning landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, cultural celebrations, family-friendly activities, and a hospitable atmosphere, Oregon has some of the best summers in the country. It truly captures the essence of a perfect summer getaway.

Despite its overall pleasant climate, Oregon does experience occasional fluctuations in weather patterns during the summer months.
Oregon has some of the best summers in the country, thanks to its rich geographical diversity.

©Marisa Estivill/Shutterstock.com

Summer Weather

One of the defining features of Oregon’s summer weather is its pleasant temperatures. The state experiences warm and moderate climate conditions during this time of the year, making it an ideal retreat, especially for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Oregon summers strike the perfect balance between warmth and comfort, with average daytime temperatures ranging from the 70s through the 80s degrees Fahrenheit (21-31.6 degrees Celcius). The overall low humidity and gentle breeze that often graces the region further enhance the serene atmosphere, making outdoor activities a joyous affair.

Weather Awareness

Despite its overall pleasant climate, Oregon does experience occasional fluctuations in weather patterns during the summer months. While most days have clear blue skies and abundant sunshine, it’s not uncommon for the state to witness brief spells of rain. These sporadic showers, however, are often followed by bright and sunny periods, creating a refreshing ambiance in the air. Visitors should carry light rain gear or umbrellas to prepare for these passing showers. Additionally, staying updated with local weather forecasts is recommended to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment.

Oregon is also susceptible to wildfires and sporadic heat waves during the summer months. During your visit, it’s essential to be aware of these potential hazards. To stay safe during wildfire season, follow fire regulations, stay on designated nature trails, and promptly report signs of fire activity. During heat waves, stay hydrated, wear lightweight clothing that covers your skin, and seek shade or air-conditioned environments during the hottest time of the day. Stay informed about weather forecasts and warnings from local authorities. By prioritizing safety, you can fully enjoy Oregon’s beautiful summers.

Location and Weather

The diversity of Oregon’s summer weather is another aspect that sets it apart. The state encompasses many geographical features, including stunning coastlines, lush forests, and towering mountains. Each region offers its unique climate and weather characteristics, providing a multitude of options for summer activities. Along the coast, temperatures remain cooler and comfortable, with ocean breezes providing a refreshing respite from the heat. Inland areas boast warmer temperatures but are still ideal for hiking, camping, and exploring picturesque landscapes. The Cascade Range in central Oregon offers endless experiences for outdoor enthusiasts, with milder temperatures at higher altitudes, making it an ideal retreat from the summer heat. Oregon also has various desert landscapes in the central and southeast parts of the state. These areas host the hottest temperatures in the state and can often reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celcius).

South Sister mountains
The coast and higher-altitude mountainous regions tend to have cooler temperatures.

©Michal Balada/Shutterstock.com

Natural Wonders

One of the significant reasons Oregon has the best summers in the country is its natural splendor. Oregon, an epitome of natural beauty, captivates visitors with its stunning array of natural attractions and landmarks, making it an unrivaled destination for summer exploration. The natural wonders of this state offer a feast for the senses, enveloping adventurers with awe-inspiring vistas.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is one of Oregon’s crown jewels. It is a breathtaking masterpiece formed by the collapse of a volcanic peak thousands of years ago. During the summer, the park’s iconic Crater Lake, renowned for its intense blue hue, stands as a magnificent sight. Surrounding the lake are sheer cliffs and lush forests. Visitors can enjoy hiking, backpacking, swimming in the cold waters, and viewing wildlife amidst its tranquil waters and diverse ecosystems. Private boating and watercraft activities are prohibited to protect the lake, but commercial tours are available.

Columbia River Gorge

Venturing further north, the mesmerizing Columbia River Gorge awaits. This awe-inspiring canyon stretches over 80 miles and up to 4,000 feet deep, offering a cornucopia of natural wonders. Lush waterfalls, including the iconic Multnomah Falls, cascade down verdant cliffs, creating a postcard-perfect scene. Hiking trails meander through moss-covered canyons and ancient forests, providing glimpses of the gorge’s majestic beauty at every turn.

Oregon Coast

Oregon’s coastline, with its rugged cliffs and pristine beaches, is a veritable paradise for coastal enthusiasts. With its iconic Haystack Rock rising dramatically from the ocean, Cannon Beach is a popular destination. The beach’s vast expanse of sandy shores invites visitors to stroll along the water’s edge. At the same time, tide pools teem with vibrant marine life, offering a captivating glimpse into the coastal ecosystem.

Mount Hood

For those seeking mountainous adventures, there are the enchanting peaks of the Cascade Range. Mount Hood, an active stratovolcano and Oregon’s highest peak is a majestic sentinel. Summer transforms this alpine wonderland into a paradise for hikers, campers, backpackers, mountaineers, climbers, and nature enthusiasts. Pristine alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor escapades.

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and Smith Rock State Park

The natural wonders of Oregon extend beyond mountains and coastlines. The Painted Hills, part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, astonish visitors with their vibrant and surreal layers of colored earth, revealing millions of years of geological history. The desert landscapes of Smith Rock State Park, with its towering cliffs and winding rivers, provide a haven for rock climbers, hikers, and backpackers, too, showcasing the diversity of Oregon’s terrain.

Oregon’s summer season also offers opportunities for outdoor activities on its numerous lakes and rivers. People can indulge in the splendor of Oregon’s aquatic wonders, from the tranquil beauty of numerous lakes to the exhilarating rapids of various rivers, not to mention the vast Pacific Ocean along the coast.

wide angle view of Crater Lake form the top of Watchman's Peak, beautiful landscape in Oregon
Crater Lake National Park is a popular destination in Oregon.

©Nature’s Charm/Shutterstock.com

Outdoor Recreation

With its breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystems, Oregon offers abundant outdoor recreational opportunities that cater to every outdoor enthusiast’s desires. This makes it a true haven for adventure seekers during the summer season.


Here, hiking itself is a considerable reason Oregon has the best summers in the country. Hiking enthusiasts flock to Oregon’s vast network of trails that wind through the state’s magnificent forests, mountains, and canyons. The Pacific Crest Trail, stretching over 2,650 miles from the California border to the Washington border, offers intrepid hikers the chance to embark on an epic journey through Oregon’s diverse terrain.

Camping and Backpacking

Camping in Oregon is a delightful experience, with countless options for rugged adventurers and those seeking more comfortable amenities. From secluded wilderness campsites to well-equipped campgrounds, the state provides a haven for overnight stays amidst nature’s embrace. Mount Hood National Forest and Deschutes National Forest are just a couple of the many locations that offer memorable camping experiences, with opportunities for stargazing, campfire cooking, and immersing oneself in the tranquility of the surroundings.


For fishing enthusiasts, Oregon’s lakes, rivers, and coastal waters provide a bountiful playground. The state boasts abundant fish species, including salmon, trout, steelhead, and bass. Popular fishing destinations like the Rogue River, Diamond Lake, and Odell Lake offer excellent angling opportunities. Whether casting a line from the shore or venturing out on a fishing boat, the thrill of reeling in a prized catch awaits.

Water Activities

Water activities abound in Oregon’s rivers, lakes, and coastline. Kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding offer a serene way to explore the state’s waterways, gliding through calm lakes, the Pacific Ocean, or navigating gentle rapids. Boating enthusiasts can cruise along numerous lakes or rivers, reveling in the stunning scenery. Adrenaline seekers can experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the challenging rapids of the Deschutes River or the Clackamas River.

Other Activities

Oregon’s skies are not to be ignored. You can take to the air for unforgettable experiences. Scenic flight tours provide breathtaking aerial views of Oregon’s natural wonders, showcasing the vastness of its landscapes. Paragliding and hang-gliding opportunities are available for those seeking a unique adventure, allowing participants to soar above Oregon’s picturesque valleys and mountains.

Educational opportunities abound as well, with guided tours and interpretive programs offered throughout the state. Visitors can learn about Oregon’s rich history, geology, and diverse ecosystems from knowledgeable guides who share their expertise and passion. These educational experiences enhance the appreciation of the natural wonders that make Oregon’s summers exceptional.

Sunset at Bandon Beach, Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast offers plentiful opportunities to enjoy water activities.

©Manuela Durson/Shutterstock.com

Scenic Drives and Road Trips

Embarking on a road trip in Oregon during the summer is an unforgettable way to immerse oneself in the state’s breathtaking natural beauty. The state has a wealth of scenic drives and picturesque road trip routes, an easy reason why Oregon has some of the best summers in the country. From winding coastal highways to awe-inspiring mountain passes, these routes showcase the state’s diverse landscapes and create lifelong memories.

Pacific Coast Highway

One iconic road trip route is the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as U.S. Route 101. This scenic drive along Oregon’s stunning coastline gives travelers a mesmerizing blend of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns. With every twist and turn, scenic vistas unfold, inviting visitors to stop and take in the breathtaking panoramas. From the historic seaside town of Astoria to the majestic beauty of Cannon Beach and the dramatic sea stacks of Bandon, this road trip route is a captivating journey through Oregon’s coastal wonders.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a must-visit for those seeking mountainous scenery. This picturesque drive meanders through the towering peaks of the lower Cascade Range. It showcases the beauty of Oregon’s mountainous landscapes. Visitors are immersed in a world of stunning beauty as the road winds past crystal-clear lakes. The route also provides access to numerous hiking trails, camping spots, and opportunities for water activities, ensuring that adventure awaits at every turn.

Rim Drive

Crater Lake Rim Drive is another captivating road trip route that unveils one of Oregon’s most iconic natural wonders. Circumnavigating the rim of Crater Lake, this drive offers unparalleled vistas of the pristine lake and the surrounding volcanic landscape. With every viewpoint, travelers witness awe-inspiring panoramas highlighting this natural wonder’s immense beauty and sheer magnitude.

Historic Columbia River Highway

Finally, the Historic Columbia River Highway is another scenic drive combining breathtaking landscapes and historical significance. Following the Columbia River Gorge, this route takes travelers past numerous waterfalls, including the majestic Multnomah Falls. It offers glimpses of the gorge’s dramatic cliffs, spires, ridges, and lush forests. Along the way, historic sites and viewpoints provide opportunities to delve into the region’s rich cultural heritage and geological wonders.

US Highway 101 and ocean sea stacks near the town of Gold Beach on the Oregon coast
The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 101, is a scenic drive stretching the entire Oregon coast.

©Bob Pool/Shutterstock.com

Cultural Heritage

Oregon’s summers showcase the state’s natural splendor and bring its rich cultural heritage to life. From captivating historical sites to immersive museums and vibrant cultural events, visitors can delve into Oregon’s history, gaining a deeper understanding of the state’s unique identity.

Oregon Historical Society Museum

The Oregon Historical Society Museum in Portland is a valuable destination for cultural enthusiasts. This renowned institution showcases the state’s captivating history through engaging exhibits and interactive displays. From the Native American cultures to the Oregon Trail immigrants and the growth of urban centers, the museum paints a vivid picture of Oregon’s past, allowing visitors to journey through time and witness the evolution of the state.

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

For a glimpse into Oregon’s Native American heritage, the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton provides an immersive and eye-opening experience. The institute celebrates the traditions, art, culture, hospitality, and history of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, which include the Cayuse tribe, Umatilla tribe, and Walla Walla tribe. Through exhibits, storytelling, events, and interactive demonstrations, visitors can learn about these tribes. This includes but is not limited to their history and culture, deep connection to the land and hospitality to all people, and enduring cultural practices despite the unfortunate attack of immigrants and the ensuing war, forced treaties, boarding schools, and stealing of land.

Other Historic Sites

The historic sites throughout Oregon offer a glimpse into the state’s storied past. Fort Clatsop National Memorial, near Astoria, invites visitors to step back in time and learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s winter stay in the early 1800s. At the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, visitors can retrace the footsteps of the immigrants who embarked on the journey to settle in the West. These sites provide a tangible link to Oregon’s history, allowing visitors to connect with the challenges and outcomes of those who came before us.


Various events showcase Oregon’s vibrant traditions and arts during the summer. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland is a renowned theater festival that presents a wide range of plays by Shakespeare and other celebrated playwrights. The festival attracts theater enthusiasts from far and wide, immersing them in the world of classic and contemporary theater.

The Oregon State Fair in Salem celebrates the state’s agricultural traditions and history. This lively event features livestock exhibits, thrilling rides, live performances, and culinary delights. Visitors can experience the vibrant atmosphere while appreciating Oregon’s farming traditions and local talents.

Rock State Park for hiking in Terrebonne, USA
Smith Rock State Park is located in central Oregon’s High Desert and experiences some of the hottest temperatures in the state.

©Wirestock/ via Getty Images

Local Culinary Delights

Oregon’s summers not only delight the senses with their natural beauty but also tantalize taste buds with an exquisite culinary scene. Another reason why Oregon has some of the best summers in the country is its vibrant culinary offerings. From farm-fresh produce to bustling farmers’ markets and vibrant food festivals, Oregon’s food culture shines during the summer, offering a feast of flavors showcasing the region’s bountiful harvest and commitment to farm-to-table experiences.

Oregon’s fertile lands and widely accepted commitment to sustainable agriculture create the perfect conditions for abundant fresh, organic, locally sourced produce and animal products. During the summer months, farmers’ markets come alive with vibrant displays of colorful fruits, vegetables, and pasture-raised animal products. Visitors can meander through the stalls, sampling the season’s offerings and connecting with local farmers who are passionate about their craft. These markets provide an excellent opportunity to experience the flavors of Oregon firsthand, with a wide range of organic produce, pastured foods, artisanal products, and handcrafted goods.

Food Festivals

Food festivals are a highlight of Oregon’s culinary scene, celebrating the region’s diverse flavors and culinary talents. The Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland showcases the state’s vibrant craft beer culture, featuring an impressive lineup of local breweries and their unique brews. The festival offers a lively atmosphere where beer enthusiasts can savor various styles while enjoying live music and entertainment.


For those seeking farm-to-table experiences, Oregon’s farm-to-fork restaurants provide an authentic taste of the region. These establishments pride themselves on sourcing ingredients directly from local farmers and producers, ensuring the freshest and highest quality dining experiences. Each dish tells a story of Oregon’s sustainable agriculture and culinary craftsmanship, from farmstead cheeses and grass-fed meats to seasonal vegetables and artisanal bread.


Oregon’s culinary scene is also influenced by its coastal location. Seafood lovers can indulge in a delectable array of fresh seafood, including succulent Dungeness crab, wild-caught salmon, and plump oysters. All along the coast, including towns such as Newport and Astoria, Oregon, offer rich seafood shacks and upscale eateries where visitors can savor the ocean’s bounty while enjoying breathtaking views of the Pacific.

Close up of mans hands buying organic vegetables outdoors at local farmers market.
Farmers’ markets and farm-to-table cuisine are prominent culinary experiences in Oregon.

©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Festivals and Events

Yet another reason why Oregon has some of the best summers in the country is its various festivals and events. Oregon’s summers come alive with a vibrant array of festivals and events that embody the spirit of the state. From music festivals that resonate with captivating melodies to fairs and cultural celebrations that showcase Oregon’s traditions and arts, the summer season in Oregon is a time of joyous revelry and lively entertainment.


Native American communities celebrate their cultural heritage through various powwows throughout the summer. Their vibrant powwows bring together tribes from across the state, featuring traditional dances, drumming, singing, storytelling, and arts. All visitors, or outsiders, are welcome. Here visitors can experience, learn, and gain a deeper appreciation and awareness of the indigenous communities of these lands.

Music Festivals

Music festivals are a highlight of Oregon’s summer calendar. The Oregon Country Fair, held in Veneta, is a whimsical celebration of art, music, and alternative culture. With its colorful costumes, enchanting performances, and diverse musical acts, the fair creates an immersive experience that transports visitors into a world of creativity and expression.

The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival in Portland is a must-attend event for jazz enthusiasts. This festival is set against the stunning backdrop of St. John’s Bridge. This free festival features talented jazz musicians who captivate audiences with their soulful tunes. From traditional jazz to contemporary improvisations, the festival creates a vibrant atmosphere where music aficionados can tap their feet and revel in the melodies.

Other Fairs and Festivals

Oregon’s fairs are renowned for their festive ambiance and many attractions. As previously mentioned, the Oregon State Fair in Salem is a beloved tradition. It offers thrilling rides, live entertainment, and exhibits that showcase the state’s agricultural history. From livestock shows to mouthwatering fair food and jaw-dropping performances, this annual event captures the essence of summer excitement.

Cultural celebrations provide a window into Oregon’s diverse traditions and arts. The Portland Rose Festival is one of the state’s oldest and most cherished festivals. It features parades, concerts, and floral displays that commemorate Portland’s rich history. The festival’s Grand Floral Parade, with its elaborate floats adorned with vibrant flowers, showcases the beauty and creativity of the region.

Clear Lake Oregon
Clear Lake is a popular swimming and recreational lake in Oregon.


Family-Friendly Activities

Oregon offers many family-friendly activities and attractions, making it an ideal destination for unforgettable vacations. From parks and zoos to farms, gardens, and water parks, Oregon provides a playground of experiences that cater to families and create cherished memories for all.

Outdoor Experiences

For outdoor experiences, Oregon has some of the best summers in the country for families. Oregon’s State Parks and National Parks offer hiking trails suitable for all ages and skill levels. Families can embark on nature walks, enjoy picnics amidst picturesque landscapes, or camp. They can even partake in ranger-led activities that provide educational insights into the park’s wonders.

Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo in Portland is a beloved destination for families. It is a nonprofit zoo funded by the Oregon Zoo Foundation. It is home to a diverse range of animals from around the world. The zoo provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with fascinating creatures. The zoo offers a captivating educational experience. Children can also enjoy the zoo’s interactive exhibits and participate in engaging programs. Their programs are designed to foster an awareness of wildlife conservation.


For a hands-on agricultural experience, Oregon’s farms offer family-friendly activities that connect visitors with the region’s rural history. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn has vibrant tulip fields and opens its doors to families during the summer. Children can delight in picking flowers, exploring the farm, and participating in activities like tractor rides or farm-themed games.


Oregon’s botanical gardens are a haven for nature enthusiasts of all ages. The Portland Japanese Garden has serene landscapes and traditional Japanese architecture. It invites families to immerse themselves in a tranquil oasis. Children can explore the 5.5 acres of gardens and experience the beauty of nature through guided tours and hands-on activities. The Oregon Garden in Silverton is another enchanting destination. They offer themed gardens, walking trails, and interactive exhibits that ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity in visitors.

Water Parks

For a splash of excitement, Oregon’s water parks provide hours of fun for the whole family. Wings and Waves Waterpark in McMinnville features thrilling water slides and wave pools. They also have interactive exhibits that teach children about aviation and the wonders of water. Water World in Medford offers a range of water attractions. They include slides, lazy rivers, and splash pads, ensuring a refreshing and entertaining experience for all.

Cherry blossoms at the Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden is a wonderful family-friendly activity that all will enjoy.

©Michael Warwick/Shutterstock.com

Welcoming Atmosphere

Oregon’s welcoming atmosphere and hospitality make it an exceptional summer destination. It is common to encounter the locals’ friendly nature and willingness to share their culture and traditions. An overall sense of warmth creates an environment where visitors feel embraced and connected to the essence of Oregon. Locals are accepting and welcoming of visitors who show respect and awareness for the lands they visit. Whether engaging in conversations, learning about history, participating in cultural events, or experiencing personal interactions, the welcoming spirit of Oregon ensures that every visitor feels like a welcomed guest.

Oregon’s welcoming atmosphere is also reflected in its dedication to sustainable and responsible tourism. Locals take pride in their natural surroundings and strive to preserve the state’s pristine environment. It is an expectation that visitors respect the lands by partaking in Leave No Trace practices and being mindful when exploring the state’s natural wonders, as well as respecting the communities that reside here. The commitment to sustainability creates a shared understanding and a sense of camaraderie among locals and visitors alike.

Horses grazing in front of Cascade Mountains, Oregon backdrop
Oregon has pleasant summer weather, which makes it a great place to visit.

©Eric Backman/Shutterstock.com


In these enchanting lands, Oregon has some of the best summers in the country. Here, the summer season captivates all who seek the perfect seasonal escape. With pleasant weather, stunning natural landscapes, a wealth of outdoor adventures, a rich history, culinary delights, and a hospitable atmosphere, Oregon sets the stage for an extraordinary summer experience. From scenic drives to family-friendly activities, Oregon leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of visitors. Oregon is a place to immerse yourself in the wonders of summers in the Pacific Northwest. It is a place where nature’s beauty, cultural treasures, and unforgettable moments intertwine to create a genuinely unmatched seasonal paradise.

Summary of the 9 Reasons Oregon Has the Best Summers in the Country

1Summer WeatherDaytime temperatures ranging from the 70s through the 80s
2Natural WondersCrater Lake National Park
3Outdoor RecreationHiking, camping, fishing
4Scenic Drives and Road TripsPacific Coast Highway and Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
5Cultural HeritageTamástslikt Cultural Institute
6Local Culinary DelightsFarm-to-Table; The Oregon Brewers Festival
7Festivals and EventsPowwows; The Oregon Country Fair
8Family-Friendly ActivitiesOregon Zoo; The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
9Welcoming AtmosphereDedicated to sustainable and responsible tourism
Summary Table of 9 Reasons Oregon Has the Best Summers in the Country

The Featured Image

A storm come in at Gold Beach Oregon, USA. There is a rainbow in the background and very dramatic lighting as the ocean crashes up against the shore
© Michael 1123/Shutterstock.com

Share this post on:
About the Author

Ashley is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer. Insatiably curious and drawn to knowledge, she has a passion for conservation and sharing the wonder of the natural world with others.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.