Cape Meares

This weekend, Get HIGHBROW, LOWBROW & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

This weekend starts early, with Thursday evening's LitHop PDX, a (you guessed it!) literary barhop with 54 mini-readings at six different downtown venues. Keep that high-minded fun swinging into the weekend with a stroll through the Portland Art Museum, where the fourth Friday of every month is not only free but also likely to contain rowdy photo booths and a pop-up pub. Continue your classy evening about town at Summer Splendors, NW Dance Project’s annual collaboration with Chamber Music Northwest at PSU’s Lincoln Performance Hall. But still, the night is young! Lest you forget, Friday night is that Portlandiest rite of passage, the World Naked Bike Ride, and if you’re not riding you must at least seek out the singular awkwardness of watching as thousands of bikers cruise by in the buff. On Saturday, skip town for the Lincoln City Summer Kite Festival, where the skies fill with futuristic flying objects, followed by a jaunt over toCape Meares via the Three Capes Scenic Route, where Big Spruce and the Octopus Tree offer arboreal inspiration. Sunday brings a bit of park-hopping: first, the International Beerfest in Holladay Park, and then Peacock in the Park, the heavily sequined, family-friendly drag extravaganza at the Washington Park Amphitheater.

World Naked Bike Ride

Image: Sarah Mirk

And start making plans for the fourth of July!

In Portland, Fourth of July weekend means roots music. Before heading to the 28th annual Waterfront Blues Festival (2015 headliners include Allen Toussaint, Macy Gray, and Buddy Guy), spike the mood with a Saturday-morning constitutional. Whether your optimal pace is pleasant or Prefontaine, you’ll find hearty company at the Sauvie Island Foot Traffic Flat. Distances range from a sweet 5k to full marathon, with nary a bump in the road to spoil the scenery. Take a nap, and then decide how you’d like your evening fireworks: with the American people en masse, staking precious cooler-and-lawn-chair real estate along the waterfront, or peeping the pyrotechnics at greater remove (suggestions below). Escape from the city on Sunday with a one-hour northwesterly drive to the hamlet of Warren, where the Scappoose Bay Paddling Center kits you out for a gentle paddle through wetlands teeming with turtles, otters, and migratory birds. Be sure to sprint on home by 4 p.m. to catch the Women’s World Cup Championship Game.

FOUR More OPTIONS FOR THE FOURTH 

1) Pick your side of the river and snag a late-night reservation at one of the city’s best two roof patios: 
Departure and Noble Rot. (Too late? Try Salty’s on the Columbia.)  

2) Spread a blanket and host your own picnic on Rocky Butte, the bluffs of Mocks Crest, or Mt Tabor Park’s cinder-cone summit. 

3) Drive (or climb) on up to the top level of Portland State University’s parking garageat SW Sixthand Harrison for a mostly unobstructed view (and it’s free!). 

4) Skip town and head for the shows at the St. Paul Rodeo or the city of Independence (Oregon) itself.

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