Savor the End Of Summer with Some Perfect September Weekends

Follow our guide to enjoying every single moment of Portland's most glorious season, and leave no weekend behind!

By Rachel Ritchie May 26, 2015 Published in the June 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Time-Based Art Festival

Image: Joseph Webb

September 4—7

The last hurrah: Labor Day Weekend

Thursday marks the final installment of Ecotrust’s Sundown concert series, which means it’s high time for some outdoor sunset tunes. When the weekend proper arrives, consider this your last chance for a summer weekend getaway—thus, we have an option for each point of the compass.  To the north: Bumbershoot awaits in Seattle, with its wild annual mélange of music, film, comedy, visual art, and dance.  To the east: Beyond the Oregon you know, there is southeastern Oregon, a dry, sprawling, mountain-studded swath of earth brimming with beguiling geologic gems. The Big Empty awaits your pilgrimage. Your destination: the otherworldly Alvord Hot Springs.  To the south: Book the Dragonfly Cabin at the Metolius River Lodges, where the crystal-clear river gurgles just beneath your deck, Camp Sherman’s charming general store is mere steps away, and prolific hatches make for some of the best fly-fishing in the state.  To the west: Settle into a vintage trailer at the artsy-earthy Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington, for a weekend of clamming, beach-strolling, and lazing about in the Finnish sauna. Not feeling the wanderlust? Take yourself out to the ballpark for one of the Hillsboro Hops’ season-closing games against the Eugene Emeralds.

September 11—13

Tis the season—of festivals!

Prepare for a weekend packed with urban wanderings and ceaseless inspiration. To wit, PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA), the always-provocative assortment of experimental performance and visual art from around the world, pops up in Portland’s theaters, galleries, and public nooks and crannies through the 20th. If you lean more geeky than avant-garde, worry not: XOXO Festival, the upstart conclave of all things digital and creative, once again lures some of the tech and arts world’s most inventive minds to town. If all that feels a bit cerebral, just don your tutu and douse yourself in powder on Saturday at the Portland International Raceway for the Color Run—or, “the happiest 5k on the planet.” Come Sunday, it’s time to hunker down in your own home. But that doesn’t mean you get the day off—invite your nearest and dearest to join you for the Spanish feast of paella and sangriayou just drooled over on pages 76–79.

Color Run

Image: Shutterstock

September 18—20

Three days of gluttonous adventure

Those hordes of excitable tourists gathering around our food carts and clogging up our restaurants? Those are the Feast Portland attendees, back for another tour of gastronomic excesses in the Rose City. And this weekend, those tickets are the hottest in town—especially for the Night Market at Zidell Yards, an Asian street market–inspired jamboree of colors, flavors, and lights. If something more continental suits your Saturday mood, hone your schuhplattlern moves at the 50th annual Mt Angel Oktoberfest, where you’ll be transported to the homeland with traditional biergarten music and lederhosen galore. (No judgment if you decide the sunny deck at Prost is a preferred destination to get your fix of Bavarian revelry.) Sunday presents a rare opportunity to indulge your inner fangirl and join the costumed ranks sidling up to Portland comic royalty like Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue Deconnick at Rose City Comic Con. Once you’ve de-caped, Hood River County beckons for an afternoon drive with its bountiful late-summer harvest: the Pear Celebration. Circumnavigate the famous Fruit Loop to partake of all things pear—wine, pie, ciders, sauces, dumplings, etc.—not to mention peaches, dried apples, honey, and jams. And don’t forget to sync your return for a spectacular sunset as you cruise west through the Gorge.

Feast Portland

Image: Jannie Huang

September 25—27

Bid a tearful adieu to summer

How to mark the end of this most epic of Portland summers? There’s really only one way: you shall ride the late-summer breeze over the Willamette Valley, fueled only by wind and fire, peering down over the rolling hills of wine country as 10 majestic peaks fan out in the distance. The best part? Vista Balloon Adventures launches and lands in Newberg, so the coordinates are ideal for toasting your flight with a summery rosé amid the enchanting vines at Adelsheim Vineyard. Sit down for a fresh dinner of pan-roasted lamb and grilled beets at the charmingly rustic Ruddick/Wood, also in Newberg, before staking your claim on a prime spot at the 99W Drive-In, where nostalgia fills the air as Hollywood hits glow on a giant screen. The next day, relax, reflect on your seasonal exploits, and dream of endless Portland summers to come. The final act? Get thee to OMSI by 7:47 p.m. for a group viewing of the total lunar eclipse. Happy summer—you did good. 

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