5 Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon in the Fall

While you may not immediately picture the city of Portland, Oregon as an ideal destination in the fall, the City of Roses offers a number of reasons to visit in the autumn season, including dazzling fall foliage. Here is a look at five of the best.

Columbia River Gorge

By visiting around mid-October, you can enjoy some of the best fall foliage along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the very first scenic highway in the country that was designated a National Historic Landmark. It begins just 13 miles east of Portland, known as the jewel of the Northwest with the gorge spanning across southern Washington and northern Oregon from the mouth of the Sandy River to the Deschutes River.

Autumn brings out incredibly brilliant colors on the gorge’s east side including a colorful display of big-leaf maple, Oregon ash and cottonwood trees. The Coyote Wall trail offers hikers a wide array of oranges, reds and yellow. In between the amazing shades of autumn, you’ll find numerous cascading waterfalls and particular memorable panoramic vistas.

Food and Drink

Portland is filled with fantastic eateries that can be enjoyed year round, but the autumn season brings Oktoberfest with the chance to enjoy a wide range of craft beers as well as German food. In mid-November, Portland’s premier food and drink event, the Northwest Food and Wine Festival brings dozens of top chefs together in order to showcase their culinary delights.

An autumn farmer’s market in Portland provides the chance to celebrate all of the wonderful colors, smells and tastes of the season. The city’s largest market, Portland Farmers Market at PSU is open through mid-December.

Fun Halloween festivities

There are a wide variety of fun Halloween festivities that can be found throughout the region. Just minutes away from downtown Portland, the “Original Maze” offers visitors a chance to explore a haunted corn maize, pick a perfect pumpkin, enjoy a hay ride, shop for gifts and cuddle up with farm animals.

The Portland Zoo includes many fun and haunted activities including the chance to hunt for Halloween treasures, go trick-or-treating and even watch an elephant herd pulverize massively sized pumpkins.


Fall is also the best time to visit the vineyards found in the lush Willamette Valley, prime for grape growing. Experience the grape harvest, or visit in November for fewer crowds and many vineyards hosting celebrations of new vintages for Thanksgiving.


While there is never a guarantee when it comes to weather, fall often brings only slightly cooler weather and frequently long stretches of “Indian Summer” along with fewer tourists. Average high temperatures in the autumn months can be as high as the mid-70s throughout September and even into October while typical highs in November average in the low 50s.

Those who live on the Oregon coast are especially privileged during this time when the skies are often bluer and brighter than they are in the summer.