Oregon has two distinct climate regions, divided by the Cascade Mountains. The eastern half of the state is typically warmer and drier than the western coastal areas. The most popular time to visit is during the summer, when the weather is mostly dry and sunny throughout the state. The spring and fall may see more rain than the summer, but prices are lower and there are fewer crowds. Winters also bring rain, but many people visit for skiing, snowboarding, whale watching, and festivals.
- high season: May to September
- low season: November to March
- shoulder season: April, October
Summer is considered the best time to go for warm and dry weather throughout the state with temperatures averaging 80 degrees in the Cascade Mountains and coastal valleys, and 90 degrees in the eastern regions. The mountains block moisture from the Pacific coast, keeping the eastern half of the state warmer and drier than the west. Winter is the least desirable time to visit, with chilly and overcast weather along the coast and snow at higher elevations. Spring and fall are typically damp and mild, but some sunny days are scattered throughout the seasons.
Summer, especially during weekends, is a popular time to visit for sunny weather and clear skies. Many annual events and festivals, such as Salem's Oregon State Fair in late August, attract large crowds. Portland also hosts many popular festivals during the warm days of summer. In Salem, the gardens in full bloom between mid-April and June are a major attraction. The fall is a big time for visiting local farms for fresh produce or wineries for September's grape harvest. For a less crowded, but still happening time to see the wineries, try November, when many vineyards host Thanksgiving Day celebrations of new vintages.
Hotel, restaurants, and attractions remain open throughout the year; however, wineries and amusement parks may reduce hours or even close during the winter.
When to Save
Summer, especially during popular festivals, is an expensive time to visit, particularly when it comes to hotel rates and packages. The shoulder and low seasons are less expensive and less crowded.
When to Book
Book at least one month in advance for travel during the summer high season, especially on weekends. Allow even more time if visiting during a festival or event. The rest of the year requires no more than a week to find availability and the best deals.
Information provided by the Oregon Tourism Commission.