“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Every Portlander knows the yearly drill: January – rain, February – wind and rain, March – hail and rain, April –allergies and schizophrenic weather, and May – always an unknown. And the thoughts that fill our minds during these long months include, but are not limited to, when will it stop raining and when’s the next Columbia sale?

Moving & Talking in the Rain

During these months one can find random pedestrians standing in the smallest patch of sunlight, head tilted back trying to feel a thin ray of warmth on their pallid faces. We see hardcore Portlanders walking umbrella-less through the streets while sheets of rain cascade upon them. They pull up their hoods. They hunker down. They will not be broken. And, of course, there are the bicyclists, who do not seem to be stopped by any inclement weather.

In Eskimo languages, there are over 70 terms for ice. The Sami people (hailing from Scandinavia and Russia) use at least 180 words for snow and ice. In Portland, we do the same for rain, though we may not realize it. It’s not just raining, it’s misting. It’s a downpour not a shower. There is precipitation. No, it’s more of a monsoon. The raindrops in the rainfall have turned to sleet and have become torrential. It’s damp, it’s wet, and it’s dank, muggy, soggy, drizzling, soaked and sodden.

Ah, but then it happens …the clouds part, a cerulean sky appears with fluffy clouds as white as porcelain crowns, and the populous takes to the streets – stunned and roaming directionless, eyes blinking furiously.

Summer in Portland? Yes, please!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

There are over two-million residents living in the Portland region. They want to hike, bike, explore, walk, run, swim, ski, unicycle, cartwheel, and Irish stepdance though our fair city and state. They also want to celebrate, imbibe, and rock out. Thankfully, June, July, and August deliver these things and many more.

Shakespeare in the park? Got that. Chinese and Japanese gardens? Yeah, we have both. We also corner the market on markets – Saturday markets, Sunday markets, organic markets, craft markets, and all manner of local markets.

And talk about the dog days of summer…according to Oregon Live, “Portland has been named the top city in the country for dogs. And their owners.” Dogs do not have a bone to pick with their Portland parents. Paddling down a river, hitting a dog park for some socializing, and even drinking out of bowls left by thoughtful shop owners are just a few of the pet-friendly perks of our city (especially in summer).

Everyone gushes about summer in Portland. The team at Mad Fish Digital is no different. A few quotes heard around our office:

From the Realist: Finally able to take my dog to thousand acres without having to give her a bath after.

From the Pedicure-inclined: Open-toed shoes…hello my lovelies!

From She Who is Social: Sunshine and happy hours are in my future.

From the Soon-to-Be Bride: The lush beauty of cherry blossoms, dogwoods and unique gardens everywhere make it easy to forget about the last 8 months of rain.

So, the long and lovely months stretch before us – what shall we do? Take a look at our handy resource for getting the most out of your Portland summer. Download it and affix it to your refrigerator, so as not to miss a thing.

And enjoy the sunshine!

View the full infographic here!