7 Fun Things to do in Summer in the Portland Area

It’s no secret that there are a ton of fun things to do in Gresham and Portland year-round, but summer might just be the best time to visit our beautiful corner of Oregon. Warm weather, sunnier skies, and a huge array of events and attractions inject this area with energy and excitement. Read on for our list of can’t-miss summer events and attractions, created especially with guests of Ponderosa Inn in mind.

Multnomah County Fair

Memorial weekend starts with a bang at The Multnomah County Fair, one of the most popular things to do in Portland in summer. Head to Oaks Amusement Park for this three-day extravaganza, which features games, rides, and plenty of fair food, in addition to musical performances, a car show, and even a pioneer village. And just as you’d expect from a county fair, there will be a variety of competitions, from arts & crafts and photography to needlecrafts and even food. Dog lovers won’t want to miss the wiener dog race, and those who want to check out the oldest roller rink in the country will have the chance to skate to their heart’s content.

Gresham Arts Festival

Looking for artsy things to do in Gresham this summer? The 20th annual Gresham Arts Festival is slated to take place on Saturday, July 16, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Head to the event to see the works of more than 100 artists from around the Pacific Northwest, specializing in everything from jewelry and clothing to painting and glassware. A concessions area will give you a taste of local cuisine, treats, and beverages. 

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 

There’s no better way to enjoy warm summer temperatures than with a music festival. Mt. Hood Jazz Festival takes place from May 6 to 8, 2022 at Yoshida Haven Estate, a popular Portland attraction for lovers of outdoor music events. Gather with other jazz fans to hear performances by local and nationally renowned jazz artists including the Chris Potter Trio, Helen Sung, Bridgetown Sextet, and Christopher Brown, among others. Day passes go for $25 and weekend passes will set you back $50.

Portland Columbia Symphony in the Park

If you’re looking for free Portland summer activities, Portland Columbia Symphony in the Park has your name written all over it. Starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2022, you can enjoy an open-air concert in Nadaka Nature Park, a lovely green space with a community garden and a small playground. Make sure to pack a blanket and some snacks and get ready to enjoy an evening of superb music. 


The Swimming Pool at Ponderosa Inn

So far, our list has highlighted action-packed events that will have you out and about during the warmest hours of the day. When you need a moment to recharge and cool off, head to the swimming pool at Ponderosa Inn, an inviting haven standing at the center of the property. Located in a courtyard surrounded by sun loungers, potted flowers, and evergreen trees, this pool is a relaxing oasis. Not a great swimmer? Wait until the sun goes down and have a blissful session in the hot tub.

Waterfront Blues Festival 

Taking place over the Fourth of July weekend, the Waterfront Blues Festival is a four-day festival for fans of this iconic American musical genre. It’s Portland’s largest and longest-running music festival and one of the most important blues fests in the country. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the event will be held at Waterfront Park, a popular spot for Portland summer activities even when there’s no event taking place. The lineup includes Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band, Grace Potter, and the Wood Brothers, among others. One-day tickets cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Weekend passes are also available starting at $105.

Rooster Rock State Park 

Though Gresham is located at least two hours from the Pacific Ocean, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a beach day during your stay in our little corner of the Portland metro area. Head about 20 minutes east to the town of Corbett, home to Rooster Rock State Park. Here you’ll find a sandy beach backed by thickly wooded hills. The scenery is divine, but keep in mind this is a clothing optional beach. 


Ponderosa Inn is a marvelous spot to rest your head when you’re not out and about enjoying the best Gresham and Portland attractions. You’ll love our clean, comfortable rooms, free breakfast, and complimentary WiFi, not to mention our pool and hot tub! Stay with us this coming summer or whenever you have a trip to the area planned. 

Back to Blog page Stay with Us