There’s nothing quite like springtime in Oregon, when the birds are singing, the cherry blossoms and tulips are blooming, and the nasal spray is handy. Here’s where to celebrate the season.
Farmers Markets (various locations): Oregon is home to dozens of farmers markets offering a bounty of local, seasonal produce and other fresh goods. One of the earliest to open is Rogue Valley Growers Market, which launches its Ashland Tuesday Market and Medford Thursday Market in March. Many more open in April or later spring and run through fall. See this handy directory of Oregon Farmers Markets to find the one nearest you.
Spring Blooms (various locations): Springtime is synonymous with colorful blooms, and you can get your fill — along with the perfect photo opp — at any of Oregon’s lushest gardens, including the famous cherry blossoms at Portland Japanese Garden, Lithia Park in Ashland and along Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Plan a wildflower hike to appreciate the beauty of it all, and remember that picking wildflowers in Oregon is illegal.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest (Woodburn): Flowering bulbs are the true harbinger of an Oregon spring, and you’ll find the biggest concentration of them — 40 acres in total — at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest in Woodburn, about 35 miles south of Portland. Activities include wine tasting, wagon rides and a tulip market. Tickets are available for purchase only only, so make sure to choose your date in advance. The festival runs from the end of March to the end of April. Pro tips: The flowers are not guaranteed to be in bloom on a particular date, so prepare to be flexible. Check the website’s field report for current field conditions. Also, wear comfortable shoes for walking on the farm and bring a raincoat — Oregon spring is unpredictable, but the photo opps will be just as dazzling.
Ski For All (Bend): This all-ages, all-abilities event hosted by Oregon Adaptive Sports welcomes individuals with and without disabilities to enjoy a spectacular day on the snow at Mt. Bachelor. The organization works to break down barriers for individuals with disabilities in Oregon’s outdoors. The goal of the day’s Summit Games is to score points by completing a variety of fun and inclusive games on the mountain. Come for prizes, costumes and an after-party at a local brewpub. Read up on more exciting ski events for the season.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland): The world-class Oregon Shakespeare Festival continues its run of vital new works, relevant classics, transformative digital work and a joyful and inclusive festival atmosphere. This season visitors can also enjoy lowered ticket prices. Check out the performance lineup and find out what’s new at the festival, then grab your tickets for a classic Oregon experience.
Ashland Independent Film Festival (Ashland): This celebration of local film features around 90 documentary, feature and short films from filmmakers around the world. Some 7,000 cinephiles tend to make it to this small-town staple.
Hood River Blossom Weekend (Hood River): April is peak season for soaking up the beauty of the pink and white flowers along the Hood River Valley while sampling the culinary bounty of the Hood River County Fruit Loop. This self-guided adventure is the ultimate spring getaway. Visit on weekdays and go early in the day for the fewest crowds, and if an area is too busy, visit a backup.
In a Landscape, through September (various locations): Tickets go on sale in March for the hotly anticipated series of classical music performances by pianist Hunter Noack, who brings his 9-foot Steinway piano into remote natural areas of the state to perform amidst the natural beauty. Grab your tickets early and plan your trip around the event.
Barnstormer’s Vintage Fair (Central Point): This antique and garden show welcomes visitors to the Jackson County Fairgrounds, with vendors selling everything from farmhouse-style and vintage home decor to handmade garden goods, plants, local veggies, handcrafted food, music and wine. Purchase tickets online in advance.
Harney County Migratory Bird Festival (Burns): This annual festival brings bird lovers together to celebrate the diversity of feathered friends in the great outdoors of Southeastern Oregon. More than 300 species of birds use the refuge throughout each year, making Harney Basin a bird watcher’s paradise. Enjoy guided tours led by experts, workshops and fun activities for both youth and adults.
Northwest Cherry Festival (The Dalles): Take a trip through the scenic Columbia River Gorge to The Dalles for this annual event, a classic for decades. Sample the region’s delicious cherries, catch a classic car show, run a 10K race, or just sit back and enjoy the Gorge’s largest annual parade.
Oregon Wine Month (statewide): May is dubbed Oregon Wine Month for good reason; all around the state, boutique and family-run wineries uncork prized bottles for special releases, tastings, classes and a wide range of other wine-centric events.
Circles in the Sand (Bandon): Walk the mesmerizing labyrinths in the sand at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, a public art project created by local artist Denny Dyke in 2011. The labyrinths are created in accordance with the tide, so check the posted start times and arrive (allowing time for parking) about 20 minutes in advance.
LongSword Vineyard Kite Festival (Jacksonville): Treat mom — or the special lady in your life — to a day of colorful kites and wine tasting at this family-owned, -farmed and -operated vineyard and winery in the heart of the Applegate Valley. This annual festival makes for a memorable celebration.
Ashland World Music Festival (Ashland): This free, family-friendly and ADA-accessible event features a live main stage in Lithia Park, showcasing events like the recent HeartBeat Stories event, percussion workshop with Ghanaian artist Okaidja Afroso and a weekend of SoundWalks through beautiful downtown Ashland.
Rose Festival Opening Night & Fireworks (Portland): Get the crew ready for carnival rides, live music, food, drink and more at Rose Festival CityFair, one of the Rose City’s most beloved traditions. Fireworks on opening night kick off the events at Tom McCall Park.