Summer is almost here in Portland, Oregon again. It comes so quickly. We enjoy the crisp colors and cool air of autumn, the rain and snow of winter and then the indescribable array of colors and aromas that represent the spring. But, the Rose Festival is just around the corner… and I’ve always, like many in the Portland area, viewed the Rose Festival as the unofficial kickoff to summer.

    And, I say it every year, only because it’s true—there’s nothing like Portland, Oregon in the summer time. It’s warm, but rarely too hot. The sky is usually deep blue with occasional cotton like clouds. Outside at the bars and restaurants, folks eat and drink and take in the sun. They are reminded, in these moments, why we need the months of rain and relative gloom. Everything is so green and lush and fresh. The smell of freshly mowed grass, barbecue and suntan lotion waft through the air.

    I like it, of course, because of all the outdoor activities. In addition to the hikes and zoo concerts, you have the Jazz and Blues Festivals. You have Music in the Park, the ice cream man, minor league baseball, frisbee games in one of the hundreds of Portland, Oregon parks.

    Summer time is when I get to act like the fish I believe that I was born to be, and swim in the Willamette with my dogs, or take a trip to Detroit Lake and water ski and wake board. If I’m feeling really adventurous, I’ll drive down to Seaside or Cannon Beach and enjoy the Oregon Coast the way that it was meant to be enjoyed.

    Plenty of local fairs, small and great alike, dot the landscape. It’s where I really get to know my neighbors, to discover a new stomping ground, favorite brewery or restaurant. Saturday market, of course, where I can purchase my fresh produce and local crafts, catch live tunes and maybe fall into a game of hacky sack.

    Folks talk about Hawaii and California and Florida. But, when you live in Portland, you don’t need those places. Portland has all of the beauty and warmth as those places do in the Summer time, without the humidity and without the expense of travel.

    If you live here already than you know. If you don’t, you need to discover it for yourself. Summer in Portland is paradise on earth. I wouldn’t trade summers here for anything or any place in the world.

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