The arrival of fall provides the opportunity to explore a variety of the things that have made Portland a current hot-spot – coffee, beer, spirits and music. Along with all of the October things to do in Portland, Halloween is also a great time to celebrate Portland’s individuality. Let your creativity run wild, create a fabulous costume and then go out and join one of the many Halloween-related events happening around the city.

Sip and Savor Fall’s Best Flavors

A sampling of Portland beers. Credit: Jonathan-Brusco

A sampling of Portland beers. Credit: Jonathan-Brusco

You can get your drink on in a variety ways at three different festivals this October. Sample some of Portland’s finest spirits at the Great American Distillers Festival with over 40 different craft distillers or check out the craft beer events taking place during Killer Beer Week. One of the highlights of this exploration of local beers is the Pumpkin Beer Festival on October 18th, where the will be over 25 pumpkin flavored beers and cocktails to taste to help get you in the fall spirit! Portland is quickly becoming one of the coffee capitals in the country, don’t miss out on the chance to tour local coffee shops during Caffeine Crawl Portland and learn more about everyone’s favorite beans.

There are also plenty of occasions to explore Portland’s fabulous art’s scene this October. Stop by the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest to enjoy even more fall fare, as well as arts, crafts and music. Speaking of music, if you enjoy jazz, blues, rock, soul, folk, funk or punk, pay a visit to the Reel Music Festival. This event has been running for 32 years and combines a variety of art forms to create a series of films with a music theme.

Revel in the Magic of Halloween all Month Long with Regattas and Dances

Giant Warty Pumping. Creative Commons Licensed by Vasenka Photography

Giant Warty Pumping. Creative Commons Licensed by Vasenka Photography

If visiting just one haunted house doesn’t give you enough of a scare, trying exploring FrightTown. This “town” has three very different haunted houses, “The Witch House,” “The Madness” and “Barom Von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors,” making it a pretty sure bet that at least one them will give you the chills. You can also run (and paddle!) for just the fun of it at the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, which features a 5k run and a race across the lake in giant pumpkins. Finally, don’t forget to get dressed up in the best costume you can think of on the big day itself and dance the night away at the Halloween Bash Vintage Hot Jazz & Costume Soiree.

More October 2014 Things to Do in Portland

Fall is finally here, and with it are many entertaining October things to do in Vancouver. Explore some of the scenery in Stanley Park, pick and carve some pumpkins and enjoy seasonal food and drink at many of the festivals happening around town. Winter will be soon be upon us, so take advantage of these last few weeks of good weather and engage in some fun fall activities before the cold sets in.

Halloween Hauntings and Spooky Soirees

October 2014 Things to do in Vancouver, BC

Haunted Vancouver Trolley, credit Rachel Patterson

Halloween is only a few short weeks away, and you’ll want to make sure you are sufficiently outfitted with the best costume and ghostly gear imaginable before the big day arrives. Luckily, you can find all these supplies and more at the Halloween Expo, which also has appearances from celebrity guests, performances, games and, of course, makeup and costumes. If you haven’t gotten inspiration for a costume from all of the displays, make sure to check out the Halloween parade on the last day of the expo, as hundreds of cosplayers will be walking through town dressed up in variety of different costumes.

Prepared to be scared? Take a ride on the spooky side with the Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour, where you will hear ghost stories, stop at the creepy Mountain View Cemetery and pay a visit to the autopsy room of the Vancouver Police Department. For even more thrills, explore the seven haunted houses, 13 rides and other shows and attractions at the PNE’s Fright Nights.

Experience Fall’s Finest Flavors with Crisp Apples and Beer

Creative Commons Licensed by Anna from Grassau, Deutschland

Creative Commons Licensed by Anna from Grassau, Deutschland

In addition to Halloween festivities, there are plenty of other October things to do in Vancouver, BC to get you into the fall spirit. October is BC Craft Beer Month, and there is no better way to celebrate local beers than by stopping by the BC Beer Awards and Festival and sampling a few different brews. If trying out all that beer causes you to work up an appetite, pay a visit to the UBC Apple Festival to taste another sweet treat – apples! Not only will you get to try out 60 varieties or apples as well as other apple-based foods and beverages, but you will also have the opportunity to learn more about this delicious fruit and even purchase some to take home with you. Last, but not least, your festival going won’t be complete with celebrating the wonderful town in Vancouver that houses a variety of fun events throughout the year. The Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival features over 80 different events, including music, theatre, film, comedy, history walks so you are sure to find something you enjoy.

More October Things to Do in Vancouver, BC

The past few months have made up one of the most beautiful summers in recent Seattle history. Besides providing additional weeks of sunshine and outdoor enjoyment, one of the best things about this perfect summer is that is turning into an even more glorious fall. Make sure to include taking in the colors of the changing leaves in UW Botanical Gardens, seeing fish jump at the Ballard Locks, engaging in Halloween festivities or spending the night out on the town enjoying local arts and food on your short list of October things to do in Seattle. You are sure to delight your senses where ever your journey may take you.

Treat Yourself with Fall Food and Culture

Leavenworth in the fall.

Leavenworth in the fall

Seattle is renowned for its fantastic art and culinary scene, and there are several opportunities this month to experience both. Listen to some sweet tunes at the Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival, which features more than 50 concerts by local and international jazz artists. The cooler weather also makes October a good time to stay inside and curl up with a good book. Stop by the Lit Crawl Seattle to relax and let over 65 local authors read their works to you, you are sure find a book or two that you will want to add to your collection.

Top off a day or an evening spent appreciating the arts with a delicious meal. During Seattle Restaurant Week, you can indulge in a three-course dinner at 170 popular restaurants in the greater Seattle area. The reduced prices offered on the special meals during this event make it a great opportunity to experience new restaurants or visit an old favorite.

If you are feeling adventurous, travel over to Leavenworth (there are great opportunities to view fall foliage along the way) for Oktoberfest. People travel from all over to attend this event that celebrates German culture and heritage; you can expect great beer, tasty food, live music and fun!

Celebrate Halloween with Spooky Haunts and Festivities

Creative Commons Licensed by Elizabeth from Lansing, MI

Creative Commons Licensed by Elizabeth from Lansing, MI

Looking for a good scare? Visit the KUBE 93 FM Haunted House if you dare, as it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. If you want to be shaking from music besides just fear, be sure to check out either FreakNight or the Fashionably Undead Bash: Beware of the Woods, which combine dancing with a number of scary attractions. Don’t forget that Halloween isn’t just a celebration for people, it can be a fun day for animals too! Stop by the Woodland Park Zoo and watch a variety of animals as they play with pumpkins during Pumpkin Bash.

More October Things to do in Seattle

While the long, sunny days of summer are wonderful, it’s hard not to welcome the changing of seasons as we head in to the autumn months. After all, what’s not to love about fall? The days are still mostly sunny and bright, there is a crispness in the air and nearly everywhere you look the once bright green leaves on the trees are transforming to beautiful yellows, oranges and reds. Take advantage of this beautiful season while you can, and check out a few of these October things to do in Victoria.

Experience the Beauty of Fall in The Butchart Gardens

October 2014 Things to Do in Victoria

Fall Colors Greet Visitors to the Sunken Garden Courtesy of The Butchart Gardens

One of the best ways to experience Victoria’s fall foliage is by taking a day trip to The Butchart Gardens. This may come as a surprise to some, as you may expect the spring and summer months to be the best time to visit the gardens since that is when most of the flowers are in bloom. However, seeing the variety of leaves changing colors combined with the sunflowers, dahlias and chrysanthemums that are still blooming is absolutely magnificent.

Scare Yourself on a Tour of Haunted Victoria or Haunted Zipline

Haunted Victoria Tour

Haunted Victoria Tour

Of course, you can’t make it through October without partaking in a little ghoulish activity. Luckily, there are no shortage of things to do in Victoria to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Embark on a weekend filled with goblins, ghosts and all things scary on the Haunted Victoria Tour. You can tour Victoria’s old buildings and alleys by day and travel on a narrated ghost tour by night to hear spooky stories about some of the town’s more famous citizens. If you’re seeking even more thrills, check out the haunted houses, haunted cornfield and crazy train ride at the Festival of Fear, or go on a zipline ride with AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours.

Go Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkins Creative Commons Licensed by Harald Bischoff

Pumpkins Creative Commons Licensed by Harald Bischoff

If you don’t like being scared, there are still a plenty of fun Halloween-related activities you can participate in around town. Pick out a pumpkin to decorate at a local farm or patch. Better yet, Galey Farms also hosts Pumpkinfest, where you can go on a hay or train ride, journey through a corn maze, check out seasonal displays and spook your little ones just a bit in the children’s haunted house. Finally, you can end this month of spooky events with a bang and watch fireworks light up the night sky at Bear Mountain’s Halloween Spooktacular.

More October Things to do in Victoria

Photo of Portland Fashion Week Creative Commons Licensed by Lesa Monster

Photo of Portland Fashion Week Creative Commons Licensed by Lesa Monster

Portland’s unique culture, laid back vibe and appreciation of everything weird makes it no surprise that over the last decade Portland has become a fashion hot spot. Portland Fashion Week is September 29-October 2 at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Fun facts about fashion in Portland:

  • Portland has the most Project Runway winners
  • Portland Fashion Week was the first show in history to present 100% sustainable fashion designs
  • Portland Fashion Week is the 3rd longest running fashion week

2014 Schedule:

Monday September 29: Children’s Show (details coming soon)

Tuesday September 30: Ready to Wear (Jaefields, West Daily, Christie Chanthakhoun, Copper Union, Sweet Jayne, Brady Lange, Katie Guinn, KLAD)

Wednesday October 1: Couture/Bridal (O’Pearl Brands, Sonia Kasparian, Wendy Ohlendorf, Danielle Grasseth Devonation , Oscar Lopez, Sunjin Lee Design, Isa : Nature of Isa, Kimmi Designs, Kates Couture)

Thursday October 2: The Art Institute of Portland Student Show

Buy tickets and find all the details for Portland Fashion Week here:

3D Chalk Art at the Victoria Chalk Art Festival Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley

3D Chalk Art at the Victoria Chalk Art Festival Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley

In mid-September, street artists take over Victoria, BC creating amazing pieces of chalk art throughout the city. This year the festival has expanded to Royal BC Museum and taking over most of Government Street. Chalk artists will be all over Victoria September 13-14 for you to observe as they create street art. The free festival also features food vendors and more.

Street painting has a rich history beginning in Great Britain in the 1800s. These “screevers” created pavement art that would often feature political commentary. In Italy, street artists are called “madonnari” because they often created images of St. Mary (the Madonna). Italian street artists often traveled from city to city between festivals, creating street art wherever they traveled. El Greco got his start as a street artist.

Several centuries later, chalk artists continue to paint sidewalks throughout the world including 3D pieces.

For more information on the festival, visit

More information on the history of Street art:

Victoria Chalk Art Festival 2013 Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley

Victoria Chalk Art Festival 2013 Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley


Shot from the Great Canadian Beer Festival.
Credit: Dustan Sept

September in the Pacific Northwest welcomes a variety of events to help you forget the end of summer. Treat yourself to a trip to “Germany” in both Seattle and Portland at Fremont Oktoberfest (September 19-21) and Widmer Oktoberfest (September 13). Both festivals boast a shocking amount of beers to try and kick off the Fall season. Victoria will also be celebrating September with beer: the Great Canadian Beer Festival will take place on September 5th. There will be local entertainment and beer from over 40 breweries across Canada. In Seattle this month, savor the last bit of summer with the Washington State Fair (September 5-21). Don’t miss the summer concerts, rodeo, and especially the wide variety of deep fried foods. The Vancouver International Film Festival will take place September. Go see award-winning films from Cannes film festival this September 25th through October 5th. Finally, make your way to the “best food festival in the country,” Feast Portland (September 18-21).









Hydroplane at Stan Sayres Park, circa 1958 Photo creative commons licensed via Seattle Municipal Archives

Hydroplane at Stan Sayres Park, circa 1958. Photo creative commons licensed via Seattle Municipal Archives

Come see the world famous Seattle Seafair Hydroplane races and Air show this weekend. The hydros, hurdling across the lake at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, cast “rooster tails” more than 100 feet vertically. Meanwhile, the squadron formally known as the Blue Angels take off in F-18 Hornets, and fly past in tight formations around Lake Washington at altitudes below 100 feet. Additionally, WWII aircraft will be present, including Spitfires, Mustangs, B-29 Flying Fortresses, and more. Training runs will take place on Thursday from 9:45 AM to noon, and from 1:15 to 2:40 PM. The main air shows are from Friday to Sunday at 12:15 PM to 2:40 PM.

For more information, visit the Seafair website.

Hydoplanes today Photo creative commons licensed via Robert Patten

Hydoplanes today. Photo creative commons licensed via Robert Patten


Blue angels flying over the boats out for Seafair. /Photo: Jason Anfinson

Blue angels flying over the boats out for Seafair. /Photo: Jason Anfinson


August and Labor day may mark the end of summer in the Northwest, but we like to go out with a bang. Below you can find your fill of activities to finish off summer the right way. This year, in particular, be sure to make your way to the water for a month of boats and music. In Seattle, do not miss the famous Seafair weekend (August 1-3). With a summer-full of events leading up to this culmination weekend, you can’t miss the hydroplane races, Boeing air shows (pictured above), and the entire city of Seattle on the lake. Victoria will also take part in water entertainment with the 20th Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (August 15-August 17). Victoria will also host Symphony Splash (August 3rd), an annual symphony performed from a floating stage in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. In Portland, feed your cravings at the Bite of Oregon and wash down the delicious food at the Portland International Beer Fest, both taking place on the weekend of August 8th through 10th.

Seattle Things to Do

Victoria Things to Do

Vancouver Things to Do

Portland Things to Do

Photo: Mike Grippi courtesy of MusicFestNW

Photo: Mike Grippi courtesy of MusicFestNW

If you haven’t fulfilled your summer concert quota,  MusicFestNW can help solve your problem. Held in Portland, Oregon, the event has undergone some major changes this year. The event started in 1995 as a multi-day, multi-venue indoor festival. It was the 3rd largest indoor music festival in the United States, boasting up to 200 different musical sets across various locations in Portland. This year, however, MusicFestNW will be very different. The event has moved to Portland’s Waterfront Park. It will take place over August 16th and 17th with performances by 15-20 artists on two stages.

Although the event has downsized, it now is truly an outdoor summer festival destination with artists like Girltalk, Phantogram, and Spoon performing. By my personal recommendation, be sure to see Haim on the second day of the festival. The group is made up of three sisters from Los Angeles who are often compared to Fleetwood Mac.

If the music wasn’t enough, MusicFestNW will be home to all sorts of food trucks throughout the weekend. Enjoy the music and Portland’s finest food trucks as a final goodbye to the summer!

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