While the celebrations this year won’t culminate in that familiar sizzle and pop of fireworks over the Willamette River, there’s still plenty of festive fun to fill your time — and bellies – with across Portland. If you’re celebrating the July 4th here in the Rose City, here are a few ideas as you venture out to hike, bike or day drink and nosh at some of the city’s best BBQ spots.
Get out on the water. Give our friends at Next Adventure a call to reserve a kayak for the day at the Scappoose location (only), just a few miles north of the city on the Willamette River. Or try Portland Kayak Company for day rentals, located at 6600 SW Macadam Ave in Southwest Portland.
Gear up for a little city hike through Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness park in the U.S., sprawling 5,000 acres within Portland’s city limits. Just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, Forest Park has 70 miles of trails winding through its dense woodlands, and is home to elk, flying squirrels, bobcats, hairy woodpeckers, owls and newts.
Grab one of the hotel bicycles and head down to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, offering views of the famous bridges that give the city its Bridgetown nickname, including the Burnside, Hawthorne, Fremont, Morrison and Tilikum Crossing bridges (pro tip: a couple paces up the Burnside Bridge will give you a good glimpse of the notorious flashing Portland sign).
Image from @portlandsaturdaymarket on Instagram
Wander the Portland Saturday Market, the largest continuously operating open-air arts and crafts market in the country. Shop local Northwest artists and craftspeople and sip local beers while listening to live music.
Image from Podnah’s Pit
What’s July 4 without BBQ? Try our rec’s currently offerings take out: Podnah’s Pit, smoked Texas-style barbecue in Northeast Portland (1625 NE Killingsworth), Reverend’s BBQ, serving up St. Louis-style smoked pork ribs, to comfort eats like fried chicken, located in the Sellwood neighborhood, and Matt’s BBQ, a hometown hero on the food truck scene on N Mississippi Ave. Here you get a delicious combo of BBQ tacos. What’s not to love?
Still hungry? Try these spots currently offering outdoor dining: Jacqueline, Kachka, Bit House Saloon, Flying Fish Company, Renata or Paddy’s Bar & Grill, an Irish Pub delight. Of course, Eater PDX always knows what’s up (see running list here).