Portland in January - Things to Do & What to Wear

Portland in January – Things to Do & What to Wear

In January, Portland offers a variety of activities and events to enjoy, despite the cooler temperatures and occasional rain. Locals and visitors can take advantage of the city’s culinary scene, craft beer breweries, coffee shops, live music performances, and independent bookstores. Winter in Portland is the perfect time to explore the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene, with events such as the Portland Winter Light Festival, PDX Jazz Festival, and various art, film, and music festivals. The coldest month in Portland is December, with average temperatures ranging from 35 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The city receives minimal snowfall, averaging around 3 inches per year, and experiences cool temperatures and rainy weather. Visitors should pack waterproof or water-resistant coats, layered clothing, and rain-friendly shoes for their winter visit to Portland.

Key Takeaways:

  • Portland offers a variety of activities and events in January, including culinary experiences, live music performances, and art festivals.
  • The coldest month in Portland is December, with average temperatures ranging from 35 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Visitors should pack waterproof or water-resistant coats, layered clothing, and rain-friendly shoes for their winter visit to Portland.
  • Popular winter attractions in Portland include lighthouses, skiing on Mount Hood, and exploring the city’s parks.
  • Portland’s culinary scene remains vibrant during the winter season, with a wide range of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from.

Exploring Portland’s Winter Attractions and Activities

Portland offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors during the winter season. One of the must-visit attractions is the Portland Head Lighthouse, known for its picturesque views. Other lighthouses worth exploring include Bug Light, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, and Macworth Island.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Mount Hood provides opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and enjoying cozy cabin getaways. In the city, visitors can take winter walks in Portland’s parks, go sledding at Edward Payson Park, or enjoy ice skating in Falmouth.

The Portland Museum of Art offers a chance to explore the city’s cultural scene, featuring a diverse collection of contemporary and historical artwork. Additionally, the annual Portland Old Time Music Gathering showcases traditional string-band music, offering a unique and enjoyable experience for music lovers.

Visitors can also immerse themselves in the magical atmosphere of the Portland Winter Light Festival. This festival features dazzling light installations throughout the city, creating a mesmerizing and enchanting winter wonderland.

Winter Attractions and Activities in Portland

Attraction/Activity Description
Portland Head Lighthouse A picturesque lighthouse known for its stunning views.
Mount Hood Offers skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing opportunities.
Winter Walks in Portland’s Parks Enjoy scenic walks through the city’s parks.
Sledding at Edward Payson Park Experience the thrill of sledding down the park’s hills.
Ice Skating in Falmouth Glide across the ice at the Falmouth Ice Arena.
Portland Museum of Art Explore the city’s vibrant art scene at this prestigious museum.
Portland Old Time Music Gathering Immerse yourself in traditional string-band music performances.

Experience the magic and charm of Portland’s winter attractions and activities. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural immersion, or lively entertainment, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the city during the colder months.

Discovering Portland’s Culinary Scene in January

Despite the winter season, Portland’s culinary scene remains vibrant with a variety of restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re craving bagels, ramen, Mexican fare, or fresh seafood, the city offers something for every palate. Here are some popular spots to explore:

1. Rose Foods

If you’re a bagel lover, Rose Foods is a must-visit. Known for their delicious bagels and housemade cream cheeses, this cozy spot will satisfy your breakfast cravings.

2. Union Bagel

For a quick and convenient bagel fix, Union Bagel is the perfect choice. They offer a range of bagel flavors and toppings, making it easy to grab a tasty snack on the go.

3. Pai Men Miyake

Craving a warm bowl of ramen? Look no further than Pai Men Miyake. This popular restaurant serves up amazing ramen and flavorful buns that are sure to warm you up on a cold winter day.


If you’re in the mood for Vietnamese cuisine, CÔNG TỬ BỘT is the place to go. From comforting pho to flavorful banh mi sandwiches, this restaurant offers a taste of Vietnam in the heart of Portland.

5. Taco Escobar

Taco Escobar is a great lunch spot for Mexican food enthusiasts. Their menu features a variety of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos filled with delicious flavors and fresh ingredients.

6. Highroller Lobster Co.

Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to Highroller Lobster Co. Known for their mouthwatering lobster rolls, this restaurant offers a taste of the Maine coast in the heart of Portland.

7. Baharat

Experience the flavors of the Middle East at Baharat. This restaurant showcases the vibrant and aromatic dishes of the region, from hearty shawarma to flavorful falafel.

8. Duckfat

Duckfat is a must-visit for poutine lovers. Indulge in their hand-cut fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, and don’t forget to try one of their delicious milkshakes.

Other recommended restaurants to check out in Portland include Honey Paw, Scales, Teralingua, Minato, Fourth Street/Even Tide, and American Bayside Cafe.

It’s important to note that some restaurants may have seasonal closures during the winter months, so it’s always a good idea to check ahead of time.

Restaurant Cuisine
Rose Foods Bagels
Union Bagel Bagels
Pai Men Miyake Ramen
CÔNG TỬ BỘT Vietnamese
Taco Escobar Mexican
Highroller Lobster Co. Seafood
Baharat Middle Eastern
Duckfat Poutine

With an array of culinary options available, Portland’s food scene in winter is a treat for the taste buds. From bagels to ramen, and from Mexican to Middle Eastern cuisine, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your cravings. So bundle up and discover the flavors of Portland this January.

Cozy Coffee Shops and Bakeries in Portland

When the winter months roll in, Portland’s cozy coffee shops and bakeries provide the perfect refuge from the cold. Whether you’re in the mood for a warm cup of coffee or a freshly baked pastry, the city has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

1. Tandem Coffee + Bakery

Known for their amazing biscuits and sticky buns, Tandem Coffee + Bakery is a must-visit spot for breakfast or a midday treat.

2. Bard Coffee

For coffee lovers, Bard Coffee offers a great selection of freshly brewed coffee. Sit back, relax, and enjoy their cozy atmosphere.

3. Higher Grounds Coffee

If you’re looking for a laid-back coffee shop with a friendly vibe, Higher Grounds Coffee is the place to be. Their expertly crafted coffees are sure to warm you up on a chilly winter day.

4. Standard Baking Co.

Indulge in mouthwatering pastries at Standard Baking Co. Their almond croissant is a fan favorite and perfect alongside a hot cup of coffee.

5. The Holy Donut

The Holy Donut is famous for its unique flavor combinations and their delectable dark chocolate sea salt donut. Treat yourself to this irresistible treat.

6. Rose Foods

Experience the Brooklyn deli-style atmosphere at Rose Foods while enjoying their delicious bagels and coffee. The cozy café space is perfect for relaxing and savoring your meal.

Other noteworthy coffee shops and bakeries in Portland include:

  • Tov Coffee & Tea
  • Proud Mary Cafe
  • Deadstock Coffee & Gallery
  • Portland Cà Phê

Take your pick from this diverse range of options and discover your favorite cozy spot to warm up during your winter visit to Portland.

Shopping and Exploring in Portland

Portland offers a diverse range of shops to explore during the winter season. Whether you’re looking for sustainable brands, unique products, or charming independent bookstores, the Portland shopping scene in January has something for everyone.

Unique Shops:

If you’re a fan of sustainable brands and one-of-a-kind products, be sure to check out Case of You. They offer a thoughtfully curated collection of sustainable fashion, accessories, and home goods. For those on the hunt for second-hand treasures, Find Thrift Store is a must-visit. You’ll find an eclectic mix of vintage clothing, accessories, and home decor.

Curated Shopping Experience:

If you prefer a curated shopping experience, head over to Pinecone and Chickadee, Little, and Flea for All. These charming boutiques feature a handpicked selection of unique gifts, home decor, and locally made goods.

Home Goods and Stationery:

If you’re in the market for home goods or stationary, look no further than Gus and Ruby and Venn + Maker. These shops offer a wide range of beautifully designed home decor items, stationery, and gifts.

Unique Offerings:

If you’re looking for something truly unique, be sure to visit Campfire Pottery and Blanche + Mini. Campfire Pottery offers handmade ceramics that are both functional and beautiful. Blanche + Mini specializes in unique and sustainable toys, clothing, and accessories for children.

Independent Bookstores:

No visit to Portland would be complete without browsing through Powell’s City of Books. It’s the world’s largest independent bookstore and a haven for book lovers. Lose yourself in the stacks and discover a new favorite author or genre.

The Portland Saturday Market:

For a unique shopping experience, make sure to visit the Portland Saturday Market. It’s the largest arts and crafts fair in the U.S., featuring a wide array of handmade products, local artwork, and delicious food options. Explore the market and support local artisans.

So, if you’re visiting Portland in January, be sure to set aside some time for shopping and exploring. From sustainable fashion to unique home goods and independent bookstores, the city has it all. Enjoy the vibrant and diverse shopping scene that Portland has to offer!

Winter Events and Festivals in Portland

January in Portland is a bustling time for events and festivals, offering something for everyone to enjoy. From stunning light installations to folk music celebrations and exciting expos, there’s no shortage of entertainment in the city. Let’s take a closer look at the winter events and festivals that make Portland come alive in January.

Portland Winter Light Festival

Kicking off the list is the highly anticipated Portland Winter Light Festival. This mesmerizing event showcases breathtaking light installations throughout the city, transforming Portland into a radiant wonderland. Visitors can wander through illuminated parks, marvel at stunning art installations, and embrace the magical atmosphere that the festival brings.

Portland Folk Festival

For fans of folk and Americana music, the Portland Folk Festival is a must-attend event. This vibrant festival celebrates the city’s rich music scene, bringing together talented local artists and musicians for an unforgettable weekend filled with soulful performances. Experience the heart and soul of Portland’s folk music community at this lively celebration.

FAN Expo Portland

Calling all sci-fi, comics, anime, and gaming enthusiasts! The FAN Expo Portland is the ultimate gathering for fans of all things geek. This exciting event features celebrity guests, cosplay contests, gaming tournaments, and a plethora of vendors offering unique collectibles. Immerse yourself in the world of pop culture and connect with fellow fans at this thrilling expo.

Rose City Classic Dog Show

If you’re a dog lover, don’t miss the Rose City Classic Dog Show, one of the largest and most prestigious dog events in the United States. Experience the grace and agility of various dog breeds as they compete in obedience, agility trials, and conformation competitions. Get ready to witness exceptional canine talent at this renowned event.

Lunar New Year Celebrations

Portland embraces the vibrant traditions of the Lunar New Year with colorful celebrations filled with cultural performances, traditional dances, and mesmerizing lantern ceremonies. Join in the festivities and immerse yourself in the rich customs and heritage of the Asian community in Portland during this joyous occasion.

Other Notable Events

In addition to the aforementioned events, Portland offers a diverse array of winter festivals and gatherings. The Portland Old Time Music Gathering is a treat for fans of traditional string-band music, while the MLK Breakfast honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The Fertile Ground Festival showcases the city’s local talent in theater, dance, and visual arts, providing an opportunity to discover groundbreaking performances. Don’t miss out on karaoke nights and comedy shows held at various venues throughout the city, guaranteeing endless laughs and memorable evenings.

Event Date Location
Portland Winter Light Festival January 27-29 Various locations across Portland
Portland Folk Festival January 7-9 Variety of venues
FAN Expo Portland January 15-16 Oregon Convention Center
Rose City Classic Dog Show January 17-23 Portland Expo Center
Lunar New Year Celebrations Varies (based on lunar calendar) Various locations across Portland
Portland Old Time Music Gathering January 13-16 Various venues
MLK Breakfast January 17 Oregon Convention Center
Fertile Ground Festival January 20-30 Various venues

Whether you’re captivated by the enchanting light installations, the soul-stirring melodies of folk music, or the thrilling world of pop culture, Portland’s winter events and festivals offer an abundance of excitement and joy. Embrace the vibrant spirit of the city and create unforgettable memories at these remarkable gatherings.


Portland in January offers a unique and vibrant experience for travelers visiting the city. Despite the cooler temperatures and occasional rain, there are plenty of activities and events to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the picturesque lighthouses, hitting the slopes on Mount Hood, indulging in the local culinary scene, or shopping at unique stores, Portland has something for everyone.

When packing for your trip, be sure to bring appropriate winter clothing such as waterproof or water-resistant coats, layered clothing, and rain-friendly shoes. It’s also a good idea to check the operating hours of restaurants and attractions before your visit, as some may have seasonal closures.

During your time in Portland, you can take peaceful winter walks, immerse yourself in music festivals, or simply relax at cozy cafes while sipping on delicious coffee. The charm of Portland in January will leave a lasting impression and provide you with unforgettable memories.


What are some popular attractions in Portland in January?

Some popular attractions in Portland in January include the Portland Head Lighthouse, Mount Hood for winter sports, and the Portland Museum of Art.

What should I wear in Portland in January?

In January, it’s advisable to pack waterproof or water-resistant coats, layered clothing, and rain-friendly shoes for the cooler temperatures and occasional rain in Portland.

What are some winter activities to do in Portland?

Some winter activities to do in Portland include visiting lighthouses, exploring parks, going sledding or ice skating, and attending events such as the Portland Winter Light Festival.

What are some recommended restaurants to try in Portland in January?

Some recommended restaurants to try in Portland in January include Rose Foods, Union Bagel, Pai Men Miyake, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, and Highroller Lobster Co.

Which coffee shops and bakeries are worth visiting in Portland during the winter months?

Tandem Coffee + Bakery, Bard Coffee, Standard Baking Co., and The Holy Donut are among the coffee shops and bakeries worth visiting in Portland in January.

What are some popular shops to explore in Portland in January?

Some popular shops to explore in Portland in January include Case of You, Find Thrift Store, Pinecone and Chickadee, and Powell’s City of Books.

What events and festivals take place in Portland in January?

Some events and festivals that take place in Portland in January include the Portland Winter Light Festival, Portland Folk Festival, and FAN Expo Portland.

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