Today’s high temperature in the Portland area is expected to be in the 80s, with temps in the mid-90s on Friday. Those days will seem downright breezy once we get to the weekend, where we will be treated to temperatures usually reserved for Death Valley, California. 

Saturday will hover around 106 degrees, Sunday is expected to break 110, and Monday will follow suit at 108. Then it should cool down considerably on Tuesday with a much more comfortable 96 – said no sane person, ever. This heatwave could set records you will tell your grandchildren about – assuming you don’t melt. 

Usually, beating triple-digit heat is a one-and-done affair. You get out of dodge for 8-12 hours, return, and all is well. This time, you need a trio of those kinds of days. You might get away from the heat, but given that you’ll be going to find the same thing everyone else is looking for, let’s just assume you will find crowds no matter where you go. There are still hidden gems in the PNW, but with everyone carrying the knowledge of the planet around in their pocket, it’s only a matter of time until five thousand people that knew nothing about a certain spot yesterday, find out about it and head there today. So plan for crowds. 

If you don’t plan to leave town, here are some ways to beat the heat locally –

Movie Theaters –

Sure there aren’t many exciting feature films out right now, but few places get colder than a theater in the summer. Make sure to book tickets asap to ensure you get in. If you aren’t interested in anything playing, the longest run time is usually the best option if you’re just after a refrigerated living room and less concerned about what you’ll be watching. 

If you are ok waiting until after dinner to head to a movie, check out the Newberg Drive-In. They are showing a double feature this weekend of “Spirit: Untamed” followed by “F9: The Fast Saga”, which is the latest entry in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Or saga, I suppose. With a limited number of spaces on the property and a lot of folks bound to be interested in both movies, get there early to get in line – and make sure you fuel up first. Bring the folding chairs and enjoy the late evening weather outside as the weather cools down and the movie action heats up.

Parks with water features 

Many city parks in the Portland metro area offer water features to help kids get playtime outdoors without being roasted by the sun. Check out your city’s website and parks guide for a full list of amenities. 

Buy and install an above ground pool

You’ve been considering a pool for a long time now, why go to water when you can bring the water to yourself! Get several hours a day of fun and important exercise in the water in your backyard, then head indoors in the late afternoon for A/C and perhaps a movie or binge your favorite show. Then while away the time in the late evening outside going for one more soak before heading to bed. 

Not interested in beating the heat so much as avoiding it altogether? Here are some out of town ideas to enjoy some A/C in the car before arriving at a cooler destination –


It’s going to be in the 80’s Friday and Saturday and then the mid-90s on Sunday. While that’s not exactly “coastal” weather, it’s pretty great considering what you have waiting for you here. Astoria is home to some great restaurants and brewpubs, and there are plenty of movie tourist spots sprinkled throughout town. Walking and riding bikes on the pier is a lot of fun. It takes about two to three hours one way in the car, so there are at least six of your 72 hours right there. Vacation rentals are hard to come by, but there are many affordable and comfortable hotels in town. 

Lincoln City

It’s going to be a brisk autumn weekend in the central coast’s favorite city. Friday and Saturday will not even break 70 degrees, and the warmest day of the weekend is Sunday at 76. With a lot of great dining options, plenty of vacation rentals as well as hotels, and a great beach to wander – as well as the outlet mall – you can’t miss. They even have Mo’s, and the sleepy and fun town of Depoe Bay is just a 10-15 minute drive down 101. 


If Lincoln City and Depoe Bay are too “trendy” for you, take a hard look at Newport. With a neat bayfront downtown and plenty of vacation rentals and hotels to choose from, they also feature two great spots to take the kids while you figure out which windbreaker to wear as their weekend weather is not expected to break 75. The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not are great ways to spend a day wandering and visiting animals and neat exhibits. The Rogue brewery is right next door, and there are plenty of dining options and shops to peruse. 

If you want to avoid popular coast towns and head east instead, I wouldn’t bother.

Hood River 

Some of you might be considering the windy riverfront cousin of our beach cities, but I would avoid it this time. While most people think of Hood River as a scenic and windy experience, they are expected to get the same heatwave this weekend. If you want to get some road time with A/C and take your chances windsurfing, this might be just what you need. But for those of us that don’t know how to windsurf, driving over an hour to find buildings to duck into doesn’t sound optimal. 

Mt Hood

When the city weather gets overly warm, many of us avoid the crowds at the coast and flock to the mountain, where significantly more comfortable forecasts usually await. Sure it will be cooler, but maybe not as much as you might think. Government Camp weather is supposed to hit 84 on Friday, 92 on Saturday, and then hold at 95 for Sunday and Monday. While the scenic trees, lakes, and hiking trails sound great, that might be too hot for many folks to consider. But if you think you’ll float all alone on Trillium Lake and get one of the most amazing photo opportunities you can find, think twice. Other spots on the mountain are supposed to get even warmer, so if you end up at a traditional hot spot like Trillium, you might find it more crowded than usual.