Portland | Holiday Ale Festival | December 2-6
photo by Timothy Horn
Join a Portland tradition at the Holiday Ale Festival, held in the first weekend of December at Pioneer Courthouse Square under the recently lit tree. For $35, you’ll get a souvenir glass and 12 tasting tickets. There will also be limited-release beers that are only available here and specialty beers for the Sunday brunch.
Why it’s on our list: We’re always looking for new brews to try.
Central Oregon | Central Oregon Winter Beer Fest | December 12
Goodlife Brewing Co.
This will be the third year of the Central Oregon Winter Beer Fest in Bend. This one-day event is held on the second Saturday of December at the Goodlife Biergarten and will feature winter brews—mostly porters, stouts and ales—as well as local food carts. Admission is $10, and you receive a tasting glass you can keep as well as four drink tickets. Extra tickets are $1. Last year’s festival featured 22 breweries from across the state.
Why it’s on our list: We’re big supporters of local beer.
Eastern Oregon | Sumpter Valley Railroad Christmas Train | December 12-13
courtesy of Baker County Tourism-basecampbaker.com
For one weekend in December, the Polar Express comes to Oregon. Ride the Sumpter Valley Railroad Christmas Train through the Sumpter Valley and Elkhorn Mountains from McEwin to Sumpter. Visit Santa Claus and shop for holiday gifts at the Sumpter Depot. Enjoy warm drinks and snacks while you ride the train through the breathtaking scenery. Tickets start at $14, and you can also call ahead to reserve seats or a car.
Why it’s on our list: We love to travel by train.
Southern Oregon | The Nutcracker | December 15
The Eugene Ballet Company will be in Florence for a performance of The Nutcracker. Families will be entertained by this classic ballet as well as by the talents of Pacific Northwest ballerinas.
Why it’s on our list: We will never get tired of watching Oregon’s amazing ballet companies.
Coast | Whale Watching | December 27-31
Whale watching on the Oregon coast has become a holiday tradition in this state. The best time to view the migrating whales is at the end of December and early January. Between Newport and Lincoln City, Depoe Bay is known as the capitol of whale watching on the coast.
Why it’s on our list: The Oregon Coast is even better to visit in the winter when tourists are elsewhere.
Willamette Valley | German Christmas Market | November 27-January 3
Grab a warm mug of glühwein (mulled wine) or cider and stroll through the Christmas market in Silverton inspired by the German tradition. This year, there will also be an outdoor ice skating rink. Families will enjoy the incredible light displays and festive live music.
Why it’s on our list: Silverton is a great small town that’s always on our list of places to visit.