Try our itinerary for a laid-back summer day in Portland

From floating in style on the Willamette River to toasting an early happy hour, this guide will help you kick back and relax while still getting out of the house.

Several plates of food on two blue tables pushed together with people leaning over and eating.

You don’t need a reservation to visit Grape Ape near the Eastbank Esplanade.

Photo by Thomas Teal

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The sun sparkles off the Willamette River, fluffy clouds drift high above the St. Johns Bridge, and the heady aroma of flowers floats on the breeze. Winter is behind us; the sun-drenched days of summer are ahead.

Making the most of these warm months is a delicate balancing act — and carving out time to slow down and relax is crucial. We came up with a simple itinerary for a laid-back summer day in Portland to help in that endeavor.


Swap your slippers for Birkenstocks and head to Either/Or in the Boise neighborhood. Wake up nice and slow with a creamy chai latte or cold brew. Hungry? Try the breakfast tacos. Pro tip: If one stop is your max for the day, camp out and take advantage of the cocktail menu and lunch items.


Enjoy a leisurely lunch or early happy hour at Grape Ape, a new wine bar on the Central Eastside. It opens at 11 a.m. every day (it’s closed on Mondays) and has indoor and outdoor seating, low-alcohol cocktails, and small plates ranging from marinated white beans to jambon-beurre baguettes.


Take a dip and enjoy the Willamette River — without actually having to get into the river — from the bubbling comfort of your own personal floating spa from Yacht Tubs. Want to spend time waterside without spending money? Rest your feet at Lovejoy Fountain Park, which is hidden from street view.


Dim the lights and wind down with dinner and a movie at Studio One Theaters in the Richmond neighborhood. See a first-run film in one of the “multiplex” theater’s seven themed rooms and order food and drinks delivered to your seat. Pro tip: Enjoy brunch and a $5 movie on the weekends, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

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