Vancouver/Portland’s 8 Best Fall Activities

By Megan Carter

Close your eyes and imagine crisp air caressing your hair with a warm beverage in hand, surrounded by loved ones. Now open your eyes. Gaze at the bold yellow, burnt orange and soft red color of the leaves and surrounding trees, the spirit of giving feeding seamlessly into the atmosphere around you.

In warmer locations like Florida and California, the fall season is not a reality, as the climate resembles more of an eternal summer. We consider ourselves lucky to experience four distinct seasons in the Pacific Northwest. Below is a list of a few must-see places and suggestions for visitors and locals alike during this special time of the year:


Sauvie’s Island Pumpkin Patch

This pumpkin patch is not ordinary in the sense that it offers more than just your traditional pumpkin picking. It’s packed with fresh produce, beautiful flowers and most importantly, plenty of fun activities for the whole family. A few highlights include a free hayride daily and if you are up for a challenge, a large corn maze!


Vancouver Harvest Market

A delightful destination any time of the year, the traditional Vancouver Farmer’s Market is abundant with fresh produce and delectable food. The Harvest Market is an original take on this market and sells delectable foods intended for your Thanksgiving dinner. Should you be looking to spice up your holiday feast this year, stop by and add a few nontraditional items to your basket.


Local Parks

Generally, the weather holds up in October and early November, making a walk in the park the perfect outing. Most notable is Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver for a slightly more urban experience, and Wintler Community Park for a quaint stroll along the Columbia River.


Notable Coffee Shops in the Area

If you enjoy a slightly more relaxed outing and a solid cup of joe, Thatcher’s Coffee in downtown Vancouver offers an incredible atmosphere and menu, as does Heart Coffee Roasters just across the bridge in Portland.



Brunch was practically invented for the fall season. Treat yourself by sleeping in, putting on your coziest outfit and indulging in a warm meal. LUXE Cafe in downtown Vancouver recently came on the scene and offers stylish and delicious brunch options.


Clark County ScareGround’s Haunted House Scream Park

Should you be less into pumpkin carving and more into thrill seeking, this is the perfect destination for you. Located just outside the Vancouver area at the Clark County Event Center, this park boasts several haunted houses, a signature Scream Parlor and plenty of photo ops. Be prepared for the ride of your life!


Ghost Stories of Vancouver at Tap Union Freehouse

Equally as scary and thrilling as a haunted house are these stories, hosted by two illustrators and Vancouver history experts. They reimagine each story – all of which have taken place in the Vancouver – with their original artwork. This spooky event begins October 15th and runs through the end of the month.


Fort Vancouver Lantern Tour Series

A great opportunity to experience the rich history of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Set during the dark of night, feel what it was like for the early settlers to have to rely on the light of a lantern to guide their way. Don’t forget to bring a jacket as it can get quite cold! Learn More.