Recent Posts

10 Amazing Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

10 Amazing Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

Looking for day trips from Portland? Check out these top 10 favorites from a local. Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Multnomah Falls, and more

What to pack for Mexico: 20 most important items

What to pack for Mexico: 20 most important items

Everything you need to pack for Mexico, everything you can leave behind at home, plus a free checklist and how to pack your wide-brimmed hat.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival: Tiptoeing in the Tulips

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival: Tiptoeing in the Tulips

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is located just outside of Woodburn, Oregon, about an hour south of Portland. It runs each year from the middlish-end of March to the beginning of May. But before we get into that, let’s cover a brief history of the tulip.

Tiptoe through the window,
By the window, that is where I’ll be;
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me.

”Tiptoe Through the Tulips” by Al Dubina and Joe Burke
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

A Brief History of the Tulip

Everyone thinks of Holland and the Netherlands when they think of tulips. There might even be a famous Rembrandt painting of a Semper Augustus tulip tickling the back of your mind right now.

However, the tulip actually originated further east. It traveled to Europe in 1554 from Constantinople in the Ottoman Empire (modern day Istanbul). But interestingly, the tulip craze didn’t truly hit Turkey until it had already fizzled out in the Netherlands.

It’s said that the tulip was introduced to Holland by the theft of a seed. However, a tulip only produces true to the mother plant when you plant an offset bulb. The fact that it was brought to the Netherlands by seed is likely the reason for Holland’s incredible variety of tulips. The tulip craze climaxed in Holland between 1634 and 1637, bringing a whole new meaning to the term Spring Fever.

Later, the Tulip Era, or lale devri, lasted in Turkey from 1703 to 1730. Sultan Ahmed III was famous for his tulip garden and garden parties. He imported millions of tulip bulbs from Holland during this time, and held extravagant celebrations to highlight his prized tulip garden, complete with mirrors, candles and songbirds. Plus, guests had to dress to match the tulips!

The Price of a Tulip

The Semper Augustus tulip is the the most expensive tulip variety in history. And at the height of the Dutch tulip frenzy, the highest price paid for a single Semper Augustus bulb was 10,000 guilders. You could have bought a house on the canal in Amsterdam for that price!

Meanwhile in France, a certain miller traded his mill for a tulip bulb of the Mère Brune variety. Another man gifted a single Mariage de ma fille bulb as the dowry for his daughter’s marriage. And in Turkey, you could trade tulip bulbs for gold!

Prior to 1635, tulips were only sold between June and October, and an actual bulb was exchanged for hard cash. This is during the months when tulips can be removed from the ground and before they have to be planted again for the fall.

After 1635, a credit system developed and people began to sell and trade tulips year around. At this point, tulips not yet ready to be pulled from the ground were traded for slips of paper, an “I-Owe-You,” or a contract. Exactly like how I purchased tulip bulbs when I visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip festival last spring and didn’t receive them until fall.

This trade system unfortunately set the Netherlands up for a financial crash in 1637. Seemingly over night, the tulip dropped its price and sellers could no longer find a single buyer. Somehow, there was never a clear explanation for this sudden loss in interest in the tulip market.

A Tulip by any other Name…

A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.

Marianne Williamson

Today we are most accustomed to bright, single-colored tulips, soft, round, and generic in shape. Six petals, six stamen, one color. However, the Turks preferred their tulips with long, clean petals that drew to a point, sharp like a dagger. Whereas the Dutch preferred their tulip petals complex, feathered and marbled in color. That marbled color in tulips is called a ”break.” (See photos above for examples.)

Semper Augustus and other “breaks” are due to a viral infection spread between tulips by the peach potato aphid. The virus disrupts part of the tulip’s natural pigment, causing a beautiful marbled effect in the petals.

This virus also causes infected tulips to produce fewer offset bulbs. Initially, these tulips were highly sought after and far more expensive. But once the cause of a “break” was discovered in the 1920s, tulip growers quickly rid these infected flowers from their fields.

I gleaned most of this history of the tulip from The Botany of Desire. This book is written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Michael Pollan. It’s an interesting read, in which he discusses different plant’s relationship with humankind.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

Today, when spring makes her appearance, tulip festivals are held all around the world. There are two great Tulip Festivals in the Pacific Northwest. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival outside of Woodburn, Oregon, and the Scagit Valley Tulip Festival outside Mount Vernon, Washington.

Admission Prices

Admission prices range from $10 to $60. Prices will vary based on what kind of ticket you choose to purchase. Some of the admission options include a day pass, a season pass, or a sunrise pass, so be sure to check out the website in advance for all details.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Oregon

Who can visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival?

Everyone is welcome at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. There are no age restrictions, and there’s something sure to entertain every member of the family here. The tulip festival is kid friendly, and even your dogs are welcome!

Where is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival Located?

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm covers 40 acres of ground with 100 varieties of tulips in a vast array of different colors. Located just outside Woodburn, Oregon, it lies about an hour south of Portland.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Oregon
Shop local craft vendors at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

What to do at the Tulip Festival

The first time I visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, I’ll admit I wondered: ”What the heck am I gonna do there other than stare at a bunch of flowers? Is it really worth the drive?”

And the answer? Yes. It is 100% worth the drive. In fact, I liked it so well, I’ve visited multiple times now, and hope to visit again this year. And as I mentioned before, there really is something at the tulip festival for everyone! Just check out this list.

  • Explore the tulip fields
  • Take a tethered hot air balloon ride (available on the weekends)
  • Watch the sunrise (requires the sunrise pass admission)
  • Ride the Tulip Tour Train
  • Ride the cow wagons (for kids)
  • Jump in a bouncy house or bungee jumper (for kids)
  • Watch demonstrations: wooden shoe making and steam tractor (weather permitting)
  • Wine tasting with Wooden Shoe Vineyards
  • Take a wine wagon tour
  • Eat lunch from a variety of local food vendors
  • Shop local craft vendors
  • Purchase flower bulbs (not just tulips!) or fresh cut flowers
  • Take photos of the tulips, Mt Hood, each other (photo cut-outs are scattered through out the farm), and
  • Enter the photo contest
  • Join the Tulip Trail Run on March 19th, 2022 (5k, 10, and 1/2 marathon options available)

Just be sure to check the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival website to verify activity times and availability.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Oregon

Why Order Your Tulips From the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

The tulips at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm are exceptional quality, and the variety they have is amazing. It far surpasses anything you’ll find in your local garden centers.

You can order bulbs for fall, bring home fresh cut tulips, or potted flowers already in bloom. Bulbs ordered in spring will ship out in October, when it is safe to remove the bulbs from the ground.

Last spring I ordered a beautiful array of purple, white, and marbled tulips, including the Purple Flag, Flaming Flag, and Mondial varities, as well as some daffodils and hyacinths. I received them in October as promised, along with planting instructions. And now I can’t wait to see them bloom.

You can order bulbs either online or in person at the farm, but I recommend ordering in person at the tulip festival. Towards the back of Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, they have a display of all the varieties of tulips they sell. Seeing the tulips in person made it easier to select exactly what I wanted versus looking online.

When is the best time to visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

If you visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival during a week day, there are fewer crowds. However, not all vendors and activities are open during the week days. For example, hot air balloon rides are only available on weekends.

Also, Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival’s website provides a field report. This field report is updated regularly and will tell you what percentage of the tulip fields are in bloom, and can also help you decide when to plan your visit.

How to Prepare for your Visit During COVID

  • Purchase your tickets online in advance.
  • Bring a face mask.
  • Please be respectful of those around you and maintain 6 feet distance, especially if your mask is off while eating or taking that perfect photo.

Where to stay

If you’re traveling a distance or just looking to make a weekend get-away out of the tulip festival, then you’ll need lodging. The Oregon Garden Resort located in Silverton is an excellent choice. It’s just a 15 to 20 minute drive (11 miles) south of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and the Oregon Garden Resort will be partnering again this year to offer a Tulip Festival Package. Plus, the Oregon Garden Resort is pet friendly and includes a hot breakfast with your stay. Top off your weekend get-away with a visit to the resort’s Moonstone Spa for a massage or facial.

What to Wear to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

First of all, be sure to wear good shoes, as it may be muddy. Secondly, dress warm, and in layers. Although I thought I dressed warm enough with a scarf and rain jacket, I still found myself shivering most of the time. However, this being spring in Oregon, any weather is possible. So it’s best to prepare for a possibility of rain or sunshine, or both!

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more outdoor adventures in the PNW, Oregon has countless beautiful gardens to explore. For example, start by checking out the Lan Su Chinese Garden or the Japanese Gardens.

Pin It For Later

Latest Posts

4 Easy and Epic Day Trips from Madrid, Spain

4 Easy and Epic Day Trips from Madrid, Spain

Epic day trips to take from Madrid, Spain: Ávila, El Escorial, Segovia, and Toledo. How to get there, what to see, how long to stay.

Goat yoga review: Everything you need to know

Goat yoga review: Everything you need to know

Will the goats poop on my yoga mat? Answers to this and to all your other most burning questions In this PDX goat yoga review.

14 Travel shows to binge watch when you can’t travel

14 Travel shows to binge watch when you can’t travel

I didn’t travel much in the traditional sense that first year of the pandemic. And any traveling I did, I kept pretty local and low-key. Instead, I stayed home for the most part, binge watching too many travel shows on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, adding to my bucket list daily.

Now, here we are, almost 2 years later. We’ve all lived and re-lived through multiple stages of lock down, variant after variant. While some of us became experts on safe-travel-in-the-time-of-COVID, others of us became professional social-distancing channel surfers.

So whatever your situation, here’s a comprehensive list of travel shows to safely scratch that itch for adventure from the comfort and safety of your own couch. I’ll even tell you where to find them. Happy binge-watching!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small fee from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you, which helps me maintain this site. Thank you for supporting The Clever West Wind.

Rick Steves

Tour guide Rick Steves is one of the first resources many people think of when they’re looking for travel advice. His shows are highly informational and cover many major tourist sites, a bit of history, and where to eat and sleep.

Although I may not sit and binge watch this series for entertainment sake, I have gotten some good tips here when planning trips in the past. For example, we stayed at Hotel Europa on Rick Steve’s suggestion. The price was very reasonable, the service good, and the location amazing!

Available on: Amazon Prime

Length: 25 minutes

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain’s best known travel shows have become quintessential holy grails of their genre—the gold standard of everything a travel show can and should be.

I’ve listed Anthony Bourdain travel shows (plus a movie) in the order I would suggest watching them. First, I’d start with No Reservations and Parts Unknown. These two travel shows will give you insight into the host’s philosophies and a respect for his work.

Next, I’d check out A Cook’s Tour. The contrast between this show and No Reservations really highlights his beginnings and growth through out his career. Lastly, I’d watch Roadrunner.

So many of the good times traveling this world relate directly to finding a human face to associate with your destination, the food you eat, and the memories you’ll keep with you forever. The best times are when it’s impossible to be cynical about anything. When you find yourself letting go of the past, and your preconceptions, and feel yourself and your basic nature, the sneakiness and suspicion, the irony and doubt, disappear, at least for a time. When, for a few moments or a few hours, you change.

Anthony Bourdain

No Reservations

On the surface, Anthony Bourdain seems a bit rough around the edges with a bad-boy reputation. In his series No Reservations, he explores other cultures through their cuisine. He gives a raw and honest look at other countries , both the good and the bad, all while expressing a deep respect and sensitivity. And he doesn’t shy away from the difficult topics.

No Reservations originally aired on the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel. This series ran for 9 seasons, from 2005 to 2012. My favorite episodes of No Reservations were of places I never would have thought to visit.

Available on: Discovery+

Length: 45 minutes (60 minutes with commercials)

Parts Unknown

Anthony Bourdain isn’t the type to show you all the major touristy sites. Instead, he will take you into the homes and the lives of people all around the world. His series Parts Unknown originally aired on CNN and ran from 2013 to 2018. Being a CNN show, this series focuses more on civil and political topics, with food more as a side note.

Available on: Buy on Amazon Prime, or coming soon on CNN+

Length: 60 minutes

A Cook’s Tour

Anthony Bourdain’s first travel show, A Cook’s Tour, originally aired for two seasons on the Food Network, running from 2001 to 2002. We quickly learned while watching this that he wasn’t a natural born travel guru. Anthony Bourdain fumbles a bit in this series with the newness of other cultures. This is not the well-traveled Tony we all came to know, who is shocked by nothing!

Available on: Free on Amazon Prime

Length: 20 minutes

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Ok, be prepared to cry with this one. This biographical film was released in 2021, and it does Anthony Bourdain a great honor. Like his later travel shows, this movie examines both the good and the bad. His loved ones discuss his genius without glossing over his struggles.

Roadrunner references all of Anthony Bourdain’s travel shows. And although the movie easily stands on its own, I did feel having watched his shows gave us deeper insight.

Available on: Rent or buy on Amazon Prime

Length: 2 hours

Somebody Feed Phil

With a theme song reminiscent of a ‘90’s sitcom, this travel show will give you all the feel-good vibes. The host, Phil Rosenthal, exudes a child-like wonder and excitement about new foods and cultures. Four seasons of Somebody Feed Phil are currently available for streaming, with rumors of a fifth season.

“I’m exactly like Anthony Bourdain—if he was afraid of everything.” -Phil Rosenthal -9 Travel shows to binge watch when you can’t travel Click To Tweet

Available on: Netflix

Length: 45-60 minutes

Travel Man

Richard Ayoade, the host of Travel Man, gives off a somewhat jaded, are-we-done-yet vibe with a dry British humor. In this show, he explores new cultures in whirlwind 48-hour weekend visits. Many of the activities they highlight in this show are a bit quirky and off the beaten path. This show has eight seasons currently.

Available on: Free on Amazon Prime

Length: 20 minutes

Restaurants on the Edge

This inspirational show is what would happen if a cooking show, a travel show, and a home remodel show got together and made a baby.

The three hosts of this show discover struggling restaurant owners in breathtaking locations all over the world. And then they give these restaurants an unbelievable make over.

Karin redesigns and redecorates, Nick finds locally sourced ingredients, and Dennis reviews the menu. All the while, they remain mindful to highlight and accentuate each restaurant’s cultural ties. Two seasons of this series are currently available.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 40 minutes

Dark Tourist

Warning: This one-season travel show is definitely not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. And even the not-so-easily-offended may find themselves, well…offended.

An oddly upbeat, quirky, and dissonant theme song sets the tone for this travel show quite accurately. The show feels a bit like a train wreck that you just can’t look away from. And although I’m not exactly jumping to add this show’s “tourist sites” to my next travel itinerary, it is extremely interesting.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 40 minutes

Street Food: Asia

This inspirational documentary series is narrated in the protagonist’s own voice, dubbed over by an interpreter in English. The narrators tell their stories full of pride, of how they overcame adversity through sharing their culture and their food. Travel to locations including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. One season is currently available.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 30 minutes

Street Food: Latin America

Street Food: Latin America is produced in the same style and format as Street Food: Asia. These series give you a glimpse of what daily life looks like for people in the food industry in countries around the world. In the Latin America series of Street Food, they travel to countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. One season is currently available.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 30 minutes

World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals

The hosts of this show, millennials Megan, Jo and Luis, explore vacation rental homes around the world. The three categories they investigate include budget friendly options, interesting designs, and luxury homes. You can find many (if not all) of the vacation homes they highlight on VRBO and AirBnB.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 30 minutes

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father

English comedian Jack Whitehall hosts this irreverent travel show, in which he convinces his upper-class, stuffy father (who’s never traveled before), to get outside his comfort zone.

The two men have very different ideas about how this is going to go down, though. Jack wants to rough it and backpack through their travels. His father wants only the highest luxury hotels and restaurants. It’s a bit absurd at times, and clearly scripted, but it did get a few laughs out of me.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 30 minutes (seasons 1&2); and 45-60 minutes (seasons 3-5)

We Speak Dance

This unique, one-season travel show is hosted by a dancer and former UN advisor, Vandana Hart. She travels all over the world, exploring cultures through learning and performing street dances. In season one, she travels to countries like Vietnam, Nigeria, and Indonesia.

Available on: Netflix

Length: 20 minutes

Further Reading

Watching these travel shows inspired in me a desire to visit places I may not have considered otherwise. Check out my bucket list here!

Have a favorite travel show I didn’t mention? Tell me about it so I can check it out.

Pin It For Later

Latest Posts

41 Perfect Must-Have Travel Gift Ideas for Her

41 Perfect Must-Have Travel Gift Ideas for Her

40 must have travel gift ideas for her – whether you’re shopping for your sister, your mother, your best friend, or your lover!

Beyond Van Gogh Portland: walking out of a painting

Beyond Van Gogh Portland: walking out of a painting

Beyond Van Gogh Portland: why you need to see it before it’s gone, and everything you need to know before you go.

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas lights in Oregon 2021

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas lights in Oregon 2021

Christmas lights held extra magic in Oregon in 2020. Some neighbors put their lights up a little earlier than other years. Others kept their lights up a little longer than normal, well into January or February.

In the PNW, many of us were waking up in the dark. Going to work in the dark. Spending all daylight hours indoors working. And coming home in the dark. In the darkest months of the year, during one of the darkest years we have seen, it was as if we as a community knew we all needed that extra light and hope. And what light and hope we had, we did our best to share and spread to those around us.

To continue in the spirit of spreading cheer, I’ve gathered some of the best places to view Christmas lights in Oregon this holiday season.

ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo

Traditionally, ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo has been an animal-themed walk through experience. However, last year due to COVID, they offered a drive through experience instead. This year, the Oregon Zoo is offering the best of both worlds—a walk-through option and a drive-through option.

Walk Through Nights

Bundle up warm for a one-mile stroll through the zoo, as you marvel at the sparkling 1.5 million lights. The traditional walk-through option allows you to move at your own pace, but I would plan to spend about an hour and a half there.

Take time to stop and explore the food trucks, ride the carousel, and pause to take some fun photos. Be sure to make time for a ride on the light-adorned train for a unique view of ZooLights. You can eat dinner, snack on elephant ears and kettle corn, or warm up with a hot coca.

Drive Through Nights

The drive-through option is perfect for those who don’t tolerate (or simply don’t like) the cold nights or long walks. You will see mostly the same lights as on the walk-through nights. The 30 minute drive leads you through the zoo and sometimes even through behind-the-scenes areas you can’t see during normal zoo hours.

But don’t worry, you can still enjoy the snacks and drinks! Place an order for your snacks when ordering your tickets online, and they’ll be delivered to you at check-in. Come in your sweats or pajamas, snuggle up in a blanket, and enjoy the lights from the comfort of your seat.

Dates: November 24th, 2021, to January 9th, 2022, starting at 5pm (closing time varies dependent on the night). The drive-through option is available Tuesday through Thursday night for 4 select weeks. All other nights are walk-through nights.

Cost: $16-29/person (walk-through option), $65/vehicle (drive-through option). Although Zoo Lights is not included in your Zoo membership this year, a 20% discount is offered to Zoo members.

TIPS: You must purchase your tickets online in advance, and don’t forget your mask. Arrive 25 minutes early for drive-through nights.

Winter Wonderland at the Portland International Raceway

Opening the day after Thanksgiving at the Portland International Raceway, this will be Winter Wonderland’s 29th year running. Proceeds from this event go to the Sunshine Division, which provides healthy meals for Portland families in need, year round.

For bicyclists and dog-lovers, this year there will be two special car-free nights open to view the lights. November 29th is Bike the Lights Night, and November 30th is Lights & Leashes Night.

Dates: November 26th, 2021, to January 1st, 2021. Opening and closing times vary, depending on the night.

Cost: Pay per vehicle; prices vary depending on vehicle size, with tickets starting at $46/car. Admission is $15 for adults ($5 for kids 6-12; free for kids 5 and under) on special nights.

TIPS: It’s best to attend this light show early in the evening, weeknights, or early in December. Peak times are later in the evening, weekends, and the week of Christmas, when wait times can be as long as an hour.

Lightopia in Hillsboro

Lightopia is a new Christmas light show as of last year, founded by Hillsboro firefighters bringing Christmas and meals to local families in need. It’s located in Hillsboro at the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, right off highway US-26. I find this light display to be the most enjoyable and relaxing, as this half mile, 15-20 minute drive-through is less trafficked compared to other light shows (for now).

Dates: December 9th, 2021, to December 31st, 2021, starting at 5:30pm

Cost: This is a free event. However, you’re encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item. Donations will go to the Hillsboro Firefighters Toy & Joy Drive and the Hillsboro School District Food Pantry.

TIPS: Although it is free, you still must make reservations online in advance. Reservations open on Wednesdays for the following week. First Reservations open December 1st.

Christmas Lights in Oregon

Christmas Festival of Lights at The Grotto

This event is located at The Grotto, or the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, in Northeast Portland. The Grotto covers 62 acres and is a shrine of the Roman Catholic Order of the Friar Servants of Mary.

An astounding 2 million lights illuminate a quarter mile walk through the Grotto. Plan to spend about an hour to an hour and a half enjoying the lights and outdoor Christmas carols. Also, be sure to check out the online schedule, as concerts are offered indoors, every night of the event.

Dates: November 26th to December 30th, 2021 (Closed Christmas Day) 4:30 or 5pm to 10pm

Cost: $16 for adults, $8 for children (3-11), free for children 2 and under. Order in advance online to save $1-2/ticket.

TIPS: You must provide proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past 72 hours at entry.

Pioneer Courthouse Square Tree Lighting

Don’t miss the 37th annual tree lighting at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. It will take place the day after Thanksgiving at 6pm. This year’s tree lighting will be celebrated virtually this holiday season and broadcast on KGW as a safety measure during the pandemic. At 75 feet tall, this Douglas fir will be a beautiful sight to see!

Date: November 26th, 2021, 6pm

Portland Christmas Ships Parade

The Portland Christmas Ships Parade began with just one boat in 1954. Hosted by the Columbia and Willamette River fleets, it now includes 55 to 60 boats in the Christmas Ship Fleet.

There are multiple options for viewing this parade. You can simply find a spot to stand on the river bank and watch. However, a cozier option many people choose is to watch the parade from one of the restaurants or hotels that line the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in Portland.

If you visit the Christmas Ships Parade website, you’ll find a schedule listing the parade route, as well as good restaurants and hotels along the route. Just be sure to make your reservations early, as some may start to fill up as much as a year in advance!

Dates: December 3rd to December 21st, 2021

Cost: Free to $$$?, dependent upon where you choose to watch the parade from. The Christmas Ships Parade is supported solely by donations, so if you go, considered making a donation online.

Pittock Mansion Christmas

Lions, reindeer, and polar bears, oh my! Ok, so this is not exactly Christmas lights in Oregon, but Pittock Mansion has a beautiful holiday display each year. This year’s theme is “Critters Make Merry,” where you’ll find reindeer, mice, and more. Explore Henry Pittock’s Mansion decorated for the holidays and catch a breath taking view of Portland from the mansion’s grounds.

Dates: November 22, 2021, to January 4th, 2022. 10am-4pm (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)

Cost: $13 for adults, $9 for children, free for children 6 and under and to members

Silverton Christmas Market - Christmas Lights in Oregon

Silverton Christmas Market at the Oregon Garden Resort

The Silverton Christmas Market is an event that has got it all going on. Where do I even begin?! I suppose I’ll start with the Christmas lights, since this is a post about Christmas lights in Oregon, after all. The light display includes 1 million lights, starts at the Oregon Garden Resort main lodge, and winds through the grounds.

You can book an over night stay at the Oregon Garden Resort to make the most of the experience. Explore the traditional German Christmas Market, sip on some glühwein, meet Santa and Frosty, and go snowless tubing. There’s even Biergarten serving local brews.

The Silverton Christmas Market is partnering with Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA). Bring non-perishable food items to donate to their food drive from December 1st through 23rd, for a chance to win a free overnight stay at the Oregon Garden Resort.

Dates: November 26th, 2021, January 9th, 2022, 5-9pm

Cost: $15-18 for adults, $5 for children (6-12), free for children 5 and under. Week days are less expensive than weekends, and Silverton residents receive will receive a discount with proof of residence. Snowless tubing is $3-8. Parking starts at $15.

TIPS: No cash accepted at this event.

Seaside Parade of Lights and Tree Lighting

Do something unique this holiday season and head out to the Oregon coast for a parade. The Seaside Parade of Lights will start on Necanicum Dr and move through downtown Seaside. The tree lighting takes place after the parade.

*A little side note: Did you know this year (2021) marks the centennial anniversary of the Seaside Promenade? Take a stroll down the promenade and enjoy the smell of the ocean while you’re in the area.

Date: November 26th, 2021. Parade starts at 7pm, Tree Lighting at 8pm

Cost: Free

Further Reading

I hope this guide to Christmas lights in Oregon was helpful. If you’re looking for Christmas lights in Washington, Flannels or Flip Flops has got you covered! Looking for more things to do in the PNW? Check out these 10 PNW travel blogs you need to read in 2022.

Pin It For Later

10 PNW travel blogs you need to read in 2022

10 PNW travel blogs you need to read in 2022

These must read PNW travel blogs cover everything you need to know about traveling and exploring the PNW, from Alaska down to Oregon.