Here at QT we are storytellers and PR professionals, but we are also hikers, cooks, campers, climbers, music lovers, runners and explorers. At some point in June when the sun comes out and sticks around for several weeks, QTers take full advantage of the nice weather. From family traditions, summer concerts, fresh produce and exploring the great outdoors, here is what QT loves most about summer in the Pacific Northwest.
Camping is the number one thing I look forward to during the summer. We camp all over the Pacific Northwest, but one of my favorite places is Wickiup Reservoir outside of LaPine, Oregon. We take our ski boat across the lake to a location that is only accessible by boat. We find a secluded spot to pitch our tent and set up camp. Our campsite serves as a base for fishing, hiking, wakeboarding and some competitive games of cribbage. Camping is a great way to hang out with family, friends, and our dog, Buddy, and disconnect from the electronic distractions in the city.
My favorite thing about summer is being able to walk around to all the Portland-area shops in the sunshine and not the rain. The Eastside of town has a lot of personality and I especially love the shops on Division. A great summer day is browsing in the shops and eating outside.
Crabbing is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about summer. When I was younger we would go crabbing off of Samish Island, Washington. We would drop the crab pots for a day or two and return to 10-20 crabs, then fill the cooker with water from Samish Bay and cook them right on the beach. The crab would be ready to eat right around sunset and we would sit on the beach and feast. I’m not home as often now so when I do get to go crabbing, it’s a treat!
There’s so much to love about summer, but my favorite thing is that it’s absolutely the best time to ‘chase views.’ Usually it’s spontaneous. I wake up and say, ‘let’s chase a view today.’ I have ended up on remote forest roads and beaches where no one else was around. Last year, I intended to go to a fire lookout – but got lost. I ended up at Crane Prairie, a beautiful lake with a view of Mt. Bachelor.
Summer is a great time to catch a Mariner’s game, eat outside near water, enjoy the nice weather and spend time with family. My family hosts an annual 4thof July reunion in Gearhart, Oregon. Several generations of extended family gather to continue the tradition that started when my grandma was a young girl. We play golf, barbecue, go the beach and enjoy spending time together. It’s a great family ritual and something I look forward to every summer.
When the sun is shining I head to West Seattle’s Alki Beach. There are tons of cool things to do there all just a short drive from downtown Seattle. I enjoy walking on Alki’s sandy beaches, taking in a great view of the Seattle skyline and eating fish and chips from Spuds. There’s nothing like summer fun close to home.
Watermelon is my favorite fruit. They’re abundant and inexpensive during the summer. I buy at least one a week and it’s my go-to food for dinners or picnics with friends. I also love being on the water in the summer. My family goes on a camping and kayaking trip on the Cowlitz River over the July 4th holiday and Green Lake is right near my house so I have easy access to paddle boarding and pedal boating. Bumbershoot is also a summer favorite. Great music outside in beautiful weather.
For me it’s about getting outdoors, enjoying our region’s scenic beauty and getting to a destination with a view. I’d have to rank the Three Sisters Wilderness among my favorites but it doesn’t matter if it’s a view of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests or waterfalls. It’s all about seeing things you don’t see just driving down the highway.
The key to a great vacation with kids is water. Hiking to a lake or a river is always fun. This year, we hiked and camped at Opal Creek and Marion Lake, swam below Steelhead Falls and I climbed South Sister. And, of course, you need a date night. My favorite was catching The Pixies at the Bend Amphitheater. A great PNW summer.
Erin Tassey Krug
Summer is: Hood to Coast. Hosting East Coast visitors. Oysters. Strawberries. Blueberries. Tomatoes. Walla Walla onions. Cooking with seasonal foods. My favorite summer recipes are salmon and caprese salad with tomatoes, fresh peaches, basil, topped off with blueberry-peach crisp for dessert. I have a parade of East Coast visitors during the summer, so I have plenty of opportunity to make my favorite recipes. At the end of the summer, I join a few friends, jump in a van and along with other runners from Oregon and across the globe, I run in Oregon’s signature running event, the Hood to Coast relay. It’s a great way to wrap up an incredible season in the Pacific Northwest.
‘Why would anyone want to vacation anywhere else during the summer? Summer in the Pacific Northwest is the best!’ That’s the refrain I often hear from my husband, Kevin, a transplant from the South. And he has a point. As our summer adventures have taken us to the Columbia River Gorge, the Tillamook Coast, the Olympic Peninsula, to outdoor dining and music venues, small towns and hidden city gems. I realize how lucky I am to live here. We Pacific Northwesterners put up with a lot of rain during the year, but when the sun is shining and the temperature is moderate, there’s no place I’d rather be.