March in Portland is a beautiful time. The worst of winter drizzle is almost over, spring is arriving and in three months it will be summer! March is also the last month of five months of heavy rain (November through March see about 5-7″ each). So we’re beginning to see the light of spring in Portland. And with average highs in the mid 50s, it feels like things are warming up and being outside for longer jaunts at a time.
With more daylight, spring blossoms, and no crowds, March feels like a fresh start as things blossom and come back to life. So here’s more info about visiting Portland in March – weather, events and my favorite things to do in Portland at the start of spring!
Portland March Events
With slightly more predictable weather and at least warming temperatures, the start of spring also sees more events. (Of course COVID is making things different so many events are different for 2021!)
Cherry Blossoms at Waterfront Park – While this isn’t an official event, it’s one of the most popular things to do in March. Every year is slightly different, but mid-March to early April is usually the best time to view cherry blossoms. And not just downtown at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, but all around the city!
Shamrock Run (canceled or virtual 2021) – The Shamrock Run 5k, 8k, and 15k is an annual fun run around the waterfront and downtown. Some people love the energy of the party atmosphere of the 5k run/walk, if that’s not your scene, opt for the slightly longer routes to still enjoy the race, but have less crowds. Here’s my Shamrock 15k race recap.
Portland Dining Month (canceled 2021) – March is a great time to visit and cash in on Portland Dining Month where area restaurants offer 3 course meals at a discount. It’s a really fun time to try new restaurants! So it seems like a loss for this one to be canceled for 2021 instead of just changed to somehow support the Portland restaurant industry. There has to be some kind of takeout Dining Month option, that would make sense financially for restaurants and get foodies excited. Sign me up please!
Portland International Film Festival – March has become the month for our International Film fest put on by NW Film Center. You can buy a pass or go to individual films.
Things to Do in Portland in March
One of my favorite things to do in March is admiring all the new blossoms across the city. Cherry blossoms at waterfront park, there are also apple and plum blossoms in many neighborhoods and parks. In Japan, cherry blossom (“sakura”) season is a full on celebration, with watching parties (“hamami” is cherry blossom viewing). In Portland you can get a taste of it too.
March is also a great time for Oregon road trips like the coast, hiking, biking and enjoying the almost spring weather. As temperatures get a bit more comfortable, it’s also a nice time to get in on some patio weather at local restaurants and breweries.
Portland Weather in March
Note: If you want to know about the weather you can always visit a weather website. But one of the most frequent texts I get from friends about to visit Portland is about the weather. So that’s why I include this weather section. It’s how to interpret Portland weather forecasts by a local. :)
The weather in Portland [Oregon] in March is usually still wet and cold, but the warmest we’ve seen since October! As for daylight hours, March averages about 12 hours of total daylight. And with Daylight Savings Time, starting the month with a 6pm sunset and ending the month with a 7:30pm sunset. Sunrise moves from about 6:45am to 7am. This means we’re starting to get more daylight hours for outdoor time, and post-work fun!
The average March temperatures are highs in the mid 50s and lows in the low 40s. So by the end of March, we also have some days of sun and highs in the 60s. March is still about a 50/50 chance of rain though, with 14 days of rainfall for an average monthly total of 4.7″.
Portland Historical Average March Weather by Day
Here are the High & Low Temperatures by average for March in Portland.
And with that, I wish you a happy March (or planning for spring)!