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Portlanders Are Ready and Willing to Embrace the Cold This Winter After Spending More Than a Year and a Half in a Pandemic Cocoon

The urge to get outdoors, no matter what the weather throws at us, is stronger than ever. And with this winter guide we are here to help.

When rain turns our streets into rivers and wind-walloped trees are finally left bare, those of us who can, transform our homes into cozy cocoons to ride out the next several months, emerging only to restock the beer fridge.

But the pandemic has had us in a cocoon for more than a year and a half, and for many Portlanders, the urge to get outdoors, no matter what the weather throws at us, is stronger than ever.

We’re ready and willing to layer up and embrace the cold, whether that’s snowshoeing around Mount Hood’s frozen lakes, or simply meeting up with a friend for a drink on a covered patio. And with this winter guide we are here to help.

Restaurant and bar owners have already started re-winterizing their streetside hutches, cubbies and tents, and we’ve got 12 great choices for drinking establishments across the city.

We sampled the latest hot boozy beverages that bars are rotating into winter drink menus, from a traditional German gluhwein, to a rich Spanish coffee, to something a little more oddball—like an Italian riff on a hot toddy.

We even show you how to become an at-home bartender by re-creating Quaintrelle bar manager Camille Cavan’s recipe for the rum-based Je ne sais quoi.

This winter, make a plan to escape the city and explore our state’s varied landscape during a season other than summer. We’ve got seven stellar winter hikes that lead to glazed-over mountainside lakes, waterfalls hardened into ice sculptures, and craggy capes with views of monster waves. And we’ve found what is, perhaps, the ultimate bucket list item when it comes to places to lay your head: a lighthouse innkeeper’s quarters perched above the Pacific.

Finally, the west side of Oregon’s skies may not be optimal for stargazing this time of year, but Central Oregon’s dry climate is the perfect place to become an amateur astronomer, so we’ll share a list of the best locations to stare at the cosmos in and around Bend.

The Scandinavians have long had a term for embracing the darkest days of the year: friluftsliv, which roughly translates to “open-air living.” We’re hoping, just maybe, you’ll abandon our annual winter lock-in and permanently adopt it as a lifestyle, post-pandemic, too.

—Andi Prewitt, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor


Staying at Heceta Head Lighthouse’s Keeper Quarters Rewards With Ultimate Storm-Watching Views

Get Cozy With Warm Cocktails, Mulled Wine and Ciders at These Portland Drinking Patios This Season

Become an At-Home Bartender by Re-creating Quaintrelle Bar Manager Camille Cavan’s Recipe for Je ne sais quoi

Central Oregon’s Clear Skies Make It an Ideal Place for Stargazing in Winter

Here Are Our Seven Favorite Hikes to Tackle This Winter, When the Ocean Unleashes Its Fury and Waterfalls Ice Over