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50 Things To Do In Portland In 2021

Lying on an extinct volcanic field, at the end of the famous Oregon Trail, Portland is the largest and most populous city in Oregon.

Partly due to its volcanic origins, Portland has fertile soil, and consequently, has over 37,000 acres of green spaces offering a variety of trails for all kinds of outdoor activities. Portland also straddles the banks of the Willamette River. Some of the river’s tributaries flow through parts of the city!

That said, Portland is definitely no one-trick pony. It’s not just a great outdoor city, it’s also known for being a city that prides itself for its forward-thinking culture and progressive values.

While not as ethnically diverse as other major cities within the country, Portland is an environmentally-friendly city with a legendary music and arts scene that’s considered one of the best in the country.

It’s also a great culinary city known for its world-class street food, microbreweries, and specialty coffee!

Yes, Portland is weird and wonderful, but don’t take scenes from Portlandia and some hipsters’ words at face value. Go on an actual Portland adventure and discover Portland personally.

Here’s 50 things to do while you’re there!

50 Things to do in Portland

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Visit Washington Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Washington Park is a 410-acre public urban park. It is one of the oldest parks in Portland.

Considered the city’s crown jewel, Washington Park features an archery range, gardens, tennis courts, picnic areas, public art displays, over 15 miles of trails, and many acres of wild forest! It welcomes over 3.5 million visitors annually.

Some attractions within Washington Park are mentioned separately on this list.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Exploring Washington Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, artists and art enthusiasts, all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, avid hikers, and tourists looking for a great outdoor destination that conveniently contains some of the city’s best attractions.

What to do here?

Spend a day at Washington Park and explore its many attractions. Hike through its various trails.

Stop by the park’s Japanese Garden, and take pictures of Mt. Hood. Visit the Vietnam Veterans Oregon Memorial and the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. Check out the Washington Park Amphitheater.

Make sure to visit the park’s Chiming Fountain and Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste statue!

Best time to visit

Portland’s Washington Park is open daily, from 5 AM to 10 PM. As the park is almost always busy, it’s best to visit the park on weekdays, early morning or late afternoon.

If you’re bringing a car with you, it’s important to note that parking is very limited in Washington Park, so plan your trip accordingly!

Explore the Portland Art Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1219 SW Park Ave, the Portland Art Museum is an internationally recognized, 240,000-square-foot art museum.

Its collection of 50,000 objects are displayed in over 112,000 square feet of the museum’s gallery space. The collection is distinguished for featuring Native American art, English silver, and various graphic arts.

Founded in late 1892, it is the seventh oldest museum in the country, and is a premier venue for education in the visual arts.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Portland Art Museum is ideal for families, artists, art enthusiasts, and tourists who want to learn more about Native American art and history, as well as the Portland arts scene.

What to do here?

Tour the Portland Art Museum. Check out various tools, anthropomorphic objects, masks, and garments at the museum’s unique collection of Native American Art.

Examine various steel, silver, and stone wares at the museum’s Western Decorative Art collection. Browse through exquisite prints and photographs at the museum’s Photography collection.

Best time to visit

The Portland Art Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

Also, the Portland Art Museum is known for its biennial Contemporary Northern Arts Awards event; if you plan on attending the event, it’s best to inquire as to the event’s schedule ahead of time!

Learn more about the Portland Art Museum here!

Spend a day at Oregon Zoo

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4001 SW Canyon Road within Portland’s Washington Park, Oregon Zoo is a 64-acre zoo.

The Oregon Zoo boasts a variety of habitats and gardens, housing more than 1,800 animals of more than 230 species, including 19 endangered species and 9 threatened species.

It welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors annually, making it the top paid attraction in the Pacific Northwest!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to Portland’s Oregon Zoo is ideal for families, nature lovers, wildlife conservationists, and tourists keen on observing and learning about animals from different habitats and ecosystems from all over the world.

What to do here?

Explore the Oregon Zoo. Stop by the zoo’s Penguinarium and observe Humboldt penguins and Inca terns native to the coast of Peru and Chile.

Check out the zoo’s Africa Rainforest and watch African bullfrogs, Colobus monkeys, and African slender-snouted crocodiles in a single habitat. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

The Oregon Zoo is open daily. 9 AM to 5:30 PM on weekdays, and 9 AM to 6:30 PM on weekends. While the zoo is almost always a little busy, it’s best to visit the zoo on weekdays to avoid large crowds!

Learn more about Oregon Zoo here!

Grab a bite at Nong’s Khao Man Gai

What’s special about this place?

Nong’s Khao Man Gai is an iconic Thai restaurant in the city of Portland. Currently, it has two locations: a brick and mortar restaurant at 609 SE Ankeny Street, and the original food cart at 417 SW 13thStreet.

Owned and operated by Bangkok-native Nong Poonsukwattana, Nong’s Khao Man Gai is considered by locals to be the best place for authentic Khao Man Gai.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Visiting Nong’s Khao Man Gai is ideal for both serious and casual foodies alike, and tourists craving for one of Thailand’s most popular street foods–Khao Man Gai.

What to do here?

Visit the original food cart at 417 SW 13th Street. Try their signature Khao Man Gai. If you’re looking for vegetarian options, try their Veggie Khao Man Gai and Tofu Peanut!

Best time to visit

Nong’s Khao Man Gai’s two locations have distinct hours.

The restaurant is open daily from 10:50 AM to 7 PM, while the food cart is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 2 PM. The best time to visit either location depends on your itinerary. Expect large crowds, though!

Learn more about Nong’s Khao Man Gai here!

Visit Oaks Amusement Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Oaks Amusement Park is a 44-acre amusement park. The park features classic midway games, 24 rides, a skating rink, a mini golf course, and picnic grounds.

Oaks Amusement Park first opened its gates in 1905, and is among the oldest continually operating amusement parks in America!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Oaks Amusement Park is ideal for families, thrill seekers of all ages, tourists traveling with children, and tourists keen on exploring a historic amusement park that has retained its turn-of-the-century charm while having all the modern thrills of a modern amusement park.

What to do here?

Explore Oaks Amusement Park. Check out the amusement park’s historic Herschell-Spillman Noah’s Ark Carousel, constructed in 1912! Try some of their thrill rides, such as the Tree Top Drop and Adrenaline Peak.

If you want a tamer, more family-friendly experience, check out the park’s antique Ferris Wheel and enjoy the breathtaking views of Portland from above!

Best time to visit

Oaks Amusement Park is open daily. 7 PM to 9 PM on Mondays; 3PM to 5PM, and 7 PM to 9:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday; and 12 PM to 7 PM Friday through Sunday. It’s best to visit the amusement park on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

Learn more about Oaks Amusement Park here!

Explore Portland’s historic Pittock Mansion

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3229 NW Pittock Drive, the Pittock Mansion is a 16,000 square foot French Renaissance-style chateau constructed in 1914.

It is nestled in Portland’s West Hills; as such, it features panoramic views of Portland, the Willamette River, and the distant Cascade Mountains.

It was the residence of Henry Pittock and his family until late into the 1950’s. Today, it functions as a museum run by the Pittock Mansion Society, a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Pittock Mansion is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, American history nerds, and tourists eager to learn about Portland’s 20th-century history through the personal artifacts of the Pittock family and other founding families of Portland.

What to do here?

Take a self-guided or docent-led tour through the Pittock Mansion. Check out the mansion’s distinct oval shape and curved wooden floors. Tour the mansion’s 23 rooms, such as the Library, the Music Room, and the Turkish Smoking Room.

Explore the Pittock estate and hike through some of the trails in the back half of the property. Check out the museum’s permanent collection, featuring a wide array of period furnishings and personal artifacts from the 20th-century!

Best time to visit

The Pittock Mansion is open daily. 10 AM to 4 PM Wednesday through Monday, and 12 PM to 4 PM on Tuesdays. The grounds are open daily through 9 PM. If you’re planning to take a tour inside the mansion, it’s best to book a tour ahead of time!

Learn more about the Pittock Mansion here!

Learn about sustainable forestry at the World Forestry Center

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4033 SW Canyon Rd within Portland’s Washington Park, the World Forestry Center is a nonprofit educational institution that’s dedicated to promoting sustainable forestry and its global benefits.

The World Forestry Center houses the 20,000-acre Discovery Museum that features an indoor Pacific Northwest forest, a timber innovation exhibit, a parachute jumping simulator, and other special exhibits.

The World Forestry Center also offers facility rentals for private events!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The World Forestry Center is ideal for families, nature lovers and forestry enthusiasts of all ages, and tourists eager to learn about sustainable forestry, forests, and how they’re used in different parts of the world.

What to do here?

Take a tour through the World Forestry Center. Explore the center’s Discovery Museum and check out its indoor Pacific Northwest forest. Ride the museum’s parachute jumping simulator and Canopy Lift.

Check out the museum’s world map and learn about forests from different parts of the world and how they’re being used.

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the World Forestry Center is indefinitely closed due to COVID. It’s best to visit the World Forestry Center as part of your Washington Park tour, especially in conjunction with your Oregon Zoo trip!

Learn more about the World Forestry Center here!

Stop by St. Johns Bridge

What’s special about this place?

Located at 8600 NW Bridge Ave, St. Johns Bridge is a 630-meter steel and concrete suspension bridge that spans Portland’s Willamette River.

Known for its Gothic Cathedral-like bridge towers, it is the largest and oldest of Oregon’s three extant suspension bridges.

Built as the prototype for the Golden Gate Bridge, St. Johns Bridge offers stunning views of the Willamette River and surrounding forests and green spaces.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

St. Johns Bridge is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, nature lovers, and tourists of all ages looking to view the Willamette River in all its glory.

As it is loved by locals and tourists alike, it’s also ideal for tourists looking to do some extensive people-watching.

What to do here?

Take a walk out on St. Johns Bridge. Explore all 630 meters of the bridge, and take in all the sights and smells of Willamette River.

Check out the view of Mt. Hood from the bridge. Take pictures. Have a nice picnic and do some people-watching at Cathedral Park under the bridge.

Best time to visit

St. Johns Bridge is accessible 24/7. The best time to visit the bridge largely depends on your itinerary.

If you want to catch the sunrise and/or sunset, it’s best to visit the bridge around 5 AM and/or late in the afternoon. That said, if you want to do some people-watching, it’s best to visit the bridge during weekends, around 3 PM onwards!

Learn about the history of the vacuum cleaner Stark’s Vacuum Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 107 Northeast Grand Ave, Stark’s Vacuum Museum is a vacuum cleaner store/museum.

On a wall within the store, Stark’s Vacuum showcases a vacuum history timeline that shows the progression of the vacuum cleaner, along with 25 of the most iconic and loved vacuums in history!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Stark’s Vacuum Museum is really just a store with a small portion dedicated to the history of its wares.

That said, the museum appeals to history nerds, aspiring inventors of all ages, ad people, and curious tourists who want to learn about the origins and mechanisms of the vacuum cleaner and how (and to whom) it was marketed during its early days.

What to do here?

Check out Stark’s Vacuum Museum’s collection of iconic vacuum cleaners. Checkout blueprints of old vacuum cleaner models and note how they differ from today’s modern vacuum cleaners.

Learn about the origins of the vacuum cleaner, and how it progressed through the changing eras.

Best time to visit

Stark’s Vacuum Museum is open daily. 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, and 10 AM to 5 PM on Sundays.

People typically don’t spend more than half an hour here, so the best time to visit the museum really depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Stark’s Vacuum Museum here!

Explore Hoyt Arboretum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4000 SW Fairview Blvd, part of the complex of parks that collectively forms Portland’s Washington Park, Hoyt Arboretum is a 189-acre arboretum and living museum.

Hoyt Arboretum features over 12 miles of hiking trails (two of which are wheelchair accessible), and is home to 23,000 species of trees and shrubs from six continents!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Hoyt Arboretum is ideal for families, aspiring botanists and conservationists, gardeners, nature lovers, hikers, birders, and tourists eager to learn about tree species and tree conservation.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through Hoyt Arboretum. Start at the visitor’s center, and check out Hoyt Arboretum’s small research library.

Go hiking at the arboretum’s trails, and check out its extensive collection of conifers that include a dawn conifer—a species once thought to be extinct.

Observe the arboretum’s magnolia collection. Have your binoculars ready, and try to spot some of the birds that frequent the area!

Best time to visit

Hoyt Arboretum is open daily, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

It’s best to explore the arboretum on weekdays, as it’s especially busy during weekends. If you plan on examining and identifying the trees within the arboretum, it’s best to visit during the daytime!

Learn more about Hoyt Arboretum here!

Visit Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square

What’s special about this place?

Located at 701 SW 6th Ave at the heart of downtown Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is a 40,000-square-foot city park.

Known as Portland’s living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square functions as a premier venue for events, and as a gathering space for long-term residents and guests alike.

It hosts dozens of events annually, and an amphitheater, outdoor chess tables, and some of the more recognized pieces of public art in Portland.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Pioneer Courthouse Square is ideal for all tourists, and is one of the best meeting/starting points for those visiting Portland for the first time.

It’s also ideal for tourists who want to take in the spirit of Portland’s metro and do some people-watching.

What to do here?

Spend a few hours at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Check out the locals that frequent the public space.

Check out Seward Johnson’s iconic Allow Me sculpture. Check out the park’s Waterfall Fountain that serves as the entrance to the Visitor Information Center.

Check out the bronze replica of Will Martin’s signature wide-rim river hat located above the Visitor Information Center.

Best time to visit

Pioneer Courthouse Square is open from 5 AM to 12 AM daily. The best time to explore the city park really depends on your itinerary. That said, it’s a great and easy to locate meeting place at any point in your Portland adventure!

Lerarn more about Pioneer Courthouse Square here!

Have Edomae style sushi at Nimblefish

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1524 SE 20th Ave, Nimblefish is a small Edomae style sushi bar. It features a small, seasonal menu that focuses primarily on nigiri and sashimi. Nimblefish also offers a wide variety of sake and beers.

While Nimblefish does offer a menu, it’s more popular for its omakase. It is considered as one of the best places for sushi in Portland.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Nimblefish is ideal for foodies and tourists craving for authentic, Edomae style sushi. It’s also one of the best spots in Portland to bring a date!

What to do here?

Try some of Nimblefish’s best selling nigiri. Their Kanpachi, Maguro, and Smoke Sake nigiri are particularly good. Pair all that with some sake or a glass of craft beer.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try their omakase, and just kick back and enjoy your nigiri adventure!

Best time to visit

Nimblefish is open daily, from 5 PM to 9 PM. As of this writing, Nimblefish is open for limited indoor dining, so it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time to make sure you get a table!

Learn more about Nimblefish here!

Explore the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2234 NW Thurman St, the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is a museum that features oddities that include weird pop artifacts, fake severed body parts, and a nightmare dollhouse.

The museum also functions as a gift shop, an ice cream parlor featuring insect-laced treats, and an art gallery.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is ideal for families, pop artifact collectors of all ages, sci-fi/horror fans, and tourists looking to shop for weird souvenirs and unique artwork.

It’s also ideal for adventurous foodies looking to try some insect-infused desserts!

What to do here?

Explore the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium. Check out the museum’s quirky exhibits, such as their Bigfoot statue, and their nightmare dollhouse!

Taking pictures is encouraged, so take as many pictures as you want. Get yourself some quirky souvenirs at the museum’s gift shop.

Best time to visit

The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum is open Wednesday through Monday, 11 AM to 7 PM. As it’s quite a small museum, it’s best to visit the museum on weekdays to avoid large crowds!

Learn more about the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium here!

Go on a Forest Park adventure

What’s special about this place?

Located in the Tualatin Mountains west of downtown Portland, Forest Park is a 5,172-acre public municipal park.

It is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves. Forest Park offers over 80 miles of trails, and 3 fish-bearing streams. It is home to a diverse population of wildlife that include over 100 species of birds!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Forest Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife enthusiasts, birders, avid hikers, and tourists looking to explore one of Oregon’s best forest reserves and check out the state’s native animal and plant life.

What to do here?

Explore Forest Park. Go hiking on the scenic Macleay Park trail and check out the Witch’s Castle (don’t worry, it’s just a former restroom).

Have your binoculars ready and try to spot some of the park’s unique wildlife, such as the Bewick’s wren and the northern pygmy-owl! Don’t forget to check out the park’s scenic creeks. Fishing and hunting are prohibited, though.

Best time to visit

Forest Park is open daily, from 5 AM to 10 PM. The best time to explore Forest Park largely depends on your itinerary. That said, it’s best to spend at least half a day here to get the full experience.

Try the pies at Gracie’s Apizza

What’s special about this place?

Located at 8737 N Lombard St, Gracie’s Apizza is one of Portland’s most beloved pizza shops. This iconic pizza shop is a one-man team—owned and solely operated by Craig Melillo.

Gracie’s Apizza serves a wide variety of 10-inch wood fired pizza, house made ice cream, and a modest selection of beers and wines.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Gracie’s Apizza is ideal for families, foodies (especially pizza-lovers), and tourists craving for wood fired, artisanal pizza. It’s also a great place for a fun and casual date!

What to do here?

Try the Tomato Pie, Gracie’s Apizza’s best pizza. If you’re looking for something cheesier, try the Ricotta as well as the Marg pizza.

If you’re looking for a vegan option, Gracie’s Apizza does have the Very Vegan pizza that’s made with different ingredients depending on the season. Don’t forget to get the house made ice cream!

Best time to visit

Gracie’s Apizza is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 5 PM to 8 PM. There’s really no bad time to stop by Gracie’s. That said, it’s best to order way ahead of time, so you don’t have to wait for your pizza once you get there!

Learn more about Gracie’s Apizza here!

Visit the Oregon Historical Society Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1200 SW Park Ave, the Oregon Historical Society Museum is a museum dedicated to making Oregon’s history visible and accessible to all.

The museum contains over 85,000 artifacts relating to Oregon, including Native American artifacts, and the famous Portland Penny.

The museum also has temporary and permanent exhibits that showcase different facets of Oregon’s rich history.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to the Oregon Historical Society Museum is ideal for families, American history nerds, and tourists keen on learning about Oregon’s rich history and its original inhabitants.

What to do here?

Explore the Oregon Historical Society Museum. Check out the museum’s current exhibits, such as the Portland Clinic exhibit and the Women’s Voting Rights exhibit. Make sure to stop by the museum’s permanent exhibits, such as its Experience Oregon and History Hubs exhibits.

Best time to visit

The Oregon Historical Society Museum is open daily. 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday, and 12 PM to 5 PM on Sundays.

It’s best to visit the museum before or after you visit the Portland Art Museum, as it’s only a minute away from the art museum.

Learn more about the Oregon Historical Society Museum here!

Try the iconic brews at Portland’s Breakside Brewery

What’s special about this place?

Breakside Brewery is one of Oregon’s most highly regarded breweries, and for a region known for its breweries, that’s saying something.

Breakside Brewery is known for its broad portfolio of award-winning beers. It has three locations in Portland: one at 820 NE Dekum Street, one at 1570 NW 22nd Ave, and a beer cart at 3612 SE 82ndAve.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Breakside Brewery is ideal for beer connoisseurs and casual beer lovers, as well as tourists looking to get a drink after a long day of exploring the Portland outdoors.

As it’s one of Portland’s most popular brewpubs, it’s also ideal for tourists looking to mingle with the locals.

What to do here?

Try some of Breakside Brewery’s signature releases. For stout lovers, try Breakside’s Toytown Techno, an Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon and Apple Brandy barrels.

For those looking for a solid IPA, try their Fresh Hop IPA. For something fruitier, try Breakside’s What Rough Beast and Stay West.

Best time to visit

Breakside Brewery’s two Portland locations are open daily, from 12 PM to 9 PM. Their beer cart is only open Tuesdays to Thursdays, from 11:30 AM to 8 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 AM to 9 PM.

There’s really no bad time to stop by Breakside, so the best time largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Breakside Brewery here!

Hike Mount Tabor

What’s special about this place?

Bounded by Portland’s SE Division Street, SE 60th Avenue, SE Yamhill Street, and SE Mountainview Drive, Mount Tabor is an extinct volcanic vent with a peak of 636 feet.

Mount Tabor features a variety of trails, and three scenic, open air reservoirs, and stunning views of Downtown Portland!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to Mount Tabor and its reservoirs is ideal for families, nature lovers, hikers of all levels, bikers, and tourists looking to explore one of Portland’s best nature getaways!

What to do here?

Explore Mount Tabor. Go hiking at Mount Tabor’s Red Trail. If you’re up for something more challenging, try hiking through Mount Tabor’s Green and Blue trails. Make sure to stop by Mount Tabor’s open-air reservoirs, and don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

Mount Tabor Park is open daily, from 5 AM to 12 AM. The best time to explore Mount Tabor largely depends on your itinerary, as it’s rarely busy. That said, it is a popular spot for late night hikes/runs.

Visit Blue Sky Gallery

What’s special about this place?

Located at 122 NW 8th Ave, Blue Sky Gallery, is a nonprofit exhibition space and community research dedicated to contemporary photography and to furthering the artistic developments of the photographers featured in their exhibits.

Founded as the Oregon Center for Photographic Arts in 1975, Blue Sky presents 20-25 exhibitions annually, and offers regular artist talks and programs.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Blue Sky Gallery is ideal for artists and art enthusiasts, photographers, and tourists keen on learning about contemporary photography and exploring the works of Portland’s notable as well as up-and-coming photographers and visual artists.

What to do here?

Tour the Blue Sky Gallery. Check out its current exhibits, such as the Gary Burnley: The Known World exhibit, as well as the Al J Thompson: Remnants of an Exodus exhibit.

Make sure to stop by their Library and Resource Center and check out their permanent collection of over 1000 books and ephemera related to photography.

Best time to visit

Blue Sky Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 12 PM to 5 PM. The best time to visit the gallery largely depends on your itinerary.

That said, it’s best to stop by the gallery as soon as it opens, so you have ample time to explore their exhibits!

Learn more about Blue Sky Gallery here!

Explore the International Rose Test Garden

What’s special about this place?

Located at 400 SW Kingston Ave within Portland’s Washington Park, the International Rose Test Garden is a 4.5-acre rose garden. The garden contains over 10,000 roses consisting of more than 610 varieties.

The garden features an amphitheater that serves as a picnic area and hosts a variety of events throughout the year, the Rose Garden Store that sells rose-themed books and merchandise, and public art!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The International Rose Test Garden is ideal for families, nature lovers, horticulturists, rose gardening enthusiasts, and tourists who want to learn all about the different classical varieties of roses as well as the new cultivars of roses being developed.

What to do here?

Explore the International Rose Test Garden. Walk through its Gold Award Garden, featuring award-winning roses from the American Garden Rose Selection test garden.

Check out the Royal Rosarian Garden, featuring many rose varieties that are no longer commercially available. Take in the stunning view of the Willamette River and Mount Hood, and don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

It’s best to visit the International Rose Test Garden during the summer months, as that is when the roses would be in full bloom.

There’s also a higher chance of getting clear days during the summer months, so you get the best views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood!

Explore the International Rose Test Garden

What’s special about this place?

Located at 400 SW Kingston Ave within Portland’s Washington Park, the International Rose Test Garden is a 4.5-acre rose garden. The garden contains over 10,000 roses consisting of more than 610 varieties.

The garden features an amphitheater that serves as a picnic area and hosts a variety of events throughout the year, the Rose Garden Store that sells rose-themed books and merchandise, and public art!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The International Rose Test Garden is ideal for families, nature lovers, horticulturists, rose gardening enthusiasts, and tourists who want to learn all about the different classical varieties of roses as well as the new cultivars of roses being developed.

What to do here?

Explore the International Rose Test Garden. Walk through its Gold Award Garden, featuring award-winning roses from the American Garden Rose Selection test garden.

Check out the Royal Rosarian Garden, featuring many rose varieties that are no longer commercially available. Take in the stunning view of the Willamette River and Mount Hood, and don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

It’s best to visit the International Rose Test Garden during the summer months, as that is when the roses would be in full bloom.

There’s also a higher chance of getting clear days during the summer months, so you get the best views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood!

Check out the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1945 SE Water Ave, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a state-of-the-art science museum.

It contains three auditoriums, a large-screen theatre, a planetarium, and exhibition halls that feature a variety of hands-on permanent exhibits focused on natural sciences, industry, and technology.

While primarily a science museum, it also houses temporary exhibits from other disciplines.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is ideal for families, science enthusiasts of all ages, and tourists eager to learn about the natural sciences as well as the various technological advances that have changed the world.

What to do here?

Explore the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Check out its current exhibits, such as the Mandela exhibition that explores the story of the world’s most famous freedom fighter and political leader.

Attend a sci-fi film fest at the museum’s Empirical Theater. Take a tour through the USS Blueback and learn about life in a submarine. Bring your kids to the museum’s Science Playground and have them engage in creative, hands-on activities!

Best time to visit

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. While it’s almost always a little busy, it’s best to visit the museum on weekdays, as it can get extremely packed during weekends!

Learn more about the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry here!

Attend a concert at Portland’s Revolution Hall

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1300 Stark St #203 in Portland’s Buckman neighborhood, Revolution Hall is a world class concert venue.

Originally constructed as Washington High School’s auditorium, the facility has since been renovated to accommodate offices, two bars, a smaller venue, and a roof deck that offers 360-degree views of Portland!

While primarily a music venue, Revolution Hall does host other events, such as comedy shows and film festivals.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Revolution Hall is ideal for musicians and music lovers, and tourists looking for all kinds of entertainment.

As it’s one of the best music venues in Portland, and it has two pre- and post-show bars, it’s also great for tourists who want to mingle with the locals!

What to do here?

Catch a concert, a comedy show, or a film festival at Revolution Hall, or at Show Bar, Revolution Hall’s smaller venue. Check out Revolution Hall’s Assembly Lounge and Marthas and get a few drinks after the show.

Hang out at Revolution Hall’s Roof Deck Terrace and take in the stunning views of Portland!

Best time to visit

Revolution Hall is open daily, from 12 PM to 10 PM. The best time to visit the venue really depends on the schedule of the show/concert you’re attending. That said, it’s ideal to get to the venue at least a good 40 minutes before your show starts!

Learn more about Revolution Hall here!

Ride the Portland Aerial Tram

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3303 S Bond Ave, the Portland Aerial Tram is an iconic aerial tramway that connects Portland’s South Waterfront district and the main Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) campus.

One of the United States’ only two commuter aerial tramways, it travels a horizontal distance of 3,300 feet and a vertical distance of 500 feet. While the ride only lasts 3 minutes, it offers some of the best views of Portland.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A Portland Aerial Tram ride is ideal for families and tourists who want to get a comprehensive visual tour of all of Portland—with all its mountains, forests, and rivers. It’s particularly great for first-time tourists!

What to do here?

Take a ride on the Portland Aerial Tram and have your camera ready. Kick back and enjoy every second of your 3-minute ride. Take in the amazing views of Portland, and make sure to take pictures!

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the Portland Aerial Tram’s operations are limited to essential travels to OHSU. That said, the Portland Aerial Tram is open Monday through Saturday. 5:30 AM to 9 PM on weekdays, and 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays.

The best time to take a ride through the aerial tramway largely depends on your itinerary.

Explore the Columbia River Gorge

What’s special about this place?

Located just 30 miles east of Portland, the Columbia River Gorge is a deep canyon forged by the Columbia River. It is the largest designated National Scenic Area in the United States.

The Columbia River Gorge offers spectacular scenery, numerous hiking and mountain bike trails, and more than 90 waterfalls! It is also one of the most popular water sports destinations in the U.S., especially for windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A Columbia River Gorge adventure is ideal for families, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, hikers and mountain bikers of all levels, watersport enthusiasts, and tourists who are pressed for time and are looking for a one-stop scenic destination in Oregon!

What to do here?

Explore the Columbia River Gorge. Go hiking through the Columbia River Gorge’s many hiking trails, and try to stop by as many waterfalls as you can.

Try your hand at windsurfing and kiteboarding at the Columbia River Gorge. There are so many things to do here, but whatever you do, make sure to leave no trace!

Best time to visit

The Columbia River Gorge is accessible all year round. That said, if you’re looking to see wildflowers in full bloom, the best time to visit is in late April through June.

For the best weather conditions, it’s best to explore the canyon during late July through August!

Get your BBQ fix at Holy Trinity Barbecue

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3582 SE Powell Blvd, Holy Trinity Barbecue is a Texas style barbecue restaurant.

Owned and run by native Texan Kyle Rensmeyer, Holy Trinity Barbecue serves authentic Texas barbecue, featuring items such as slow smoked artisan briskets, ribs, sausages, and homestyle sides.

Holy Trinity Barbecue is one of the best restaurants in Portland, and is recognized as the only source for authentic Texas barbecue in Portland!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Holy Trinity Barbecue is a must-visit for families, meat lovers and barbecue connoisseurs, serious foodies, and tourists craving for authentic Texas barbecue.

That said, the restaurant caters almost exclusively to carnivores, so if you’re looking for vegetarian options, this isn’t the place for you.

What to do here?

Have a little bit of everything. Obviously, the star of Holy Trinity is their smoked brisket, so make sure to order that. That said, you also can’t go wrong with their sausages, ribs, pork belly, and pulled pork.

Make sure to get some of their sides as well. Their Banana Pudding and Pinto Beans are particularly good.

Best time to visit

Holy Trinity Barbecue is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 AM to 8 PM (or until they’re sold out).

There’s no bad time to have barbecue, but if you want to avoid a long wait and make sure you get your BBQ fix before they’re sold out, it’s best to order at least a few hours ahead of time!

Learn about Pacific Northwest maritime history at the Oregon Maritime Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 198 SW Naito Parkway, the Oregon Maritime Museum is a maritime museum housed in the steam-powered sternwheeler Portland, the last operating steam-powered sternwheel tug in the United States.

Itself an artifact, the museum showcases ship models and various maritime artifacts and memorabilia.

The museum also has a library that contains a catalog of over 2,500 volumes and 22,000 photographs related to maritime history both in the Northwest region and elsewhere.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Oregon Maritime Museum is a must-visit for families, maritime history nerds, and tourists eager to learn about the Oregon’s and the Pacific Northwest’s maritime history.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the museum, and explore the sternwheeler Portland. Check out the sternwheeler’s engine room.

Check out objects related to steam power, sailing vessels, battleship Oregon, and other maritime artifacts. Stop by the museum’s library and browse volumes and photographs related to Oregon’s maritime history!

Best time to visit

The Oregon Maritime Museum is open Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 11 AM to 4 PM.

It’s a bit of a hidden gem in Portland, so it doesn’t really get too busy. That said, they do take the sternwheeler Portland for a spin four times a year, so if you want to be on that rare cruise, it’s best to inquire ahead of time and plan your Portland trip accordingly!

Explore Lake Oswego’s Springbrook City Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2899 SW Diane Dr in Lake Oswego, just over 9 miles south of Portland, Springbrook City Park is a 52-acre urban nature area.

Springbrook City Park features soft surface trails that meander beneath canopies of big-leaf maple and red alder, and through a variety of native plants. It’s home to small wildlife and many birds.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Springbrook City Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, birders, and tourists looking for a nice little urban nature preserve with easily accessible and walkable trails.

What to do here?

Go hiking through Springbrook City Park’s trails. Check out the variety of trees in this recovering forest, such as big-leaf maple trees, red alder, red cedar, and Douglas fir.

Have your binoculars ready and do some light birding, and try to identify as many birds as you can!

Best time to visit

Springbrook City Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 10 PM. It’s best to visit the park either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon to avoid large crowds.

Take a tour through Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels

What’s special about this place?

Located mainly underneath Portland’s Old Town Chinatown neighborhood, the Old Portland Underground, better known as the Shanghai Tunnels, is a network of interconnected tunnels that connect bar and hotel basements to the Willamette River docks.

While the tunnels were definitely used as storage/passageways for ships’ supplies, rumors of numerous illicit activities within the tunnels abound as well.

The most popular among these rumors are stories of “Shanghaiing,” which earned the labyrinth its name.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A tour through the Shanghai Tunnels is a must-do for maritime history nerds and curious tourists who want to explore the rumored shady underbelly of Portland.

That said, it’s important to note that the shady rumors have never been verified. Nevertheless, a tour through the tunnels makes for an exhilarating experience for those who want to see Portland in a new light.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels. Have your camera ready, and take pictures of the infamous tunnels.

Learn about how the tunnels were used by the ships docked on the Willamette River, as well as the more colorful rumors about the tunnels.

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the Shanghai Tunnels are inaccessible due to a restaurant closure. That said, tour companies are currently determining future accessibility options. It’s best to keep an eye on Portland tour providers for more information.

Unwind at Multnomah Whiskey Library

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1124 SW Alder St, Multnomah Whiskey Library is a membership-based bar and restaurant.

While it has an excellent selection of whiskey and is primarily a whiskey lounge, it features a library of over 1,500 spirits, and serves a diverse menu of small plates, unique cocktails, and elevated bar snacks.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Multnomah Whiskey Library is a must-visit for whiskey connoisseurs, and tourists looking for an elevated drinking and dining experience, as well as a cozy drinking spot with a 1920’s speakeasy atmosphere.

What to do here?

Kick back and enjoy the classic speakeasy vibe of Multnomah Whiskey Library. You really can’t go wrong with any of their offerings, but if you’re new to whiskey, ask the bar’s sommelier what they’d recommend.

For snacks, try their Meat & Cheese Board and Wagyu Beef Tartare. For dinner, get their famous Bone-in Ribeye!

Best time to visit

Multnomah Whiskey Library is open Wednesday through Sunday. 4 PM – 11:15 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3 PM – 12:15 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 PM – 10:15 PM on Sundays.

They only accept reservations from members, so it’s best to get there as early as you can to make sure you get a table!

Learn more about Multnomah Whiskey Library here!

Attend an event at the Oregon Convention Center

What’s special about this place?

Located at 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Portland’s Lloyd District neighborhood, the Oregon Convention Center is a 1,000,000-square-foot convention center.

It is one of the largest event venues in the Pacific Northwest region, hosting a variety of conventions, meetings, and public shows annually.

The building and its grounds house an extensive collection of public art, including a 40-foot-long Chinese dragon boat, and the world’s largest Foucault pendulum!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Oregon Convention Center is ideal for architecture enthusiasts, artists and art enthusiasts, and tourists looking to attend some of the biggest public shows and/or expos in Portland.

What to do here?

Explore the Oregon Convention Center and its grounds. Attend an event here. Check out their extensive collection of public art. Check out Principia, the world’s largest Foucault pendulum.

Check out The Dream, a bronze statue depicting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepping forward with conviction to deliver his message.

Try to see all of the Oregon Plaques, a series of metal and enamel plaques scattered throughout the complex.

Best time to visit

The Oregon Convention Center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM. If you’re attending an event, make sure to get there as early as you can.

Otherwise, it’s best to visit the convention center on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays to avoid large crowds.

Learn more about the Oregon Convention Center here!

Go on a Sauvie Island getaway

What’s special about this place?

The largest island along the Columbia River, just 10 miles northwest of downtown Portland, Sauvie Island is a 24,000-acre river island.

Sauvie Island features a number of hiking trails, farms, and recreational beaches. It also contains the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, which features numerous wetlands and bodies of water, and about 300 species of wildlife.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to Sauvie Island is ideal for families, nature lovers, beach-goers, wildlife enthusiasts, birders, hikers, and tourists looking for the freshest local produce, and tourists looking for a natural playground close to Portland that offers activities for the whole family.

What to do here?

Tour the entire Sauvie Island. Hike through some of its famous trails, such as the Wapato Access Greenway State Park Trail, an easy two-mile loop that tours a seasonal lake.

Spend a day at the island’s public beaches. Go kayaking at the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. Check out Sauvie Island’s Warrior Rock Lighthouse, Oregon’s smallest lighthouse.

Check out Sauvie Island’s berry farms, and make sure to stop by Topaz Farm!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Sauvie Island really depends on your itinerary. If you want to get the full beach experience, it’s best to visit the island during the summer months.

That said, most migratory birds flock to the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area in the spring and fall months!

Try Portland’s best ice cream at Salt & Straw

What’s special about this place?

Salt & Straw is an ice cream company based in Portland, Oregon. It’s known for its exotic flavors, such Arbequina Olive Oil and Pear & Blue Cheese.

As of this writing, it has 3 locations in Portland: one on 3345 SE Division St, one on 838 NW 23rd, and one on 2035 NE Alberta St. Since opening in 2011, it has steadily built a cult following, and is one of Portland’s most sacred institutions.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Salt & Straw is ideal for families, foodies, and tourists looking to try the best ice cream in Portland. Basically, Salt & Straw is a must-visit for anyone with a mouth and a stomach. Its unique selection of flavors offers something for every palate.

What to do here?

Try some of Salt & Straw’s standout flavors. Try their Arbequina Olive Oil ice cream, as well as their Honey Lavender ice cream.

For vegan options, have some of their Strawberry & Coconut Water Sherbet and Freckled Mint TCHO-colate Chip. They also offer monthly flavors, so make sure to try those, too!

Best time to visit

Salt & Straw is open daily, from 11 AM to 11 PM. There’s literally no bad time for ice cream, so the best time to visit Salt & Straw really depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Salt & Straw here!

Visit the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art

What’s special about this place?

Located at 8371 N Interstate Ave, the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art, formerly known as Disjecta, is a 12,000-square-foot non-profit art center.

It is home to the Portland Biennial, a major survey or Oregon artists who define and advance the state’s contemporary arts landscape.

It features a regularly changing line up of contemporary art exhibits, and occasionally hosts special events.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Oregon Center for Contemporary Art is ideal for artists and art enthusiasts, and tourists looking to immerse themselves in the works of some of the region’s best contemporary artists.

What to do here?

Check out the exhibitions at the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art. Explore the art center, and check out the works of some of Portland’s best artists.

Learn about the current Portland arts scene. Attend a short film festival. Try to strike up a conversation with the space’s curators.

Best time to visit

The Oregon Center for Contemporary Art is open when exhibitions are on view, Friday through Sunday, from 12 PM to 5 PM.

As of this writing, the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art is currently closed for install until September 24. It’s best to check their website for more info.

Learn more about the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art here!

Explore Lake Oswego’s Iron Mountain Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2401 Iron Mountain Road in Lake Oswego, Iron Mountain Park is a 51-acre natural park. It features a picnic area, a nature play area, and a number of hiking trails.

Along with Lake Oswego’s Springbrook Park, Iron Mountain Park preserves a variable mixed woodland that includes Pacific madrone and Oregon white oak.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Iron Mountain Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, and tourists traveling with kids looking for a small city park with shaded, easily walkable trails and a nice little play area.

What to do here?

Explore Iron Mountain Park. Go hiking on its shaded trails, and check out some of the wildlife that thrive here. Spend a day picnicking at the park’s picnic area, and enjoy the park’s peace and quiet.

Best time to visit

Iron Mountain Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 9 PM. It’s best to visit the park around 6 AM to 9 AM, and 6 PM onwards to avoid large crowds.

Check out Tov Coffee & Tea

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd #5044, Tov Coffee & Tea is a quirky coffeeshop inside a red double decker bus.

While Tov Coffee & Tea specializes in authentic Egyptian/Turkish coffee and tea, it also serves traditional espresso as well as other specialty drinks. It’s one of Portland’s most unique coffee shops, and that’s saying something!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tov Coffee & Tea is ideal for coffee and tea lovers, and tourists looking to get their caffeine fix on a gloomy Portland day.

That said, it’s also a great place for a date. There’s nothing better than getting to know someone over coffee in a double decker bus.

What to do here?

Try Tov Coffee & Tea’s Turkish coffee. If you’re more of a tea person, try their Karkadeh. If you feel like experimenting, try some of Tov’s Specials, such as their Mint Thing and Winey Mocha.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with getting the standard espresso!

Best time to visit

Tov Coffee & Tea is open Wednesday through Monday. 11 AM to 4 PM Wednesdays, and 8 AM to 4 PM Thursday through Monday.

There’s no bad time for coffee, but if you want to avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit Tov on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Learn more about Tov Coffee & Tea here!

Explore Powell’s City of Books

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1005 W Burnside St, Powell’s City of Books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world. Occupying an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books houses approximately one million books.

It features nine color-coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections! It also has a Rare Book Room that houses a collection of autographed first editions and other collectible volumes.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Powell’s City of Books is a must-visit for families, bibliophiles, readers of all ages, and tourists searching for rare books—or rare volumes of their favorite books.

As the bookstore is frequented by acclaimed writers, artists, and thinkers, visiting Powell’s is also ideal for tourists looking to catch a glimpse of their favorite writer/s!

What to do here?

Explore Powell’s City of Books. Check out the store’s collections, and look for first editions of your favorite book/s at the Rare Book Room. If you’re looking for absolute steals, check out some of the used books for sale.

Best time to visit

Powell’s City of Books is open daily. 8 AM to 7 PM Monday through Saturday, and 1 PM to 7 PM on Sundays. The best time to visit the bookstore depends on your itinerary. As of this writing, the Rare Book Room is currently closed to customers.

Learn more about Powell’s City of Books here!

Hike the trails at Tryon Creek State Natural Area

What’s special about this place?

Located at 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd, the Tryon Creek State Natural Area is a 645-acre state park. Tryon Creek is the only state park within a major metropolitan area.

It boasts 8 miles of hiking trails, 3.5 miles of packed gravel trails for equestrians, and a 3-mile paved bicycle path! It is also home to more than 50 species of birds, and a variety of tree species such as Douglas fir and red alder.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tryon Creek is ideal for families, nature lovers, hikers, birders, and tourists looking for an oasis in the middle of the Portland metro.

It’s also ideal for tourists with disabilities, as its 0.3-mile barrier-free Trillium Trail is designed for people of all abilities!

What to do here?

Spend a day exploring the Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Hike through 8 miles of trails.

Have your binoculars ready and check out some of the wildlife and birds that thrive here, such as the Blacktail Deer, Red Tree Vole, Steller’s Jay, and Golden-crowned Kinglet!

Best time to visit

The Tryon Creek State Natural Area is open for day use all year round.

That said, if you plan on doing some birding, it’s important to remember that some bird species may be harder to spot during certain seasons, while some are common all throughout the year.

Go swimming at Portland’s Wilson Outdoor Pool

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1151 S Vermont St, within Wells High School, the Wilson Outdoor Pool is a public swimming pool that’s part of Portland’s Park and Recs program. It’s composed of two pools.

One pool is a lap pool with 6 lanes and a diving board; while the other pool is a family leisure pool with a 170-foot-long current channel with vortex, a little frog slide, and a 114-foot-long waterslide!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Wilson Outdoor Pool is ideal for families and tourist looking for an affordable and safe outdoor pool that’s great for swimmers of all ages and all levels.

What to do here?

Spend a day at the Wilson Outdoor Pool. Break out your best diving techniques at the lap pool. Have fun with your kids and slide down the 114-foot-long waterslide at the family leisure pool!

Best time to visit

The Wilson Outdoor Pool is open every summer. As it is one of Portland’s most popular public swimming pools, expect it to be quite packed at all times!

Visit The Grotto

What’s special about this place?

Located at 8440 NE Skidmore St, the National Sanctuary of the Sorrowful Mother, more popularly known as The Grotto, is a 62-acre Catholic outdoor shrine and sanctuary.

The Grotto, featuring a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta, is set at the foot of a 110-foot cliff; on top of the cliff is a bronze statue of Our Sorrowful Mother. The grounds feature a meditation hall, botanical gardens, and several thousand feet of trails.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Grotto, being a Catholic shrine, is ideal for practicing Catholics and devotees of the Sorrowful Mother.

That said, The Grotto welcomes tourists of all faiths and from all walks of life, and is great for guests looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Portland and spend a few hours in silence.

What to do here?

Take a walk through The Grotto’s grounds. Explore The Grotto’s botanical gardens, and check out the bronze statue of Our Sorrowful Mother at the top of the cliff.

If you’re visiting around Christmas time, check out the annual Festival of Lights held at The Grotto.

Best time to visit

The Grotto is open daily, from 9 AM to 6:30 PM. It’s best to visit The Grotto on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

As mentioned above, it is also known for its Festival of Lights, which is held every Christmas season, so be sure to visit The Grotto if you’re in the area around that time!

Learn more about The Grotto here!

Learn how to race at the Portland International Raceway

What’s special about this place?

Located at 140 N Victory Blvd, Portland International Raceway is a motorsport facility that hosts events such as the IndyCar Series, ICSCC road racing, and NASCAR.

The facility also hosts the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association bicycling races. It has a full circuit length of just under 2 miles, and offers a variety of driving classes such as a high-performance driving course and a winter driving course.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Portland International Raceway is ideal for families, thrill seekers, racing fans of all ages, and tourists who want to test their driving skills on a world-class race track.

Moreover, as it offers a variety of classes, it’s great for tourists eager to learn the basics of racing!

What to do here?

Watch a motorsport event at the Portland International Raceway. Check out an OMRRA motorcycle road racing event, or join one of PIR’s Late Night Drags. If you’re up for it, take a basic racing course on PIR’s circuit!

Best time to visit

The Portland International Raceway is open on weekdays, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. At the moment, it’s never too busy due to COVID, but it’s best to get to the facility at least half an hour before your event or class.

Learn more about the Portland International Raceway here!

Explore Oxbow Regional Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway in Gresham, around 16 miles east of Portland, Oxbow Regional Park is a 1000-acre nature park.

It offers a variety of accessible picnic areas and campsites, and over 15 miles of hiking trails that lead through an old-growth forest.

The park is home to wildlife such as minks, black bears, and cougars; and hosts an annual, two-day salmon conservation festival.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Oxbow Regional Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, wildlife enthusiasts, camping enthusiasts, and tourists looking to do some swimming and kayaking at the Sandy River.

What to do here?

Explore Oxbow Regional Park. Hike through the park’s trails and check out the park’s old-growth forest. Go camping at Oxbow Regional Park’s woods. Spend a day fishing, or float the Sandy River in a tube, boat, or kayak!

Best time to visit

Oxbow Regional Park is open daily, from 6:30 AM to 6 PM. It’s best to visit the park on weekdays if you want to avoid large crowds.

That said, if you plan on doing some camping, it’s best to contact a local ranger and check the weather conditions first!

Try the legendary doughnuts at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut

What’s special about this place?

Voodoo Doughnut is a world-famous donut shop known for its unique offerings.

While it has 11 locations within the country, Voodoo Doughnut originated in Portland, and has 2 locations in the city: one in 22 SW 3rd Ave, and one at 1501 NE Davis St.

It currently offers over 50 different types of doughnuts, but they also offer customized doughnuts upon request. Its Portland Cream doughnut, was designated as Portland’s “Official City Doughnut” in 2008.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Voodoo Doughnut is a must-visit for foodies and tourists of all ages craving for doughnuts. It’s also especially great for first-timers who want to experience the Portland spirit in on bite!

What to do here?

Try some of Voodoo Doughnut’s bestsellers. Try their Voodoo Doll, a doughnut filled with raspberry jelly, covered in chocolate frosting, and topped with a pretzel stake. Or try their Grape Ape, a vanilla frosted doughnut with grape dust and lavender sprinkles.

Make sure to get the Portland Cream, a doughnut filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate and two frosting eyeballs!

Best time to visit

Voodoo Doughnuts is open 24/7. The best time to visit one of their shops and have some of their doughnuts really depends on your itinerary.

Voodoo Doughnut’s so good, nobody will judge you if you get a doughnut at 3 AM. In fact, an argument can be made that that’s the best time for doughnuts!

Learn more about Voodoo Doughnut here!

Shop at MadeHere PDX

What’s special about this place?

Located at 40 NW 10th Ave, MadeHere PDX is a gift shop that exclusively sells high quality and design-focused products designed and handcrafted in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

It features a variety of products, such as outdoor gear, leather goods, soaps, chocolate, jewelry, greeting cards, teas, and all sorts of unique items. MadeHere PDX is regarded as one of the best places in Portland for souvenirs and gifts.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

MadeHere PDX is ideal for families, tourists who want to support local Portland craftspeople and artists, and tourists looking to do a little souvenir-shopping.

What to do here?

Go souvenir-shopping at MadeHere PDX. Check out high quality items from local craftspeople. Ditch the standard socks and scarves, and get your friends and family something special from MadeHere PDX!

Best time to visit

MadeHere PDX is open daily, from 11 AM to 6 PM. The best time to visit MadeHere PDX depends on your itinerary, but it’s best to allot at least a few hours here!

Learn more about MadeHere PDX here!

Explore Powell Butte Nature Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 16160 SE Powell Blvd, Powell Butte Nature Park is a 612-acre extinct cinder volcano turned nature park.

It is Portland’s second-largest park after Forest Park, and offers miles of multi-use trails that accommodate hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.

The park consists of forested slopes, groves of trees, open meadows, and wetlands; as such, it is home to a diverse population of wildlife.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to Powell Butte Park is ideal for families, avid hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, nature lovers, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, and tourists looking for a park with a large system of trails and forests.

What to do here?

Explore Powell Butte Nature Park. Go hiking or biking through Powell Butte Nature Park’s trails. Take in the stunning views of Mt. Hood.

Have your binoculars and camera ready, and try to spot some of the bird species that frequent the area, such as the Lazuli Bunting and Western Kingbird, as well as some of the birds of prey that roam the park’s open meadows.

Best time to visit

Powell Butte Nature Park is open daily, from 7 AM to 8 PM. As with the other outdoor destinations on this list, it’s best to visit the park on weekdays to avoid large crowds!

Watch a movie at McMenamins Bagdad Theater & Pub

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd, McMenamins Bagdad Theater and Pub is an iconic Portland movie palace.

A relic of Hollywood’s Golden Age, it features a distinct Mediterranean-themed interior with barreled arches, ornate wrought-iron fixtures, and vibrant mosaics.

Bagdad Theater has 20,000-watt Surround Sound, K Prime digital projector, and luxurious seating. At the theater’s backroom is a pub that has an extensive tap selection and various classic grab-and-go theater snacks!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

McMenamins Bagdad Theater is ideal for serious cinephiles and casual movie fans alike, families, and tourists looking for a throwback movie palace experience.

That said, showings at Bagdad Theater does have some innovative touches, such as individual Captiview closed caption devices, hearing impaired headphones that amplify dialogue, and visual impaired headphones that describe the scenery and action—making it perfect for hearing and/or vision impaired guests!

What to do here?

Catch a movie at McMenamins Bagdad Theater. Indulge yourself with a throwback cinematic experience. Check out Bagdad Theater’s state-of-the-art sound system. Relax and enjoy a slice of pizza and a handcrafted ale during the movie!

Best time to visit

McMenamins Bagdad Theater & Pub is open daily. 11 AM to 10 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11 AM to 12 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

It’s best to visit the theater at least 15 minutes before your show starts. That said, if you want to indulge in a little people-watching and hang out at the theater’s casual pub, it’s best to visit as early as you can to make sure you get a table!

Learn more about McMenamins Bagdad Theater & Pub here!

Trace Portland’s Crystal Springs Creek

What’s special about this place?

Originating from the springs near Portland’s Reed College, Crystal Springs Creek is a 2.7-mile major tributary that runs southwest to meet Johnson Creek in Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood.

The stream’s cool waters provide an ideal habitat for salmon, birds, and other wildlife!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tracing the Crystal Springs Creek is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, birders, and tourists keen on learning about the role of major tributaries as essential habitats not just for fish, but for other animals that depend on the fish that live in these tributaries.

What to do here?

Trace the 2.7-mile-long Crystal Springs Creek. Check out some of the wildlife that live that live here. Observe how freshwater fish, such as salmon, pass through the major tributary.

Check out some of the bird species that frequent the area to hunt for fish, and don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

As the tributary is accessible all year round, the best time to visit Crystal Springs Creek depends on your itinerary. That said, it’s ideal to explore Crystal Springs Creek during the summer for optimal weather conditions.

Have some German-style beers at Zoiglhaus

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5716 SE 92nd Ave, Zoiglhaus is a German-style brewery and restaurant. It features a 200-seat restaurant with: a family section that has a play area for children, a central bar, and an adults’ section.

Zoiglhaus boasts a large menu that primarily focuses on German staples and German beers.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Zoiglhaus is ideal for families, German beer lovers, and tourists who prefer a brewpub with a warm homey vibe and with a more lager-heavy selection of beers as opposed to other, more popular, IPA-centric breweries in Portland.

What to do here?

Try some of Zoiglhaus’ best beers. Try their Lents Lager, based on the Bavarian Helles, known for its clean and crisp flavor profile.

If you’re more of an ale person, try their Ramona Red, a Northwest-Style Red Ale. If you want something milder, try Zoiglhaus’ Schwarzbier.

Best time to visit

Zoiglhaus is open daily, from 12 PM to 9:30 PM. Happy hours are from 3 PM to 5:30 PM, as well as 9 PM to 10 PM. It’s best to visit Zoiglhaus around 3 PM onwards. This way, it’s not so busy, but you’re just in time for happy hour!

Walk through the Lan Su Chinese Garden

What’s special about this place?

Located at 239 NW Everett St, Lan Su Chinese Garden is a 40,000-square-foot walled Chinese garden.

Designed by Chinese artisans from Suzhou, Lan Su is one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China. It’s considered by locals to be one of Portland’s greatest treasures.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is ideal for families, Chinese garden enthusiasts, and tourists who want to experience what an authentic classical Chinese garden is like.

What to do here?

Tour the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Walk through its covered walkways. Check out the garden’s unique plants, such as the Silk Tree, the Crape Myrtle, and the evergreen Hypericum shrub.

Check out Lake Zither at the center of the garden. For the full experience, stop by the garden’s Teahouse, and have a cup of tea and some light snacks.

Best time to visit

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is open Thursday through Tuesday, from 10 AM to 6 PM. While the garden is always a little bit busy, it’s best to visit the garden on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

Learn more about the the Lan Su Chinese Garden here!

Check out Portland’s Paul Bunyan Statue

What’s special about this place?

Located at SW corner of N Denver Ave, the Paul Bunyan Statue is a 31-foot-tall concrete and metal statue of Paul Bunyan, the mythical lumberman.

It was built as a monument to Oregon’s statehood, and while it looks like an abomination from another era, it’s one of Portland’s most iconic statues, and as such, is loved by locals and tourists alike.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Stopping by Portland’s Paul Bunyan Statue is a must-do for all Portland tourists, regardless if you’re a first-timer or not. It’s one of the things that make Portland, Portland. In other words, it’s one of the things that keep Portland weird.

What to do here?

Stop by the Paul Bunyan Statue. Check out the statue’s metal and concrete frame, and what the statue, a product of simpler times, can represent in our chaotic modern world. Have your camera ready and take some of the most touristy selfies—the kitschier, the better!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Paul Bunyan Statue largely depends on your itinerary. If you’re passing by, just stop for a few minutes and take a few selfies.

People typically don’t spend more than a few minutes here, but a Portland trip wouldn’t be the same without visiting the statue.

Go on a Willamette Valley winery tour

What’s special about this?

Running from the Columbia River in Portland through Salem, to the Calapooya Mountains outside Eugene, the Willamette Valley is a 150-mile-long valley in Oregon.

It contains the Willamette Valley AVA, which contains more than 19,000 acres of vineyards, and more than 500 wineries! The valley is often referred to as Oregon Wine Country, and is recognized as one of the premier wine-producing areas in the world.

Who’ll enjoy this?

A tour through the Willamette Valley AVA is ideal for families, wine connoisseurs, and tourists looking for a more relaxed outdoor getaway in Portland. It’s also ideal for farmers eager to learn about modern wine-making techniques!

What to do here?

Go on a Willamette Valley tour. Book a customized tour and taste some of the best wines in the best wineries within the valley.

While known for their award-winning Pinot noir, wineries in the valley are also known for great Pinot gris, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc!

Best time to do this

The best time to visit the Willamette Valley vineyards is during the fall season, which is typically the harvest season. There’s nothing like enjoying a tour through the vineyards, enjoying the brisk country air while having a glass of Pinot!

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Portland:

Is Portland Oregon worth visiting?

Yes. Portland is known for its “weird” culture (most likely a byproduct of a highly liberal, progressive, and primarily millennial population) and for being a great outdoor city with thousands of acres of trails. It’s a must-visit for tourists visiting the Pacific Northwest.

What’s the best time to visit Portland?

The best time to visit would be during the summer months of June to August. The city’s mild summer weather is ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities, and is also when the city’s roses are in full bloom!

Is Portland safe?

Portland is generally safe to visit. That said, Portland, like other big cities, does have a few shady areas. It’s best to stick to visiting major tourist spots, and it’s best to avoid public demonstrations while you’re there.

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