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Things to do in Portland

66 contributors
  • Outdoors
    10 places
  • Museums
    10 places
  • Nightlife
    7 places
Activities in Portland
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The most visited in Portland
Gardens in Portland
Portland Rose Garden
(4)
Gardens in Portland
International Rose Test Garden
(2)
2 activities
Museums in Portland
Portland Police Museum
(2)
Museums in Portland
Wells Fargo History Museum
Shops in Portland
Pittock Mansion
(2)
Rivers in Portland
Bridges of Portland
(3)
Markets in Portland
Portland Saturday Market
Gardens in Portland
Portland Japanese Gardens
(2)
Bars in Portland
Deschutes Brewery
Museums in Portland
Portland Art Museum
(1)
Gardens in Portland
Council Crest Park
(1)
Museums in Portland
Oregon History Center
Museums in Portland
World Forestry Center
Museums in Portland
Portland Children's Museum
(1)
Gardens in Portland
Cathedral Park
Markets in Portland
PSU Farmer's Market
(1)
Museums in Portland
Portland Police Museum
(2)
Museums in Portland
Wells Fargo History Museum
Museums in Portland
Portland Art Museum
(1)
Museums in Portland
Oregon History Center
Museums in Portland
World Forestry Center
Museums in Portland
Portland Children's Museum
(1)
Museums in Portland
Oregon Maritime Museum
(1)
Museums in Portland
Bybee Howell House
Museums in Portland
Washington County Museum
Museums in Portland
Oregon Jewish Museum
Gardens in Portland
Portland Rose Garden
(4)
Gardens in Portland
International Rose Test Garden
(2)
2 activities
Gardens in Portland
Portland Japanese Gardens
(2)
Gardens in Portland
Council Crest Park
(1)
Gardens in Portland
Cathedral Park
Gardens in Portland
(1)

The top 33 attractions in Portland

Gardens in Portland
Portland Rose Garden
(4)
The rose garden is one of the most popular attractions to be found in Portland, Oregon. It is the oldest rose garden in the USA. It was created in 1917 after several women decided to exhibit their roses for the neighbors. For this reason, Portland is called "The City of Roses". Within the park there are several gardens, such as the miniature rose garden and the Shakespeare garden. The park offers views of the entire city of Portland and it is the perfect place to walk and enjoy nature in Oregon.
Gardens in Portland
International Rose Test Garden
(2)
With more than 8000 different rose bushes, this Eden-like garden is a haven of peace in the city of Portland. You can walk along the flowery paths, bursting with color from May to July. And you can admire the center of the city from the garden, overlooking Mount Hood. Bring a picnic lunch! Open Daily from 7:30 aM - 9:00 pM
2 activities
Museums in Portland
Portland Police Museum
(2)
The Portland Police Historical Museum (Portland) is a Museum about the Portland Police and has been open since mid 1976. The museum features a series of exhibitions displaying photographs, equipment and other artifacts. Half of the museum displays a variety of photographs and official, specific documents. There is also a room which is devoted to the sacrifice of the 26 police officers that were killed on duty in the year 1867.
Museums in Portland
Wells Fargo History Museum
This museum is in Oregon. The exhibition is a has the Concordia, telegraph hands, and guided tours on request. It also has videos, unique objects and interpretation of the history of Wells Fargo. The hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.
Shops in Portland
Pittock Mansion
(2)
Pittock Mansion offers gifts that educate, entertain and raise public awareness about one of the most beloved cultural treasures to be found in Portland, while raising funds in order to support it. This cozy shop is situated next to the mansion in a renovated building that peculiarly served as a family garage. The shop is filled with a wonderful series of objects, all year round.
Rivers in Portland
Bridges of Portland
(3)
Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, the city of Portland has a lot of bridges, explaining one of its nicknames: "Bridgetown". Although most are not particularly interesting, there are a few that should not be missed, both for their style and the fact that they are mobile, moving to allow larger vessels to pass. This is the case for example of the "Steel Bridge" in the heart of Portland near the Saturday Market on the waterfront.
Markets in Portland
Portland Saturday Market
This Saturday market is Portland's highly recognized open air crafts and arts market. In fact, it's the largest continuously operating market in the country. It operates every Saturday and Sunday from March through Christmas. Over 200 local artists, craftsmen, and artisans showcase their skills. Walk up and down the isles of ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, candles, clothing, and much more. The market also features excellent food carts, live music, and street performers. It's much more than just a market. It's people watching, food sampling, curious browsing, curious sight-seeing. Often times, it's 'Portland weird' wrapped up into one giant, overwhelming market....rain or shine. See it for yourself!
Gardens in Portland
Portland Japanese Gardens
(2)
The Japanese Garden is a popular attraction in Portland. Once you enter it, you truly feel like it's a living reflection of Japan's natural world, tradition and culture. There are 5 garden styles within the Japanese garden; flat garden, strolling pond garden, tea garden, natural garden, and the sand stone garden. The paths weave you through each one, admiring the landscaping and native Japanese trees, plants, and flowers. Admire the koi pond, take a relaxing breath at the zen garden, browse in the teahouse, and walk on the path that connects everything. To quote the garden's website, "When we enter a Japanese garden, the desired effect is to realize a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility and to experience the feeling of being a part of nature." The Portland Japanese Garden helps you connect with your inner self as well as the natural world in a serene Japanese setting. What a great way to spend an afternoon in Portland!
Bars in Portland
Deschutes Brewery
Deschutes is a classic brewpub stop for those visiting Portland. It's conveniently located in the NW section of downtown Portland, right off the streetcar line. Deschutes is originally from Bend, Oregon. It has some truly pioneering, award-winning beers. Among the favorites are the complex and creamy black butte porter, the cascadian hoppy mirror pond pale ale, and the robust obsidian stout. They have really have an impressive menu of unique beer, and sample trays are available. As for the restaurant, the atmosphere is great. It resembles a large, open, cabin-feeling dining hall complete with wood carvings. It's always bustling and a wait for a table is common. The food is northwestern fare with seasonal favorites & local ingredients. Deschutes is classic...you will definitely enjoy & remember it!
Museums in Portland
Portland Art Museum
(1)
The Portland Art Museum (Portland) was established in 1892, making it the oldest art museum on the West Coast and the 7th oldest in the USA. Its permanent collection has more than 42,000 works of art and at least one exposure itinerant which is on display is one of the most important of its period. The Northwest Film Center is also a component of the Portland Art Museum.
Gardens in Portland
Council Crest Park
(1)
This is a great hike within Portland which boasts a good amount of elevation and great views at the top. It's 3.3 miles round trip with 820 feet of elevation gain. The Marquam Nature Park Shelter Trailhead is a great place to start. Follow the "council crest/4T trail' signs and you wind up through the beautiful Southwest portion of forest park. Some nice houses come to view in the woods, and soon you realize you're in a neighborhood in the hills. You cross a few intersections, keep following the signs and marveling at the houses, and eventually you reach council crest. Council crest is widely known as one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Portland. On a clear day, you can see the mountains beyond Portland. You can also drive up to council crest, but the hike is worth it! It's a quick, family friendly, nice little work out with great rewards. I would recommend this hike if you want to stay close to the city!
Museums in Portland
Oregon History Center
The Oregon History Center (Portland) features special exhibits related to the history of Oregon. It has different hobbies and activities taking place in the city. It is a museum that is categorized as a historic one. The place has an extensive library that provides a variety of publications and books with the history of the area.
Museums in Portland
World Forestry Center
This is a museum that has 20,000 square meters and is in Portland Washington Park.The museum reopened on June 30, 2005 after a major refurbishment with inversion.The interactive exhibits are family friendly and designed to attract visitors to learn about the care of forests and trees in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
Museums in Portland
Portland Children's Museum
(1)
The Portland Children \ 's Museum is situated in the Arts District of Portland. The Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities for children and families. It offers guided tours by experts who accompany you during your visit to the museum and answer all your questions.
Gardens in Portland
Cathedral Park
Among Portland's numerous parks, this is one of the top ones to check out! It's at the base of the east side of the St. John's bridge; Portland's beloved and magnificent Gothic/cathedral style suspension bridge. It's a large park (23 acres) with multiple paved paths winding around beautiful trees and patches of grass, picnic tables, and even an outdoor stage. There's a small beach on the river and a dock as well. It's a great place to stroll around and enjoy the views of the St. John's bridge, Willamette River, and Forest park just to the west. There are many public events and concerts held here on weekends in the summer. This park is rich in history, as it served as a landing site for Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s. More recently, in the 1970s, the area was transformed from a "junkyard state" into the beautiful park it is today. Grab a cup of good portland coffee, a pastry and take a stroll around in this gem of a park!
Markets in Portland
PSU Farmer's Market
(1)
This farmer's market is located in south park blocks on the Portland State University Campus in SW Portland. It's held every Saturday from March until December. There are many neighborhood farmer's markets in Portland, but this is a great one to visit if you're traveling to Portland. First off, it's huge. There are hundreds of vendors with a crazy variety of food and food products, all local of course. Organic fruits and veggies, baked goods, smoked salmon, artisan cheese, honey tincture, locally brewed cider beer, you name it! Sample many different things, or stop at one of the great food carts if you're hungry for a full breakfast or lunch. Also, great people watching here. There is usually a multitude of performers and musicians entertaining the market-goers. It gets crowded in the late morning/afternoon on nice days, so come early in the morning if you're wanting to breeze through and pick up a few things. Otherwise, stroll around, enjoy samples, and slowly take in all the sights, sounds, and tastes of Portland's iconic farmer's market!
Hiking in Portland
Wildwood Trail (Forest Park)
Behold Forest Park, a 5,100 acre wooded area nestled up to Portland. It's the largest forested natural area within city limits in the U.S. For an outdoorsy person, it's a must-see in Portland. The Wildwood Trail is a great trail to hike. It's a 30 mile long loop system within Forest Park. Open year round, but best conditions are in the late-spring, summer, and fall. A common starting place is in Northwest Portland. It's an easy-moderate hike with some incline and a well maintained path. Beautiful, lush forest will surround you and the natural beauty will astonish you. An interesting landmark on the trail is the stone house, an abandoned stone structure that used to be a public restroom built in the 1930s. A storm eventually took out the water line, and it was never repaired. Today, it serves as a great break or lunch spot on this lovely hike. The trail can see a lot of traffic on nice weekend afternoons, so venture far in or seek a different trail further outside of portland if you want to get away from people. However, it's convenience to Portland will be forever cherished. Don't miss it!
Gardens in Portland
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Venture into Southeast Portland and you will discover the Rhododendron Garden, adjacent to Reed College. This garden has been deemed by Portland Parks & Rec. as, "One of the world’s finest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in an idyllic woodland setting." Stroll through seven acres of rare species and hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and other lesser known plants and unusual trees. As I walked around, I was blown away with the beauty of the landscaping. A spring-fed lake surrounds the garden, and you walk by 3 waterfalls via 2 beautiful bridges and continue on shaded paths to reach Crystal Springs Lake and fountain spray. 94 species of birds reside in the garden, so there is plenty of birdwatching. The garden has a rich history, and was originally established as a test garden and a site to perform Shakespeare plays on by Reed College Students. It has been preserved by the Portland Parks & Rec. since 1950, and is meticulously maintained year round. The time to see the blooming Rhododendrons is April and May, but the garden itself is beautiful year round.

The best things to do in Portland

Given Portland's status as a haven for nature lovers, you'll find plenty of things to do in Portland in the great outdoors, beginning with Mount Hood, whose silhouette can be seen on the horizon from anywhere in the city. Also, you can ski its snow-capped peak at almost any time of year.


Other interesting places to visit in Portland include Multnomah Falls (it's 189 meters high and annually attract 2 million visitors), and the wine-producing Willamette Valley region. Nature also is a prominent within the city, as evidenced by top Portland attractions like the Japanese Gardens, Washington Park, one of the largest in the city, and Portland's famous rose gardens.


When pondering what to do in Portland, don't forget to include the city's world-class museums like the Portland Art Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry Museum. However, parks and museums are not the only things to see in Portland. In fact, one of the best Portland activities is exploring its many craft breweries. Portland has become one of the cradles of craft beers in recent years and there is no end to tasty breweries to explore. Have a look at all the attractions in Portland shared by real travelers on minube and discover the best stuff to do Portland.