Explore The Tom Mccall Waterfront Park
Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a 30-acre park located alongside the Willamette River in downtown Portland.
It has some nice views of Portlands skyline and is host to many Portland events due to its location. So keep an eye on what events are on when you visit Portland.
This is one of the places to visit in Portland for afternoon strolls, picnics, and to cool off in the Salmon Street Springs fountain.
At the northern end of the park is the Pine Street Market food hall.
- Hours: 24 hours
- Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
Stroll Down Mississippi Avenue
When most people think of Portlands quirkiness they probably envision the lively corridor that is Mississippi Avenue, which is why exploring this area is one of the best things to do in Portland.
Mississippi Avenue is lined with colorful storefronts and locals shops that cater to any whim a millennial might enjoy. Theres a beautiful plant nursery, awesome restaurants , food carts, fantastic breweries and plenty of charming shops.
Check the roster at Mississippi Studiosand try to grab tickets to a show catching a live music performance is one of the best things to do in Portland and Mississippi Studios does not disappoint.
Things to do on Mississippi Avenue
FOOD | Prost Marketplace: A food cart pod serving creative cuisine on Mississippi Ave. Regardless of what you choose to eat , make sure to grab brews from Prost, the German brewery adjacent to the cart pod. This food pod has picnic tables, lighting and a tent to keep diners dry come rain or shine.
FOOD | Stormbreaker Brewing: Stormbreaker is a crowd-favorite among local Portlanders for their hoppy IPAs, memorable ciders and great outdoor seating. Founded in 2013, this beloved Portland brewery now boasts two lively locations. Enjoy a cold glass of cider or an IPA over pub fare .
SHOP | Meadow: Salt, Chocolate and Bitters: A cute shop worth a visit even if you dont plan to purchase anything. They have finely selected chocolates from all over the world in addition to massive salt blocks and unique wine.
Take Photos Of Mount Hood
Mount Hood is actually a dormant volcano, with plunging slopes and a snow-capped peak making it the most photogenic mountain near Portland. Surrounded by a thick national forest, this is the great outdoors at its most impressive.
Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, Oregons highest peak has several walking trails to enjoy. Or admire it from afar at scenic viewpoints along the majestic highway.
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The Best Things To Do In Portland Oregon
Whether you are visiting Portland for a day, a week, or a month, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities, museums, hikes, restaurants, day trips, parks, and more.
Portland even has some special attractions that you never would have expected to find here.
For example, Portland is home to some of the USAs most authentic Japanese Gardens, as well as one of the countrys oldest art museums.
It also has the worlds largest independently-owned bookstore, some of the Pacific Northwests best ice cream, and is one of the only cities in the USA with an aerial tram.
So aside from your usual attractions, some Portland points of interest are impressive beyond belief.
Lets get into this exciting list of the best things to do in Portland!
So Many Things To Do In Washington Park
Washington Park is a huge space of land that covers more than 410 acres of land. The park is home to many of Portlands premier attractions including a zoo, childrens museum, Japanese Gardens, and an arboretum. For visitors that do not want to spend time at an attraction there are picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis courts and large space of green land or wild forest to explore. If you like walking there are over 15 miles of trails to walk or jog along, some of the trails connect with Pittock Mansion, Forest Park and Council Crest.
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Take A Road Trip To Multnomah Falls
Technically, this is not in the Portland city limits, but it is so bucket list worthy that you will want to take the 40 minute drive East to the Columbia River Gorge to see it. It is one of the best things to do in Portland! Multnomah Falls is split into two sections for a total of 611 feet and every inch is stunning. It is quite a sight from the ground floor, but you can also take a hike to walk across the bridge and on to the top.
These highly rated tours will take you there:
Best Things To Do In Portland
The city of Portland is the largest in the state of Oregon. At the beginning of the 20th century the city was known to be one of the most dangerous port cities in the world with organized crime and racketeering being common place. This reputation is now in the past and the city has been voted as the 8th most popular city in America.
The city is very conscious of its effect on the environment and is one of the greenest cities in the world. Many people here cycle more than they drive, do a lot of walking and participate in farm to table dining.
Lets explore the best things to do in Portland.
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Explore The Eclectic Mississippi Avenue Neighborhood
With adorable shops, quirky bars and houses turned into trendy, restaurants serving sustainably-sourced food, Mississippi Avenue and its surrounding neighborhood has an eclectically charming vibe.
You could easily spend the day popping into different joints, sampling the local flavors and toasting to a great visit to Portland .
Be Entertained At The Jack London Revue
Get your evening off to a swinging start at this speakeasy-style jazz club. Tucked away in a cozy basement, the Jack London Revue hosts acts from near and far on its intimate stage.
Whether you prefer energetic guitar solos or saucy burlesque, there is always something on that will tickle your fancy. Cocktails and snacks seal the deal.
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Learn At The Water Resources Education Center
Overlooking the Columbia River, the Water Resources Education Center teaches us all to be better stewards of one of Earths most precious resources.
Theres nearly always an event occurring at the Center, so be sure to check their calendar.
They always have interactive exhibits, activities, an aquarium, natural gardens, artwork and wetlands on display.
Choose to explore at your own pace, or sign up for a led event.
You can even check out one of the biggest fish you may ever see the sturgeon can live to be more than 100 years old and grow to more than 1,500 pounds!
Hike In Hoyt Arboretum
Hoyt Arboretum, just two miles west of downtown Portland, is close to Portlands famous zoo and International Rose Test Garden.
With 6,000 trees and scenic hilly trails, Hoyt is stunning in every season. And its free and open to the public all day every day, making it one of the more fun activities in Portland.
Meet at the visitor center Saturdays, April to October, for a 90 minute guided tour through the plant collections or just wander these beautiful trails on your own.
Whether youre in search of a short stroll or a vigorous hike, Hoyt Arboretum delivers.
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Unwind In Mcmenamins Kennedy School Outdoor Soaking Pool
If relaxing in a steamy outdoor pool with a drink in hand sounds like a good time to you, weâd make great friends! Also, listen up because weâve got the perfect thing to squeeze into your Portland itineraryâ¦
Nestled in the Woodlawn neighborhood of northeast Portland, the McMenaminâs Kennedy School Soaking Pool is a worthy escape from the bustle of downtown.
Once an elementary school, this is now an entertainment center complete with a hotel, restaurant, several bars, a movie theater, and yes, a soaking pool. Whew â that was a lot of commas!
Insider Tip: Before changing into your bathing suit, head to the Courtyard Bar where you can grab a drink if youâd like to enjoy it in the warm embrace of the soaking pool. Yeah, I said warm embrace. There is a pretty great cocktail list as well as a selection of McMenaminâs own beers. Thatâs right, they are not only a hotel, soaking pool, movie theater and restaurant, but a brewery too!
The tepid water is comfortable on a chilly winter day, yet not so hot that youâll need to get out and take a break every 5 minutes. Itâs what Goldilocks would deem juuuust right.
Turn on the jets for an ultra relaxing bathwater-meets-hot-tub experience. With tropical looking trees bordering the pool thatâll make you wonder if youâre still in Portland.
How much does it cost?
Soaking in the Kennedy School Pool is one of the best cheap things to do in Portland, making it a fun activity for even budget travelers!
Solve Puzzles On A Scavenger Hunt
Pull on your thinking caps for a self-guided mission around Portland, figuring out clues as you go. The handy app will reveal secrets of the Bohemian arts district, with stops at the Pioneer Courthouse Square and Powells Books along the way.
This is a fun way to discover the citys top sights at your own pace, at a time of your choosing.
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Enjoy A Sailing Adventure
Take to the water and see Portland in a new light on a waterfront sailing excursion. Relax on deck as the city skyline passes you by keep your camera handy for the iconic views.
Want to head out of town? Then harness the wind and glide down Columbia River Gorge, and get hands-on as an honorary crew member. Small-group and private tours are available.
If youve always wanted to be the captain of your own ship, visit the Portland Sailing Center, and the sailing school is based on the Columbia River.
Learn the ropes and be taught how to sail a keelboat, and recreational sailing boats range in size, from smaller water vessels to longer keelboats reaching 11 meters.
The center offers a variety of different classes , from the basics to those for seasoned recreationists. Topics that the course covers include fundamental sailing maneuvers, steering by wind and sails, setting sails for speed and comfort and more.
You can also rent and charter your own sailboat for the day from Portland Sailing Center.
Relax At Laurelhurst Park Or Washington Park
Portland has tons of green space to relax in and enjoy. Laurelhurst Park was designed by the same team that designed Central Park in New York. It has a laid-back atmosphere and is popular with locals and visitors alike. Theres a duck pond, bike paths, and an off-leash dog area.
Washington Park is another great choice if youre looking to lounge with a book and enjoy the weather. The park contains memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Holocaust, and the Lewis and Clark expedition, and also offers beautiful vistas of Portland and Mt. Hood.
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Visit The Clark County Historical Museum
Learn the areas history at the Clark County Historical Museum where you will view many artifacts that are dedicated to the culture and history of Clark Country. It was started in 1917 and it hosts many exhibits of which the Native American Craft exhibition is quite famous.
Revamp your history buff at the Clark County Historical Museum
Address: 1511 Main Street, Vancouver, Washington
Opening hours: Tues – Sat: 11am – 4pm
Price: 2 USD
Walk Amongst The Trees At Hoyt Arboretum
Hoyt Arboretum covers an area of 187 acres and is situated a couple of miles away from downtown Portland. There are approximately 10,000 individual trees and shrubs in the park and over 1,100 different species from across the globe. If you like walking then you can take your pick of trails, the trails in total are 12 miles long. In the center of the park there is a visitor center that has an indoor classroom as well as a picnic area and a meadow. The visitor center is manned by volunteers who carry out regular tours of the park.
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Get Lost In Forest Park
Portland is known for having lots of green space. But if you want to get away from it all and be immersed in nature without going far from the city, Forest Park is the perfect place to cure your nature cravings.
Located just northwest of downtown Portland, this 5,172-acre park is not only the biggest park in Portland , but its one of the largest urban forest reserves in the United States .
With more than 70 miles of trails for running, biking or just exploring and lovely views overlooking Willamette River, Forest Parkâs thick trees and winding paths will make you forget youâre still technically in the city!
So lace up those walking shoes, pack a picnic, and get lost in the woods.
Stop And Smell The Roses
All 10,000 of them! One of Portlands nicknames is the City of Roses and this is why.
Whether youre an avid gardener or just appreciate beauty and the intoxicating scent of blooming roses, Portlands spectacular free International Rose Test Garden is the place to be.
Youll find more than 650 varieties of these lovely beauties in bloom between April and October, with peak bloom in June . Swing by the gift shop for a packet of rose seeds or tin of rose tea on your way out.
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Ride The Portland Aerial Tram
The Portland Arial Tram is a cable car that takes you from the citys South Waterfront district up to the Oregon Health & Science University campus on Marquam Hill. I mean, thats one way to commute to your college lectures!
It opened in 2006 and is one of two
It is one of only two commuter aerial tramways in the U.S. .
The ride only lasts for three minutes, but it offers excellent views of the city and is a great way to get up the hill without tiring out your legs!
- Hours: 5.30am 9.30pm
- Address: 3303 S Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239
See The Japanese Garden
Located near the Rose Test Garden, these Japanese gardens were created in the 1960s as a symbol of peace between World War II adversaries. Today, its considered the best Japanese garden outside of Japan. Spanning 12 acres, it contains traditional gazebos, waterfalls, ponds, Zen sand gardens, and lots of walking paths. Its super relaxing and serene and beautiful all year round, though its particularly stunning in the autumn when the leaves are changing. It receives no funding from the city, so its not cheap, but if you want to escape the city for a while, then its worth every penny.
611 SW Kingston Ave, +1 503-223-1321, japanesegarden.org. Open daily 10am5:30pm. Admission is $18.95 USD
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Eat Donuts And Hunt For The Citys Best Ones
The question who makes the best donuts in Portland is enough to start a war amongst Portlanders. Its best that you taste test for yourself.
You have probably heard about the incredibly wild and unique Voodoo Doughnuts. Well, they originated in Portland after noticing the city had ZERO donut shops.
Now there as ubiquitous as Starbucks .
The three main donut shops people rave about are:
Eating ALL the donuts and finding your favorite is one of the best things to do in Portland Oregon for kids and us big kids!
Though our girls couldnt go past the extreme flavors of Voodoo.
I appreciated the elegant fine dining style of Blue Star, and Craig went for the traditional style of Pips it is hard to beat the smell of a hot cinnamon donut!
Whatever your favorite becomes, this is a must do activity in Portland!
Donut lovers can join the Portland Underground Donut Tour. If you do, wed love to see photos and hear what you thought. Tag us @ytravelblog or post on our Facebook page.
Things To Do In Vancouver Wa: Pearson Field And Pearson Air Museum
Established when a Baldwin airship landed on the polo grounds of the Vancouver Barracks, Pearson Field was primarily used for general aviation and stands today as one of the oldest continuously operating airfields in the country.
The Pearson Air Museum is an aviation museum located on Pearson Field that celebrates the history of aviation, Pearson Field, and the Vancouver Barracks. The museum is home to a range of objects and artifacts that take visitors on an aviation journey back in time.
1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661, 360-816-6232
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Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden
The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden is situated on the western portion of Grant Park.
Despite its name, it only contains three statues: a cheerful young girl, a boy, and their dog.
These are the characters of popular childrens author Beverly Cleary, namely Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy.
These statues circle a little fountain that gives the impression that theyre splashing about and having a blast, and the tiles beneath their feet are engraved with book titles.
Cleary grew up in Portland, so she used the city and its many places to see as inspiration for the settings for her many whimsical and delightful stories.
From the parking lot where Ramonas boots got mud-stuck, to the lawn Henry searched for nightcrawlers on, all the way up to the home of the Quimby family on Klickitat Street.
If you grew up reading her works, youll want to visit the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for sure!
Address: Grant Park Path, Portland, OR 97212, United States