What to do in Portland, OR

Activities, attractions and tours
St Maarten and St Martin featuring outdoor art

Portland Attractions

Portland doesn’t try to run from its eccentricities. On the contrary, its residents often encourage each other to “Keep Portland Weird.” You’ll find tons of independent businesses in this Oregon city, including a bounty of food trucks and plenty of outdoor markets. Things to do in Portland also include a bike ride along one of Stumptown’s many trails and scoping out vintage clothing stores downtown. Whether you want to get a caffeine fix in the form of locally brewed coffee or take a thought-provoking tour of a regional art museum, Portland activities will keep you entertained and inspire a love of the city.

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Most fun & popular experiences in Portland

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What to do in Portland

Free Things to Do in Portland

Some say the best things in life are free. Make sure you visit the following around Portland:

Pearson Air Museum - Check if there are any special exhibits or guided tours on at this respected museum.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art - If you'd like to explore more of the local arts and culture scene, be sure to stop by.

Audubon Society of Portland - Attention animal lovers — here's your chance to meet some amazing new friends.

Portland Heights City Park - You'll fall for this attraction if you want to let your hair down and have some fun.

Animals in Pools Statue - Fans of architecture will enjoy admiring the modern design of this local landmark.

Shemanski Fountain - If you're interested in the days of old, this is one attraction you really should visit.

Lownsdale Square - Stroll the sidewalks and appreciate the character and charm of this buzzing location.

Elk Rock Island - Take things at a slower pace and enjoy a bit of time relaxing close to the water.

Multnomah County Central Library - Make time to stroll around this place of local importance.

First Congregational Church - Spend a bit of time in prayer or meditation at this peaceful sacred place.

Rose Garden Children's Park - Appreciate the contrast between busy city life and nature's rugged beauty at this beautiful place.

Simon and Helen Director Park - Grab your blanket, throw together a few snacks and find a shady area to relish Mother Nature.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Portland

While Portland is resoundingly offbeat through and through, the city is quite diverse in its offering of idiosyncrasies. The neighborhoods in The City of Roses represent this diversity quite well, with some districts teeming in nightlife and others in food trucks. One thing is sure: Whether you travel to Portland alone, with family, or in the company of friends, there is a neighborhood here to make you feel right at home.

Downtown — Portland’s downtown district is full of life and activities, and the good news is that you can walk to most of them. In fact, many Portland walking tours start and end here. From small, local boutique stores and the farmers market to international retailers and world-class restaurants, downtown has it all.

Nob Hill — The Portland area called Nob Hill surrounds NW 21st and NW 23rd Streets. Thanks to its reputation as being on the chicer side of things, many people call the district “Trendy-First and Trendy-Third.” Nob Hill is a great destination for anyone who is a fan of Victorian architecture, interesting storefronts, and local breweries. This part of Portland is also adjacent to Forest Park.

Belmont — If you want a high percentage of independent coffee shops and stores, head to this neighborhood. It’s also a treasure trove of food carts. Trek to this part of town to see vintage Portland at its finest.

Things to See in Portland

Before you hit the bike trail or put on your walking shoes, there are plenty of things to sit back and enjoy in Portland. Get entertained at one of the many local theaters, many of which put on Broadway productions. Venues like the Keller Auditorium and Winningstad Theatre always have something lively on stage. If it’s a photo opportunity you’re after, the Portland Observatory offers guided tours and boasts spectacular views. Other things to do in Portland, Oregon, revolve around quirky art. From a gallery dedicated to old vacuum cleaners to Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, Portland art keeps you on your toes.

Sightseeing in Portland

There are plenty of fun things to do in Portland, at any speed. Foodies must take a tour of local food carts, which operate out of trucks around the city. From Hawthorne Street to downtown, you can grab a mouthwatering bite at almost any hour. If you want to become one with nature, head to the Portland Japanese Garden or the Portland International Rose Test Garden. Expand your horizons by signing up for one of the many tours from Portland, Oregon. You can reach Mount Hood and other attractions within a few hours.

Things to Do in Portland with Kids

There are loads of unforgettable experiences in Portland that the whole gang will love. These are some of the most popular family friendly experiences around.


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Frequently asked questions

What to do in Portland on a sunny day?
What to do in Portland on a rainy day?
There’s no need to splash your way through a damp day when there are great indoor activities like these to try:

What should I not miss in Portland?
You simply can’t go home without checking off the following list of sensational attractions:

  • Oregon Zoo
  • Veterans Memorial Coliseum
  • Portland State University
  • Portland Japanese Garden

Are there cheap things to do in Portland?
What can you do in Portland for free?
Your time away in Portland won’t cost a fortune with free attractions like these on offer:

  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park
  • Washington Square Mall
  • Portland Expo Center

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