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Top Activities in Portland

See all 97 things to do in Portland


What to Do in Portland: Must See Attractions

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.

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's fun for all the family no matter where you go in Portland. Here are some family friendly experiences you can enjoy together that are certain to make your trip memorable:

Free Things to Do in Portland

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

Pearson Air Museum - Roam around and study the thought-provoking exhibits and carefully curated collections at this popular museum.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art - This is a non-negotiable stop for culture vultures eager to add an artistic flourish to their escape.

Audubon Society of Portland - Animals are fascinating, and you can keep company with some cool ones here.

Portland Heights City Park - Fun, fun, fun awaits you at this fantastic attraction.

Animals in Pools Statue - Tour this modern local landmark and enjoy its splendid design.

Shemanski Fountain - If you'd love to explore the region's history through its landmarks, add this one to your sightseeing list.

Lownsdale Square - This is a lively place where you can soak up the ambiance and join in on local life.

Elk Rock Island - Find a good place to sit and savor the serenity that comes with being around water.

Multnomah County Central Library - Widely known among local residents, this place is worth dropping by.

First Congregational Church - Do a bit of quiet reflection and learn a few things about this site's spiritual significance.

Rose Garden Children's Park - Take your camera and let Mother Nature awaken awe and wonder in you.

Simon and Helen Director Park - Organize a picnic and enjoy a stroll around the gorgeous plant life.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Portland

Downtown Portland

Make time to explore the heart of the city and discover great food, shopping and entertainment.


Pearl District

Stay in a hotel here as a base to enjoy this fascinating neighborhood’s offerings, from morning coffee to late-night arts. 


Lloyd District

Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum are top sights in Lloyd District, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Convention Center Station or Rose Quarter Transit Center to see more sights in the area.

WaterfallsCastlesHistorical Buildings

Alphabet Historic District

Alphabet Historic District is known for its ample dining options, and you can make a stop by Couch Park and Mission Theater while in the area.



If you're looking for abundant dining options, a trip to Parkrose might be just the ticket. Explore top sights in the area like Leatherman Factory and get around town on the metro at Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center.

ShoppingDiningFriendly People

Northwest Portland

If you're spending time in Northwest Portland, check out sights like Roseland Theater or Forest Park and hop on the metro to see more the city at Union Station-NW 6th and Hoyt Street Station or Union Station-NW 5th and Glisan Station.

Learn More About Portland | Blog

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 loads of awesome indoor activities like these on offer:

What should I not miss in Portland?

If you're eager to discover the best of this place, add these sights to your itinerary:

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

What can you do in Portland for free?

Your time in Portland needn't send you broke with free attractions like these to keep you entertained:

  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park
  • University of Portland
  • Lloyd Center