14 Best Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland has always been one of the greatest travel destinations for tourists for a long time. The best time to visit the place is completely relative and depends on each traveller. Portland is a very beautiful and culturally rich place situated in Oregon. With beautiful parks, museums and what not, you will easily be able to have the ideal day out with your family. The city offers a lot of fun activities to its residents and visitors, that will give you the chance to make your weekend perfect while you enjoy doing new things. From riding the Aerial Tram to snacking on fresh produce at the farmers market, Portland has a lot of things in store for you. Here is a list of the best places to visit in Portland.

Let's explore Portland points of interest and 14 best things to do in Portland:

1. Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo, Portland - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Oregon zoo was previously known as the Washington Park Zoo. It is a home to more than 1500 animals that stay in a lot of different habitats. The zoo is spread across more than 60 acres of land. The zoo was founded in the year 1888 with the aim of giving a habitat for the animals as well as to keep the children entertained. The children as well as their families prefer going to picnics to the zoo on sunny days. The zoo is famous for its exceptional species survival plans. Some of these plans include programs for Asian elephants, Californian condors, and African lions. They believe in preserving the earth’s natural state of being by caring for animals of all kinds. Oregon Zoo has a lot of exhibits that will help you learn more about different species and where they come from. It also hosts a lot of summer shows and workshops for children as well as adults. There is a beautiful light show hosted by the zoo in winter, which is called as Zoo Lights. Oregon Zoo is the perfect place to spend your weekend at!

2. World Forestry Centre

The World Forestry Centre covers an area of Twenty Thousand Square Feet. It is a museum that is located in Portland’s Washington Park. Its main focus is on the preservation the forests and nature and highlight the role that environmental sustainability has in today’s world.

Founded in 1971 and instantly becoming the icon of Portland, the World Forestry Centre is a beautiful museum built with Cascadian architectural style. It features a variety of exhibits, engaging displays and educational shows for all ages. The people can see the forest from above and get to learn about the people and tribes living in the forest and their culture. You can even learn more about the forestry systems across countries without having to travel to those countries!

3. Portland Aerial Tram

Tourists can see the city of Portland from the air. It almost feels like flying! The Portland Aerial Tram is placed 500 ft above the ground, making sure that the people see this beautiful city from an exceptional angle. The tram from the South Waterfront and goes up to Marquam Hill that gives you the chance to soak all of Portland in. Marquam Hill has a summit that is a protected natural place that features many walking trails.

4. Portland Children's Museum

Portland Children’s Museum believes in enhancing the learning experience of children and features a variety of workshops to learn arts and sciences. The museum includes exhibits in Building Bridgetown, Outdoor Adventure, Pet Hospital, and Water Works. The museum is not only perfect for children but it facilitates hours of fun for adults as well!

5. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Oregon Museum of Science and IndustryImage Source: wikimedia.org

The OMSI is one of the best science centers in the USA that encourages curiosity and generates excitement among adults as well as children. It has five huge exhibit halls with hundreds of interactive and engaging displays and educational programs. OMSI sees thousands of visitors each year and it also offers the visitor to Kendall Planetarium where you can learn more about the universe. 

6. Pine State Biscuits

Pine State Biscuits was founded in the year 2006 in the farmer’s market of Portland. This beautiful place offers all meals every day of the week and has the goodness of some old-fashioned Southern delicacies! The menu includes the following:

a. fried chicken

b. creamy buttermilk biscuits with different toppings

c. bacon and eggs,

d. grits and preserves

e. sausage or mushroom gravy.

Not only does this place have delicious food, but it also has a great ambiance!

7. Floating World Comics

Floating World Comics, as the name suggests is a beautiful bookstore specializing in comics, located in downtown Portland. They have so many comics from old and new to self-published to rare which are sold at affordable prices. The bookstore is always crowded by the people who browse through several comics, especially on a Wednesday because the bookstore gets a new batch of comics, every Wednesday.

8. The Portland Farmers Market

tourist attractions in PortlandImage Source: wikimedia.org

The Portland Farmers Market was established in 1992 with the aim of creating an organization of several different farmers’ markets around Portland. The organization commenced with a tiny market in a parking lot in Albers Mill and today has seven vibrant farmers markets and fresh produce markets. 

9. Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut was established to provide something different to the town of Portland. The place offers several delicious doughnuts with different toppings which include:

a. chocolates and sugar

b. berries

c. buttermilk

d. sprinkles

e. banana cream

10. Washington Park

Washington Park - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Washington Park is a famous park in Portland and is visited by a lot of people everyday. Known for its outdoor activities and incredible landscapes, one can come here and relax. It has 15 miles of winding trails to jog, run, walk and bike, making it the perfect place to have a picnic at the park.

11. Bing Mi!

Bing Mi! is unique and serves the most traditional Chinese crepes for breakfast and lunch. If you are into giving your taste buds a rollercoaster ride with this savory crepe, Bing Mi! Is a must visit!

12. Oaks Amusement Park

Oaks Amusement Park is known for being home to the largest roller skating rink in the country. The park has a lot to offer. With more than 20 rides and a lot of toddler-friendly options, Oaks Amusement Park has become a popular place for jazzing up your weekend!

13. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a place that not only catches the eyes of the visitors for its scenic beauty, but also for the year-round recreation and outdoor activities. It is the most magnificent place to spend your day with your family!

14. Forest Park

Forest Park , PortlandImage Source: wikimedia.org

Spread across 5,000 acres, Forest Park is the biggest urban forest in the country. It is a place away from the noise of the city but at the same time, very close to the city. It is the most preferred place for the weekend by the Portlanders and is known for being one of the most popular tourist attractions of Portland.

When in Portland, one of the must do a thing is to visit the iconic Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and  Portland Japanese Garden. The weather in Portland is perfect for growing roses and hence visiting the International Rose Test Garden is mandatory. Other major attractions in Portland also include Pearl District, The Grotto - National Sanctuary Of Our Sorrowful Mother, Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and Portland Children's Museum.

Author: Arundhati Bhand
An animal lover at heart, marketer by education and artist by passion, Arundhati aims to seek out to all that satisfies her diverse interests. She believes that it is only through experiences that one learns, and a traveller of sorts, she strives to ...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Portland

Check out the list of top tourist attractions in Portland! These are some inspiring things to do in Portland to create a wish list of your dream destinations.

  1. # 1 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 4194 times in trip plans
    Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

    Tags: Outdoors, Hiking Trail, Scenic Drive

    Address: Cascade Locks, OR 97014, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is stretched over 292,500 acres connecting the Sandy River with the Deschutes. The river takes its course through Oregon and three Washington counties whi...Read more

  2. # 2 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 4516 times in trip plans
    International Rose Test Garden

    Tags: Garden, Park

    Address: 400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA

    Timings: 07:30 am - 09:00 pm Details

    With the fear of decimation, a responsible citizen had foreseen the threat of the European roses being subject to extinction during the bombing of the First World War. This very thought convinced the ...Read more

  3. # 3 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 1324 times in trip plans
    Washington Park

    Tags: Museum, Children Museum, Park, Zoo

    Address: 4001 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221

    Timings: 05:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    This is a massive urban public park, 410 acres in size, with more activities packed into its premises than some small towns have. There are over 15 kilometres of trails criss-crossing a prettily lands...Read more

  4. # 4 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2927 times in trip plans
    Lan Su Chinese Garden

    Tags: Garden, Walking Area

    Address: 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    After the Japanese garden, the city of Portland is also home to a magnificent Chinese garden. At a short distance from the waterfront lies the beautiful Lan Su Chinese Garden which is the largest Suzh...Read more

  5. # 5 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 4153 times in trip plans
    Portland Japanese Garden

    Tags: Garden, Leisure, Nature

    Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    The Portland Japanese Garden is actually made up of five different gardens namely; Flat Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Tea Garden, Natural Garden and Sand and Stone Garden. Each of these gardens exhib...Read more

  6. # 6 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 1586 times in trip plans
    Willamette Valley

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Winery, Valley, Vineyard

    Address: Willamette Valley, Oregon, Portland, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Willamette Valley has beautiful vineyards that have led to the presence of about 400 wineries. If Pinot Noir suits your taste, you are bound to enjoy your visit to this valley. You can easily sip ...Read more

  7. # 7 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2044 times in trip plans
    Forest Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Biking Trail, Adventure, Nature

    Address: Portland, OR 97231, USA

    Timings: 05:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    Portland is reputed of its greenery with ample of tress embracing the residents of the city. I bet as a tourist you won’t be able to neglect the beauty of the lush green vegetation that will lur...Read more

  8. # 8 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 467 times in trip plans
    Nike World Headquarters

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 1 One Bowerman Dr, Beaverton, OR 97005, USA

    Timings: 07:30 am - 05:30 pm Details

    Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon serves as an office and a nike museum that hosts various artefacts from Nike journey from more than 50 years ago. Visitors can take a bus to Nikes main cam...Read more

  9. # 9 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2218 times in trip plans
    Pittock Mansion

    Tags: Architecture , Mansion

    Address: 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    The Pittock mansion is a beautiful architectural structure that was home to the pioneers of Portland. The Pittock Mansion reflects life how it was hundreds of years back from the perspective of the Po...Read more

  10. # 10 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 1831 times in trip plans
    St. Johns Bridge

    Tags: Park, Landmark, View Point, Bridge

    Address: 8600 NW Bridge Ave Portland, OR 97203 United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    St. Johns Bridge is a steel suspension bridge that was built across the Willamette River in the city of Portland in the year 1931. This iconic piece of architecture is designated as a historical landm...Read more

  11. # 11 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2081 times in trip plans
    Oregon Zoo

    Tags: Outdoors, Zoo, Entertainment, Picnic Spot

    Address: 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States

    Timings: 09:30 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Of course, if you are an animal lover you are bound to love this zoo. Moreover you would be delighted to see the wide variety of animal species in the Oregon zoo for sure. Packy, is undoubtedly the hi...Read more

  12. # 12 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2469 times in trip plans
    Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry

    Tags: Science Museum, Exhibition , Specialty Museum

    Address: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, United States

    Timings: 09:30 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Age doesn’t matter at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as the museum has something exciting for everyone who walks in. However, kids are bound to enjoy this place more. The museum is ho...Read more

  13. # 13 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2040 times in trip plans
    Portland Art Museum

    Tags: Art Museum, Educational Site, Arts And Crafts

    Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Portland Art museum, also known as the Portland museum of art (PMA) is an old renowned museum with an extensive collection of contemporary art, remarkable holdings of Maine art, ex...Read more

  14. # 14 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 2774 times in trip plans
    Pearl District

    Tags: Outdoors, Walking Area, Brewery, Restaurant

    Address: Pearl District, Portland, OR, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Pear district in an area in the city of Portland that is replete with bars, restaurants, a brewery block, fascinating shops, art galleries and more. For those who love beer, the breweries offer a vari...Read more

  15. # 15 of 3470 Things To Do in Portland | Added 1097 times in trip plans
    Hoyt Arboretum

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, Hiking Trail, Adventure Sport

    Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd, Portland, OR 97221, United States

    Timings: 05:00 am - 09:30 pm Details

    Hoyt Arboretum is a lush green park with beautiful blooming flowers and hiking trails. This park is an ideal place for family outing and romantic evenings. The Arboretum is strategically located in th...Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Portland: