21 Fun Things to Do in Portland

12 mins read
Fun things to do in Portland
by pictureguy Unlim photos copyright 2022

Portland is a port city in the Pacific Northwest and the largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon. Its climate is marked by warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. This climate is best for growing roses, so Portland is called the “City of Roses.”

The most important fact about Portland is that tourism is very easy and hustle-free, one can easily get a guide at a very reasonable price, and all the tour guides are known for their hospitable behavior. There are tons of fun things to do in Portland.

Portland is known for its tasty foods and drinks, beautiful gardens and parks, aesthetic coffee breweries and bars, and many other things. Portland is also known for its vibrant local markets, where one can get beautiful hand-crafted items, out-of-the-box designer clothes, traditional attires, and decorative materials.

If you are visiting Portland, there are so many fun things to do Portland which will make your trip a memorable one. The most important fact about this place is that it will leave you with the best positive vibes and aura.

Some of the best places to visit in Portland are the Alberta arts district, Portland Japanese Garden, Portland art museum, Portland State University campus, The Tom McCall waterfront park, Oregon zoo, Oregon Maritime Museum, Sculpture Garden, Portland itinerary, and many others.

Walking down the streets of downtown Portland, one can get mesmerized by the different types of street art. The very popular Portland restaurants offer very delicious and mouth-watering food.

Everything about Portland is nice and one of the greatest tourist attractions in the United States.

Below is the List of Fun Things to do in Portland: –

1. Visit the International Rose Test Garden: –

Fun things to do in Portland
by gepeng Unlim photos copyright 2022

The international rose test garden is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the entire Portland. It is the oldest officially operated rose garden in the United States. This garden comes under Washington park and has over ten thousand roses.

The best time to admire the beauty of roses is from May to September. Hundreds of visitors come here to see these colorful roses’ pleasant sight and take in their essence. The garden is open daily and has no entry fees at all. This International rose test garden is also wheelchair accessible. It is one of the most recommended fun things to do in Portland.

This place is perfect if you are a photogenic person, and apart from that, who doesn’t love a bunch of beautiful roses? Tourists come here to admire the scenic beauty of the garden.

2. Spend some Luxury Time at the Portland Japanese Garden: –

Fun things to do in Portland
by porbital Unlim photos copyright 2022

Near the International rose test garden lies one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in the world. According to the tourists, the Japanese garden is the most serene and beautiful place in the entire Portland.

Describing its scenic heavenly beauty, Professor Takuma Tono, Designer of the Portland Japanese Garden, has said, “A Japanese garden is not only a place for the cultivation of trees and flowering shrubs, but one that provides secluded leisure, rest, repose, meditation, and sentimental pleasure.”

The garden authorities also organize various events and functions like art exhibitions, cultural festivals, lectures, demonstrations and performances, and other such special events. Some such events are the tea ceremony, the Koto harp, etc.

It also provides various educational opportunities to its members, and many people also volunteer to help in the progress and maintenance of the cleanliness of the garden.

The entry fee is also very reasonable, and you can easily get a ticket. You must come here to spend some alone time, and you can’t deny that spending some quality time in nature is itself therapeutic.

3. Take Home a Souvenir from the Portland Saturday Market: –

Yet another fun thing to do in Portland is to shop from the Portland Sunday market. It is one of the best open-air as well as nationally recognized local markets known for its economical prices and best art and craft materials.

The market is open on Saturdays from 10 am – 5 pm. You can avoid the hustle and easily shop online from the official website of the market. One can even join the market community by becoming a recognized vendor at the market. You can check for the vendors from here.

The market offers a wide variety of items ranging from art and craft items to clothes for everyone and many other things. The market also provides various eco-friendly items. Some of the items sold at the market are Belts, bags, gloves, hats, wallets, clothes, toys, and many more.

The market also has a special food court offering a wide range of mouth-watering foods and drinks like coffee and tea and vegan and vegetarian food. You can also get various cosmetics and skincare items here. It also includes items like handcrafted jewelry, pottery, supplies for rituals, oil paintings, wooden art, copper artwork, organic skincare, metal sculptures, Indian food, ink illustrations, and many other wonderful items.

4. Have Fun at Washington Park: –

Washington Park is a very beautiful place and is a great tourist attraction. It is open from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., and entry is free. There is a $2/hour fee to park. The 410-acre Washington Park offers up a zoo, two museums, a rose garden, and a Japanese garden.

The park has many attractions and amenities like the archery range, the Hoyt Arboretum (the museum of living trees, featuring more than 2,300 species of trees from around the world), Memorials, and statues.

Children love to visit this place, especially because it has a beautiful and well-equipped playground. It also has various picnic tables for people to sit and relax. Apart from this, it also has a tennis court and various lavish restrooms. Enjoying a pleasant picnic here is one of the fun things to do in Portland.

5. Visit the Tom McCall Waterfront Park: –

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a park located in downtown Portland, Oregon, along the Willamette River. This park was once a six-lane highway called Harbor Drive. The park is very peaceful, and many people walk here; some even bring their dogs for a walk.

This park has an interesting history and legacy. The continuous efforts of the residents created it; they complained about a lack of public space and started making picnics by the roadsides. Then, Oregon Governor Tom McCall created a task force that chose to replace Harbor Drive with a public park. The park was later renamed for him in 1984.

6. Have Fun with Animals at the Oregon Zoo: –

Fun things to do in Portland
by sandsphoto Unlim photos copyright 2022

The Oregon zoo is spread over a wide region and is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. These include African bullfrog, Lungfish, painted dog, rock python, blue and gold macaw, Cattle egret, and many others.

The zoo also accepts various forms of donations which are then used in the advancement of the zoo and the conservation of species. The Oregon zoo takes various small steps as well as big actions in the field of animal conservation and prevention of species extinction.

Various projects are going on in the zoo, and all of them have one aim, which is direct or indirect advancement of the zoo and conservation of animals. It is a must-visit place for all wildlife enthusiasts and is one of the fun things to do in Portland.

7. Visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry: –

The Oregon museum of science and industry has a very intellectual environment and is liked by science enthusiasts. It is open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm and has a very reasonable entry fee. The museum has a vast collection of antique materials and historically relevant materials. Not only this, but the museum also organizes summer camps for students up to class twelve.

The Oregon Museum also has various group programs that help the students broaden their mental horizon and helps them understand various difficult concepts instantly and easily.

8. Have Fun at the Pioneer Courthouse Square: –

More popularly known as Portland’s living room, the pioneer courthouse square is the heart of downtown Portland. The square holds more than three hundred events and is where all people from around the entire Portland come together and socialize.

The square holds various events like gatherings, food and beer festivals, rock or music concerts, and many others. Tourists consider attending these events as one of the best fun things to do in Portland.

You can also shop for a lot of beautiful stuff from this square. These items range from tote bags to polka dot t-shirts, personalized bricks, and many other items. One can also donate to the square or become a member. The Pioneer Courthouse Square is a unique place, and even if you are not attending any event here, you must come here and get a souvenir for home.

9. Spend Some Time at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden: –

The Crystal springs rhododendron garden is spread over nine acres and is known for preserving uniquely rare species of plants and shrubs like the hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and many other plants and unusual trees. This garden-like all other gardens in Portland, holds various events and functions. This place is open from 10 am to 4 pm.

One interesting thing about the Crystal springs rhododendron garden is that it provides space and services for holding weddings and other such events. This might prove to be one of the best places for having destination weddings. Surrounded by unique flowers and plants, this garden offers very serene vibes and exhilarates the mood of the visiting tourists. This place makes you feel very close to nature.

10. Get Eerie Vibes at the Witch’s Castle: –

This might be the best place to visit in Portland. This place is full of mysterious vibes. The history of the witch’s castle is very interesting, these old stone ruins in the wilderness of Portland were washrooms in the past and hold the legacy of murder.

It will be useful to know that although the ride to this castle is short, some people might find it difficult to get around here. But the pain would be worth the fun, and the hikers would love to come here. Every Friday night, students from high school come here to have fun and a great time.

Coming here and getting to know the history of this castle through locals is one of the most desirable and fun things to do in Portland.

11. Enlighten Yourself at the World Forestry Center: –

One of the best fun things in Portland is getting enlightened at the world forestry center. It is dedicated to the conservation of forests and their elements. Sustainable foresting is the main aim or motto of this center.

The world forestry center addresses climate change, population growth, and wildfires in its various events and programs. 

The world forestry center also has a museum called the Discovery Museum, which is open from eleven to four in the evening, from Wednesday to Sunday. It has two floors, both of which portray how human beings and forests are connected and depend on each other. Discovery Museum invites visitors to examine forests and consider how they impact our lives.

It is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Portland as it brings people closer to nature and makes them understand its intricacies. If you are someone who wants to learn about nature and forests in a fun and creative manner, you must visit here.

12. Visit the Forest Park: –

The great forest park of Portland is spread over five thousand and two hundred acres and is home to thousands of species of animals as well as exotic and rare plants and trees. The park is open from 5 am to 10 am.

According to the Portland government’s website, the permitted activities include pedestrian use on all trails, cycling, and equestrian use on designated trails. Camping, hunting, fishing, and fireworks are strictly prohibited on the park premises.

Various hiking trails are present inside the park, and the environment is pleasant and peaceful. In the Forest Park, one can find various types of flora like the big leaf maple, grand fir, red alder, Western red cedar, and many such huge and very useful trees. Learning about all these new species of flora and fauna is one of the fun things to do in Portland.

13. Enjoy the Wildwood Trail: –

The wildwood trail is thirty miles long in Forest Park Portland. It is a pedestrian trail that runs from W Burnside Road, where it enters Forest Park, to its northern terminus at NW Newberry Road.

 This trail can take a full day and is an interesting challenge for professional or enthusiastic hikers and runners. And it is one of the fun things to do in Portland.

14. Enjoy at Mill Ends Park: –

Mill ends park is a small urban park in urban Portland, and this is the tiniest park in the world, according to the Guinness book of world records. It is located near the Tom McCall waterfront park and is worth a picture.

15. Learn with the Help of the Cascade Geographic Society: –

Yet another intellectual and fun thing to do in Portland is to learn something or the other at the Cascade geographic society. This society is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1979.

It is an educational organization that conducts research and conducts underground Portland tours like the tour of the Oregon Trail and the tour on Old-Growth Forests.

The society also works with various schools and conducts projects which help the students understand the natural areas and their historical relevance. It also includes various types of storytelling and other such programs.

16. Get some books from Powell’s city of books: –

Powell’s city of books is the largest independent bookstore worldwide, covering an entire city block. It also has a space called The Rare Book Room, which is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. Most tourists look forward to visiting the rare book room as it is one of the most amazing and fun things to do in Portland.

Powell’s city of books has ten rooms named Green, Blue, Orange, Rose, Purple, Red, Gold, Pearl, Coffee, and the Rare Book Room. The books sold here are from various genres like romance, mystery, science-fiction, graphic novels, history, politics, religion, health and wellness, philosophy, fine arts, crafts, science, entertainment, cooking, gardening, and many more. One can also buy the used books on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

This place also has a café called the Guilder café, which offers various types of aromatic beverages. This place is perfect for all the bibliophiles out there, and if you are one, then you won’t go back home without visiting this amazing and aesthetic place.

17. Visit the Multnomah Falls: –

One of the crazy and fun things to do in Portland is to have fun at the Multnomah falls. The Multnomah falls is known for its scenic heavenly beauty, and tourists find this place very beautiful; they love getting pictures clicked here, thanks to the refreshing vibes that this waterfall offers them. The ticket can be bought very easily.

You can even rent an e-bike and use it to get around and enjoy the scenic beauty, and you can also hike around different paths to have a different look at the waterfall. This is again a very nice place for all nature lovers and must visit for all tourists.

18. Enjoy and Shop at the Pearl District: –

This residential district in Portland is known for its chic vibes, stylish shops, and aromatic eateries. There are various art galleries here, and the food scene here is remarkably splendid.

Overall, the Pearl district is an amazing and hustle-free place to stay and is preferred by various tourists. Some of the greatest art galleries here are First Thursday Street Gallery, Portland Center Stage, and others. Powell’s city of books is also here.

19. Visit Laurelhurst Park: –

Another fun thing in Portland is seeing the mesmerizing beauty of Laurelhurst Park. This park has a small pond and the most mesmerizing landscape. It is the greatest and the most beautiful part of the West coast.

A fun fact about this place is that a tiny plant called the duckweed, which is the source of food for fish, is grown in the ponds here. Like any other park in Portland, this is also a dog-friendly park.

20. Plan an Oregon Coast Day Trip With your Loved Ones: –

One of the most thrilling and fun things to do in Portland is having fun on the Oregon coast. The Oregon coastline near Portland is incredible, and it offers beautiful and clean beaches and the best surfing spots.

Amazing coastal towns surround the Oregon coast with some of the best clubs and pubs. You can get a tour guide who will take you around the Oregon Coast. Some of the must-visit places include the Seaside, the Astoria, the Ecola state park, and cannon beach.

21. Visit the Pittock Mansion: –

The Pittock mansion is a palace or castle built in the French renaissance style. It is located in the western Hills of Portland and was originally built in 1914 as a private home for London-born Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana Burton Pittock.

The history of the Mansion is very interesting and is a must-visit this place. It is spread over forty-six acres and is built using Tenino sandstone. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Conclusion: –

The rose city, or Portland, is loved by many tourists worldwide, and full-time travelers also recommend it. Apart from these places, there are tons of other places to visit, and there are tons of fun things to do in Portland and have a good vacation.

Portland not only makes you feel good but also has its way of teaching and transmitting its cultural and historical legacy. The local markets here are amazing and offer some of the unique items in the world. This city of roses and happy vibes will have very welcoming citizens who are also very helpful and will ensure you have a great time there.  

Also read: Best Coffee Shops in DC.

Best Hotels in Astoria Oregon


Verified Content by Experts

USA Tales has content written by niche experts, travelers, students, and those with real-life experience. Our content is also periodically reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure content accuracy and relevancy. Have a question? Email us at team@usatales.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Exclusive Guides & Discounts

Get how-to guides to shopping online, deals on things you love, & starting essentials to launch your business. Discounts when you use our content writing services. More details here.