13 Captivating Choices on What to Do in Portland

A travel guide on what to do in Portland.

An enacting place to create your travel diaries: Portland. It is Oregon’s largest city, situated in the northwest district of the United States. The cozy breeze in the city’s nature wraps you around and mesmerizes you with the beauty of its places.

It is a city having a wide range of diversity for places. From the Portland Art Museum to Washington Park, visiting Portland will offer you plenty of things to do. The city sits on the Columbia River Gorge and Willamette streams, within the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood.

From Oregon Zoo to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, there are many top attractions and eye-catching places to visit in Portland.

Portland art museums are the major attractions in downtown Portland.

Move forward through this article and get to know about Portland and why should people visit Portland.

Best Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland has earned a reputation as one of the quirkiest cities in the United States.

The city is famous for its delicious food with its innovative food truck ideas on the West Coast. Food trucks became the life of Portland and spread in the blood of Portland’s incredible food culture.

Whatever your preferences are for food/drinks, you’ll fulfill all your appetite with affordable prices in the Pacific Northwest metropolitan area.

Food trucks with heated seating areas are very famous in Portland.

Best places to stay in Portland for sightseeing

The city’s center is home to the most beautiful hotels near major places of interest. Southeast Portland offers better accommodation at the cost of central amenities.

If hiking is your top priority, these stunning hotels are the best thing in Portland, Oregon.

Downtown Portland is the culminate neighborhood for first-time visitors famous for popular road markets, essential exhibition halls and museums, and a few of Portland’s most famous regions.

This place is the center of all fascinating places with hi-tech equipped architects. So Downtown Portland is an awesome place to stay during your first time in the city.

Portland, Oregon, has plenty of luxurious hotels. Hampton Inn and Suites, a four-star hotel, is one of the best, with modern and comfortable rooms, contemporary facilities, and an in-house restaurant.

There are amazing waterfront condo apartments in downtown Portland too. So, you can have that luxury stay.

Moving on to answering the most-awaited question.

Things that excite you in Portland

1. See the elephants at the Oregon Zoo

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The Oregon Zoo opened in 1888 when a private animal collector decided to donate the creatures to the city of Portland. Around 1,960 animals can be seen in the Oregon Zoo ranging across 232 species. 21 of the zoological species are endangered or threatened.

Each animal is part of a breeding program aimed at helping to secure its survival. One of the recent successes was breeding fresh African Elephants, which are always popular among park visitors. The zoo is located in Portland, Oregon, and is in the heart of Portland city.

2. Visit the Portland Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden
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It’s unique to have a Japanese garden in Portland. Designed in 1963, it envelops 12 sections of land with eight isolated cultivate styles and incorporates a bonafide Japanese Tea House, wandering streams, hint walkways, and a marvelous see of Mt. Hood.

Japanese gardens are inspired by the growing cultural norms between Oregon and Japan. The Garden is filled with plenty of trees, lawns, shrubs, and flowers of all kinds.

3. So many things to do in Washington Park

Witness the elegance of Washington Park, the crown jewel of Portland. The beauty dazzles you and brings out your inner peace. Washington Park is another great choice if you’re looking to lounge with a book and enjoy the weather.

It is an incredibly large parcel of land with an area of over 400 acres. It also contains an off-leash dog area.

The park contains many of Portland’s biggest attractions – from zoos to museums to a nursery. There are over 15 miles of trails to walk around and jog. Some of the trails lead to Pittock Mansion Forest Park and Council Crest. The parks at Casino de Sant Felipe are the site of’Baconet de.

Other than this park, the city is famous for Washington Park, Forest Park, and Mill Ends Park. This urban oasis is a standout and one of the top points of interest in Portland.

4. Check out the chasing waterfalls in the Columbia River

Columbia River
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The Columbia River is domestic to over 80 waterfalls in fair 60 miles extending from Portland, Oregon.

The stream Columbia River vails to mesmerize your eyes. Hiking trails to the tallest waterfall in Oregon, the Multnomah Falls, offer views of the surrounding picturesque landscape.

You can begin your exploration at the base of Wahkeena Falls and walk up to its moment hop as you continue to a stunning lookout. On the way down, you can pause for a brief careful contemplation and, after that, proceed to the ultimate halt that will take you off guard.

Charming sceneries grasp you around like beautiful attire. The roads feel like heaven near the waterfalls.

A walking tour through the lane of water makes you feel alive, a place that brings you immense joy and happiness.

5. Visit the Portland living room

Pioneer Courthouse Portland
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Locals know Pioneer Courthouse Square as Portland’s living room. It is located downtown and possesses around 40,000 square meters. It offers many good features and places to sit and relax with some good friends. This location is like the beating heart of downtown Portland.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is the most famous hangout. The square is at its most exciting stage during the festival seasons.

An outdoor chess table and a fountain that looks like a waterfall are located nearby. A half-circle forms the perimeter that has 24 platforms used by people as stage seating for live performances.

The area’s people can pay $15 for each brick credited toward the project’s cost. People are on the brick blocks across the area, and they have names stamped on them.

5. International Rose Test Garden

Located in Washington Park, the International Rose Test Garden is a must-visit spot.

Over 10,000 sole rose bushes sprout in the International Rose Test Garden.

It is called a rose test garden to serve as a secure safe house amid World War I for crossover roses developed in Europe. Rose darlings dreaded that these special plants would be eradicated by the bombings.

6. Enjoy the thrill of racing at Portland International Raceway

Race Track
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More than 500 races are run each year at Portland International Raceway. The track spans 1.96 miles, regularly hosting chicane Drag racing, motocross motorcycle road racing, auto racing, and cruise-in competition.

Many athletic and physical activities raise money each year for great charities, notably, the charity run by the track owner. The track was built in Portland, Oregon, on the outskirts of Portland, situated less than a hundred yards from the city center, and is one of the most famous tracks.

7. Explore Oregon Historical Society Museum

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By: Tfoxpoto on Shutterstock

Located in downtown Portland and nestled in the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Historical Museum is a history museum built in 1898.

The museum currently receives around 50,000 visitors annually, as it features a few interesting things like the Portland Penny. In addition to that, the museum is home to 85,00 artifacts.

The museum very beautifully displays Oregon’s past and present, from early settlement to now.

Tips: If you are visiting museums, you are probably a fan of arts and culture, so another place you must visit is the Alberta Arts District located in Northeast Portland.

8. See cherry blossoms bloom at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

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By: Randy Andy on Shutterstock

Tom McCall Waterfront Park is situated on the Willamette River and was created during removal of Harbor Drive from the town. The Willamette River is well popular among active people, with many regular jog, walk, and skateboard visitors.

This park is named after the former Governor of Oregon, Tom McCall, who was a major part of the removal of the Harbor Drive. McCall Waterfront Park offers incredible views of the city’s skyline and hosts special events of Portland like the Portland Rose Festival.

This park is the best place to see cherry blossoms as 100 Akebono cherry trees line the waterfront park.

9. Admire the beauty of Lan Su Chinese Garden

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By: ARTYOORAN on Shutterstock

Suzhou has amazingly beautiful gardens built during the dynasty, which are incredibly stunning. The Lan Su Chinese Garden is the most authentic Asian Garden outside China now.

The Garden is walled, and once you arrive, you feel as though you’ve left the US. The Lan Su Chinese Garden defines Chinese philosophy and leads you to explore Chinese culture or history. Some hours spent in this Garden will leave you refreshed. The name signifies ‘Garden of the Awakening orchids.’

It is among the authentic Chinese gardens, so here you can get the real feel of being in China. Lan Su was built to make people feel relaxed and connected to nature.

The Garden features an 8,000 sq feet lake and hundreds of plants and trees native to China. Lan Su also offers guided tours daily, so you can take up a tour to get the best of the Garden.

In addition to that, it also hosts various events, so if you are lucky, you can be a part of a tea-tasting or tai chi event.

10. Fulfill your cravings for ice cream

Portland contains some really good ice cream shops. Three must-try items can be found in City Ice Cream. The Ice Cream Factory is one of the best in the world. The city is also home to the best ice cream restaurants in the country’s most popular dessert shops.

11. Hike to Witch’s Castle

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By: Jared Stine on Shutterstock

This dilapidated home is found in Portland’s southernmost end of Forest Park. It is said that a man named Danford Balch, who lived nearby, was executed for the murder of his daughter’s husband, Mortimer Stump.

After the death of Danford, the property eventually came into the hands of the city of Portland, and in 1930, the stone structure that is present now was built. Earlier it was used as a restroom for hikers, but in 1962 a heavy storm completely damaged the structure.

It was forgotten until the 1980s, but then suddenly a young boy discovered this place to hold parties, and he named it “Witch’s Castle” and made it a tradition to hold parties every Friday night.

12. Witness the charm of the Pittock mansion

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By: PNG Studio Photography on Shutterstock

The Pittock Mansion was constructed in 1909 as the residence of Henry Pittock and his wife. It’s a stunning French Renaissance-style mansion located on the west coast of the town. The home has 46 rooms spread across 42 acres.

The property having a 46-room estate, originally owned by a wealthy couple from England, is part of the National Register of Historic Places and contains beautiful artwork and furniture collected by the original owners.

The mansion appears throughout the years in various TV television series. The most famous was the movie “Unhinged,” which was banned in many countries because of its contents. The property is now controlled by Oregon and is in the Hill District of Western Oregon. The location makes it ideal for birdwatching.

13. A trip to Forest Park

 largest urban forest reserves
Image Source: forest-park

Last but not least, take a trip to one of the largest urban forest reserves, Forest Park, located in downtown Portland. One of the best ways to explore Portland and its wilderness is a trip down here.

Nestled in the Tualatin Mountains, it is a municipal park spanning about 13 km. Forest Park is home to thousands of native wildlife plant species. In addition to that, it features around 80 miles of trails for you to hike.

It is nature’s escape for hikers. Being within the city limits, visitors can experience a real Northwest forest.

So, these are the best things to do in Portland. If you are here for a staycation, downtown Portland and the Pearl District would be ideal. And if you are running a little low on budget, southwest Portland will be the best option for you.

Now that you know the things to do in Portland don’t keep waiting. Plan a trip, book your tickets, and visit this beautiful city as soon as possible.

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