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Top 11 Things to Do in Portland, Oregon – Hand Luggage Only


Portland, located on the western edge of the United States, is one of of Oregon largest cities to explore. With heaps of parks, easy access to any email Oregon Hikes and mountain eateries, this is the kind of city that is perfect for a trip away! The only difficult thing will be to decide how to prioritize which of the best things to do in Portland first!

So, to help you along the way, I wanted to share some of our favorite places in and within easy reach of Portland. You see, the city is embraced by some amazing natural places, I had to include some that I really think you can not miss. In my opinion this is what makes the city so amazing, there is so much to do inside the city and just outside!

Whether you are visiting as part of a wider visit west coast padreis or a dedicated trip to Oregon Portland itself is a city you really should not let slip from your itinerary.

Best Things to Do in Portland

Check out the best things to do in Portland below when you visit. Enjoy a great time in Oregon.

1.) Washington Park

Best Things to Do in Portland

With miles and miles of trails and trails, Washington Park is something of a sanctuary if you want some time away from the city streets. On top of that, it’s absolutely beautiful and easily one of the best things to do in Portland when you’re near Pittock Mansion.

Portland’s Washington Park dates back to the 1800’s and has a bunch of places you can not miss. You should see the International Rose Test Garden; it has something like 10,000 rose bushes inside (though I doubt you will see them all). Ha!

Top Things to Do in Portland Gardens

In addition, you also have the beautiful Japanese garden to visit. This is a completely tranquil space where you can really feel like being in peace and in harmony with nature (even if it sounds a bit cheesy).

It spans 12 acres of land and was built with the idea of ​​giving Portland a tranquil escape, while also embracing the cultural ties between Japan and greater Oregon.

Best Things to Do in Portland Nature

Inside the Japanese garden you can walk through the pond, apartment and tea garden which is also decorated with a cute ceremonial tea house. In addition, there are a lot of different events, such as awareness tours, lecture series and cultural demonstrations that also take place seasonally.

Top Things to Do in Portland Gardens

Oh, and do not forget about the Hoyt Arboretum and Portland Children’s Museum to see while you catch some rooibos as well. For this, follow the Redwood Observation Deck trails that are relatively close to the Barbara Walker Crossing. They are great!

Read more: Best Things to Do in Oregon

2.) Columbia River Gorge

Best Things to Do in Portland

Known as the greatest national scenery in all of Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge is one of the best things to do in Portland if you fancy an escape from the city. This is a must-visit for hikers, especially since Oregon has some of the best routes to follow in the country.

Best Things to Do in Portland Waterfall

By stretching out over a vast expanse of land, you will be able to explore the Multnomah waterfall which is surprisingly beautiful. Recognized as Oregon’s tallest waterfall, and is is located here (about 30 minutes drive from Portland).

Not only that, you will be able to follow a variety of trails, such as the Wahkenna Falls Loop and Dry Creek Falls. A hundred-year-old observatory can also be visited in the Columbia River Gorge, which offers amazing views of the entire landscape.

If these are the views you are looking for, go to Vista House and just off Highway 30.

Read more: Best Hikes in Oregon

3.) Portland Museum of Art

Top Things to Do in Portland Art Gallery

Considered the country’s seventh oldest museum and the longest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum is a wonderful place to explore for art lovers and history lovers. Founded in 1892, it is home to more than 42,000 pieces, ranging from Native American collections and English silver to contemporary and modern art.

It is absolutely breathtaking and the perfect place to explore on a rainy day.

While most of the exhibits in the Portland Art Museum are permanent exhibits, there are also regularly rotating galleries on a spotlight, so make sure you check the museum’s schedule ahead of time. Outside is a sculpture park where you can admire a variety of statues and meticulous carvings by different sculptors.

Top Things to Do in Portland Jakes Crawfish

Go for a walk afterwards Jakes Famous Crawfish for a delicious lunch. Their shellfish and Dungeness crab are just as good!

Read more: Best Things to Do in Oregon

4.) Pittock Mansion

Top Things to Do in Portland Mansion

The Pittock Mansion dates back to bygone times and was the former residence of Henry Pittock. He was the founder of The Oregonian, the oldest continuously working newspaper in Oregon and the West Coast. Today, visiting is one of the best things to do in Portland, especially if you are interested in the history of the city.

Situated on 46 acres of land at an altitude of 1,000 feet above the city, the Pittock Mansion offers panoramic views of Portland.

Once inside, you can look at period features such as the indirect lighting, intercom, and a centralized vacuum system, all of which are pretty impressive considering the era it was built.

5.) Lan Su Chinese Garden

Best Things to Do in Portland

Not too far from the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Lan Su Chinese Garden is worth a visit while exploring the wider Portland.

The gardens are breathtaking and completely tranquil; with Suzhou artisans and landscape artists recreating a version of a garden reminiscent of the Ming Dynasty. It is a harmonious blend of nature, architecture and design, all based on the Chinese tradition of combining nature and the modernities of life. That’s pretty cool.

You will also be able to see the Garden of Awakening Orchids, with a variety of plants, some of which are rare and even endemic to China.

Oh, and do not forget to drink a traditional Chinese tea at Garden Teahouse. Their white peony tea is so refreshing.

Read more: Best Things to Do in Oregon

6.) Bospark

Best Things to Do in Portland

Forest Park, located in the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains and along the west side of Portland, stretches over 5,000 acres and is home to more than 80 miles of hiking trails. Now, I’m not saying you should hike the full 80 miles, but it’s definitely worth a short route while visiting Portland.

Known as one of the largest urban forest reserves in the United States, the park is accessible and can be explored by people of all ages and skill levels. However, it can be a bit cold in the winter months, so turn warm.

One of the most popular is the Wildwood Trail, a 30-mile trail that connects with other hiking trails around the city. You can also try the Maple Trail Loop for a scenic hike that will lead you through some of the park’s tallest residents!

7.) Portland Saturday Market

Top Things to Do in Portland Gardens

Probably one of the best markets in all of Portland, the Saturday Market is a place you must visit. In fact, it is considered one of the largest and most consistent markets in the United States.

It usually runs between March to December and is the kind of place worth looking for for any souvenir seeker or hungry stomach.

The Portland Saturday Market, which has been operating since 1974, is home to an abundance of artisans and vendors; with everything from handmade clothing, jewelry, home decorations, and arts and crafts. In fact, there are hundreds of stalls … you will be spoiled for choice.

Read more: Best Hikes in Oregon

8.) Voodoo Donuts

Best Things to Do in Portland Voodoo Donuts

With a few places in the city, eat at Voodoo Donuts is a must-do if you have something of a sweet tooth! Filled with freshly made oil dumplings and sweet treats, Voodoo Donuts are absolutely delicious and worth grabbing while visiting the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Their Strawberry Cannolo and Mango Tango are just too good to miss! Oh, and do not forget about a Glazed Old Fashioned. I can eat a dozen of these alone!

Read more: Best Things to Do in Oregon

9.) Powell’s City of Books

Best Things to Do in Portland Powell's Books

One of the largest bookstores in Portland, Powell’s City of Books at Burnside Street is a haven for bibliophiles, bookworms and literary lovers! Not that I counted, but it is said that there are over a million books inside, with a dizzying combination of new titles and used copies to read and buy.

Aside from books, you can also find a cozy little coffee shop in Powell’s City of Books where you can sit and have a cup of coffee while reading your newly purchased books. In addition, throughout the year, this bookstore also offers a range of book-related events, such as writing workshops, book club meetings, panel discussions, and author lectures. This is a very special place.

Then cross the road to Sizzle Pie Downtown for one of the best pizza slices in all of Oregon. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is one of the best things to do in Portland if you’re something of a pizza lady. Their Ol ‘Dirty pizza is so good. Oh, and their garlic buds are so delicious! Just do not be in a hurry for a kiss after you have feasted … they are completely garlic-filled!

Read more: Best Hikes in Oregon

10.) Portland Food Trucks

Best Things to Do in Portland Food Trucks

You have not yet had the full Portland experience if you have not yet visited Portland’s food trucks and cars. Collected in grouped pods, these food trucks represent the bustling and colorful culinary culture of Portland and it really makes it so special.

Offers an environment of gastronomic delights ranging from Texas-style braai and Guam’s shrimp fritters to Hainanese rice and Nyonya curry soup. Not that you will struggle to find them, but there are many options on Third Ave, Fifth Ave, Hawthorne Asylum and Cartopia.

We’ve always loved Amelia’s Mexican Food! The tacos are just incredibly good.

11.) Trilliummeer

Top Things to Do in Portland Mt Hood Lake

About 90 minutes from the city center, Lake Trillium is one of the best things to do in Portland if you’re heading east to Mt. Hood.

In fact, it is one of the best views of the high volcanic mountain (Mt Hood) and it is such a wonderful place to visit. Once here, you can hike the Trillium Lake Loop Trail. If you are visiting during the winter months, feel free to check out the ski slopes around Timberline Lodge. Just be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather conditions. Things can change quickly around here.

Read more: Best Things to Do in Oregon

11 best places in Oregon to visit


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