There is never a bad time to visit Portland, Oregon. There’s always something exciting going on, and the locals don’t let the weather stop them! Summers are warm without being too hot to force everyone indoors. Winter is mild, but rainy; although if you don’t mind the rain you can get great hotel prices during the winter months. Spring and fall offer spectacular colors as the seasons change, and is a sight not to be missed! Discover amazing places to visit in Portland, Oregon!
10. Lan Su Chinese Garden
Step off the bustling streets into the Chinese district and into a peaceful and tranquil garden. The sprawling Chinese Garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty style garden with covered walkways and bridges. Several times throughout the year the entire garden is decorated for festivals. Step into the teahouse and enjoy a light snack and a cup of tea while gazing out the large windows into the garden. They are open daily and offer a family admission pack, or tickets can be purchased individually. Check out the event calendar when planning your visit to one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China.
9. Powell’s City of Books
Who wants to go to a bookstore on vacation, right? Well, if you skip this must see store you will really be missing out! Powell’s City of Books covers an entire city block and contains over 1.5 million books in 3,500 different sections! It is the largest new and used book store around the world. Don’t be fooled by its name though, this huge store contains more than just books! Wandering around can be an adventure in itself! Admission is free, and in the great state of Oregon they do not have a sales tax, so shop away!
8. Saturday Market
Portland hosts the nation’s largest weekly outdoor arts and crafts market. Over 750,000 people visit every year! Enjoy live music while you browse locally made products. Talk to the artists or watch them work while you wander the many isles around the market. This is a great place to purchase locally made gifts for family and friends. Absorb the delicious smells of diverse ethnic cuisine, as you munch on a tasty treat of your own. The market is open Saturday and Sunday, March thru December, in any weather! This family friendly market is located in Waterfront Park.
7. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Escape the city noise for a romantic hike weekend today. Just a 45 minute drive outside of Portland the Columbia River Gorge is well worth the trip. The Columbia River is the second largest River in North America, and boasts several breathtaking waterfalls. The gorge is a canyon that stretches over 80 miles and up to 4,000 feet deep! Pack a picnic and have lunch at the base of Multnomah Falls. This is the most impressive waterfall within the area; although, there are several others worth seeing as well if there’s time. Park at the visitor center, and grab a map. If you do not have a car there are buses that leave several times a day from downtown to take visitors out to Multnomah Falls.
6. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
This family fun museum is great for people of all ages. Spanning 219,000 square feet you could spend the whole day there and still not see it all! This museum is a wonderful hands on experience for the whole family! Experience an earthquake, perform experiments, tour the USS Blueback Submarine, set up lab experiments, and so much more! Don’t miss out on a planetarium show! Admission is charged, but very reasonable for such a large interactive museum. When making your plans, please keep in mind, they are closed on Mondays.
5. Portland Art Museum
Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum in the Northwest and one of the largest art museums across the United States. It is a must see for any art lover! See artwork from across the globe, and several different time periods. This art museum has 6 floors of exhibitions as well as an outdoor sculpture park that you won’t want to miss! Their Northwest and Native American galleries are a favorite for most visitors, and are both permanent showcases. Check the website for admission pricing and hours. Unfortunately they are closed on Mondays.
4. Food Trucks
Nothing compares to Portland’s food truck scene. This has become a huge part of the culture there, and some of the best food you will ever eat will come out of a truck. The selection is limitless and so diverse! No matter what you crave they have a food truck that offers it, or try something you have never had before! Whenever you are getting hungry, just follow your nose to a cluster of food trucks and enjoy the sights and sounds around the metropolis while you eat and sip on a smooth cup of Portland’s famous coffee.
No matter what time of year you visit, there is probably a festival or event going on. In fall they have an annual giant pumpkin race where participants paddle 1,000 pound pumpkins around a lake and other great activities for kids. They offer a wonderful food and drink festival during September. When the weather warms up in the summer there are concerts held all over town, and many of them are free. The Oregon Brewers festival is held every July, and since the city is well-known for its craft beer you won’t want to miss this. The Portland Rose Festival is the biggest festival of the year with activities for the whole family! It features parades, carnivals, dragon boat races, and much more!
2. Voodoo Doughnuts
You have probably already heard of this cool doughnut shop. They offer many diverse and creative doughnut flavors; some with very unusual toppings; like bacon or cereal. Some of them are almost too pretty to eat, but don’t hesitate to dive in, because this is an amazing taste-bud sensation! Don’t be surprised to witness a wedding while there! Several people have decided to tie the knot at their favorite doughnut shop! Expect long lines any time of day. This is a cash only business, but there are ATM’s nearby. Open 24/7 except some holidays.
1. International Rose Test Garden
Located in Washington Park and visited every year by hundreds of thousands of guests; you won’t want to miss out on this top tourist attraction in Portland, Oregon! Surround yourself with the scent of over 10,000 roses and take in the sight of this impressive landmark. Free tours are available to help you navigate this 4.5 acre park. The best time to visit is between May and September. The garden is open daily and entry is free. Visit the Rose Garden while visiting the City of Rose’s! This is one of people’s favorite things to do in Portland, Oregon.
There are so many great tourist attractions in Portland for the whole family! Choosing what to do can be a challenge. There is great public transportation offered around the city if you are flying. If you are bringing your own car or renting, be prepared to have to pay for public parking around the city. No matter when you decide to visit this wonderful city; there is something for everyone to enjoy!