The Best Things to Do in Portland
Collected by Jay Rymeski, AFAR Local Expert
No matter the time of day, weather, or your mood, your list of Portland to-dos will stay stacked with good times and stellar flavors. Grab some chow from the city's famous food carts, shop downtown Portland, tour Pittock Mansion, or take a bike ride through one of the city's many parks. Up for something else? You could always spend the day browsing Powell's City of Books. Or the whole weekend. Here, some fine ideas to get you going.
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
An iconic name in Portland retail—as well as among readers who have never been to the city—Powell’s has multiple locations on both sides of the Willamette. The downtown store remains the one best suited for visitors to explore,...
701 SW 6th Ave #196, Portland, OR 97204, USA
When my partner and I visit a city, we love to study the public transportation. We lived in Asia for a few years, and we learned the value of understanding the subways, buses, and the trains. We loved the light rail in Portland! I highly recommend...
1155 SW Morrison St #102, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Doughnuts are to Portland what coffee is to David Lynch, both essential fuel and calling card. While there are many pretenders to the title of the city’s best doughnuts—Voodoo Doughnuts certainly sells the most Instagrammable food...
1889 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201, USA
Portland's food cart scene is obscene. There are so many "pods"—small to large groups of carts at a single location—it's impossible to keep track of what's located where. That's the kind of obscenity any community would love to have out in the...
2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, USA
The #1 thing recommended to me to see in Portland was the Saturday Market. It lived up to its hype! I spent a few hours Saturday morning wandering around the market and was floored at the talent of the vendors. I was also shocked at how reasonably...
934 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Every year, tens of thousands of locals and visitors interrupt their hibernation for a mid-winter trip to the movies. Over 100 movies, not to be exact. It's the first week in February and the days don't seem to be getting any longer, just wetter....
53000 East Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA
Multnomah Falls is a gorgeous sight located about 45 minutes by car outside of Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River Gorge. Several hikes of differing degrees of difficulty offer vantage points to view the falls. The sound of the rushing water...
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
The Portland Art Museum has been a fixture of the Rose City for longer than you’d expect—it’s the oldest art museum on the West Coast, opened in 1892. The current location, on the South Park Blocks, debuted in 1932 with a design...
SE Salmon St, Portland, OR 97215, USA
Right inside the city limits, the dormant volcano Mount Tabor is one of Portland’s many natural treasures. The park in which it sits was designed in 1936 by Emanuel Tillman Mische, who, for most of his career, worked for the Olmsted...
400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
This is where everyone stops to smell the roses in the Rose City. Celebrating its centennial in 2017, the International Rose Test Garden is the nation’s oldest continually operating rose test garden (where varieties are evaluated for...
6600 SW Macadam Ave, Portland, OR 97239, USA
Portland’s many bridges aren’t just for show—most of them are for crossing the Willamette River, which bisects the city. In recent years, and after much cleanup, a push to reclaim the river for recreation has been successful....
3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, USA
The mansion and grounds around this Portland icon are impeccably kept and constantly visited. It was even featured recently on CBS's Amazing Race. The views are stunning and if you're into hiking, there is access to the Wildwood Trail which...
611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Portland is not lacking for parks and gardens—I've heard the Chinese garden in the Pearl district is a stunner—but I highly recommend the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. Portland's a relaxed place anyway, but the Japanese gardens, said to be...
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