Fun Things To Do In Portland, Oregon (OR)

VIEW of PORTLAND CITY SKYSCAPE

A panoramic city view of the lights of Portland, OR, from a photo taken from the water. Beautiful, isn't it?
A panoramic city view of the lights of Portland, OR, from a photo taken from the water. Beautiful, isn't it? | Source

A Brief Tour of Portland, Oregon

Located in the northernmost edge of the state of Oregon, it's a lovely town with the scent of pine and freshly sawed wood. Known for its beautiful roses, pine trees, bike trails, delicious coffee, antiques and artistic influence, you don't have to be wealthy to enjoy a satisfying trip to the largest city in Oregon.

Often overshadowed by its sister in the north, Seattle, WA, Portland has a lot to offer. From its free rose test gardens to a splurge-worthy Columbia or Williamette River cruise, it can be a week or a weekend to remember.

There is the artsy crafty Saturday market, historical Pearl Street filled with antiques and a colorful monthly festival held on the first Thursday of the month. Portland's foresty outskirts, its intricate waterways and the Cascade Mountains adds a dimension of qualitative natural beauty. This mountainous backdrop is highlighted by its biggest star, Mount Hood, which towers protectively over the Northwestern beauty of a metropolis.


In a way, it's a country western town. Many of its residents have a trendy / rough and ready leather and lace approach to life. I happen to think they are on to something. After all, who said a good looking woman can't be comfortable in a ruffled blouse, jeans skirt and leather boots? Casual chic reigns here!


Speaking of rain, a few showers won't spoil your day. The flat city streets are great for bikes, so bring your rain slicker along just in case a few showers fall. Flexibility is one of Portland's best attributes. Life goes on!

Where is Portland?

Bike Weather, Rain or Shine!

Its city residents take advantage of every moment that they can outdoors. This is witnessed by the city's numerous well marked bike trails. The city is not too hilly, and many residents take their bike to work. The city has its own skyview tram and transport system.

A "Foodie's Town", Portland is also known for its biologically friendly healthy eating lifestyle. Food in Portland is both interesting and economical and comes in a variety of international flavors. .

Dress Code in Portland, OR

The citizens of Portland shun carrying umbrellas. The weather often changes from cloudy, moist and back to sunny again, so an umbrella can become very inconvenient. What to they do? Wear jackets with hoods.

Business suits are hard to find here as well. Men prefer jeans, tailored shirts with a skinny tie as a professional look. The women prefer retro-looking dresses, or jeans paired with a lacy retroactive looking top, boots, a light leather jacket and unusual jewelry. Perhaps they are on to a better way of life!

Amphitheatre at the Rose Test Garden

Roses of more than 800 varieties are "tested".  Will they survive?  In Portland's moist and temperate climate, they flourish and remain a delight for its international guests.  Best of all, admission to the lovely park is free.
Roses of more than 800 varieties are "tested". Will they survive? In Portland's moist and temperate climate, they flourish and remain a delight for its international guests. Best of all, admission to the lovely park is free. | Source

Green Day

Forest Park Conservatory is a well known wooded urban park, largest in the entire United States. With 70 miles of bike and walking trails, it's filled with towering Evergreens and grassy knolls.

Garden Paradise

The moist, slightly breezy climate from its position between the mountain ranges and the coastal breezes gives it an ideal temperate and slightly humid temperature. Botanically supportive, it is the home of several well known gardens, including the Rose Test Garden, the oldest of its type, offering free admission year round.

Others to Explore:

  • Japanese Tea Garden - see the video below for a view of the park
  • Chinese Garden - from its sister city in Suzhou China, the Garden of Awakening Orchids shows beautiful flowers from the Suzhou region that were grown in the United States.

The Portland Zoo

Packy, the Asian Elephant is the main attraction at this zoo, which is known for research facility and 64 acres of wildlife.

Review Some of Portland's Highlights!

Pearl Street District

Source

Treasure Hunting

Arts and Antiques Of All Types

Nostalgia lives on historical Pearl Street. While you are there, check out the Powell Book Store, filled with limited editions as well as new books. It's an old staple in the neighborhood.

The Saturday Market (Open all weekend) has grown from an indoor Saturday Artists' Fair to an International Food Court, Entertainment and Crafts extravaganza. The jewelry, toys and other unique gift items are reasonably priced and fun to collect. This is a great way for families to spend a few hours on the weekend. Something for everyone, admission is free. You never know what you will find. Happily, most items are affordable and qualitatively made. I bought my first pair of gold earrings there right after high school graduation. Have fun!

The Pittock Family Mansion The Pittock Family were early Oregon pioneers that built a sprawling mansion just out of town. This is a great opportunity for history buffs and antique lovers to see how people in the past really lived. It was occupied by the Pittocks between 1914 and 1919 in the days of Wyatt Earp and other great western legends.

The Pittock Family Mansion

The turn of the 20th century mansion is beautifully preserved and provides an interesting historical point of reference.  Located slightly out of town, it offers a great view of the city below.
The turn of the 20th century mansion is beautifully preserved and provides an interesting historical point of reference. Located slightly out of town, it offers a great view of the city below. | Source

Portland Spirit River Cruises

Saving the best for last, if you can manage a river cruise, there are two main rivers to choose from. The Williamette River and the much larger Columbia River provide a river's eye view of the forested riverbanks and still untouched natural scenery. It will most likely be the highlight of your visit.

The Portland Spirit was built in 1987 and has already become a staple of the Portland sightseeing / recreational scene. Below is the firm's official link, showing its cruising schedule and prices, with a dinner time cruise also available. It may be an ideal opportunity for a romantic evening.

Portland Spirit Riverboat Cruise

Take a riverboat cruise at Waterfront Park, from Hawthorne Bridge.
Take a riverboat cruise at Waterfront Park, from Hawthorne Bridge. | Source

Voodoo Doughnuts - A Unique Experience

Roughing It

If you like to camp, hike and explore, the area in and around Portland OR, provides a rich terrain of outdoor activities.

Biking can be done in town, over the many bridges, on specially marked bike trails and on bike tours. There are even bike culinary tools, allowing a chance to burn off the calories as you go.

Hiking at Forest Park and on Wildwood Trail are highly recommended. The latter offers great wildlife viewing. The Council Crest located in the West Hills is a three mile hike to the top with a great view of Portland below. Not too difficult for beginners, either.

Snow skiing, other Snow sports and Water sports like white water rafting tours are also available.Check the link below for more details, since information varies according to the season's offerings.

Fishing Enthusiasts (Anglers) will find specially designated fishing spots only an hour outside of Portland.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so do a little investigating to see which combination suits you best!

The Portland, Oregon Backroads Area

Nature lovers and active visitors will consider the many opportunities in the Portland area backroads.  Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, kayaking on the Columbia are only a few.
Nature lovers and active visitors will consider the many opportunities in the Portland area backroads. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, kayaking on the Columbia are only a few. | Source

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Comments 4 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great tour; I lived and taught there for two years until 2009, so I'm quite familiar with the city and I love it. One of the jewels of the Northwest for sure. Well done!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks Billy Buc, I took extra time to best captivate the town, which seems to be a real contrast in opposites. It's outdoorsy and rainy. A food lovers' paradise, but very organic and natural. It's high tech but is still in touch with its cowboy western style roots. All in all, I am looking forward to my next visit there - the roses look absolutely captivating.


Limo Les 4 years ago

Sounds like a great place. Hopefully get to visit someday.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

I want to try one of those doughnuts, then work it off with a bike ride! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Limo.

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