15 FUN THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PORTLAND, OREGON

Laura SausinaThings To Do3 Comments

15 fun and unique things to see and do in portland oregon

For the last few years Portland, Oregon has become the cool new spot to visit. With so many weird and fun things to do around Portland, it is no wonder that more than 9 million visitors flock to Portland every year.

If you are one of those people on your way to visit Portland, you are probably wondering what there is to do and see around this unique city.

After living in Portland for over a year and exploring every corner of the downtown area, these are my top 15 suggested “must see and do” things for anyone visiting Portland:

You could be really ambitious and visit all of these places in one day (believe me, I have), or you could take your time and spread them out over a weekend or a few days.

 

Air Tram

aerial tram portland oregon

A great way to start off your Portland tour is by riding the Aerial Tram and getting a good view of Portland from up above. The aerial tram starts off at downtown Portland and takes visitors up to the hospital on the Marquam Hill and back. I know… a hospital doesn’t sound like a typical tourist destination, but nothing in Portland is “normal”.

The hospital is newly renovated and offers some of the best panoramic views of downtown Portland from the aerial tram station. If you are deathly afraid of hospitals, you don’t even need to enter it! The aerial tram station is located right outside of it and visitors can take the tram up, exit and board the next tram back down. The view is definitely worth the ride.

Map of the air tram HERE

 

 

Keep Portland Weird Sign

keep portland weird sign oregon

Downtown Portland is filled with iconic spots but nothing represents Portland more than the “Keep Portland Weird” sign. Before heading on to any adventures around downtown, stop by this sign and take a few pictures. After all, how would all of your friends know that you were in Portland for a fun weekend if not for this sign?

Map to the sign HERE

 

 

Voodoo Doughnuts

voodoo doughnuts portland oregon

Right across the street from the “Keep Portland Weird” sign is the world famous Voodoo Doughnuts shop. After being featured on Travel Channel and various other shows this doughnut shop is one of the most popular tourist destinations in downtown Portland. With lines that wrap around the corner, it may take more than 30 minutes before hungry tourists can hold their signature pink box full of delicious doughnuts in their hands. Even if you are not willing to wait in the line, the Voodoo doughnut shop is a cool spot to visit. It’s most famous for its pink glam/grunge interior decorations and unique doughnut flavors.

voodoo doughnuts in portland oregon

At Voodoo doughnuts, shoppers can purchase anything from crazy toppings like crushed Chico stick, strawberry dust, and Butterfinger to vegan doughnuts or a simple glazed doughnut.

Note that Voodoo Doughnut shop does not accept credit or debit cards and is a cash only establishment.

Map to VooDoo Doughnut shop HERE

 

 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

stumptown coffee roasters portland oregon

After having a few doughnuts you might start feeling a bit tired, so head down the street to the nearby Stumptown Coffee Roasters for a cup of fresh and delicious coffee. Or if you want to grab a bag to go, for around $20 you can bring a bag of Stumptown Coffee back home with you.

Map to Stumptown Coffee Roasters HERE

 

 

Powell’s City Of Books

powells bookstore portland oregon

A few minute walk away from Stumptown Coffee Roasters is Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore. Divided into different sections based on various categories, this bookstore has anything from bestsellers, kid’s books, entertaining souvenirs to antique and rare books. It’s a great place to stroll around, pick up a few new books and relax away from the city noise.

Map to Powell’s City Of Books HERE

 

 

Blue Star Donuts

blue star donuts doughnuts portand oregon

If you haven’t had enough doughnuts for the day yet, another popular Portland doughnut shop is the hip Blue Star Donuts. Blue Star Donuts are known for their amazing flavor combinations and freshness which store customers can experience for themselves since the doughnuts are being made right in front of them. The doughnut choices are fewer than Voodoo’s, but the flavors have been made to perfection.

Blue Star Donuts in portland oregon

Some of the store favorites are Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib, and Cointreau Crème Brulee.

Map to Blue Star Donuts HERE

 

 

Pine Street Market

pine street market portland oregon

Sometimes one of the hardest parts about traveling is finding a lunch or dinner spot that will make everyone in your group happy. At the Portland Market, you can do just that! This market is filled with various vendors that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Some of the favorite food stands in this market are Kim Jong Smokehouse Korean BBQ, Marukin Ramen, OP Wurst and the super delicious Salt & Straw dessert bar.

Map to Pine Street Market HERE

 

 

Pittock Mansion

pittock mansion portland oregon

One of the best spots for a city panorama view in Portland is located at the historic Pittock Mansion. Built in 1909 as a private residence for a local businessman, now it serves as a museum for visitors. For a small fee of $10 visitors can take a tour of the inside of the house or just stroll around the gardens for no charge.

Pittock Mansion view Portland Oregon

The front of the yard provides a clear view of downtown Portland and is quite the popular spot for panoramic photography.

Map to Pittock Mansion HERE

 

 

Redwood Grove

redwood grove washington park portland oregon

Oregon is known for its luscious green mossy forests, but what most visitors usually don’t expect to see in Portland are redwood trees. Tucked away in the midst of the Washington Park hikers can find a small grove of redwood trees and lookout platforms with benches. The grove is not very big, but long enough for visitors to take a stroll at.

Map to Washington Park HERE

 

 

St. Johns Bridge

st johns bridge portland oregon

A popular landmark just 15-minute drive outside of the downtown Portland area is the beautiful St. John’s Bridge. Famous for its turquoise green color and giant arches supporting it on the bottom, this bridge stands tall across the Willamette River and calls for attention to anyone driving by. Bridge admirers can hang out at the park underneath or take a walk across the bridge that ends right outside of the Forest Park.

Map to St. John’s Bridge HERE

 

 

Speakeasy Kombucha Bar

some speakeasy kombucha bar portland oregon

Portland is filled with many weird & unique attractions, but something you don’t get to see every day is a self-serving speakeasy kombucha bar. At SOMA Speakeasy Kombucha bar guests can try a variety of kombuchas right out of a tap, enjoy a cup at the lounge or even take some home. The bar is self-serving meaning there is no attendant and it’s based on an honor system. It’s the perfect place to grab an ice cold refreshing kombucha before heading back to the downtown area for more adventures.

Map to SOMA Kombucha bar HERE

 

Mill Ends Park

mill ends park portland oregon photo credit amusing planet

Photo credit- Amusing Planet

The Mill Ends Park, located across the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, is considered the smallest park in the world. For visitors walking or driving by this park is easy to miss since it consists of one tiny tree. Although this park is located in the middle of a street divider, on St. Patty’s day it is a popular hangout spot because of its history and alleged leprechaun sighting. Whether it’s true or not, locals love and take care of this park and it has become a big part of downtown Portland attractions.

Map to Mill Ends Park HERE

 

Breweries

rogue brewery portland oregon

Whenever you ask somebody what they liked the most about Portland, the answer usually is “Food and drinks”. Portland is well known for its local breweries so a trip to Portland could not be complete without trying some of its local brews. But with more than 100 breweries in the Portland Metro Area how could one possibly choose which ones to visit? The choices really are unlimited but some of the local favorites are Deschutes, Widmer, Rogue and 10 Barrel. Each brewery in Portland has its own unique style, atmosphere and has something interesting to offer.

brewery portland oregon

Tip: most breweries serve beer flights that are a great way to try out a variety of beers before committing to a single one.

Map of breweries in Portland HERE

 

Multnomah Whiskey Lounge

multnomah whiskey library portland oregon

The Multnomah Whiskey Lounge is a speakeasy bar that is a hidden gem in the downtown Portland area. To enter this bar guests are usually asked to wait at least 30 minutes to over an hour for a seat. Then the host will escort guests to an upstairs area behind a secret door that leads to this whiskey lounge. Inside you will find any type of whiskey or liquor possibly imaginable while sitting in luxurious lounge chairs around the bar area. Entering this lounge feels like stepping into another world surrounded by fine liquors, men smoking cigars and discussing business as if in a movie. But that is just the illusion this bar gives off. The reality is that we all just want to experience something different and this bar definitely offers that feeling.

Map to Multnomah Whiskey Library HERE

 

Portland Oregon White Stag Sign

portland oregon historic white stag sign

Before you leave downtown Portland, the last stop on your list should be the signature Portland Oregon White Stag sign. Although the sign is visible during the day, the best view of the Portland Sign is at night when it lights up in bright colors and welcomes visitors entering downtown area and says goodbye to those leaving it.

Map to Portland Sign HERE

 

Portland is weird, we all know that. It has some of the most unique attractions from the world’s largest independent bookstore, self serving kombucha bars, weird doughnut shops to the smallest park in the world. There is so much to see and do in Portland, Oregon and we hope this list gives you a great place to start.

 

Written by Laura Sausina

 

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3 Comments on "15 FUN THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PORTLAND, OREGON"

1000
Shruthi

Thumbs up to this! 👍🏻

Kristen Gill

I’m on my way to Portland as I write this, so your article is very handy! Thank you for your take on what keeps Portland great (and weird). Can’t wait for some kombucha and donuts!

Kristen Gill
http://www.kristengill.com

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