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Portland Attractions

Portland Attractions Guide - Top Things to Do in Portland - Our handy attractions guide will give you several ideas for fun things to do in Portland Oregon.  Of course Portland locals already know and love many of the attractions on our list, such as our great museums, gardens, and other Portland tourist attractions.  Whether you're searching for Portland family attractions, fun things to do with kids in Portland, or romantic Portland attractions, there is something here on our list for you.  We've listed kid friendly Portland attractions and a few other categories to make your search easier.

If you're just visiting our town, welcome to Portland! we are  the city famous for coffee, roses, beer, green-living, and an amazing quality of life.  We are nationally lauded as one of bicycling capitals of the United States, and we're proud of our breathtaking cityscape, our fiercely loyal and intensely independent citizens, and more. If you already live here, we'll bet our list will give you a few fresh ideas of things to do in Portland year-round.

Our Portland Attractions Map will help you pinpoint the various attractions in Portland and you can get directions and more information simply by following our links. Find ticket prices and other helpful information to make your visit to Portland go smoothly.  Portland is a definitely unique city with a wealth of rich beauty and heritage, and we hope you enjoy your visit.

Best Portland Attractions

The Portland Japanese Garden is a stunning masterpiece, offering incredible views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood. Category: GARDEN LOVERS, ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS

Portland Classical Chinese Garden is located in downtown Portland in the Old Town China Town neighborhood. This authentic Suzhou-style garden is simply breathtaking.  Category: GARDEN LOVERS, PHOTO OPPS

The Portland Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the country and is a popular place to visit in Portland for art and museum lovers.  Category: ART HISTORY FANS, CULTURE and MUSEUM BUFFS, FAMILIES

The Portland Craft Museum,  also known as the Museum of Contemporary Craft, is a popular museum with a focus on craft as an art form.  In partnership with the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Craft’s permanent collection encompasses more than 1,000 objects that reflect a strong regional focus.  Category: ART FANS, CULTURE and MUSEUM BUFFS, ARTISANS & CRAFTSPERSONS

The Portland Oregon Zoo is popular for both locals and visitors.  And don't miss Zoo Lights Portland Oregon, an annual holiday light show. Nestled right above downtown Portland, the Oregon Zoo is an easy trip via the Max light rail. Delightful old-style trains are a favorite zoo-transport option offering amazing views and relief for your tired feet. The kids (big and small) will be in heaven. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, PHOTO OPPS

The Portland Children's Museum - The Portland Children's Museum is hands-down one of the most popular places for fun things to do with kids in Portland.  It's a virtual fantasy land for children!  Fun activities, adventures, and playgrounds abound in this vibrant museum made just for kids! Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES

Portland Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade - The Portland Ground Kontrol is a classic Portland arcade featuring cheap arcade games and many classics that you know and love.  Most locals seem to prefer it to Electric Castle's Wunderland, but Wunderland does tend to be cheaper (5 cents as opposed to a quarter).  Either way, they are fun Portland arcades worthy of spending time for either your own kids or your own inner child.  Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, NOSTALGIC

Electric Castle's Wunderland Arcades - The Avalon Theatre and Wunderland Arcades are a popular cheap Portland past time.  Old school games and nickel arcade. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, NOSTALGIC

Portland Pioneer Courthouse Square - Portland's Living Room is a central hub for tons of Downtown Portland events, year round.  Come visit the Portland Pioneer Square and become a part of Portland's history. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, SHOPPING FANATICS, PEOPLE WATCHING, PHOTO OPPS

The Oregon Historical Society is an excellent way to learn the rich history of the Pacific Northwest. Permanent exhibits include: Battleship Oregon: Bulldog of the Navy, Oregon Art and Oregon My Oregon. Category: HISTORY BUFFS

The Portland Farmers Market is located in downtown Portland and simply cannot be missed. Pick up local organic produce, dairy products, fresh baked breads, honey and much, much more. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FOODIES, PEOPLE WATCHING

Located in Portland's Old Town China Town, the Portland Saturday Market is a must-see . Peruse the dozens of booths of handmade crafts, enjoy the amazing local foods and embrace the real Portland. Despite the name, Saturday Market is open on Sunday's, too. Category: SHOPPING FANATICS, FAMILIES, PEOPLE WATCHING

Portland coffee shops are wonderful, so you will not want to miss a tour of some of our most popular local Portland coffee shops.  We are known for our fine coffee and you won't taste better anywhere, plus each Portland coffee house is unique and worth a visit while pouring over a magazine or local paper, or just people watching. Category: FOODIES, SHOPPING FANATICS

Portland's Best Restaurants offer fantastic dining of all cuisines located Downtown and throughout our Portland neighborhoods. Category: FOODIES, ROMANTIC, FAMILIES

If you're in the mood for some pub fun, try one of our Portland Trivia Nights.  Pub quizzes are a fun way to kill a few hours in one of our fantastic Portland bars or pubs.  Category: NIGHTLIFE, PORTLAND SINGLES, COUPLES

Don't miss the Portland Arts and Culture Art galleries in Portland, the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Society, NW Film Center, and more. Category: THEATER & CULTURE BUFFS, NIGHTLIFE

Visit our Portland Music Venues page if you are looking for clubs with Portland live music. Category: CLUBS & NIGHTLIFE, PORTLAND SINGLES, ROMANTIC

Best Portland Shopping in the Pearl District, Alberta Arts District and more. Category: SHOPPING FANATICS

Portland Carriage Rides - A popular tourist attraction in Downtown Portland and surrounding areas.   Category: PORTLAND SINGLES and COUPLES, ROMANTIC

The OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry features a planetarium, laser shows, submarine and the OMNIMAX Dome Theater. OMSI is an excellent choice for family entertainment in Portland. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES

Rose Quarter Sports and Entertainment Want tickets for the Portland Trail Blazers or the Portland Winter Hawks? You can also see some fantastic live music here, and big events as well. Category: SPORTS NUTS, MUSIC FANS, FAMILIES

The largest used and new bookstore in the world, Powell's City of Books has been wowing locals and visitors alike since 1971. This store spans an entire city block, guaranteeing it will take you hours to traverse the nooks and crannies and color coded sections but we know you will love every minute of it! Category: BOOKWORMS, FAMILIES

Portland Spirit - Take a Portland dinner cruise or holiday cruise on a Portland riverboat tour.  The Portland Spirit fleet offers some great entertainment on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Category: ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS

Portland Jet Boat - Have a blast on an exciting riverboat cruise on the Willamette on a Portland jetboat tour. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, THRILLS

Portland Oaks Park - Oaks Amusement Park - Oaks Park in Portland is a nostalgic traditional amusement park, known for their year-round wooden skating rink and old time carnival rides. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, THRILLS, HISTORY BUFFS

The Grotto - One of the most popular places to visit in East Portland for serenity, and spiritual healing, the Grotto Portland also offers several popular annual events such as the Grotto Festival of Lights during Christmas. Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, PHOTO OPPS

Pittock Mansion - Enjoy a piece of Portland's history and tour this magnificent mansion located in Portland with lovely gardens and scenery. Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, HISTORY BUFFS

World Forestry Center - If you enjoy forests and conservation (and who doesn't in Portland?) then you'll enjoy visiting the World Forestry center for events, exhibits and opportunities to learn more about forestry. Category: GREEN - SUSTAINABILITY FANS

Portland International Rose Test Garden - One of the all-time most popular Portland attractions, this gorgeous rose garden is a favorite place to spend some time.  Stop and smell the roses...in the Rose City!  Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, PHOTO OPPS

Lloyd Center Ice Rink - Spend some time ice skating in Portland's biggest shopping mall and spend a great afternoon getting exercise!   This indoor ice rink is a Portland classic. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, SHOPPING FANATICS

Portland Attractions - Notable Portland Parks for Visitors and Locals

Portland is known for having many magnificent parks.  Listed below are some of the most popular Portland parks for visitors, as well as locals.  Most of our parks are best enjoyed during the summer months, although some are still beautiful year round if you don't mind a little rain.

Eastbank Esplanade - This paved trail goes around the Willamette River downtown, offering a great place to walk, bike, skate, or just people watch while enjoying the river scenery and Portland cityscape.  There are benches and several mini parks and statues along the trail, making it a pleasant place to spend time in Portland during the summer months.  Walk around the lower deck of the Steel bridge to cross over from Downtown Portland. Category: FAMILIES, BIKING, WALKING, PEOPLE WATCHING, PHOTO OPPS, ROMANTIC

Washington Park - 130 acres of sprawling gorgeous Portland Parks.  Includes several areas, trails, sports and other activity areas, playgrounds, and the Japanese garden and rose garden. Categories: GARDEN-LOVERS, FAMILIES, BIKING, WALKING, HIKING, PEOPLE WATCHING, PHOTO OPPS, ROMANTIC

Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial  - Inspired by the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1982, a group Oregon Vietnam veterans conceived of the idea of a veterans memorial in Oregon. Through the efforts of many volunteers on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial Fund, the memorial was dedicated in 1987. Designed by Walker Macy, a Portland landscape architecture firm, the curved black granite wall lists the names of all Oregon residents who died in Vietnam or who are missing in action. (PortlandOnline.com) Category: WALKING,  PHOTO OPPS, HISTORY BUFFS

Oregon Holocaust Memorial - The Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on August 29, 2004. The memorial features a stone bench adorned with wrought-iron gating, screened from the street by rhododendron bushes. The bench sits behind a circular, cobblestoned area - simulating a town square. During the Holocaust, many Jewish families were gathered in town squares before being loaded onto trains and taken to concentration camps. The square contains scattered bronzes of shoes, glasses, a suitcase, and other items to represent everyday objects that were left behind. A European-style, cobblestone walkway with inlaid granite bars, simulating railroad tracks, leads to a wall of history panels - giant, stone placards that offer a brief history of the Holocaust and quotes from Holocaust survivors. (PortlandOnline.com) Category: WALKING,  PHOTO OPPS, HISTORY BUFFS

Hoyt Arboretum - Also in Washington Park, Hoyt Arboretum features an arboretum, trails and largest group of distinct species of any arboretum in the U.S. Categories: GARDEN-LOVERS, FAMILIES, BIKING, WALKING, HIKING, PEOPLE WATCHING, PHOTO OPPS, ROMANTIC

Council Crest - For stunning views of Portland on a clear day, this is one of the most popular parks in Portland. Council Crest is thought to be the highest point in Portland at 1,073 feet above sea level. Originally known as Talbot's Mountain after its pioneer settlers, it has also been known as Glass Hill and later as Fairmount, the name of the road that encircles it. Category: ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS, WALKING

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden - In the springtime, this is a popular Portland park for Rhododendron lovers. Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS, WALKING

Mt. Tabor Park - Another park with a high elevation offers stunning views and scenery.  This is a popular Portland park during summer months and a favorite of SE Portanders. Category: ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS, WALKING, FAMILIES

Leach Botanical Garden - The mission of Leach Botanical Garden is to maintain and enhance living collections of plants for the purpose of education, research, and conservation and to preserve the legacy of the Garden’s founders, John and Lilla Leach. Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS, HISTORY BUFFS

Oaks Pioneer Church and Park - For history buffs, you might enjoy this Portland attraction as one of the things to do when visiting Portland. Oaks Pioneer Church, originally St. John's Episcopal Church, was built in 1851 on the outskirts of the pioneer town of Milwaukie. By 1960 the old church had fallen into disuse and was scheduled for demolition, but thanks to the efforts of civic leaders, funds were raised to hire LaBeck and Son to move the old church. In 1961 the church was shipped by barge to the ferry slip on the end of Spokane Street, placed in its current location at the edge of Sellwood Park, and renamed Oaks Pioneer Church. It was restored by the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) and is now listed as a Portland Historical Landmark and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. (PortlandOnline.com) Category:  PHOTO OPPS, HISTORY BUFFS

Laurelhurst Park - Another SE Portland favorite, Laurelhurst is a classic Portland park with mature trees and lovely scenery.  The perfect place for a family picnic or other fun things to do in Portland with kids or your whole family.  It's also a romantic place for couples.Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS

Pier Park - This North Portland Park is a wonderful recreation park known for the skate park feature among many other amenties. SPORTS NUTS, FAMILIES, PHOTO OPPS

 

Portland Attractions Map


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Visiting Portland Attractions and Getting Around

TriMet is Portland's mass transit system famous for environmentally friendly and convenient transportation via the MAX light rail, buses, and the Portland Street Car. Enjoy 'fareless square' rides when your trip begins and ends in downtown Portland or the Lloyd District .  You'll find many of our listed Portland attractions can be easily accessed from public transportation.

Parking in Portland is easy with SmartPark. Many local businesses validate parking, so be sure to have your parking stub handy as you dine and shop.  If you do decide to drive to your Portland attractions, Smart Park is a good way to save a little on parking.

Rent a car by the hour or by the day using Portland Zipcars.  Portland Zipcars are located in many convenient locations all around Portland.

For additional ideas for Portland Attractions, you may also want to visit these pages: 

Visit the Portland Oregon Events page for ideas of what to see and do while you are visiting Portland! 

Also visit our Portland Music Venues page if you are looking for clubs with Portland live music.

While visiting Portland, check out our Portland Hotels summary to find the best hotel in Portland for your stay.  And if you're looking for someplace special, try our Best Portland Hotels page with a select list of some of the best hotels in Portland.

We hope you enjoyed visiting some of these Portland attractions.  If we missed one of your favorite things to do in Portland, please contact us.

Moving to Portland?  Want to make new Portland friends or ask questions about your Portland neighborhood?

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