Portland, Oregon has a number of things to do and see. The city is considered a desirable place to live in the United States. From unique museums to amazing gardens, it’s no wonder people are drawn to this vibrant, urban hub. It isn’t difficult to find an activity to suit your budget.
Tourist Attractions And Must Visit in Portland, Oregon
The Pacific Ocean is less than a half mile from the Portland airport, and the city itself boasts a temperate climate that allows roses to bloom in spring and summer. Fall is also a great time to visit. This is a great city to explore on foot, and there are also a number of bike rentals to choose from.
There are several ‘weird’ neighborhoods in Portland. Some of the more popular ones include the Pearl District and Central Eastside. Both neighborhoods are close to major attractions and offer a variety of dining options.
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The Pearl District is located north of downtown Portland. Although it’s not as hip as its neighbor, this area has a more traditional feel. If you’re staying here, there are plenty of boutique hotels to choose from. A popular hotel is the Kimpton RiverPlace.
The Portland Art Museum is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. Their impressive collection includes works from both European and Asian masters. They also feature an outdoor public sculpture garden.
Located on a campus that houses a variety of special exhibitions, the Portland Art Museum features a substantial gallery space and a special photography area.
When it comes to visiting Portland Oregon, there are several different things to see and do. Whether you are looking to visit one of the most historic towns in the US or simply looking to soak up some of the natural beauty that Oregon has to offer, you will find that there are many great places to check out.
Washington Park #1
Washington Park is one of the oldest parks in the city. It’s a large, beautiful park that offers plenty of attractions and activities for visitors.
Located just outside the downtown area, Washington Park is a great way to get out and see the city. There are tons of trails, playgrounds, and gardens.
There’s even a free shuttle that runs throughout the park. The bus runs every 15 minutes, so you’ll never have to wait for a ride. Unlike other parks, you won’t have to pay a fee to enter Washington Park. You’ll also find free parking. However, parking is limited in summer.
A visit to Washington Park is a great way to explore the natural side of Oregon. Trails provide amazing views of the city and the surrounding forests. Washington Park is home to several major attractions, including the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden.
While you’re at the park, you can also take a ride on the Oregon Health & Science University Tram, which provides panoramic views of the Cascade Range.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area #2
The Columbia River Gorge is the largest national scenic area in the United States. This 80-mile-long scenic corridor is known for its waterfalls and wildlife. You can also enjoy many outdoor activities in the area. For example, you can take a hike, jet ski, or go catamaran sailing.
When driving from Portland to the gorge, you’ll see a number of scenic spots. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, you’ll want to spend a day exploring the gorge. On the Oregon side, the gorge includes nearly seventy waterfalls.
Hiking trails include the Beacon Rock trail, which offers stunning views of the gorge. It’s a steep trail, but there’s plenty of scenery to keep you entertained. There’s a lot of wildlife in the gorge, including yellow-bellied marmots and ground squirrels.
Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the beautiful scenery. In addition to waterfalls, the gorge also has farmlands and state parks. You’ll find an abundance of wildflowers in the spring and early summer.
If you’re in the mood for a hike, you can take a trip to Starvation Creek State Park, which offers several hiking trails. Alternatively, you can start your day with a visit to the Ainsworth State Park.
Pittock Mansion #3
Pittock Mansion is one of the most unique and interesting historic sites in Portland. The mansion was originally a private residence, but the City of Portland took on the restoration of the home in the 1970s. Today, it serves as a museum, and is open to the public.
Located on 46 acres of land in the West Hills above Northwest Portland, the Pittock Mansion has a stunning view of the city. It is also home to several hiking trails and a popular picnic area. Visitors can enjoy the views as well as the architecture of the home.
Pittock Mansion is a beautiful 16,000-square-foot French Renaissance-style house that has been restored by the City of Portland and the Pittock Mansion Society. During the restoration process, craftspeople came out of retirement to help out.
There are several rooms to explore, including the Turkish smoking room. Among the most impressive features are the carved wood panels and the handcrafted tiles. In addition, there are many artifacts to admire.
Aside from the obvious, the mansion also boasts an indoor elevator. For a small admission fee, visitors can tour the house. Guests can choose from guided tours or self-guided visits.
International Rose Test Garden #4
The International Rose Test Garden is an excellent place to visit in Portland. It features over 500 different varieties of roses. Aside from the roses, visitors can enjoy a variety of other sights.
The garden is located in Washington Park, which is a great outdoor attraction. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains, the city, and Mount Hood. There is also a terraced outdoor amphitheater. You can picnic there as well.
The garden also has a gift shop. Here you can find many rose-themed items, such as rose tea, rose candles, and a detailed map of the garden. During the summer months, you will notice that the flowers in the garden are in bloom.
Although the park is free to visit, parking is limited. However, you can get around using TriMet public transit. If you plan on visiting the garden during peak season, the best option is to take a free shuttle. Aside from the roses, the garden is also home to several Japanese gardens. These are perfect for families.
Portland Japanese Garden #5
The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens outside of Japan. It is located in a lovely west hill neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. There are eight different gardens and several structures to see.
One of the biggest attractions at the Portland Japanese Garden is the Sapporo Pagoda. This ancient five-tiered lantern is a gift from Portland’s sister city of Sapporo, Japan.
Another popular attraction is the Kashintei Tea House. Here, visitors can learn about the traditional tea ceremony. You can also try some authentic Japanese fare at the Umami Cafe.
A recent addition to the Japanese Garden is the Cultural Crossing Center. This $33.5 million complex includes an auditorium, classroom, and a gallery. Visitors can also watch demonstrations and exhibits on Japanese culture.
A shuttle service connects the Portland Japanese Garden with the Hoyt Arboretum, which is a 190-acre botanical garden featuring over 2,300 species of trees. The park has 12 miles of trails for strolling and hiking.
In addition to the ponds, waterfalls, and koi, the Portland Japanese Garden also features a tea house and bonsai terrace. These are constructed by master craftsmen from Japan.
Portland Art Museum #6
If you’re in Portland, Oregon, you won’t want to miss the Portland Art Museum. It’s a mid-size museum with an extensive collection of art. You can find a variety of works here, from classical sculptures to contemporary American pieces.
Located on Southwest Park Avenue, the museum is close to numerous TriMet bus stops. The collection includes works by European masters and Native American artists. The museum also has an impressive collection of Asian art.
Across the three buildings, you’ll find a sculpture garden and an experiential media arts center. There are numerous special exhibitions to check out, including one on Dinolandia. Over 50 dinosaur species are displayed.
Other major exhibits at the museum focus on Native American history. You can also visit a sculptural garden, featuring works by indigenous artists. This is just one of the many reasons that Portland is known as a city with a rich cultural heritage.
The museum features a special sales gallery that showcases works from more than 250 regional artists. Visitors can also purchase interesting gifts and books at the shop.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry #7
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of the top science centers in the United States. It’s located in Portland, Oregon, and has more than 200 interactive exhibits.
The museum’s main focus is on natural sciences. But visitors also enjoy a planetarium and a large-screen theater. There are also eight science laboratories.
Throughout the year, OMSI hosts numerous events. These include After Dark nights for adults over 21, where science talks and beer are mixed together. Guests can explore the museum and the surrounding area in a more relaxed setting.
OMSI is located on the eastern bank of the Willamette River. It’s easily accessible by bicycle, car, or train. If you’re visiting during a peak time, it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds.
OMSI offers a variety of educational programs and camps for children, as well as classes and workshops for adults. As the largest informal science education center in Oregon, the museum provides a wealth of hands-on experiences for kids of all ages. Whether you’re a parent looking to teach your child about nature or a teenager interested in exploring space, OMSI has something for everyone.
Oregon Zoo #8
If you’re in the market for family fun, the Oregon Zoo in Portland is a great choice. It’s full of wildlife and interactive exhibits. There are plenty of ways to experience the zoo, including tours, hop-on-hop-off trolley tours, and self-guided trips.
Visitors can also bring food and drink in. The zoo has an ice cream truck that offers a variety of treats. For something extra special, check out ZooLights. This annual holiday light show features more than a million LED lights.
During the holiday season, the zoo turns into a winter wonderland. Another must-see is the Asian elephant habitat. The zoo has a breeding program for these majestic creatures. Located in the Northwest exhibit, the Elephant Lands habitat is home to five of these magnificent animals.
In addition to its elephants, the Oregon Zoo has some other awe-inspiring creatures. You can see lions, bears, and more. Also, there’s a family farm with goats, turtles, and rabbits. To really appreciate the best of the Oregon Zoo, you’ll need to plan your visit in advance. Tickets are available online and at the door.
FAQs about Portland, Oregon
What is Portland mostly known for?
Portland, Oregon is known for its diverse culture, progressive values, and beautiful natural scenery. The city is home to a vibrant music and arts scene, a thriving food culture, and an abundance of outdoor activities. From hiking in the Columbia River Gorge to kayaking on the Willamette River, Portlanders love to explore the outdoors. The city is also home to a thriving craft beer and coffee scene and is home to some of the best craft breweries in the country. Portland is a great place to live and explore, with something for everyone.
What’s unique about Portland?
Portland, Oregon, is a vibrant and unique city that attracts people from all walks of life. It is known for its progressive culture, vibrant music and arts scenes, and its beautiful outdoor spaces. Portland is home to many iconic landmarks and attractions, including the iconic International Rose Test Garden and the world-famous Powell’s City of Books. The city boasts a wide variety of craft beers, artisanal coffees, and local restaurants that offer a taste of the Pacific Northwest. Portland also boasts a thriving bike culture, with dedicated bike lanes and bike-friendly routes throughout the city. Additionally, Portland is home to a vibrant LGBTQ+ community and is known for its liberal and progressive social values. Portland is an amazing and unique place to live and visit.