Bucket List: Top 10 Best Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

What are the top tourist spots in Portland OR?

Forest Park in Portland Oregon by EncMstr via Wikipedia CC

Oregon Bucket List: 10 Best Places to Visit in Portland, Oregon, USA

The amazing city of Portland is known as the “City of Roses” for its climate, perfect for growing roses. Portland is also known worldwide as a city with plenty of outdoor areas due to its proximity to the ocean and mountains. The largest and most populated city offers many best things to do in Portland, Oregon, from nature tripping to arts and culture appreciation.

To add up to your to-do list, here are the 10 best things to do in Portland, Oregon.

Oregon Museum Of Science and Industry

Oregon Museum Of Science and Industry viewed from the Willamette River by Cacophony via Wikipedia CC
Oregon Museum Of Science and Industry viewed from the Willamette River By Cacophony., CC BY-SA 3.0

Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of the major attractions in Portland, especially for tourists traveling with kids.

The facility is a science and technology museum with different exhibitions featuring the Nature Science Hall, Dinosaurs Revealed, Science Playground, Empirical Theatre, USS Blueback Submarine, and Planetarium shows. They also have a café and a riverfront restaurant.

Forest Park

Forest Park in Portland Oregon by EncMstr via Wikipedia CC
Forest Park in Portland Oregon By EncMstr – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Forest Park is America’s leading urban forest and the largest of its kind in the United States. The public park measures 5,200 acres and a former settlement of Native Americans 10,000 years ago. Today, Forest Park offers different trails where visitors can do cycling and horseback riding on designated trails.

Visitors can also rent a bike at Water Front Bike, Pedal Bike Tours, and Cycle Portland to explore the trails.

Washington Park

Portland Japanese Garden inside Washington Park by I Laurascudder via Wikipedia CC
Portland Japanese Garden inside Washington Park By I, Laurascudder, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

A must-visit tourist attraction in Portland is Washington Park. Established in 1909, the massive public park is where the Oregon Zoo and the famous Portland Japanese Garden nestled. Visitors can also do archery and play tennis.

The park’s other attractions include the Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, and Rose Garden Children’s Playground.

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut
Voodoo Doughnut

For sweet treat lovers, your trip in Portland won’t be complete without having a bite of Voodoo Doughnut. Established in 2003, with only 11 stores worldwide, Portland, as the birthplace of Voodoo Doughnut, is a must-visit for tourists.

The American Doughnut company serves a mix of classic flavors and unconventional ones, reaching 100 varieties.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Bridal Veil Falls in Autumn by Richardmouser via Wikipedia CC
Bridal Veil Falls in Autumn By Richardmouser – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Situated in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the Columbia River Gorge is a popular nature reserve canyon. The place has a scenic view of nature and is a perfect destination for hiking, bird watching, fishing, and kite surfing.

There are also many waterfalls and other attractions such as the Cascade Rapids, Native Indian petroglyphs near the Dalles Dam, and Oneonta Creek.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden by Eric Muhr via Unsplash
Lan Su Chinese Garden by Eric Muhr via Unsplash

If you want to travel to a different country while in Oregon, visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland. Founded in 2000, the Chinese botanical garden was designed by Kuang Zhen, consisting of over 90% indigenous Chinese plants.

Lan Su Chinese Garden is the best place for relaxation where tourists can have an authentic tea experience at the Garden Teahouse and sells unique decorative stone works at the Garden Shop.

Powell’s City of Books

Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon, United States by Cacophony via Wikipedia CC
Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon, United States By Cacophony – Self-photographed, CC BY 3.0

A reputable bookstore situated in downtown Portland Pearl District, Powell’s City of Books, is known as one of the largest used and new bookstores worldwide.

Founded by Walter Powell in 1971, Powell’s City of Books is well-loved by bookworms with nine color-coded rooms, 3,500 different sections, and houses an estimated one million books.

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum by MO Stevens via Wikipedia CC
Portland Art Museum By M.O. Stevens at en.wikipedia 

A gem in the City of Roses is Portland Art Museum. The museum was established in 1892 and is considered one of the oldest art museums on the West Coast and ranked as the seventh oldest museum in the United States.

Portland Art Museum exhibits a diverse permanent art collection with over 42,000 pieces, including the Native American Art, Japanese Women Printmakers, and the Ansel Adams exhibit.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square by Cacophony via Wikipedia CC
Pioneer Courthouse Square by Cacophony via Wikipedia CC

Pioneer Courthouse Square is a 40,000 square foot public space situated in the heart of downtown Portland. The city park is Portland’s living room which is a great spot for chilling out with friends, family, and kids.

Visitors can grab snacks on food carts around the area, such as pastrami on rye or cheesesteak. There are live band concerts too on the park’s ground.

Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market by Steve Morgan via Wikipedia CC
Portland Saturday Market by Steve Morgan via Wikipedia CC

Portland Saturday Market is a great way to experience Portland’s culture and local cuisine during the weekends. Founded in 1974, the outdoor arts and crafts market is a must experience in Portland, where you can buy local fine hand-crafted ceramics, wildlife oil paintings, artisan jewelry, and so much more.

It is also the best place to try local and international cuisines such as Indian Food, authentic Chinese crepes, and Uruguayan Food.

References

  • Wristen, Best Things to Do in Portland, USA Today 10 Best
  • Ernst, Lane, (2020), 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Portland, Oregon, Planet Ware

Portland Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Portland and nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Portland hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Portland, Oregon, that you can add to your itinerary?

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