15 Best Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland is the largest city in the state of Oregon and is named as 8th most popular city in the US. The city of Portland is a lush and scenic city offering one of the best panoramic views.

Besides its incredible and mesmerizing natural beauty, Portland is equally famous for its urban charm.

It is a highly recommended place, and you should plan your next visit here.


15 Best Things to Do in Portland Oregon

Here is a list of 15 best things to do in Port Oregon:

1. Crater Lake National Park

Nestled in the Cascade Mountains in the southwestern Oregon Crater Lake National Park is one of its kind and unique natural landscape. Do not confuse it as a crater, but rather, it is a historic caldera.

However, these extinct volcano calderas give rise to Mount Mazama and its lava cliffs to a height of 2,000 feet. It is present around the blue and bottomless lake. Tourists can witness the marvelous beauty of Rim Driver circling the lake.

You can also visit Rim Village; however, it is accessible only in summers. Tourists can enjoy activities like camping, hiking, and backpacking here. Bring your camera to capture the spectacular beauty of crater for lifelong.

In summers you can explore the lake from the cleetwood cove from where you can visit Wizard Island.


2. Hoyt Arboretum

The next thing to do in our bucket list is the visit to Hoyt Arboretum. It is present at a small distance from downtown Portland and sprawl on 187 acres. Almost 10,000 trees and shrubs exhibiting more than 1,100 different species add beauty to this amazing place.

Wander around the place and stroll in the trees for a relaxing experience and to explore nature. Have some of the wonderful time in the picnic area and a meadow present within the center of the park.

Visit the information center to learn about the place, and for the convenience of tourists, placards are placed everywhere. Wander and get lost in the beauty of a bamboo forest or towering redwood grove.


3. Witch’s Castle

Many can guess this place by its name, although you may find it creepy, yet it is cool and classy at the same time. It is present in the southern end of Portland’s Forest Park.

It is one of the most unusual and unique things to do in Portland. Due to its dilapidated and crumbling structure, taken over by forest can catch the attention of many tourists.

It has a story attached to it where the owner of home killed the lover of his daughter and later hanged up by police making it a first legal hanging in Oregon in the 1850s. His wife continued to live in the house and used it as a park ranger station or a restroom for hikers.

Later it was severely damaged by a storm, and in the 1980s, a school student called it a witch house due to its crumbled walls and moss appearance. It is a magical place in the middle of the forest and can surprise you at its first glance.


4. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

At the course of Columbia River, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is present with all its charm and beauty. It cuts the Cascade Range and offers a breath-taking sight, which is a treat to the eyes.

It is present at the boundary of Oregon and Washington, and the Gorge is famous among tourists due to its splendid beauty, mesmerizing waterfalls like Multnomah Falls, which has the honor of being the tallest waterfall in the entire state.

One can enjoy hiking, biking, or camping here. For a day trip to Portland, Oregon, it is one of the best destinations. Never misses an opportunity to visit Punchbowl Falls on eagle creek.


5. Cannon Beach

Are you a beach person visit cannon beach in the northern Oregon coast. Let yourself be amazed by the jagged coastal rocks and stretched shinny glittery sand. The highlighting feature of the beach is its Haystack Rock, which can add beauty to this place.

You can also find many amazing restaurants, boutiques, shops, and some excellent hotels here for a cultural appeal. Tourists can visit Ecola State Park and Tillamook Head.

They offer a beautiful, historical, and scenic view to explore and have a fantastic time here at the beach. Tourists can also access this charming city from the other side of Ecola State Park.

You can also visit Lewis and Clark Saltworks to have a more in-depth insight into the lifestyle of corps of discovery.


6. Powell’s City of Books

For all the book lovers, you are looking for opportunities to quench their thirst of knowledge Powell’s city of books is your place to visit. It is more like a Louvre, an art museum than a bookstore.

It is present on the northern side of Portland and is famous for its millions of individual volumes it contains. If you are in the north of Portland, spare some time to find a flagship location to have a clear idea of the place scale.

It is the largest independent store in the world with millions of books, which are divided into 3,500 sections into nine rooms. It is a dream place for every book lover. You will be amazed by its endless rows of literature and signature book smell. You can also find many second-hand books as well here, which one of the best things is.


7. Lan Su Chinese Garden

How about spending some time in the relaxing place away from all the hustle and stress of modern life. It would be a great idea to spend time relaxing and enjoying the beauty, tranquility, and nature in the Lan Su Chinese garden.

Portland is much similar in the fact; it can be easily called a twin o the Suzhou in the Jiangsu province of China. The highlighting feature of Suzhou is its Ming dynasty gardens. And outside of China, Lan Su is the only authentic Chinese garden.

Garden is surrounded by the wall, so when you enter the garden, you will have a sudden feeling that you are in China, not in the US.

Everything revolves around china their way of thinking, history, and Chinese culture. It is also named as ‘Garden of the Awakening Orchids.’


8. Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity

Another great thing to do in Portland, Oregon, is Silver Falls, State Park. It is present at the thirty minutes’ drive from the state capital of Salem.

It is a highly recommended place to visit and is famous as the crown jewel of the Oregon State Park system. Tourists can also witness highly recognized Trail of Ten Falls hiking trails.

There are plenty of water attractions here in the area to awe-struck its viewers by its mesmerizing beauty. Through these trails, tourists can also go behind a few waterfalls to witness their mesmerizing beauty from an exciting intersection.

You can also find one of the best and largest waterfalls of Oregon here, offering a stunning view.


9. The Grotto

The Grotto is another thing to do in Portland, Oregon, in our bucket list. It is a catholic shrine which is there in honor of Mary.

You cannot find any place more peaceful than this. It is one of the most beautiful places in Portland and is famous for its fantastic architect. It sprawls on 62 acres and is open for everyone, no matter what religion you belong to.

In the center of the park, tourists can enjoy Our lady’s Grotto, which is a rock cave carved at the bottom of the cliff. Another famous attraction here is the marble replica of Pieta by Michelangelo.

You can also freely wander around the park to get amazed by its beauty and enjoy the panoramic view of the Columbian River valley.


10.  Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne

It is one of the best things for all the thrill lovers and those who are looking for something exciting in Portland, Oregon. Smith rock state park is present near Bend.

It is one of the famous climbing destinations in Oregon which offers more than 1,000 bolted sport routes over a stunning canyon environment. However, the good news is it is not only for climbers bit anyone who wants can visit this place.

Climbing is not the only thrilling activity where you can also enjoy activities like hiking, mountain biking here. Never forget to bring your camera so that you can capture its picture-perfect beauty in your camera.

It also offers the best hiking trails, and for a most stunning view, Misery Ridge, unlike its name, provides the best view of Crooked River and canyon walls.


11.  Willamette National Forest

The large and vast Willamette National Forest covers an area of nearly 1.7 million acres. It is present on the western side of the Cascade Mountains and offers a scenic view of natural beauty.

Forest is full of surprises ad scenic beauty for its travelers. You can find several volcanos, mountains, rivers, and even hot springs here. Drown yourself in its natural beauty by exploring its trails.

It also features other attractions like Dee Wright Observatory or Salt Creek Falls, waterfalls with a length of 280 feet. Or you can also access the famous Three Sisters Wilderness in the Willamette National Forest.


12.  Tom McCall Waterfront Park

On the one side of Willamette River, Tom McCall Waterfront park is present. The fun fact is park was created after the removal of harbor drive from the city. Tourists and locals who are interested in recreational activities love to visit the park.

Park is the best place for activities like jogging, walk, and skateboard, and cycling. However, it is not the end park that also features a mesmerizing view of the boats. Many people came here during their lunch break hours for a relaxing time.

Park is divided into five different sections, which includes a walkway The Esplanade along the river, an area used for concerts is The Bowl. Salmon Street springs featuring fountains, John Yeon Building, and the last section is The central Lawn.


13. Portland Aerial Tram

How about having an aerial view of the Portland. To see Portland from above would be an entirely different experience, and you can see the fantastic city in a different light and shades.

Ride Portland aerial tram for an aerial view of the Portland Oregon. The trip starts from downtown Portland and is up to the hospital on Marquam Hill. Do not confuse the name of the hospital as it is a normal thing in Portland.

You can witness some of the most amazing panoramic views of Portland. Its station is outside of the hospital. The view is worth at least try aerial tram for once during your trip to Portland, Oregon.


14. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Crystal springs rhododendron garden is present in the southeast of Portland. If you are interested in Portland’s famous rhododendron shrubs abloom than it is a highly recommended place.

Make sure you are visiting between March to June if you want to see rhododendron. It was first plants in the late 1910s, and from that time onward, tourists and locals can witness amazing flower shows each year.

It is one of the botanical gardens of its kind in Portland, which is present in the crystal springs creek. You can witness more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and other plants here.

Besides, you can also see birds and spring-fed ponds here, which is an excellent appeal to the tourists. Its timings are between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


15. Oregon Museum of Science & Industry

The last thing on our list is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry present in the south of east Portland. It exhibits engaging, and life is looking for complex scientific concepts.  It displays space exhibitions, ocean dynamics, agriculture, and human reproduction.

It is the best place to visit for teens and older children. However, adults cannot be bored here, as well. It explains some of the exciting concepts which surely gain your attention.

One of the highly recommended things here is the submarine tour and learn about military history or enjoy laser light night show.

I am sure you found this article helpful in planning your next trip to Portland, Oregon.

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