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Things to do in Portland

Things to do in  Portland

Welcome to Portland

Oregon's largest city, Portland sits at the confluence of two major rivers. The Willamette River runs through the city center, while the Columbia River is north of the city on the border with Washington. Portland is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts, foodies, and beer lovers. It's the ideal base to explore the gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery, and a reliable tour guide will help you find that frame-worthy photo op. Just an hour away, you’ll find the Columbia River Gorge with its numerous waterfalls (including the iconic Multnomah Falls) and the famous wineries of the Willamette Valley. If you’re up for a workout, do some hiking, paddle-boarding or even white-water rafting. The Oregon coast, another great day trip option, offers miles of public beaches to explore. In Portland itself, join locals on a jog or bike through Forest Park, the largest urban park in America. Stop at Powell's Books to browse the stacks; do a bike tour of the many breweries in the area; or sample a wide variety of international cuisines from the city’s famous food carts. Comedy fans won’t want to miss a tour of the local landmarks that serve as the backdrop for the hit IFC sketch show, “Portlandia.”

Top 10 attractions in Portland

#1
Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

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The Columbia River Gorge, one of the great natural treasures of the Pacific Northwest with its many dramatic waterfalls, channels the mighty Columbia River through the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, marking much of the border between Oregon and Washington. The gorge figures in early United States history, as it was here that the Lewis and Clark expedition completed its final stretch in 1805. Today the area is popular with hikers, windsurfers, and wine lovers.More
#2
Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

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Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest waterfall at 620 feet (189 meters) and one of the state’s top natural landmarks. The falls are made up of two waterfalls fed from Larch Mountain and are recognizable for their setting tucked into sheer rock faces. The cascades are made more fairytale-like by the Benson Bridge, which spans the top of the lower falls and provides great photo ops.More
#3
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

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Designed for science fans of all ages, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) features five separate halls, eight hands-on science labs, a real submarine, an OmniMax giant-screen theater, and a planetarium. The museum is a science playground, with 200-plus interactive exhibits covering subjects such as climate change, chemistry, the human body, and technology.More
#4
Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

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One of 90 waterfalls along Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, Latourell Falls are the closest to Portland. Plunging from a height of 249 feet (76 meters, the waterfalls offer dramatic scenery and photo opportunities, while a hiking trail makes it easy to get up close and personal.More
#5
Portland Steel Bridge

Portland Steel Bridge

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With more than a dozen bridges spanning the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Portland is certainly a city of bridges. However, there’s one that stands out; Portland's Steel Bridge is the only telescoping, double-decker truss bridge ever built. You can ride the light rail across, admire its expanse on a cruise, or just stroll along the century-old landmark.More
#6
Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood

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Just outside of Portland, Mt. Hood stands at a majestic 11,249 feet (3,429 meters), making it Oregon’s tallest mountain. The dormant volcano often has steam rising from its fumaroles, adding to the serenity of the surrounding vista. Adventure-seekers who opt to climb the mountain all the way to its summit are rewarded with 12 glaciers at the peak—plus stunning views of the Cascade mountain range, and the valleys and cities below.More
#7
International Rose Test Garden

International Rose Test Garden

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Free, outdoors, and centrally located, the International Rose Test Garden is an easy addition to your Portland vacation. Take time to smell some of the 10,000 roses representing 650 species when you stroll through the active test garden, located in Portland’s popular Washington Park.More
#8
Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley

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A short jaunt southwest from downtown Portland, the Willamette Valley is known by wine lovers worldwide for its delectable pinot noirs, often produced in small batches. This picturesque region is also dotted with tasting rooms and is a popular spot for wine-tasting excursions from Portland.More
#9
Portland Pearl District

Portland Pearl District

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Portland’s Pearl District lives up to its evocative title. The small neighborhood in the heart of downtown is packed with local finds, from avant-garde art galleries to craft breweries to fine dining, with many establishments housed in renovated warehouse spaces. Plus, a bike- and pedestrian-friendly trail along the Willamette River accents the Pearl’s waterfront location.More
#10
Wahkeena Falls

Wahkeena Falls

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Situated on the Oregon side of the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Wahkeena Falls cascades 242 feet (74 meters) in tiers through lush green forest. It’s one of the most popular waterfalls in the area, not only because of its beauty, but also because getting to it requires only a very short hike.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Portland

How to Spend 1 Day in Portland

How to Spend 2 Days in Portland

How to Spend 2 Days in Portland

Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley

Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley

Top activities in Portland

Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
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Mt Hood Day Trip from Portland to Multnomah Falls and Hood River
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Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock
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Full-Day Mt Hood Waterfall Tour with Lunch and Wine Tasting
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Oregon Coast Tour from Portland

Oregon Coast Tour from Portland

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Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Portland

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Take this tour first!
Jeffrey_A, Jul 2022
Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour
Tasting all the exotic donuts was fun and filling, but I think the great value of this tour comes from all the tips for things to do and places to eat, etc.
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I was very impressed with...
Sue_E, Jun 2022
Portland, Oregon City Tour!
This is our fourth visit to Portland to visit our son, and wish we had taken this tour on an earlier visit for the great overview.
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Fun time for all
Steve_D, Jun 2022
Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour
Great way to see Portland, get steps in and taste some local doughnuts.
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Introduction to Portland by Water
Mary_W, Jun 2022
2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown Portland
It was nice to see the businesses and beautiful homes on the water.
star-5
Great way to start a visit!
Mary_S, Jun 2022
Bike Around Portland: Bridges, Neighborhoods, Poetry and Roses
What a great way to see some highlights of Portland!
star-5
Wonderful introduction to Portland and surrounding beauty!
Joanna_M, Jun 2022
Half-Day Columbia River Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour
So fun to walk to see the waterfalls while learning all about the local area and history from Carrie.
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Would highly recommend!...
Amy_C, Jun 2022
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
The scenery was beautiful and the waterfalls magnificent.
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John was a great tour...
Gail_F, Jun 2022
Morning Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
Answered all our curious questions about Portland, the falls, and Washington.
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Portland City Tour - Excellent Guide
Gita_P, May 2022
Portland, Oregon City Tour!
Got to see Portland city and the surrounding lush, green areas.
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Great tour!
Jennifer_G, May 2022
Morning Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
The waterfalls are so beautiful and late May is a great time to go.
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Amazing experience!
Elizabeth_H, May 2022
Half-Day Columbia River Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour
A bit of walking through gorgeous scenery to some of the falls; others were right by the road.
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Great Overview of Portland
Cheryl_S, May 2022
Discover Portland Half-Day Small-Group City Tour
It was great to see all of the different sections of Portland.
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Highlight of our visit!
Thomas_W, May 2022
Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
He enthusiastically related the history of the Gorge and interesting items about each of the falls.
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Our favorite was the...
Nard_U, Apr 2022
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
Our favorite was the Multnomah Falls.
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A must for newcomers
Chelsea_B, Apr 2022
Street Art of Portland 2-Hour Bike Tour
Amazing experience and such a great way to see the niche underbelly of Portland.
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Highly recommend!
Samantha_P, Mar 2022
Mt Hood Day Trip from Portland to Multnomah Falls and Hood River
We got to see a ton of great sights and didn’t feel rushed at all.
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A great way to learn about the Portland area
AnitaWinsor, Mar 2022
Portland Sightseeing Tour Including Columbia Gorge Waterfalls
I give both the Portland Sightseeing tour and the Columbia Gorge Waterfalls tour an A+.
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Book this day trip to Mt. Hood
Patricia_W, Jun 2022
Full-Day Mt Hood Waterfall Tour with Lunch and Wine Tasting
We saw the best waterfalls ( best scenery for pics); trees, gorges, and pointed out a variety ( about 7) various mountains.
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Loved Eveything About this Tour!
Mike_R, May 2022
Full-Day Mt Hood Waterfall Tour with Lunch and Wine Tasting
Multnomah Falls took our breath away.
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Best waterfalls tour around Portland!
Kristine_M, May 2022
Morning Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
We’ve learned so much about the history of the waterfalls around Portland.
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All about Portland

When to visit

Portlanders love outdoor activities, and with summer temperatures at a comfortable high of around 80°F (26.6°C), it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the city’s outdoor markets, street fairs, and gardens. Plus, it’s the main season of the Portland Rose Festival. For budget-seeking travelers, winter brings lower hotel rates, but also a higher chance of rain.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PDT (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

People Also Ask

What are some things Portland is known for?

Portland is known for its food and beer scenes, coffeeshops, and easy access to many of Oregon’s most celebrated outdoor attractions, from the waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge to the forested Oregon coast. Although Portland gets plenty of rain, it’s also famously bike-friendly, with lots of designated bike lanes.

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How do I spend a day in Portland?

With one day in Portland, split your time between downtown and Washington Park. Spend the morning downtown, shopping, sampling donuts, and searching for a title at massive Powell’s Books. In the afternoon, head to Washington Park, home to the Oregon Zoo, Portland Japanese Garden, and International Rose Test Garden.

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What is the number 1 attraction in Oregon?

While Portland gets more visitors than anywhere else in Oregon, the state’s number-one attraction is Crater Lake National Park, home to the deepest lake in the United States. It’s the only national park in Oregon and a popular spot for hiking, camping, and taking scenic drives in summer.

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What do people in Portland do for fun?

Portlanders are an outdoorsy bunch, and hiking is one of the most popular activities among locals, especially in the warmer months. Other popular activities include attending live music and theater performances and going out to sports games—Portland’s basketball team (Trail Blazers) and soccer team (Timbers) have solid local fan bases.

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Is Portland worth visiting?

Yes. Portland is worth visiting. It’s a great city for dining out, with tons of restaurants and food carts, not to mention wineries and breweries. Outdoorsy folks will find no shortage of gardens and hiking trails within the city limits and plenty of forestland a short drive away.

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What do locals do in Portland?

Portland locals spend a lot of time outdoors, skiing and snowboarding in the winter months and hiking and camping in the warmer season. Going out to eat is also a common pastime in the city; despite its smaller size, Portland has a ton of restaurants.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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