Portland—the City of Roses—has so many fun things to see and do. From exploring the city’s thriving public parks and gardens to local finds, there are plenty of ways to get outside. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Portland has something for you to enjoy. Here are some of the best activities to do in Portland, Oregon.
International Rose Test Garden
If you love roses, the International Rose Test Garden is a must-visit destination. The rose garden has more than 8,000 varieties of roses on display. While many people come here for the beautiful flowers and lush landscape, this attraction is also known as one of Portland’s top wedding venues.
Portland Japanese Gardens
Across from the rose garden, you will find one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. The garden has some wonderful features that you can enjoy, including a traditional teahouse and bridge. You will also see plants and flowers native to Japan, as well as other elements that reflect Japanese culture. The best part about visiting this garden is just how peaceful it feels there—you might even forget you’re still in Portland!
Huber’s Café is one of the oldest restaurants in Portland, Oregon. While Oregon is known for its amazing food scene, people love Huber’s for the atmosphere as well. You must order the Spanish coffee just for the fantastic 45-second show that accompanies each order while the bartender mixes your drink.
Powell’s Books is a landmark of Portland and the largest independent bookstore in the world. The store has thousands of new and used books, including a great selection of comics and graphic novels. It’s also a great place to hang out—they have an on-site café, live music, board games, readings, and more!
Multnomah Falls is one of the most popular destinations in Oregon. The waterfall drops in two tiers from a total height of 620 feet and has a picturesque bridge between the two drops. The falls consist of many smaller waterfalls that cascade down steps to meet at a larger drop at its base.
Portland Footbridge Trail
The Portland Footbridge Trail is a pedestrian bridge that runs over the Willamette River and offers fantastic views of downtown Portland. The trail also connects to other walking trails around the city. If you want to leave the city and explore wine country, Willamette Valley offers outstanding weekend trip ideas near Portland.
Oregon Historical Society Museum
Another fun activity to do in Portland, Oregon, is to visit the Oregon Historical Society Museum, which is a must-see attraction! The exhibits have a ton of fascinating artifacts and memorialize Oregon’s history. It’s located near downtown Portland and receives over 44,000 visitors each year.
McMenamins Kennedy School
This remodeled elementary school is now the location of a hotel, restaurant, and theater. There is a cigarette lounge in the old detention hall and a pub in the old boiler room. It has become a popular place for weddings because of its unique venue options.
Portland has several nature reserves, parks, and other attractions that are perfect for exploring with your family, friends, or even by yourself. Portland is a great place to visit, and there are plenty of fun things to do here. If you want to spend a day or two exploring the city, this guide will help you find some of the best attractions.