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15 Best Things To Do in Portland, Oregon [Weekend DIY Itinerary to Portland]

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor August 15th, 2021 Posted in North America Travel Blog, Travel Blog No comments

Due to its ideal climate for growing roses, Portland, Oregon has been called the “City of Roses” for over a century. The city of Portland is the largest in the state of Oregon. This city is environmentally conscious and recognized as one of the world’s greenest cities. Many people here walk or cycle more than they drive, participate in farm to table dining, having a number of public transportation options and boasts 10,000 acres of the public park offering dozens of cultural attractions.

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Christopher Brown

Best Things to do in Portland, Oregon

1. International Rose Test Garden

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Jessica Sheridan CC BY 2.0

The oldest official, continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States with more than over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties exemplifying Portland’s nickname, “City of Roses”. The romantic ambiance, fragrant smell, and different colored petals are what make this place popular and simply unique.

2. Portland Japanese Garden

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Christopher Michel CC BY 2.0

This stunning Japanese gardens built into the tropical foothills is said to be the most authentic recreation of the Japanese gardens outside of Japan. It has plants and trees that are meticulously manicured and well maintained. Enjoy authentic Japanese delicacies and Japanese tea in the Umami Cafe. 

3. Washington Park

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Ian Sane CC BY 2.0

This park is a popular public urban park in Portland. It includes a zoo, forestry museum, an extensive rose garden, a Japanese garden, amphitheater, memorials, archery range, tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, and many acres of wild forest with miles of trails.

4. Pittock Mansion

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Jim Bahn CC BY 2.0

Modeled after Victorian and French Renaissance architecture, the forty-six room house is built in 1914. Enjoy the city view and the fresh air while touring this modern home. 

5. Portland Art Museum

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by loppear CC BY 2.0

The Portland Art Museum was founded in 1892, making it the oldest art museum on the West Coast and seventh oldest in the US. This museum features a center for Native American art, Northwest art, modern and contemporary art and permanent exhibitions of Asian art. 

6. St. Johns Bridge

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by
Oregon Department of Transportation
CC BY 2.0

Don’t forget this long neo-gothic styled bridge in Portland when you visit. With two 120 m towers and 62 m navigational clearance, it is the tallest bridge in Portland. It has a scenic view including a cathedral and park. 

7. Mount Tabor Park

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Larry Koester CC BY 2.0

This forested mountain park is located on top of a dormant volcano. Enjoy the great view of the city while hiking its trail. Dogs are also allowed in this park for a walk. 

8. Pearl District


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Never go to Portland without a trip to Pearl District. Formerly occupied by warehouses, light industry and railroad classification yards, it is now known for its fine dining, upscale businesses, boutique shops, historical architecture and many more. 

9. Oregon Historical Society


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 Acquaint yourselves and walk through the history of Oregon settlement. It features original and traveling exhibitions telling stories of the people, places, and events that have shaped Oregon and American history. 

10. Alberta Street


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This street was reborn to a neighborhood of fashion, art, and culture. Stroll around the shops, galleries, and restaurants in this funky street. Admire the colorful murals and find unique artwork, clothes or decorations.

11. Forest Park

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by SupportPDX CC BY 2.0

Forest Park is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves. It is lined with trails for hiking and biking. Hear the sweet chirping of birds while enjoying the serene atmosphere of the park. 

12. The Grotto – National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Kaleb Nyquist CC BY 2.0

The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, also known as The Grotto, is a Catholic outdoor shrine and sanctuary. A peaceful and quiet retreat for worship and meditation.

13. Willamette Valley

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Rick Obst CC BY 2.0

Willamette Valley is a farmscape that is best known for its diverse agriculture. The valley is considered synonymous with “Oregon Wine Country”, for it has 19,000 acres of vineyards and 500+ wineries. 

14. Lan Su Chinese Garden

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Anna Hanks CC BY 2.0

This tranquil botanical Chinese garden features rare plants native to China, decorative stonework & a tea shop. The authentic architecture of the place will make you feel like you are in a different place. 

15. Hoyt Arboretum

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon
Photo by jlh_lunasea CC BY-SA 2.0

Need a break from the noise and bustle of the city? The cool shade of the trees in the Arboretum was a way to escape the pollution. .This arboretum contains approximately 6000 individual trees and shrubs of more than 2300 species from all over the world, 63 of which are vulnerable or endangered. 

Things to do with 3 days in Portland, Oregon

Day 1 in Portland, Oregon

Pearl District – One of the ‘most hipster neighborhoods in the world’. Stroll around the lively and fashionable street and head to the world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s Bookstore ‘City of Book’.

Pittock Mansion – Looking for a panoramic view of the entire city? You’ll find those here at Pittock Mansion.

Day 2 in Portland, Oregon

International Rose Test Garden – Portland is not the “City of Roses” for nothing. This garden is a rainbow paradise. It boasts 10,000 roses. Make sure you visit when the roses are in bloom

Multnomah Falls – Your itinerary won’t be complete without visiting the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. 

Day 3 in Portland, Oregon

Portland Japanese Garden – Never miss this awesome Japanese garden in Portland. Embrace the authentic Japanese feel of this popular destination.

Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon

Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon if you’re a Backpacker

The Society Hotel

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

This hotel is 400 m from Lan Su Chinese Garden, 800 m from Powell’s City of Books, 1.3 km from Oregon Convention Center and situated 1.6 km from Portland Art Museum. The accommodation features a terrace and a bar and you will find a restaurant serving American cuisine at the hotel. 

Price: Starts at US$47 +US$7.19 taxes and charges, free cancellation, no prepayment. 

HI – Portland Northwest Hostel

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

This hostel is just a 10-minute walk from Portland’s Pearl District and 2 km from Portland’s International Rose Garden. It offers free WiFi access, linens, a shared bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen. Mixed dormitory rooms, female-only dormitory rooms, male-only dormitory rooms, as well as individual private rooms are available here. 

Price: Starts at US$35 +US$5.35 taxes and charges, free breakfast free cancellation, no prepayment. 

Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon if you’re on a Budget

The Palms Motel

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

Oregon motel offers easy access to nearby shops and restaurants. It also offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, cable TV, work desk, fridge, and microwave. The Moda Center is a 5-minute drive, the Oregon Zoo is 9.7 km away, and Mount St. Helens is 112.7 km from the motel. 

Price: Starts at US$80 +US$14.74 taxes and charges, free cancellation

Eastside Lodge

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

This lodge has rooms that offer free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. It also features air conditioning, a small fridge, microwave and ironing facilities. It has a 24-hour front desk and complimentary parking.

Price: Starts at US$97 +US$14.87 taxes and charges, free cancellation. 

Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon if you want Luxury

Hotel Eastlund

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

Eastside Portland hotel offers 2 on-site restaurants and rooms with a 42-inch smart flat-screen HDTV, free Wi-Fi, compact refrigerator and a gourmet coffee machine. The en suite bathrooms boast clean lines with warm grey tiles and a walk-in shower. This hotel also features a fitness and business center and a 24-hour front desk. 

Price: Start US$375 for Superior Suite Accessible +US$57.41 taxes and charges, free cancellation, no prepayment

Ace Hotel Portland

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

The hotel offers unique guest rooms with painted murals, free WIFI, 32-inch flat-screen TV, fully-stocked minibar and an on-site restaurant. This hotel also features private bathrooms with a stand-up shower or clawfoot bathtub and Some rooms have views of the Pearl District. Guests can enjoy bicycle rentals at this hotel. 

Price: Starts at US$205 +US$31.37 taxes and charges, free cancellation, no prepayment.

Where to Eat in Portland, Oregon

Q Restaurant & Bar

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

This restaurant has a great vibe with excellent food and fantastic service. Serves American and vegetarian cuisines. 

Operating hours:

  • Mon-Fri     11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sat-Sun     9:30 AM – 12:00 AM

 Address: 828 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204-3012

Mediterranean Exploration Company

Serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. If you wanna try unique foods, then this restaurant is for you. 

Operating hours:

  • Sun – Thu     4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Fri – Sat        4:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Address: 333 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209-3144

Caffe Mingo

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

This restaurant serves Italian dishes. Not only the food is nice, but also the setting with a chill atmosphere.

Operating hours: Tue – Sun     5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

 Address: 807 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209-1408


How to go to Portland, Oregon from the UK

Via easyJet: (one way)

*From LTN London Luton to BCN Barcelona


*From BCN Barcelona to JFK New York John F. Kennedy

Via: Alaska Airlines

*FromJFK New York John F. Kennedy to PDX Portland

Ticket Price: $449

 *Prices are subject to change. 

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]