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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 15 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
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#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
#11
Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square

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Sometimes called Portland's living room, Pioneer Square lives up to its reputation as a place that's welcoming to all. Though not the most scenic spot in the city, this centrally-located urban hub is surrounded by shops and eateries, and offers easy access to Downtown Portland attractions, whether you're walking or taking public transit.More
#12
Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion

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Once home to Henry and Georgiana Pittock, Portland’s original power couple, the Pittock Mansion sits on 46 acres (18.6 hectares) of land and contains exhibits featuring artwork and artifacts from the early 1900s. The house is perched on a hill 1,000 feet (305 meters) above downtown and offers sweeping views of Portland and the Cascade Range.More
#13
Alphabet District

Alphabet District

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Just a jaunt from Downtown Portland, the Alphabet District in the Inner Northwest area draws visitors for its shopping, dining, and easy access to Forest Park. The main stretch is between 21st and 23rd Streets. Many Portlanders call this largely residential area home, residing in the area's condos, Victorians, and Craftsman-style houses.More
#14
Washington Park

Washington Park

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Washington Park is a sprawling woodland in Southwest Portland, home to the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, and a series of gardens including the International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, and the Portland Japanese Garden. Cycling paths and walking trails wind throughout the park, providing a convenient nature escape.More
#15
Powell’s City of Books

Powell’s City of Books

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Encompassing an entire city block in downtown Portland, Powell’s City of Books is the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore and a top attraction for book lovers visiting the city. Here you’ll find upwards of a million books, including rare finds, first editions, and autographed copies of bestsellers and little-known titles alike, all under one roof.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

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

Portland Morning City Tour

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Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour
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Private Customized Willamette Valley Wine Maker Tour with lunch
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Recent reviews from experiences in Portland

star-5
Portland City Tour - Excellent Guide
Gita_P, May 2022
Portland, Oregon City Tour!
Got to see Portland city and the surrounding lush, green areas.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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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Portland Viator Tour
RFW, Apr 2022
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
Great guide, love all the attractions and interactions!
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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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Waterfalls!
Heidi_M, Apr 2022
Half-Day Columbia River Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour
The tour of waterfalls was excellent.
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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.
star-5
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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Great time!
Sandy_B, Dec 2021
Food Carts of Portland Bike Tour: local flavors and stories
Had a great time - biking around Portland was very fun and a great way to see different neighborhoods.
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Welcome to Portland
Blake_S, May 2022
Portland, Oregon City Tour!
Also helped us pick out things to do, restaurants to visit, and plan the days we hadn't booked in advance.
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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.
star-5
Do the Donut Tour!! It's Dope!
Courtney_D, Jan 2022
Portland's Only Underground Donut Tour
My Boyfriend and I are doing sober January and this was a perfect activity that was fun and a great way to see the city!
star-5
Worth every step!
Martin_F, Jan 2022
Portland Old Town Ghost Tour
A walking tour can stay and fall with the host.
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Great bike and hike on a sunny fall day
Elizabeth_P, Oct 2021
Hike and Bike Tour to Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls
Waterfalls were absolutely beautiful and the hiking was on well traveled trails.
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Waterfalls!
Elizabeth_O, Oct 2021
Mt Hood Day Trip from Portland to Multnomah Falls and Hood River
We really enjoyed the full day tour to Mount Hood and loved seeing all of the waterfalls.
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Nice day--would do again
Maureen_D, Sep 2021
2-Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown Portland
Would recommend as a great way to see Portland from the river--good for all ages.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
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