On our travel Portland, Oregon adventure, we saw the iconic Multnomah Falls.

I flew to Oregon to explore and travel Portland, a city known for “being weird”. Truly, it is one of America’s most unique cities and one of the few I would consider living in. Portland offers diverse places to eat, infamous scenery such as Multnomah Falls, home to the country’s largest book store and some of the most eclectic humans you will ever cross paths with.

To help you make the most of your visit, here are our 12 favorite things to do when we travel Portland, Oregon.

Read our 6 day travel Portland and Oregon Coast Itinerary for your next Pacific Northwest adventure.

A must see on during your travel Portland, Oregon adventure? The International Test Rose Garden- and it’s free!

Frequently Asked Questions: Travel Portland

The Japanese Zen Garden in Portland, Oregon.

Is there anything fun to do in Portland?

Portland has something for everyone of all ages, which is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much! Whether you are a foodie, love nature and hiking, are a book worm or are interested in the arts, Portland has something for you.

Is Portland worth traveling to?

Absolutely! Portland offers a variety of activities, so you are guaranteed to find something you enjoy doing. It also doesn’t hurt that the beautiful Oregon coast isn’t too far either!

Is 3 days in Portland enough?

I could spend weeks in Portland and discover something new! However, you can use our list of things to do when you travel Portland, Oregon to make the most of your visit.

Where are some great places to stay in Oregon?

Save our list of the top 10 dreamy Airbnb, VRBO or places to stay in Oregon.

12 Things to See and Do When You Travel Portland, Oregon Adventure

1. Take a Street Tour

One of the best ways to be introduced to a new city is signing up for a walking tour. I appreciate having a local tour guide to answer all my questions and to see the main highlights of the city. I recommend the Intro to Portland Small Group Walking Tour, priced at $29 per person to kick off your Portland adventure. A unique tour for the foodies out there is Portland, Oregon’s Underground Donut Tour, priced at $54 per person.

Do you enjoy exploring big cities? Explore our 48 hour guide to Chicago, IL.

2. Explore the Alberta Arts District

One of our favorite experience during the travel Portland, Oregon adventure was the Alberta Arts District. There are beautiful galleries and murals throughout the neighborhood. In August, the Alberta Arts District hosts the Alberta Street Fair featuring multiple stages, kids activities, over 150 vendors, beer garden and more.

We parked our car and walked the entire neighborhood to enjoy the art. During our walk, we explored beautiful boutiques like Grasshopper (for kids), Collage (art shop), Psychic Sisters (you HAVE to see it!), Tumbleweed (cute clothes) and Frock (boutique outfits).

Our favorite places to eat in the Albert Arts District was a French cafe, Petite Provence. The Tin Shed Garden Cafe is also magical as well as the infamous ice cream shop, Salt and Straw. Great places for lunch are La Bonita and Wild Thing PDF sandwich shop. Of course, there are food trucks along the way to enjoy too.

3. Browse the Powell’s City of Books

When we decided to travel Portland, we knew browsing the largest independent and used book store in the world was on our itinerary, Powell’s City of Books. The book store takes up an entire city block and has over 3,500 sections. You can easily spend a solid day here if you are a book worm!

4. Relax in the Japanese Zen Garden

In the hustle and bustle of Portland, you will find one of the most Zen places around. The Japanese Zen Garden show cases many styles of gardens in the 5.5 space that offers a tea house, waterfall and a mountain view overlooking the city of Portland. A bonus: It’s located across from the International Rose Test Garden.

5. Tour the International Rose Test Garden

The International Rose Test Garden is the biggest garden I have ever seen! Located across the Japanese Zen Garden with a mountain view, you can view roses of every different color you can dream of. I enjoyed the serene peace I found here after a long day of venturing throughout the busiest parts of Portland. The best part of all? Entry into the garden is free!

6. Shop the Thrift Stores

Portland offers some of the best thrift stores I have ever been to & I had a lot of awesome finds where I purchased name brand or designer items for over 75% off. I suggest The Buffalo Exchange, Red Light Clothing Exchange, ARTIFACT: Creative Recycle, 2nd STREET Hawthorne and Here We Go Again.

7. Devour VooDoo Doughnut

How can anyone travel Portland, Oregon without a classic VooDoo Doughnut in hand? VooDoo Doughnuts are made fresh daily and offer some of the most unique flavored doughnuts that are fun to look at and eat! They even offer vegan and gluten donut options, cannoli and fritters. Our favorite kinds are the Memphis Mafia, Marshall Mathers, Caramel Macchiato and the VooDoo Doll.

8. Wander the Food Trucks

Coming from Minnesota (where we lack food trucks), we were most excited to explore the food truck scene during our travel to Portland, Oregon. Food trucks are such a fun display of the food culture in any city. There are over 500 food trucks throughout Portland, with many of them gathered in the same area. Some food truck pods to visit are the Food Avenue Food Cart Pod, Park the Carts and 5th Avenue Food Cart Pods.

9. Visit the Witch’s Castle

The Witch’s Castle, photo credit to Atlas Obscura.

The Witch’s Castle is located in Oregon’s Forest Park, and is a slightly difficult, half mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking Lot near the Portland Audubon Society. You can also access the trailhead by walking up on Thurman Street. It’s claim to fame is the simple mystery that shrouds the still standing stone building decorated in moss. It’s definitely an interesting sight to see and has attracted ghost hunters from all over the country.

10. Enjoy Multnomah Falls

If you travel Portland, Oregon, you can’t miss Multnomah falls. This was the grand finale to our trip! Over 2 million visitors stop by to hike the bridge for an up-close view of Multnomah Falls. Multnomah falls is equipped with a visitor center, restrooms, gift shop, coffee bar and more for visitors. Be prepared for a short walk from the parking lot to the falls, where you will be hiking uphill. You will arrive at Multnomah Falls eastbound I-84 via exit 31.

Nearby there is also Bridal Veils falls, about a 1.4 mile hike round trip. This is a less crowded area.

Pro Tip: Absolutely make sure to purchase your tickets for the falls before you pay this beautiful area a visit, in May through September (9am to 6 pm), unless you are riding a shuttle or bike. You can purchase your permit at Recreation.gov .

Looking for more waterfalls to chase? Visit the North Shore of MN and our 4 day itinerary for Lake Superior.


Enjoy Our Favorites from Travel Portland?

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