Portland, OR

Things to do in Portland, OR

A visit to Portland is an absolute must for lovers of the arts. With its wealth of museums, galleries and festivals brimming with colorful offerings from world-renown masters and local legends, your itinerary will be brimming with artistic things to do in Portland. Visit the Pearl District to explore trendy galleries located in renovated warehouse spaces, or visit the Portland Arts Center for to see works by international masters. Foodies should likewise visit the Pearl District for some of the city’s trendiest restaurants, many serving up the organic, farm-to-table fare that’s become a huge part of the city’s culinary scene. And then there’s the beer: With dozens of local breweries, you’ll never run out things to do – or beers to try – in Portland. Visit Hair of the Dog Brewing to sample unique, unusual beer flavors, then stop by Amnesia Brewery and Hopworks Urban Brewery to try more familiar microbrews and mingle with the locals.

Travelers looking for outdoorsy activities will find plenty of things to do in Portland, from a low-key cycling tour through the city – you can even take a bike tour of the city’s many breweries – to a demanding hike up Mount Hood. Nature lovers will want to check out some of Portland’s many parks, including the International Rose Test Garden, which is resplendent with hundreds of varieties of roses, or Forest Park, home to more than 5,100 acres of dense, temperate rainforest. To relax after a long day of hiking, grab a bite at one of Portland’s many groundbreaking restaurants, like Asian-fusion Pok Pok or French-inspired Higgins, and read a book from Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world.

The theater is housed in the LEED-certified Platinum Armory building.

Part of Mike and Brian McMenamin’s growing restaurant and brewpub chain, this distillery just south of Portland’s Troutdale Airport occupies a former dry shed for storing vegetables on the old Edgefield estate.

This curious strip of avant-garde art galleries, funky boutiques, and affordable ethnic eateries has recently sprung up in an otherwise quiet section of northeast Portland.

Living-room vibe. This local art-filled bar in the Pearl District is a popular stop on Portland's monthly first Thursday Artwalk.

Five gardens—Flat, Strolling Pond, Natural, Tea, and Sand & Stone—span 5.5 acres of this Japanese garden located near the Rose Gardens in Washington Park.

This tiny cheese counter serving up delicious artisanal cheeses and charcuterie has a well-deserved cult following.

The TriMet transport system even serves trendy areas like "The Pearl."

Since the mid ’80s, Steve McCarthy has been harvesting fruit from his brother’s orchards in Parkdale, near the base of Mt. Hood, to produce localized fruit spirits using copper pot stills in Portland’s industrial Northwest.

Thanks to a growing colony of trendy bars and terrific restaurants around the intersection with 28th Street, this formerly industrial area has become increasingly vibrant and popular.

Along with bar snacks like rock shrimp hushpuppies, Red Star has a great selection of single-malt Scotches and small-batch bourbons. Its menu showcases bourbon cocktails.

Created by PDX Jazz, the US Bank Portland Jazz Festival showcases local and Pacific Northwest jazz talent as well as widely known musicians and singers like Branford Marsalis, Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bill Frisell, and Charlie Hunter.

The store looks like an innocuous gift shop but hides within it an outlandish library of exotic salts curated by salt “selmelier” Mark Bitterman.

The Museum: During a 1998 reading at the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans, the concept of a museum dedicated to velvet paintings was discussed, and since then, Caren Anderson and Carl Baldwin, now museum co-owners, began collecting, opening the Velveteria in 2005.

Ristretto Roasters founder Din Johnson first contributed to the city's booming specialty coffee scene in 2005 by opening this Beaumont coffeehouse with wife Nancy Rommelmann.