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.

First-rate vintage clothes with high-end prices.

Thoughtful urban planning has turned Portland’s relatively compact, park-studded downtown into far more than just a business district. Home to most of the city’s hotels and major arts institutions, it’s vibrant and abuzz seven days a week.

Expecting parents Sara Chun and Ben Cavalcanti opened their Portland-based online shop in 2008 to sell kitty-shaped crayons that are easy for infants to grip and made with sustainable materials, including soy and beeswax.

The West Coast’s largest blues festival dates to 1987 and draws internationally renowned musicians like Buddy Guy and Lucinda Williams to the shores of the Willamette River, while benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.

This spirit producer dates to 2007 and is part of Southeast Portland’s Distillery Row. The green-fronted space with a criss-crossed dragon logo is only open to the public on Saturdays from noon until 5 p.m., or by appointment.

The huge flagship store of this Portland-based outerwear and sportswear company sells durable, rugged gear, clothing, footwear (the Titanium Daska Pass Omni-Techs are a favorite of hard-core hikers), mountain bikes, camping equipment, water-resistant watches, and everything else you might need to

This brick-fronted restaurant and nightclub in Southeast Portland has a stage for performers, a shimmering disco ball, and rows of artistic panels that dangle down the side of blue walls.

This downtown shop with a single floor is fronted by a wavy orange and green sign and sells all manner of vintage clothing for men and women. Todd Wooley moved Magpie to its current location in 2000, but he has owned the store for even longer.

Portland’s iconic, much-loved bookshop sprawls across nine cavernous rooms, taking up a full city block.

Kristine Cheeseman started fusing stained glass for a living in 1994, and currently sells completed pieces online and at the Portland Farmers Market, which operates on Saturdays and Sundays from early March to late December.

Located three miles southwest of downtown Portland, the 64-acre Oregon Zoo is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi.

This multi-spirit distillery started in Corvallis, Oregon, in 2004 and relocated to Southeast Portland the following year. They make Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, White Dog Whiskey, and celebrated the release of Volstead Vodka to start February 2012.

On Saturdays—and, despite the name, Sundays from March through late December—the nation’s largest ongoing outdoor arts and crafts market unfolds beneath the Burnside Bridge (in 2009, the location will change).

This cocktail lounge complements adjacent Gracie’s restaurant in downtown Portland’s Hotel deLuxe. The space has cushioned banquette seating, alligator skin and shark skin railing, moody wall sconces, and the namesake driftwood affixed to a purple back bar.