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.

For much of the year (not just winter), there’s great skiing just an hour away from Portland on the slopes of 11,239-foot Mount Hood. This peak, which is clearly visible from the city on clear days, has three different downhill ski areas.

The Spread: Portland ranks No. 2 for farmers' markets in our America's Favorite Cities Survey, and this Saturday hot spot is the epicenter for Oregonian locavores.

Wedged between the Willamette River, downtown, and the Pearl District, the city’s slightly roguish Old Town is the site of the Portland Saturday Market and a small but lively Chinatown. It’s a popular neighborhood for nightclubbing.

This classic Oregonian blanket is making a comeback in the company’s hundredth year in business. Pick up a brightly patterned tribal throws (the Four Winds is Navajo-inspired) or muted striped Yakima Camp blankets (from $88), made from local sheep’s wool.

Part of the retro-hip Jupiter Hotel, this dark and quirkily furnished music club and lounge has been one of the key cultivators of Portland’s white-hot indie-music scene.

Founded in 1997 by Walter Jaffe and Paul King, White Bird is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local dance companies while also bringing national and international groups to perform in Portland.

Occupying a forested ridge high above downtown Portland, this park has enough sights and attractions that it’s easy to spend a full day here.

Situated in southeast Portland, this bakery is the namesake of French-trained pastry chef Cheryl Wakerhauser, known to her friends as Pix.

Once a collection of hulking early-20th-century warehouses, this area just north of downtown is now Portland’s trendiest neighborhood, chockablock with high-end loft condos, see-and-be-seen lounges and restaurants, and natty shelter shops and fashion boutiques.

Years as agent: 21. Specialties: England, India, South Africa. Consulting fee: From $500.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art resides in the trendy Pearl District and presents this 10-day festival that dates to 2003 and celebrates the global performing arts community. Actors, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, and more all descend on Portland.

Since the construction in 2005 of a new wing, the Pacific Northwest’s oldest art museum has really become two facilities in one.

Original Debut: In 1927, Universal Studios spent $100,000 (big bucks in those days) bankrolling the Bagdad Theater in Portland’s Hawthorne District.