Welcome to the West Coast city that appeals to virtually every type of traveler. There are plenty of ways to have a perfect weekend in Portland, but some of the city’s best attractions its natural ones. Get a bird’s-eye view of the city by hiking up the extinct volcano, Mt. Tabor, or spend an afternoon exploring Forest Park (the largest urban park in the world), which is adjacent to the International Rose Test Garden.
Here, more than 500 varieties of the flower are being developed and evaluated for their fragrance and color—you can’t smell these roses anywhere else in the world. The Elk Rock Garden, once private, now open to the public and free, is a Portland attraction that’s highly underrated.
If you want to ask locals what to do in Portland, find them at any of the countless cafes spread across the creative West End hub. After all, Portland has earned the title as he most famous coffee shop is Stumptown (hence the nickname) but what you really want is a latte. The baristas here are famous for their latte art: at Albina Press, for example, you may find a smiling whale floating in your mug.
Other fun things to do in Portland include shopping at a farmers market (the largest is held at the Portland State University campus and features more than 200 vendors) and wandering through Powell’s City of Books, an independent shop that contains a staggering 2 million volumes, some new and some used.
Later, take a stroll across one of the dozen bridges spanning the Willamette River (like the automobile-free Tilikum Crossing) or have at least one meal at the 600 food trucks traversing the city. Find them in pods, like Tidbit Food Farm and Garden, which has a beer garden, a fire pit, and carts hawking everything from Dutch waffles with maple butter to smoked Scandinavian sausage with Norse-style coleslaw. Here, you’ll eat and drink like royalty without breaking the bank.