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14 things TO SEE and do in PORTLAND, OREGON

Posted: 7/12/21 | July 12th, 2021

Portland, Oregon, is one of America’s many distinct cities. While it often gets overshadowed by Seattle to the north, Portland is one of the US’s best and many interesting metropolises. With a world-class food scene, plentiful local breweries, and postcard-perfect scenery, it’s unexpected that much more people don’t visit this eclectic city.

Nicknamed “the City of Roses” (after roses became a common garden staple in the late 19th century) and “Stumptown” (due to lots of tree stumps remaining after the city expanded and clear-cut the surrounding area in the mid-19th century), Portland is known for its liberal tendencies, its food trucks, and its hipsters (thanks, Portlandia).

My first trip here was back in 2011 for Thanksgiving. While in Spain, I made friends who lived in Portland and paid them a visit on my way to Asia. What started as “like” during my first trip turned into love on my second.

And, because then, I’ve went to nearly every year. Portland is on the very tiny list of cities I would actually live in (the nearby Oregon coast is spectacular too!

What I really love about Portland is the high quality of life. It’s compact and easy to get around, there is good public transportation available, the locals are friendly, it’s environmentally conscious, and, many importantly, the food and beer scene here is amazing.

While the city has developed a bit of a bad rap the last year, the overwhelming majority of that has been overblown by the media. While Portland isn’t ideal (no city ever is), it’s not nearly as “dangerous” as certain people would like you to believe. A city of over 600,000 people, it’s not being burnt to the ground and problems are confined to a small section downtown. Don’t let the media make you scared to visit this amazing city.

To help you make the most of your visit, here are my favorite 14 things to see and do in Portland:

1. Take a walking Tour

I always start my visits to a new city with a walking tour. It’s the best way to learn about a destination, get the lay of the land, see the main sights, and have an expert local guide answer all your questions.

Portland walking trips provides much more than half a dozen different trips around town, focusing on food, the main sights, and Portland’s underground and alternative culture. trips last a couple hours and cost around $23 USD. They’re a great way to kick off your visit. I really liked their Underground Tour, which focused on a series of tunnels below the city that have been used for all kinds of nefarious purposes.

2. See Pittock Mansion

Built in 1914, this is a spectacular French Renaissance-style mansion located in the western part of town. The 46-room estate, originally owned by a rich couple from England, is part of the national Register of historic places and includes stunning artwork and furniture collected by the original owners. You can explore the grounds (which span over 40 acres) and buildings by yourself or take a guided trip (the price is the same; however, guided trips are only scheduled when volunteers are available).

3229 NW Pittock Dr, +1 503-823-3623, pittockmansion.org. open Thursday-Monday from 10am–5pm (4pm in the winter). Admission is $12 USD.

3. Hike forest Park

Located on the northwestern edge of town, forest Park is one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Covering a sprawling 5,000 acres, it’s home to over 70 miles of hiking and biking trails. There are over 100 species of birds here, as well as 62 different species of mammals. It’s also home to the Witch’s Castle, an abandoned stone building covered in moss. (It has no connection to witches. The name came from students who used to use the site for secret parties in the 1980s).

Some trails worth checking out are the Wildwood loop trail (easy, 2 hours), forest Park Ridge trail (moderate, 1.5 hours), and the Dogwood Wild Cherry loop (easy, 1.5 hours).

4. browse at Powell’s City of Books

This is the largest independent and used bookstore in the world, home to over a million books. recognized in 1971, the store takes up an entire city block and has 3,500 different sections. It purchases upwards of 3,000 new and used books each and every day so if you’re a book lover like me, you could easily spend a good chunk of time here!

1005 W Burnside St, +1 800-878-7323, powells.com/locations/powells-city-of-books. open daily 9am–10pm.

5. Devour delicious Donuts

Portland is known for its donuts. If you Google the city or search for it on social media, donuts will undoubtedly pop up. Voodoo Doughnut put the city on the map with its strange and fantastic combinations, such as Cap’n crunch or maple bacon. It also makes cream-filled phallic donuts as well — so you can see why it’s become a quirky staple of the city.

Some locals might argue that Voodoo is for tourists, preferring donuts from Blue star instead. You can’t go wrong with either choice. Why not try bothand see for yourself. You only live once, after all!

6. wander the international rose test Garden

Home to over 10,000 rose bushes and 610 varieties, this garden is where numerous companies test new varieties of roses (some are evaluated here years before they are commercially available). It’s the oldest rose test garden in the country. during world war I, roses from all around the world were sent here for testing and safekeeping. They also host an annual competition for the city’s best rose. The roses are in bloom between April and October, though there is also an amphitheater here that holds all kinds of events, such as classical music performances and plays. Don’t miss the Shakespeare Garden, which only has types of roses referenced in Shakespeare’s plays.

400 SW Kingston Ave, +1 503-823-3636. open daily 5am–10pm. Admission is free.

7. See the Japanese Garden

Located near the rose test Garden, these Japanese gardens were created in the 1960s as a symbol of peace between world war II adversaries. Today, it’s considered the best Japanese garden outside of Japan. Spanning 12 acres, it includes conventional gazebos, waterfalls, ponds, Zen sand gardens, and lots of walking paths. It’s very unwinding and peaceful and stunning all year round, though it’s particularly spectacular in the autumn when the leaves are changing. It receives no funding from the city, so it’s not cheap, but if you want to escape the city for a while, then it’s worth every penny.

611 SW Kingston Ave, +1 503-223-1321, japanesegarden.org. open daily 10am–5:30pm. Admission is $18.95 USD

8. visit The Freakybutture Peculiarium and Museum

If you’re searching for something decidedly strange and unconventional during your trip, visit The Peculiarium. This creepy emporium is full of all kinds of strange drawings and souvenirs, gag toys, unknown oddities in jars, and even a huge Bigfoot statue. There are fake severed body parts (which are very lifelike), and they also serve fresh-baked cookies…with bugs, scorpions, and mealworms inside and on them.

The city’s slogan is “Keep Portland Weird.” This place reflects that perfectly.

2234 Northwest Thurman Street, +1 503-227-3164, peculiarium.com. open Wednesday–Monday 11am–7pm. Admission is $5 USD. Not suitable for kids.

9. Take a Food Tour

If you’re a foodie like me, you can’t visit Portland without taking a food tour. You’ll get to sample some of the city’s best food, learn about its culture and history, and meet other foodie travelers like yourself. It’s the best way to get the culinary lay of the land before you head off on your own to eat your way around town.

Forktown provides a few different food trips focused on different cuisines and regions of the city. It will give you a solid summary of what tasty offerings Stumptown can dish up. trips last around three hours and cost 115 USD per person.

Lost Plate also runs a few speacizled food tours, including one that focuses on donuts and one that sticks entirely to food trucks. Their trips start at $49 USD.

10. unwind at Laurelhurst Park or Washington Park

Portland has tons of green space to unwind in and enjoy. Laurelhurst Park was developed by the same team that developed central Park in new York. It has a laid-back atmosphere and is popular with locals and visitors alike. There’s a duck pond, bike paths, and an off-leash canine area.

Washington Park is another great choice if you’re wanting to lounge with a book and delight in the weather. The park includes memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Holocaust, and the Lewis and Clark expedition, and also provides stunning vistas of Portland and Mt. Hood.

11. Indulge at the Food Trucks

One of the most essential elements of the Portland food scene is its food trucks. The food trucks are a huge part of the local culture, and you can find pretty much every cuisine and every price point too. There are over 500 food trucks in the city, and they’re typically gathered in small pods so you can sample a few different ones without having to go far.

You can find plenty of tasty options on SW fifth Ave and at the food pods (food truck lots) at Cartopia, third Ave, and Hawthorne Asylum. some of my favorites are MF Tasty, Burger Stevens, and Desi PDX.

12. visit the Portland Art Museum

Opened in 1892, this is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest. It’s also one of the oldest galleries in the country too (the seventh oldest to be exact). It’s home to over 42,000 items, from contemporary art to native American works to Asian art and everything in between. There are permanent exhibitions, rotating short-term galleries, and an outdoor sculpture park. There’s a lot of variety here, so be sure to check the site to see what’s on during your visit.

1219 SW Park Ave, +1 503-226-2811, portlandartmuseum.org. open Wednesday–Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission is $20 USD. Admissions is typically totally free on the first Thursday of the month from 5pm-8pm and just $5 USD on Fridays from17.00 til 20.00, men disse er for øyeblikket på pause på grunn av Covid.

13. Drikk litt øl

Portland er en av ølhovedstedene i Amerika. Det er over 70 mikrobryggerier i byen – mye mer enn noen annen by i landet – og Portlandians tar ølet sitt på alvor. Håndverksølbevegelsen startet her på 80 -tallet, i god tid før den fanget andre steder. Tallrike bryggerier har sine egne turer, så vel som sine egne restauranter, slik at du kan glede deg over en halvliter og en matbit.

Det er også multi-bryggeri fra selskaper som City Brew Trips (turer starter på $ 89 USD). Det er også Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour, som varer 2,5 timer og koster $ 55 USD. Hvis du er et håndverksøl -aficionado, må du huske å unne deg (ansvarlig)!

14. Fottur Columbia River Gorge

Hvis du ønsker å komme deg ut av byen og strekke beina, kan du ta turen til Columbia River Gorge. Ligger omtrent en time øst for byen med bil, er det hjem til fossefall, vakre utsikter og turstier. Det er det største nasjonale vakre området i landet og gir et bra sted å tilbringe en dag. Oregons høyeste foss, Multnomah Falls, finner du her, samt hundre år gamle observatorier som gir utsikt over det omkringliggende pittoreske landskapet.

Noen foreslåtte fotturer er Dry Creek Falls (enkelt, 2 timer), Wahkenna Falls Loop (moderat, 3 timer) og Sult Ridge og Warren Lake (hard, 8 timer). Hvis du ikke har bil, er det en daglig skyttelbuss tilgjengelig for $ 20 USD (tur / retur).

Portland er en av mine favoritt amerikanske byer. Det er morsomt, eklektisk og energisk, og det har mye å tilby (spesielt hvis du er en mat- eller håndverksølelsker). Det er mye mer oppmerksomhet enn det blir – fra både innenlandske og internasjonale reisende. Hvis du befinner deg i PNW, må du huske å tilbringe noen dager her. Taksbudene dine vil takke deg!

Bestill turen til Portland: Logistiske forslag og triks
Bestill flyet ditt
Bruk Skyscanner eller Momondo for å finne en rimelig flytur. De er mine to favoritt søkemotorer fordi de søker på nettsteder og flyselskaper over hele kloden, slik at du alltid vet at ingen stein er igjen. Begynn med Skyscanner først, men fordi de har den viktigste rekkevidden!

Bestill innkvarteringen din
Du kan bestille vandrerhjemmet ditt med Hostelworld, ettersom de har den viktigste varelageret og de beste tilbudene. Hvis du vil bo et annet sted enn et herberge, kan du bruke booking.com, da de konsekvent returnerer de rimeligste prisene for gjestehus og rimelige hoteller.

Ikke glem reiseforsikring
Reiseforsikring vil ivareta deg mot sykdom, skade, tyveri og kanselleringer. Det er omfattende beskyttelse i tilfelle noe går galt. Jeg drar aldri på tur uten det, da jeg har måttet bruke den flere ganger i fortiden. Mine favorittbedrifter som tilbyr den beste servicen og verdien er:

Sikkerhetsving (for alle under 70)

Forsikre turen min (for de over 70)

MedJet (for ekstra hjemsendelsesdekning)

Leter du etter de beste selskapene å spare penger med?
Sjekk ut ressurssiden min for de beste selskapene å bruke når du reiser. Jeg lister opp alle de jeg bruker for å spare penger når jeg er på vei. De vil spare deg for penger når du også reiser.

Vil du ha mye mer informasjon om USA?
Sørg for å besøke vår robuste destinasjonsguide for USA for enda mye flere planleggingstips!

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