The warm climate of Portland makes this city an oasis in Oregon. It’s proud that what makes the city bustle is not just its urban attractions but also its destinations where residents and tourists can log off – all while perched in the heart of modernity.
For starters, it’s teeming with must-see gardens and natural parks where lushness abounds, so it’s not a surprise that Portland is nicknamed “Rose City.” The Willamette and Columbia rivers pass through its neighborhoods, so there’s a slice of Mother Nature’s gift in every part of the city. Tourists will always find plenty of things to do in the blooming community of Portland.
10 Forest Park
A forest in the city? Portland welcomes tourists to a literal urban jungle. Located in Tualatin Mountains, Forest Park awaits hikers who want to spend their day enjoying the breeze of this lush spot.
It has over 80 miles of trails that will take trekkers on a journey from the jungle to the river.
Birdwatchers and wildlife watchers will enjoy this pocket of paradise, thanks to its welcoming critters. With Forest Park, visiting Portland means having a place to escape.
9 International Rose Test Garden
Portland is always blooming, thanks to its iconic International Rose Test Garden. It's a must-visit because it’s not just a local attraction but a global brand.
Located in the inviting Washington Park, this garden is the oldest of its kind in the United States. It’s home to over 10,000 roses of varying colors, an inspiring and relaxing sight from dusk till dawn.
From the garden, tourists can appreciate the flowers with the views of the Willamette River and Mount Hood saying hello. This Portland garden is simply grand.
8 Voodoo Doughnut
For those with a sweet tooth and who want to taste a proudly local brand, Voodoo Doughnut is ready to beguile. This popular destination started in Portland and now has over 15 branches nationwide.
Its flagship store in historic Old Town Chinatown is the perfect place to enjoy sugary treats. Open 24 hours, the shop offers weary travelers flavorful donuts and other delectable pastries that are Instagram-worthy.
Tourists should be reminded: do not miss Voodoo Doughnut if they want their tummies bewitched.
7 Portland Japanese Garden And Lan Su Chinese Garden
There are two more gardens in Portland where relaxation is always within grasp. The first one, the Portland Japanese Garden, is located in Washington Park and offers tourists a chance to be away from it all.
This scenic yard is considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside Asia, an enticing prospect for those who want a quick rest.
Meanwhile, over in Chinatown lies Lan Su Chinese Garden, a place to enjoy nature alongside architecture, art, and design. Zen is always attainable in this destination, even to those who are not meditating.
6 Pittock Mansion
History buffs are always welcome in Pittock Mansion, a château where Portland’s rich past comes alive. Standing proud since 1914, this landmark is filled to the brim with artworks and antique items.
It has 23 rooms where wanderers can learn about the house’s original owners, as well as the city’s beginnings. Its location in West Hills gives tourists a chance to drink in the sights and sounds of western Portland. Pittock Mansion awaits its guests for a learning journey and a sightseeing delight.
5 Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry
Families with kids should head to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for a vacation that’s one for the books. This museum has a planetarium and interactive exhibits that will engage children and young-at-hearts.
Its theater, exhibition halls, and auditoriums are teeming with learning experiences about science and technology.
OMSI knows how to make education fun, so guests will have a satisfying stay, much so that they’ll have a repeat visit. OMSI is a must-see when Portland tourists want to learn new things.
4 Portland Art Museum
Creative souls can call Portland home, too, because it has an art museum where masterpieces abound. Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest in the country and hosts many artworks from varying genres.
It is most famous for its Northwest and Native American collections and is home to Vincent Van Gogh’s 'The Ox-Cart.' PAM is a place of inspiration, thanks to its wide range of items, from paintings to sculptures. Portland Art Museum is where escaping means entering a world of awe.
3 Sauvie Island
Portland is home to Sauvie, one of the largest river islands in the US. This isle is as big as Manhattan and filled with activities for sun-worshippers.
Hikers can meander along scenic trails that will take them around a lake, to a viewpoint, a lighthouse, or nature reserves. The island also has farms that offer fresh produce and corn mazes.
Getting lost on the island means having fun. There’s also a winery on Sauvie where tourists can grab a drink before they have a peaceful day by the pristine beach. Island life has never been this good.
2 Powell’s City Of Books
With Powell’s Books, Portland continues its streak as a place of culture and for anyone. This establishment is the largest used and new bookstore in the world, something to excite readers.
Occupying a city block, this store is home to more than a million titles, so there’s something for kids, young adults, and even non-readers.
Among its most famous sections is its Rare Book Room, where bookworms will have fun checking out unique titles. Tourists should not miss dropping by this massive bookstore for an experience that’s one for the books; this is also a great Portland destination for solo travelers craving some quiet time.
1 Saturday Market And Farmers Market
When tourists drop by Portland on a weekend, they should rub elbows with the locals at the Saturday or Farmers Market. The former, located in historic Old Town, has been operating since 1974 and continues to be a place where local creativity is the star.
The Farmers Market at Portland State University, meanwhile, boasts of fresh produce and tasty meals.
Exploring the city is never complete without dropping by any of these vibrant destinations. As they say, be like a local when traveling and the market is the best place to practice that.