Take the stress out of planning spring break in Portland with our list of awesome activities — for all kinds of vacationers. Have a great trip!
Spring break in Portland for families
Museums & more
If a few rain clouds threaten to darken your visit, never fear! There are plenty of indoor activities to keep your youngsters entertained. Families can spend the entire day exploring the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) or the Children’s Museum. Ample children’s theaters, indoor play areas and indoor activities ensure that you’ll never run out of warm, dry fun.
Tiptoe through the tulips
From the last week of March through April, head to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, south of Portland. The farm’s annual tulip fest features 40 acres (16 hectares) of gorgeous blooms, plus plenty of children’s activities. The kiddos will love the hay wagon rides, duck races, tire swings and cow train rides.
Whale watching at the Oregon Coast
Oregon beaches may not fit certain spring break stereotypes (you’re unlikely to stumble into a wild college party or game of beach volleyball, for example). They are, however, perfect for peaceful whale watching. Every spring, as many as 20,000 gray whales pass through Oregon waters on their way from Mexico to Alaska. Spot them yourself with the help of our handy whale watching guide.
Spring break in Portland for couples
Portland Dining Month
There’s never a bad time to dine in Portland, but March is undoubtedly the best month to try new restaurants. Every year, more than 100 local restaurants celebrate Portland Dining Month by offering delicious three-course menus for a mere $29. If your spring break is in April, you’ll still find great eats and deals — maybe you’re in the mood for tacos, ramen, sushi or comfort food?
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Portland Japanese Garden, one of the most authentic such gardens outside of Japan. The popular attraction recently expanded, adding classrooms, a library, a tea café and several additional gardens. The new spaces will be available to visitors starting April 1, 2017. Spring is also a beautiful time to visit Lan Su Chinese Garden, a tranquil, walled Suzhou-style garden in the heart of Old Town. And don’t miss the lush Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, where the flowers reach peak bloom in late April.
Hit the slopes
It may surprise you to learn that March and April offer excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions near Portland. (In fact, Mt. Hood Skibowl keeps lifts running through May and Timberline is open all year-round.) A quick 90-minute drive will deliver you to Mt. Hood for an exciting day of snow sports. Make it a full weekend with a stay at cozy Timberline Lodge.
Spring break in Portland for friends
Itching to explore the city? Portland’s Biketown program makes it easier than ever to rent a bicycle. With 1,000 eight-speed bikes spread across 100 locations, you’re never far from a bright orange Biketown station. Once you’ve saddled up, map your route on the city’s 350 miles (563 km) of designated bikeways and start pedaling!
Eye on the ball
Cheer on your March Madness picks at one of Portland’s many welcoming sports bars. Favorites include Century Bar, which boasts stadium seating and vegan-friendly eats, the Blazers-inspired Spirit of 77 and Pearl Tavern, founded by famed Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington.
Speaking of bars, many of Portland’s 75-plus breweries offer limited-edition spring beer releases. (Try Cascade Brewing’s Kentucky peach sour and Portland Brewing’s “Raise the Roost” Belgian red ale.) Elevate your tasting experience by grabbing some friends and pedaling together from pub to pub on a BrewCycle.
Spring break in Portland for solo travelers
Join the Timbers Army
You’re sure to make fast friends while cheering on the celebrated Portland Thorns and Timbers, the city’s championship-winning major league soccer clubs. At Providence Park, join the famous (and friendly) Timbers Army section to learn all the chants from the dedicated fans.
Shop like a local
March marks the return of the Portland Saturday Market, America’s largest weekly outdoor arts and crafts market. After perusing the 250 booths of handcrafted goods, take MAX light rail to the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University. The massive open-air market overflows with fresh flowers, seasonal veggies and artisanal snacks.
There are plenty of ways to practice self-care in Portland, including treating yourself to a luxurious spa day. Indulge in a tranquil soak at Knot Springs, a body scrub at The Blooming Moon or a massage at KIVA.