What to do when it rains

It's easy to stay dry and still have fun in Portland.

Reading at Powell’sPowell's City of Books is a great stop on a rainy day.
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  • Walking Distance Guide
    = 1 mile (1.6 km)
    = 0.5 mile (0.8 km)
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    Yes, it’s true — it does sometimes rain in Portland. Locals don’t let that stop them, and neither should you! As often as not, the rain is gentle and short-lived, and chances are that when you return from ducking into one of these destinations, it will have subsided.

    Art galleries and museums

    The Portland Art Museum and Oregon History Museum are located an easy walk (or train ride) from downtown hotels. Art galleries in the Pearl District, Old Town and downtown also offer great escapes from sudden cloudbursts.

    Central Library

    Explore more than 17 miles of bookshelves, housing a remarkable 875 tons of books, in downtown Portland’s Central Library. The main branch of the Multnomah County Library system, first opened in 1913, is housed in a three-story, Georgian-style building with stunning architectural details.

    Movie theaters

    A rainy day might be the perfect excuse to visit one of Portland’s independent movie theaters, many of which serve locally brewed beer and noshes like pizza.

    Lan Su Chinese Garden

    An authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden right in the heart of the city, Lan Su Chinese Garden is serene and welcoming in any weather. Covered walkways and the beautiful teahouse offer sheltered views of the central lake.

    Portland Japanese Garden

    As the weather changes, so does the personality of the Portland Japanese Garden, where water droplets shimmer on sculpted shrubs and create rippled patterns on the koi pond.

    Oaks Skating Rink

    Historic Oaks Amusement Park, which has operated continuously since 1905, is a natural summertime destination, with its carnival rides and picnic grounds. But there’s nostalgic fun to be had year-round at the park’s roller skating rink, where you can lace up your skates and roll around the large, meticulously maintained wooden floor beneath the mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ.

    Powell’s City of Books

    Rain or shine, it’s easy to while away countless hours inside Powell’s City of Books. Covering an entire city block, Powell’s contains more than 1 million books in 3,500 different sections, as well as in-store coffee shop to help fuel your browsing session.


    If you don’t mind a few raindrops, you can easily walk from store to store in the compact shopping districts of downtown, the Pearl and Northwest Portland. But if you prefer to stay out of the elements, Portland has you covered with two major indoor shopping centers: downtown’s Pioneer Place and Lloyd Center, just across the river. Both malls are served by MAX light rail.

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