Things to Do in Portland

Like the city itself, Portland's attractions are a little unexpected and always inspiring.

What's Open?

Check our list to see which attractions are ready to welcome you when, and how they're ensuring safety.

It’s safe to say a visitor will never experience the same Portland twice. The city’s top attractions are constantly evolving, creating exciting pop-ups, debuting new works and hosting events that attract both locals and visitors alike. Read on for our favorite things to do, see and experience in Portland, then check out our events calendar to help you plan your trip.

Summer in Portland

Summer is coming, and so are some of the biggest events of the season.

Portland Pride

Every June, the Portland Pride Festival & Parade makes a name for itself — and LGBTQ+ community members — all over town.

Fourth of July Events

There’s nothing more American than fun, family and, of course, fireworks. Pack all of that into one weekend with these July 4 events.

Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival

Every Fourth of July weekend, the Waterfront Blues Festival takes over downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park.

Portland on a Budget

There’s plenty to eat, drink, see and do in the Rose City — all without overspending.

The Top 10 Things to Do in Portland

Traveler favorites and quintessentially Portland attractions

Questions About Things to Do in Portland

What’s open in Portland right now?

Most of Portland’s major attractions are open and welcoming visitors. Some require advance reservations. Travel Portland maintains an updated list of what’s currently open in Portland.

What are the must-see attractions in Portland?

The answer truly depends on your interests. If, after perusing this page you still can’t decide, check out this article about where to go if it’s your first visit to Portland. Been here a few times? Try our fourth-timers guide.

How can I spend three days in Portland?

This guide to spending 48 hours in Portland includes many of the top attractions in the central city. Use your extra day to visit one of Portland’s many beautiful parks or gardens and explore a Portland neighborhood.

You can also let fate be your guide. Check out our events page to find out what’s going on in Portland when you’re in town or browse events by month. Make sure your travel plan includes a tour. While learning about Portland history, coffee or beer culture, etc., the list of places you’ll want to visit will grow rapidly. The tour guide and other travelers on your tour can be a great source of recommendations.

What are the best things to eat and drink in Portland?

It depends. What are you in the mood for? Portland’s local food scene includes hundreds of food carts representing cuisines from around the world, James Beard award-winning restaurants and plenty of options for diners with dietary restrictions.

As for beverages, Portland is well known for its coffee but there are also teahouses scattered throughout the city. Most people know Portland’s reputation for craft beer but may not know Oregon is one of the top wine-producing states. There’s also a growing craft distillery scene.

Upcoming Events in Portland

No matter when you visit, there's always something fun to see and do in Portland.

Editor's Pick
Asian Heritage Month
May 11–31, 2022

Asian Heritage Month

Lan Su Chinese Garden Varies

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month this May with exciting cultural performances and activities at Lan Su…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities, Music
Editor's Pick
Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism
Feb. 19–June 5, 2022

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism

Portland Art Museum Cost Varies

Internationally beloved artists Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) and Diego Rivera (1886–1957) played a cr…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design, Cultural Communities
Editor's Pick
Oregon Wine Month
May 1–31, 2022

Oregon Wine Month

Multiple locations.

You can celebrate Willamette Valley wine all year round, but especially during Oregon Wine Month, wh…

Editor's Pick
Food & Drink, Wine
Editor's Pick
Vanport Mosaic Festival
May 20–June 7, 2022

Vanport Mosaic Festival

Various locations Free

2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the building of Vanport, once Oregon’s second-largest city, and…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities, Festival, Film, History, Readings & Talks

Tax-Free Shopping

Enjoy big-box and indie shopping in the Rose City — all without any sales tax.

Portland's Gorgeous Gardens

The City of Roses is named so for a reason, offering dozens of beautiful public gardens.

Peninsula Park & Rose Garden

Discover outdoor fun for the whole family — plus thousands of blooms — at Oregon’s oldest public rose garden.

Portland Japanese Garden

A haven of meticulously maintained, tranquil beauty, proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden offers meandering streams, intimate walkways and an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.

Portland International Rose Test Garden

The oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States, the Portland International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park features more than 10,000 roses, great views of the skyline and the Cascades.

Top 5

Food Cart Scene

Portland is home to hundreds of food carts and food cart pods, including these five favorites.

  • Cartopia Food Cart Pod

    The Cartopia pod is home to a wide variety of food carts and a covered, heated seating area. Most carts are lively late into the night, staying open until midnight Tuesday to Thursday and even later on the weekends.

  • Portland State University Food Cart Pod

    Located on the south end of the Portland State University campus, this food cart pod offers cuisine from around the world. For seating, head to the shady, tree-lined South Park Blocks nearby.

  • Cartlandia Food Cart Pod

    This Southeast Portland “super pod” is home to a full-service bar, a family- and dog-friendly outdoor beer garden and over 30 carts representing 15 different countries (including a Voodoo Doughnut mobile van and three carts serving lobster).

  • Third Avenue Food Cart Pod

    With plentiful riverfront seating at nearby Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, these longtime downtown food carts are a lunchtime favorite, offering cuisine from Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam and more.

  • Fifth Avenue Food Cart Pod

    This eclectic collection of eateries in downtown Portland is a local favorite for weekday lunch.

Date Night Ideas

Plan a magical evening with your special someone, from romantic restaurants to booze-free fun.

Date Night Ideas in Portland

Planning a romantic evening in Portland? We have date night ideas for couples with all sorts of interests.

Restaurants With a View

Whether atop the city's tallest buildings or nestled next to a river, these Portland restaurants with a view offer a feast for the eyes (as well as the appetite).

Portland’s Signature Cocktails

Take your happy hour to the next level with one of these classic Rose City cocktails, from a sophisticated Negroni to a group-sized Tiki bowl.

Nightlife

Nightlife in Portland doesn't mean just hitting the club. Portland comes to life after hours with open mic nights, comedy, karaoke spots, delicious late-night eats, swanky bowling, and plenty of venues for any kind of music.

Museums & Historical Sights

Portland is full of landmarks and attractions where you can learn about the city's history and culture.

Top Family-Friendly Attractions

Enjoy hands-on science at OMSI, elephants at the zoo, indoor activities for kids and more.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

With a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, a retired navy submarine, traveling exhibits and “After Dark” events, OMSI has lures for all ages.

Oregon Zoo

Located near downtown Portland in Washington Park, the Oregon Zoo is home to more than 2,600 animals.

Kid-Friendly Regional Attractions

Trips outside the city promise all-ages entertainment. Here are four must-see attractions within two hours of downtown Portland.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Find the best things to do based on your interests

Keepin' It Weird

A round-up of Portland's eccentric events and attractions.

Umbrella Optional

5 Fun Things to Do When It Rains

Don't a little "liquid sunshine" stop you from enjoying Portland.

  • Pioneer Place

    This shopping center occupies four city blocks in the heart of downtown Portland, offering tax-free shopping at over 100 stores, an expansive food court, bars and a movie theater.

  • Powell’s City of Books

    From humble storefront beginnings in 1971, Powell’s has grown into an iconic Portland destination. Occupying an entire city block, the world’s largest new and used bookstore offers frequent author talks, a rare book room and a coffee shop.

  • OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)

    OMSI’s five enormous halls bring science to life with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. You can experience live lab demonstrations, see a movie on a four-story-tall screen, explore the stars in a planetarium and even tour a submarine.

  • Portland Art Museum

    The renowned Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest. Located in the heart of downtown’s Cultural District, the museum’s campus includes an outdoor sculpture court, permanent galleries and special exhibitions.

  • Cinema 21

    Originally a single-screen theater and now a three-screen multiplex, Cinema 21 specializes in art-house, foreign and classic films and serves beer, wine and pizza along with concessions classics.