Top Things to Do in Portland

Portland's fun and unexpected attractions range from gardens and museums to (tax-free) retailers of coffee, doughnuts and books.

Top Sights in Portland

Fifteen of the top things to do in Portland. Here you'll find some of our most popular sights, attractions and landmarks.


Portland's Favorite Parks

Of the city's more than 275 public parks, these five are some of the most locally loved.

  • Forest Park

    Portland's 5,200-acre urban forest, just minutes from the central city, stretches seven miles in length and contains more than 80 miles of trails.

  • Mt. Tabor Park

    This popular park features expansive views, picnic areas, natural-surface and paved paths, a dog off-leash area, a playground and a performance stage, plus tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

  • Cathedral Park

    Once a fishing and seasonal living site for Native American tribes (and a landing site of Lewis and Clark), this park offers fishing, a boat ramp and canoe launch, an off-leash dog area, paved paths and picnic tables.

  • Washington Park

    Portland’s signature park at over 400 acres features 15 miles of trails and attractions including the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children's Museum, International Rose Test Garden, World Forestry Center, Portland Japanese Garden and Hoyt Arboretum.

  • Laurelhurst Park

    Surrounding a scenic lake, Laurelhurst Park was the first city park named to the National Register of Historic Places. It offers picnic and play areas, a dog off-leash area and a horseshoe pit, plus basketball, tennis and volleyball courts.

Bridges of Portland

Portland is nicknamed "Bridgetown" for a reason. Learn about the history and key features of the city’s 12 Willamette River crossings.

Food Markets in Portland

Choose from a delicious array of food purveyors at these local food halls and marketplaces.

Portland Saturday Market

Open every Saturday and Sunday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.

Portland Mercado

With a neighborhood grocery, meat market, coffee shop, food cart pod and more, the Mercado is one of the city’s most delicious destinations.

Pine Street Market

A modern food hall in Portland's Old Town features both local favorites and new ventures from international chefs, creating a kind of permanent food festival.

5 To Try

James Beard Award Winners

Experience fine dining, Portland-style, at these decorated local restaurants.

  • OX Restaurant

    Ox finds inspiration in the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, and with it, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy. They feature local meats and fish, as well as seasonal produce.

  • Beast

    Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy, this French-influenced eatery serves prix fixe, multi-course meals at communal tables.

  • Canard

    At Chef Gabe Rucker's latest restaurant, comfort foods get a classy spin (like pancakes topped with duck gravy) alongside plentiful cocktails and a friendly atmosphere.

  • Paley’s Place Bistro & Bar

    Paley's Place offers Pacific Northwest regional cuisine, served in the warm and inviting setting of a Victorian home.

  • Pok Pok

    A Portland classic that began as a food cart and went on to international renown, Pok Pok celebrates the food and food culture of Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Museums & Historical Sights

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

Portland's Gorgeous Gardens

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

Lan Su Chinese Garden

An authentic Ming Dynasty style garden built by Suzhou artisans, Lan Su Chinese Garden offers a peaceful escape in Portland's historic Chinatown district.

Portland Japanese Garden

An authentic example of Japanese landscaping, the Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty with an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Round out your floral explorations of the Rose City with a visit to Southeast Portland’s lush Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.

Top 5

Food Cart Scene

Portland is home to hundreds of delectable food carts and food carts 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.