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.
Portland’s Hollywood Theatre
Northeast Portland's historical Hollywood Theatre is one of the most famous landmarks in Portland. The cinema hosts festivals, local events and game nights and has another location inside Portland International Airport.
The Best Arcades in Portland
Portland offers a wide range of arcades, from family-friendly game rooms to dive bars and adults-only bar arcades.
Powell’s City of Books
Covering an entire city block, Powell’s has grown into a Portland landmark and the world's largest new and used bookstore — and its location is at the heart of the city, bridging the Pearl District, downtown and the West End.
Portland Art Museum
The largest art museum in Oregon and one of the oldest in the country, the Portland Art Museum is central to the city's cultural district, housing a large and wide-ranging collection of artworks.
Oregon Historical Society
The Oregon Historical Society collection includes thousands of historic artifacts (including the “Portland Penny") that shaped the land now known as Oregon, with permanent and rotating exhibits and an extensive research library.
Where to Go When It Rains
Museums and Art Galleries
From downtown hotels, take a short walk (or ride on the street car), and discover the traveling exhibitions and permanent collection at the Portland Art Museum, learn more about Oregon’s past and present at the Oregon Historical Society and take in art by living artists at JSMOA(Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art) on the campus of Portland State University, all located on the South Park Blocks.
Meanwhile, the plentiful art galleries in the central city offer great escapes from sudden cloudbursts. The Pearl District, which was traditionally the city’s arts district, has dozens of galleries to explore. Try the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, PDX Contemporary Art, and Blue Sky Gallery.
Explore more than 17 miles of bookshelves in downtown Portland’s Central Library, housing a remarkable 875 tons of books. The Multnomah County Library system’s main branch, which opened in 1913, is housed in a three-story, Georgian-style building with stunning architectural details. You’ll also find the volunteer-run Friends Library Store with used books, stationery, and gifts, all of which help sustain the library’s community programming.
Powell’s City of Books
Rain or shine, spending countless hours inside Powell’s City of Books is easy. Covering an entire city block, Powell’s contains more than 1 million books in 3,500 different sections and in-store coffee shop to help fuel your browsing session.
A rainy day might be the perfect excuse to visit one of Portland’s historic and independent movie theaters, many of which serve locally brewed beer. Northwest’s Cinema 21 shows a mixture of independent, international, classic and mainstream film. In the West End of downtown, find Living Room Theaters, showing independent films in small theaters with recliners, gourmet food, and wine delivered right to your seat. The grand facade of the historic Hollywood Theater makes you feel like you are stepping back into the height of arthouse theater, though they fill their screens with new releases of mainstream and independent films, as well as many specialty screenings of local filmmakers and festivals.
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. Find peace while listening to the rainfall, and stay dry by stepping into one of the many pagodas expertly placed on the grounds.
The Ultimate Guide to Portland Food Halls
A new type of eatery acts as an incubator for small businesses while offering indoor seating and regular events great for groups. Here’s the ultimate guide to Portland food halls.
Quiet Places Made for Reading
Pick up a winning read at one of Portland’s many independent bookstores and curl up in a cozy corner of one of these eight local coffee shops.
Portland Bookstores, Beyond Powell’s
Don't stop with the largest independent bookstore in the world; these seven other shops offer an abundance of literary riches.
Portland Ramen Restaurants
The Portland ramen scene has exploded in recent years, spurred by the arrival of two authentic eateries straight from Tokyo.
What to Do When It Rains
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. Find more fun with kids on rainy days>>
If you don’t mind a few raindrops, you can easily walk from store to store in the compact shopping districts of downtown, including the Pearl and Northwest Portland. Or discover the European-style gallery of shops, Union Way. 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.
Portland Open Studios
For two weekends every October, Portland Open Studios invites visitors to explore the houses and offices of artists across the city.
A Guide to Portland Retro Gaming Expo
This annual celebration of classic video and arcade games features expert panels, cosplay competitions, dozens of local and international exhibitors with rare finds, and a 30,000-square-foot “retrocade” with hundreds of games to play.
The Portland Book Festival
Portland Book Festival (formerly “Wordstock”) returns every November with an impressive (and extensive) lineup of local and national authors.
Wine Country Thanksgiving
During Oregon’s premier tasting and cellar-stocking event, many local wineries open their doors to the public, offering samples of favorite selections.
My People’s Market
My People’s Market showcases local entrepreneurs and makers of color, connecting them with industry professionals and consumers.
Portland Holiday Events
Like an Advent calendar loaded with sugary treats, the days leading up to Christmas in Portland hold an abundance of sweet memories.
Lunar New Year Celebrations
Portland's Asian communities celebrate the Lunar New Year with traditional dances, lantern ceremonies and stunning performances.
Portland Winter Light Festival
Brighten your February with glowing sculptures and thousands of twinkling lights at Portland’s annual Winter Lights Festival.
Black History Month in Portland
Every February, Americans of all races and backgrounds celebrate Black History Month. Celebrate with these Portland events.
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