Portland is anything but ordinary, so to impress a date here, you’re going to have to think outside the box. Luckily, there’s no shortage of fun activities and unique bars, restaurants and cafés to help set the mood. Whether you’re planning a first date or your 50th anniversary, here are some surefire romantic date night ideas.
For the Sporty Couple
If baseball is more your thing, head to Walker Stadium and raise a chair for The Portland Pickles (May–August). Go during a Woof Wednesday, and you’ll also catch an on-field pup parade during the seventh-inning stretch. After the game, continue your evening with some Jalisco-style tacos at Birrieria PDX.
From spring through fall, you and your date can grab a spicy tuna roll at Bamboo Sushi before catching a soccer match. Providence Park is home field for the Timbers and Thorns. Celebrate a Portland victory with a bigger-than-your-head margarita at Mazatlan Grill or a frosty pint at Civic Taproom. Bonus points if you spot a player or two! If you’re on the east side, The Sports Bra (the nation’s first women’s sports bar) is a perfect place to catch a Thorns match on TV while enjoying great food and drinks in a welcoming environment.
For the Outdoorsy Couple
Grab your water bottles and hop on a TriMet bus bound for Macleay Park, the southernmost tip of Forest Park. After hiking to your hearts’ content, relax with a cocktail at The Fireside or a legendary dessert at Papa Haydn.
If you’re up for a trek, explore one of the Columbia River Gorge’s many spectacular waterfalls, then refuel with a pint and some New Haven-style pizza at Hood River’s Double Mountain Brewery.
For the Geeky Couple
If you and your date are more into Dragonball than sportsball, Portland offers many nerdtastic attractions. Play a round of Settlers of Catan at Guardian Games, pick up a few booster packs at The Portland Game Store, or browse the eclectic selection at Floating World Comics.
Need a drink? Swing by the arcade-bar Ground Kontrol for a pint and a round of Pac-Man, Time Crisis II or Q*bert. Time your visit just right and close out the night at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Its monthly “OMSI After Dark” events offer food, drinks and a kid-free museum experience. Check their calendar for up-to-date event listings.
Portland offers a wide range of arcades, from family-friendly game rooms to dive bars and adults-only bar arcades.
Pair your board game night with a crafty cocktail or find a new favorite tabletop game at these Portland board game bars and stores.
With interactive science labs, a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, a retired navy submarine, traveling exhibits and "After Dark" events, OMSI lures all ages.
For the Artsy Couple
The Portland Art Museum has an impressive permanent collection and exciting rotating exhibits to experience. You can have a casual lunch of matcha lattes and Japanese treats at their super-cute Behind the Museum Cafe or a candlelit dinner at nearby Higgins.
If your date prefers to take in more of the Portland art scene, the neighboring Pearl District is home to some of the city’s best galleries, including the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, the Froelick Gallery and the Blue Sky Gallery. After gallery hopping, walk over to República, a James Beard Award pick for Portland’s best new restaurant.
For the Boozy Couple
Portland is famous for its many breweries, but the city also has plenty of acclaimed distilleries, urban wineries and wine-tasting rooms. Oenophiles can try a flight at one of Portland’s urban wineries or head out of town for a winery tour.
If your sweetie would rather sip whiskey, pick up a Distillery Row Passport and tour some of the city’s finest craft distilleries like Freeland Spirits, New Deal and Wild Roots Spirits. The passport includes tastings, gift cards, maps and more. Drink responsibly and worry-free by using public or ride-sharing transportation.
As far as beer goes, there’s no shortage of beer tours that let you sample the best of the city’s brews in an afternoon. For a more hands-on experience, try a tour of Ecliptic or a brewing class at F.H. Steinbart Co.
Portland is home to expert mixologists and one of America’s most vibrant craft cocktail scenes — sip your way through the city’s signature drinks.
Ordering a pint in a city with 70+ breweries can be intimidating — use our insider’s guide to Portland beer styles to sip your way through Beervana’s best IPAs, saisons, stouts and other brews.
Driven by winemakers motivated to move their operations closer to where they live and socialize, Portland has nearly a dozen urban wineries.
For the Animal-Loving Couple
Head to Northeast Portland to Bye and Bye for stiff drinks (served in gigantic mason jars) and vegan comfort food. If you have a four-legged friend in tow (or if you’re just looking for some prime dog-spotting), walk a few blocks east to the pup-friendly Tin Shed Garden Cafe, which offers a special menu just for Fido.
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