From zip lines to whitewater rafting and horseback riding to pioneer history, these attractions are worth the (short) trips outside Portland. Choose from multiple cities to explore, each with their own unique landscapes and history; grab a tent and experience some of the best camping in the country; or settle in to a pint of Oregon-made craft beer at a nearby brewery. Read on for our top picks for things to do and places to explore near the city.
The final wagon stop on the Oregon trail, Oregon City welcomes visitors with food, drink, museums and outdoor activities.
Though similar to Portland in many ways, Vancouver, Wash., a suburb located just across the Columbia River, can also feel like it's a world away.
St. Helens pairs outdoor experiences with antique shops and Twilight souvenirs.
Camping Near Portland
To truly appreciate the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, spend a memorable night under the stars at these scenic campsites located within an easy drive from the city.
Yurt Camping Near Portland
Yurt camping near Portland offers a midway point between primitive camping and glamping with electricity, heating, windows and wooden floors.
Farm Loops Near Portland
Only 15–45 minutes from Portland, three self-guided tours let you choose your own farm-to-table adventure amid bucolic gardens, ranches and vineyards.
Apple Picking Near Portland
Freshly-picked Pacific Northwest apples are a local favorite, and many Portland-area orchards allow visitors to pluck the fruit right off the branch.
Swimming Holes Near Portland
Stay cool all summer long at these serene swimming spots, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest — and all less than an hour away from Portland.
Spring Hikes Near Portland
There’s something special about the first spring hike of the year. Enjoy wildflowers, bird watching and breathtaking scenery on these springtime rambles.
Waterfalls Near Portland
Get your fill of natural wonders by visiting these waterfalls close to Portland.
Exploring Gresham by Bike
Gresham, an east Portland suburb, offers a bevy of bike-friendly businesses and stellar views of Mount Hood.
Wildflower Viewing in Greater Portland
Feast your eyes on the many wildflower patches around the region for natural beauties you won't find anyplace else.
Bicycling the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
The small logging town of Vernonia has become a central hub for bike routes through the surrounding state forest.
Outdoor Adventure in Columbia County
Bird-watch on Scappoose Bay, cruise around on a path or exploring the historic community of St. Helens – Columbia County offers countless family-friendly activities.
At the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and Historic Site visitors can discover what it was like to be a pioneer.
The Portland area's only national historic site is centered around a complete replica of Fort Vancouver, a fur-trading camp founded in 1825.
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a water course.
The Corn Maize, located on Sauvie Island north of Portland, offers visitors five acres of physical and mental challenges in a corn field.
Colorful fields reminiscent of Holland burst with acres of tulips in full bloom at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn.