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 Pacific Northwest suburb in Southwest Washington is located just across the Columbia River. It 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, you can spend a memorable night under the stars at these scenic campsites -from rustic tent camping to cabins and yurts- all located within an easy drive from the city.
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
Some of the most picturesque waterfalls line the Columbia River Gorge, just a short drive from Portland. But these cascading natural wonders are even closer to Portland from the Willamette River to the Cascade Mountain Range.
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
With an emerald backdrop and riverside paths, outdoor adventure awaits from bird-watching on Scappoose Bay, 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 travel the Oregon Trail with hands-on exhibits where costumed interpreters describe the challenges of packing for the cross-country trek.
The Portland area's only national historic site is centered around a complete replica of Fort Vancouver, a fur-trading camp founded in 1825.
Called the crown jewel of the Columbia River Gorge, the Crown Point Vista House is a century-old observatory, rest stop and museum. Enjoy a 360-degree of the gorge and a bird’s-eye view of the Columbia River.
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a watercourse.
The Corn Maize, located on Sauvie Island north of Portland, offers visitors eight acres of physical and mental challenges in a cornfield.
Colorful fields reminiscent of Holland burst with acres of tulips in full bloom at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn.
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