Okay to be fair we did live in Portland for about 7 years so we definitely know the ins and outs of the city and the local places to go that are really awesome. So this is our recommendations if you’re ever in Portland for some of the best things to do there. There’s an abundance of indoor and outdoor activity depending on the season you arrive. If you’re there during the rainy season (which is nine months out of the year) I would suggest going to something indoors such as a science center, mall, restaurant, bar and grill or any other local event!
1. Visit friends
If you have friends in the city, obviously go see them. Which is what we spent the majority of our time doing!
2. Go to a park!
There are dozens if not hundreds of parks throughout the city they’re absolutely gorgeous green and fun to visit. Most have kid friendly play equipment. A few suggestions for parks to visit include Alberta Park Laurelhurst Park Mount Tabor, and we visited Kelley Point Park which is along the Columbia River.
3. Go to a bar
This goes without saying as Portland is the microbrew capital of the u.s. Almost everywhere you go has local specialty beers with full range of flavors and they are absolutely amazing. Look up any bar just make sure it is not a dive bar unless you want that kind of ambience period you can find anything from El cheap local dive bar to a high-end restaurant at the top of a tower. A well-known local company is Mcminnamins Bar which have multiple locations around the city. Their restaurants are cool and unique because they do things like purchase old school buildings and convert them into a multiple bar system. They also have an indoor soaking pool to do during the day but there are most known for their restaurants and bars.
We went to Anchor Bar on Jantzen Beach and also Island Cafe which is at the end of a dock floating on the river.
I got the ahi tuna burger!
We also went to Vendetta Alberta Street Pub, and thirsty Lion in downtown..
And Donny Vegas in the Alberta district…They are famous for their Frito pies…This is a popular spot anytime of day.
4. Play disc golf
Disc golf is extremely popular around Oregon and especially in Portland. If you don’t play disc golf you’re just not cool LOL
We played at Pier Park which is in northeast Portland due to the easy access from our RV park. However there are in abundance of courses throughout the city including Greenway Park, lunchtime, Rooster Rock, Horning’s Hideout, and many more. Most have elaborate and fun courses with lots of trees and long throws for anyone from beginner to expert and Pro. It is not uncommon to see people walking around drinking beers as well.
5. Go for a bike ride
In the city that is known to be extremely bike-friendly you can get literally just about anywhere on a bicycle. You can also take your bicycle on the max which is there high-speed train system if you need to get anywhere long distance. We opted to park downtown and ride our bikes along the riverfront all the way up to the brand new bridge which is called the Tillikum Bridge which is a bike walk and train bridge only so there are no Cars allowed across it at all. The entire ride was gorgeous and very safe. Highly recommended for a free day trip full of GREAT views and lots of fun!!
6. Walk the Riverfront
Here are some pics during our bike ride in front of the Willamette River.
I think this may be the best thing about Portland. Any platter that you get in Portland will be either local handmade Super Fresh or absolutely amazing and foreign. They have an abundance of Thai food places to eat and they are very reasonably priced for what you get. No I mean literally every single corner like how Starbucks is in Phoenix there is a Thai food place to eat at. Pick one look it up on Yelp get some reviews ask the locals and go eat. Not only is there Thai food there is good Mexican food Chinese food American food Sushi is everywhere and just about any other food you can think of so really grab a beer and go eat! Most of the Thai places you will eat at will ask you to order level of spiciness that you want on a scale from 1 to 5. I think Scott went with a four or five and really paid for it haha even three is pretty spicy for me.
We went to e-san Thai in downtown and we had great service, and awesome eats for $8.50 per plate.
8. Voodoo Donuts
Yes this is what Portland is known for and honestly I’ve never had the donuts there but everybody says they’re amazing and they do all kind of Custom Creations so there is typically a line out the door so plan to wait for a while if you want to grab some donuts …. But it’s probably worth it!
9. Go to OMSI
OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and something else but more importantly it is an awesome place for Science and educational things for kids of all ages and even adults too. For me the most exciting exhibit a real submarine that they have sitting outside their facility in the Willamette River. I believe you have to pay for a tour of it but it is really really neat and totally worth the price. That tore itself lasts over an hour and they really spend time explaining details about it. But they also have a whole room dedicated to Hands-On learning and play equipment for toddlers up to age 7 or 8. So that’s where we spent most of our time and of course they had a huge sandbox stuff to crawl on and touch and feel is very Hands-On and Onika had a lot of fun there oh they had an awesome water play are for them too!!
10. Drive around the city
Portland is a very diverse City with all different areas to explore. The majority of the city is split up into Northeast northwest southeast and Southwest then there’s also Vancouver Washington. The drive around the entire Place could take from 2 hours to all day just depending on how many stops you make. You will cross the river several times and you can even make it out east to Beaverton, then back down the 26 into downtown for an evening drink. Just BE PREPARED FOR TRAFFIC!!
11. Visit Vancouver, WA
OKAY SO NUMBER 11 IS KIND OF A BONUS BECAUSE VANCOUVER WASHINGTON IS DEFINITELY NOT IN THE STATE OF OREGON HOWEVER IT IS A STONE’S THROW ACROSS THE RIVER SO IT MAY SO IT MAY BE WORTH THE TRIP! There are a number of things you can do in Vancouver including disc golf and wintler Park which is on the Columbia with lots of beautiful sand and easy beach access or you could go out east to Lacamas Lake for a beautiful bike! There are two routes to get from Portland to Vancouver and one of them is to take I-5 North across a bridge which frequently goes up and down stopping all traffic so it can be risky. The other way is to take the 205 bridge which is beautiful and typically Less Traveled. Both offer amazing views it’s totally worth the drive!
These are our favorite things to do in Portland, what are yours?