10 Things To Do in Downtown Portland, Oregon

I’ve lived in the Portland Metro, other than 18-months in Alaska and 6-months in Texas, for around 15-years.

Portland, Oregon is known for many things – primarily rain. But there is a lot more to the City of Roses than just rain – like beer, donuts, and hiking.

If this is your first time to Portland, Oregon, you may be wondering what you should start with. So, I’ve put together a few of my favorite things to do when you’re downtown.

Portland International Airport PDX Sunset

10 Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

  • Powell’s Books – Yeah, it’s an obvious one but Powell’s Books my favorite place in Portland. Several floors of books spread out over an entire city block (plus another nearby building). Powell’s also hosts author events nearly every day. I’ve met a lot of great writers this way. You may remember that Nomadic Matt had an event at Powell’s (Hawthorne not downtown) for his book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
  • McMenamin’s Ringler’s Pub – It’s not the best McMenamin’s location but they do feature their microbrews. The big bonus is that it’s close to Powell’s Books.
  • Voodoo Doughnuts Portland Oregon

  • Voodoo Doughnut – Seems like everyone knows about Voodoo. Don’t forget to load up one of their signature pink boxes for your friends back home. It’s no problem taking them through security at the airport either because Portland (PDX) TSA is quite familiar with them.
  • Crystal Ballroom – McMenamin’s doesn’t just do pubs, book tickets at the Crystal Ballroom to see a show. One of the first times I went to see Atmosphere perform was here. This historic building features a spring loaded floor and ornately carved pillars. Check out the event calendar.
  • The Waterfront – After you nom on some Voodoo, take a stroll along the waterfront. Look at the fountains, gaze across the Willamette River, and chat with some locals.
  • Harvey’s Comedy Club – Harvey’s is Portland’s best comedy club. If you know someone on their mailing list you can get in free (two drink minimum). Otherwise be sure to get tickets the old fashioned way. [Buy tickets online: $15 each]
  • Widmer Brother’s Gasthaus Pub – Widmer is the largest brewing company in the Portland area. They make my favorite beer – Widmer Hefeweizen.
  • Food Carts – A trip to downtown Portland isn’t complete without a visit to one of the many delicious street food carts. From ethnic food to grilled cheese, Portland food carts rock.
  • Portland Art Museum – Creative people flock to Portland. If you love art, you’ll enjoy a stroll through the Portland Art Museum. [Art Museum Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, kids under 17 are free]
  • OMSI – The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a fun trip for kids and adults. After you view the exhibits, catch a movie on the giant IMAX screen. [OMSI Tickets $13 for adults, seniors and kids $9]

If you’re looking for nightlife, downtown is the place to be. There are a ton of bars and clubs to check out. Just near Voodoo there’s at least a half dozen places to relax with a drink.

Portland Food Cart Map

View Food Carts Portland in a larger map

Other popular things to do/see around Portland: Get some historical perspective at the Oregon History Museum, stroll through the Japanese Gardens, tour the Pittock Mansion, look at animals at the Oregon Zoo, enjoy the Chinese Gardens, shop in the Pearl District, enjoy city lights from Rocky Butte, play video games at Wunderland, hike in the Columbia River Gorge, climb the rock wall at REI, or go to Beaverton or Vancouver to see a movie at Cinetopia (the best theater in the world!).

Portland Columbia River - Travellistic

Been to Portland? Let me know what you did for fun, in the comments below.


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About Tim

Hi, welcome to Travellistic! I'm Tim, I'm from America but right now I'm living in Suwon, South Korea.

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