As Oregon’s largest city, Portland earns a spot on many travelers’ itineraries. Despite its reputation as being a bit of a hipster haven, this green city is a great place to explore, especially during the warmer summer months. From fun outdoor activities to delicious eats and lots in between, you won’t run out of things to see and do if you’re here to enjoy a few days.
I spent almost 2 weeks here last fall with my daughter who relocated to Portland and had an amazing time. There are plans to return this summer with Madison so we can partake in the more child-friendly activities there are to do while in Portland.
Not sure what deserves a spot on your Portland itinerary? Here are just a few of the best things you can see and do while you’re in Portland:
Explore Washington Park
Washington Park is home to some of Portland’s most well-loved attractions, and it’s a must-do for virtually any visitor passing through. This park is home to the Portland Japanese Garden, a gorgeous green space featuring ponds, waterfalls, plants of all varieties, and a tea house, as well as the International Rose Test Garden, which boasts over 650 varieties of roses.
Prefer something a little more lively? Washington Park is also home to the Oregon Zoo. Here, you’ll find exhibits featuring everything from primates and big cats to bugs and insects. Visit during the summer, and you may even catch a live performance, courtesy of their summer concert series.
Indulge in Something Sweet at Voodoo Doughnut
Arguably one of the most popular donut shops in the country, anyone with a sweet tooth should make it a point to stop at Voodoo Doughnut for a tasty treat. While they’re most well-known for their namesake jelly-filled voodoo doll-shaped donut, their menu offers dozens of delicious treats to choose from, including the local favorite, the Portland Creme. This is a popular spot around town, so don’t expect a quick visit – you may have to wait in line for your treat, but believe me, it’ll be worth it!
Ride the Portland Aerial Tram
For a sky-high view of the city, check out the Portland Aerial Tram. The tram travels from South Waterfront to Marquam Hill and is intended to shuttle workers to and from the hospital at its peak, but plenty of tourists take advantage of the ride to catch some stunning views of the city below. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera for this one! Due to the pandemic, only essential workers working at the hospital are currently allowed to ride the tram.
Peruse the Portland Farmers Market
Locals love grabbing fresh flowers and produce at Portland’s local farmers’ markets, but they’re an excellent place for visitors to stop for a quick stroll, a snack, or a sweet souvenir you won’t find anywhere else. While the farmers market scene does slow down during the cooler winter months, you’ll find multiple options to explore on any given weekend across the city once the winter thaws and spring returns. If the weather’s nice, pick up a few treats and enjoy a picnic in a nearby park together!
There’s enough to see and do in Portland to please virtually any visitor for a few days, but these are a handful of my favorite attractions that I don’t think anyone should miss. Visit these spots, and you’ll walk away from Portland with a robust taste of what the city has to offer – not to mention, some great memories!