Searching for some weirdly awesome things to do in Portland? We’ve got you covered!
Of all the cities in the US (Texas included), Portland has to take the award for being the weirdest one. Some cool, unusual things that can happen only in Portland showcase the beauty and extent of human imagination. The locals there are hospitable and friendly, with most of them willing to point you in the direction of the attractions that make the state a popular tourist destination. If you are visiting Portland for the first time, here are some of the weirdest and most awesome things you can do and see.
- Visit Mills Ends Park – The Smallest Park in the World
I’m not sure why a city would want to have a park this small, but Mills Ends Park in Portland has been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest park in the world. The park measures a staggering 452 square inches! Today, the park is a popular location for St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and the residents have gone further to upgrade the park by adding a few amenities such as a swimming pool for butterflies, statues, and a miniature Ferris wheel.
- Visit the Freakybutture Peculiarium
The Peculiarium is a creepy place to visit and reflects well on the ‘unspoken’ motto of keeping Portland weird. There is all sorts of creepy stuff here, including dolls, statues, artwork, paintings, stickers, and cards. The museum was opened in 2011 and boasts of being the world’s only peculiarium museum. You can visit their website to see when they will be re-opening.
- Take a Hike to the ‘Witch’s Castle’
At the southern end of the Portland Forest Park is an old house that lies in ruins, with creepy vines stretching their tentacles all over the house. The house has an interesting history. The owner (Danford Balch) hired a helping hand so that he could expand his land. The hand ended up falling in love with Danford’s daughter, against Danford’s wishes. In anger, Danford shot the help, got arrested, and was sentenced to death. Later, the property was destroyed in a storm, and although no strange and nocturnal events happened here, the crumbled ruins quickly gained the title of “witch’s castle,” and the name stuck. You will have the chance to take refreshing walks and take beautiful pictures of the scenery surrounding the house.
- Join an Annual Naked Bike Ride
Every year (in June or July), hundreds of cyclists come together to ride naked and highlight their vulnerability. The main theme of this naked ride is to decry the dependence on modern means of transportation (motor cars and others that use motor engines) that pollute the environment. These weird riders almost always hold a naked party after the event.
- Sleep in a Haunted Hotel
The weirdness of Portland is taken a notch higher with the Heathman Hotel. This has been recorded as the most haunted hotel in the US. If you are into creepy and haunted stuff, you may enjoy a good night of terror in the hotel. Guests say that they hear strange noises, their items disappear mysteriously, and it feels as if someone else is in the room or bed with them.
- Visit the World’s Largest Independent Bookstore
The Powell’s Bookstore in Portland contains over 3,500 sections, stocking over 1 million copies of books. It is considered to be the largest independent bookstore in the world. If you love reading, prepare yourself for an experience you will not forget. There are rows and rows of books, and there are over nine rooms for use if you decide to read one inside the store. They stock both new and used books.
- Milk a Cow at the Willamette Valley
If you love the farming and garden setting, a visit to the Willamette Valley will be refreshing. Take a tour of their dairy farm to learn more about how cows are raised, and if you are adventurous enough, try milking one before heading back to the farm store for ice-cream. They also serve lunch here, using locally sourced ingredients. Expect to pay a fee for this working tour and in turn, you get to spend a day inside a sustainable farm and learn a thing or two about rearing animals and crops.
- Visit the Clown Room at the Funhouse Lounge
The Funhouse Lounge offers numerous weird and awesome shows that are mostly adult-themed. The clown room in the lounge stands out from the others because you will be surrounded by hundreds of weird-looking, creepy clowns as you take your drink. This is not a room for the faint-hearted.
- Eat Bone Marrow Ice cream
Ice cream shops are plentiful in Portland, and they serve different, unique flavors. The ‘Bone Marrow’ flavor served at the Salt and Straw was particularly interesting because of its name and its refreshing taste. This is one of the most popular ice cream joints, and you may have to wait a bit because there is a guarantee that you will find a line of people eagerly waiting to sample the ice cream as well.
- Visit the Portland Underground- The Shanghai Tunnels
It is said that a lot of illegal and sometimes dangerous activities happen inside these Shanghai Tunnels. People were captured and sold off to ships in need of extra crew. They were dropped into the tunnels through trap doors that exist in almost every bar or saloon in this spot so that they could be sold as slaves later. This action was referred to as “Shanghaiing.”
- Visit the Hat Museum
At the Ladd-Reingold house, you will find one of the best collections of hats in the city. A walk into the shop will seem like a walk into a hat museum. The owners have specialized in the collection of weird and rare designer hats that are guaranteed to invoke a level of amusement and awe in every visitor.
- Eat a Voodoo Doughnut and Have a Voodoo Wedding
The voodoo doughnuts are the main attraction at the Voodoo Doughnut Shop. You may even get a presided voodoo wedding to complete your voodoo experience in the city. The most popular doughnut flavors are the Cap’n Crunch, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and the Bacon Maple Bar. On the first Friday of every month, you get to enter a Voodoo doughnut-eating contest.
Portland is a weird city with a lot of interesting places and activities. If you are ever in the mood for some weirdness, this should be your go-to spot. Remember to take part in as many activities as possible to have a fulfilling experience.