There are a couple of cities named Portland within the states, but none of them can hold a candle to the one in the state of Oregon. This almost secretive city is filled with cultural delights, large open green spaces, and an old town feel that appeals to everyone who crosses the city line. No one has ever said that they didn’t have fun visiting this amazing area where coffee, beer, and food can be found on every corner block.
Things to Do in Portland
There is never an issue of finding something to do within the city of Portland, which means that visitors can spend their days and nights doing something that they love and want to do. Here are a few of our must-see sights and things to do:
Visit Washington Park
Washington Park is huge with more than four hundred acres of space and it is filled to the brim with things to do. In fact, visitors can see much of what they want to in the city by just wandering into this park and starting to explore. Everyone must take the time to enjoy a picnic lunch or snack and wander along the more than fifteen miles of walking trails.
Visit the Oregon Zoo
The zoo in Portland is one of the most popular attractions, which is why travelers must make a stop there during their visit. This zoo opened back in 1888 and there are now almost two thousand animals living there. Those animals are within just over two hundred species and twenty-one of those species are either endangered or threatened.
Visit the Pittock Mansion
The Pittock Mansion was constructed back in 1909 for Henry Pittock and his wife and there are forty-six rooms for visitors to explore. Once travelers are finished with their tour of the inside, they will want to wander around the more than forty acres of land outside. It is out there that people can see numerous birds, as this property is deemed one of the best spaces for birdwatching in the city.
Spend Some Time Relaxing in Portland’s Living Room
There is a forty thousand square foot space called Pioneer Courthouse Square in this city, but the locals call it Portland’s Living Room. Everyone is welcome to relax near the cascading waterfall fountain before playing a game of chess on the outdoor chess table. There are live performances held in the amphitheater space, which is a semi-circle that has rows of twenty-four steps for people to sit on.
Explore a Submarine
Travelers do not always have the option to explore a submarine, because they are a highly regarded mode of transportation for the military. However, some submarines have been retired and the public is allowed to see the inside of them. The USS Blueback is one of those submarines and it can be found at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Those who take the time to venture inside can see what it would be like to live and work on a submarine, look through the periscope, and even touch one of the torpedoes.
Admire the Flowers at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
This botanical garden can be found near the Crystal Springs Creek and there are more than two thousand five hundred flowers to admire. Visitors can wander along the paths, as they look at the flowers, and in between, they will discover fountains, small lakes, and even flowing waterfalls.
Learn About Trees at the World Forestry Center
The World Forestry Center can be found within Washington Park in the city of Portland and it is the best place for everyone to learn everything that they need to and more about trees. The museum is comprised of twenty thousand square feet and it opened back in 1971.
Visit the Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum was founded in 1892, making it the seventh oldest museum in the entire country. The permanent collection has more than forty-two thousand items and quite a few of them are considered historic.
Relax at the Grotto
The Grotto is a Catholic Shrine that has been dedicated to Our Sorrowful Mother, Mary. This area is comprised of sixty-two acres and everyone is welcome to enter and feel the peace that surrounds the space. The Grotto itself can be found near the center of the park and it is a rock cave that was carefully carved into the bottom of a cliff. Those who enter the cave will find themselves viewing a life-sized marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta.
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Unusual Things to Do in Portland
Amongst all the regular things to do in Portland, there are a few unique options that most people will love to do. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Visit the Witch’s Castle
The Witch’s Castle is surrounded by history of love, marriage, murder, and execution and it all began back in the middle of the 1800s. The structure that is on the property now was constructed back during the 1930s and it was used as a restroom for hikers for many years until it completely deteriorated and was abandoned. Local high schoolers discovered this amazing piece of history back in the 1980s and gave it its current name. They began having gatherings there on Friday nights and that tradition continues to this day.
Flutter is a boutique store that is filled with items that no one would know that they were even looking for! Some items were brought in by those cleaning out their garages and attics and basements, while others were purchased. Mixed in amongst the brand-new candles and perfumes, there are stacks of books, taxidermy animals, vintage toys and clothes, and of course the penny candy that is no longer only a penny.
See the Chocolate Waterfall
The Chocolate Waterfall can be found right inside the front door of the Candy Basket and it has been there since 1991. The entire waterfall is twenty-one feet tall and was made from Italian marble and sculpted bronze. Two thousand seven hundred pounds of chocolate flows through this chocolate waterfall every single day, but no one should ever try to take a sample from it, because the same chocolate has been flowing since 1991. The best part is that anyone that decides to visit to see this waterfall can also take one of the tours of the factory. They recently started their tours back up, so future travelers can see the magic that goes into making all the candy that is for sale.
Visit the Portland Troll Bridge
For generations, people have feared trolls, despite the fact that they are not real. However, that depiction of the hostile creatures changed when trolls began showing up in stores with smiles for everyone to see. Those who want to see trolls in a new light will want to venture out to the old trestle railway bridge on the outskirts of the city to see the trolls that have been attached underneath. No one knows why the locals began to attach the trolls to the planks underneath this bridge, but the tradition has continued and there is now a large selection for visitors to see.
Hotels in Portland
Thankfully, there are numerous hotels in the city of Portland, because if there weren’t, those who chose to visit would have nowhere to stay during their time there. While many of them are fabulous, here are our absolute favorites:
Mark Spencer Hotel
This hotel offers guests a cultural style with a timeless European flair and the courtesy and customer service from the Old World. The Mark Spencer Hotel can be found in the heart of this spectacular city and guests will be thrilled with the multilingual staff, the concierge service, the business center, fitness center, and included breakfast. The best part about this hotel is that there are many restaurants and attractions within walking distance.
The Benson, A Coast Hotel
The Benson is a hotel that can be found within one of the most treasured historic landmarks in the city. This hotel was founded back in 1913 and while it is filled with European charm, it also has all the modern amenities that a guest could ever desire during a hotel stay. The on-site restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, while the bar and lounge is excellent for a drink or two at the end of a long day exploring.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland
The Kimpton Hotel can be found within the cultural district of Portland, making it the best option for those guests who want a complete cultural experience during their time in the city. This is a boutique hotel that offers an on-site bar and restaurant, as well as the Dosha Salon and Spa next to the lobby. A social hour is held regularly in the evenings, where guests can sample local brews and wines while listening to live music by local artisans.
Restaurants in Portland
There is no shortage of food in Portland with eateries on every street corner but finding the best of the best is not always easy with so many available options. Here are a couple of our favorites that we know everyone will love:
Proud Mary Café
Travelers who are always searching for that perfect cup of joe will need to look no further than the Proud Mary Café. Once everyone tastes their first sip, they will know where they need to be every time they need an extra bit of caffeine during their trip. No one should leave this café without grabbing a bite to eat though, as the French toast with mushrooms and ricotta and the bagna-cauda drenched hash are more than amazing.
Okay, so Matt’s BBQ is a food truck and not a restaurant, but the line that forms around it when it arrives at its spot in Prost Marketplace will have everyone joining in on the fun. This Texas style barbecue brings the real deal to the Portland area, which is perfect for those craving the smoky sweet spicy taste of the super tender meat. Everyone must try either the beef brisket or pulled pork, unless it is the weekend and the beef ribs are available. The pinto beans and coleslaw are the perfect side dish options, but a select few will choose the queso mac and cheese instead. Visitors must arrive early, because once something is gone, there is no more until the next day.
It is all about the desserts at Maurice’s and they are available in both savory and sweet options. Some travelers will go after they have indulged on a meal elsewhere, but those that have done their research know to arrive with an empty stomach. After all, diners crave one of everything as soon as they walk through the doors. A few favorites include the soft and creamy Meyer lemon pudding cakes, the brioche tartes, and the black pepper cheesecakes.
This pizzeria offers a no-frills option for every pizza they serve, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will not find a favorite. Nor does it mean that any of the pizzas are lacking when it comes to flavor and quality of ingredients. Anyone who simply wants the best pizza in the city needs to give one of these a try.
Do’s and Don’ts in Portland
- DO take the time to eat at the local restaurants, despite the fact that the chain restaurants will be beckoning.
- DO take the time to shop in the local stores, as the available items offer more of a local feel than the chain stores.
- DON’T spend all day inside, even if it is cool and rainy.
- DO take the time to create an itinerary to avoid missing out on the important stuff.
- DON’T forget to appreciate the history that can be found in many places in the city.
When people are traveling and a city called Portland comes up in conversation, some people automatically think of one of the other Portland’s in the country. However, those who have been to the city of Portland in Oregon know that this is the Portland that everyone must see at least once during their travels.