[ UPDATE: We’ve moved to Portland for the year and can’t wait to explore the city in depth. ]
Jacob’s cousins live in Portland, so we enlisted their help to put together the ultimate Portland bucket list! We try to make it out there at least once a year. We’re so excited to dig into more good eats and do more hiking in the area. There are so many waterfalls hikes!
This list will continue to evolve as we discover new and better things to eat, see, and do. Check the date at the bottom to see the last update and click the links for more info on each spot.
THE ULTIMATE PORTLAND BUCKET LIST (101 Things to Do in Portland Oregon):
- ⬢ The Ace Hotel – take your photo at the photo booth
- ⬡ The Belmont Goats
- ⬢ Brewery Tour (or try drinking through all the Portland Breweries)
- ⬡ Glider Plane Rides
- ⬡ Glowing Greens Putt Putt
- ⬢ The Grotto (Christmas lights during the holidays)
- ⬡ International Rose Test Garden (best month: generally June)
- ⬡ Lan Su Chinese Garden
- ⬢ Portland Aerial Tram – for commuters to OHSU but has great views at the top.
- ⬢ Portland Japanese Garden
- ⬢ Powell’s Books
- ⬢ Mill Ends Park (World’s Smallest Park)
- ⬡ Oregon Zoo
- ⬢ Keep Portland Weird Sign(s)
- ⬡ Kennedy School – Wach a movie or stay overnight
- ⬡ Paul Bunyan Statue
- ⬢ Pittock Mansion
- ⬡ The Shanghai Tunnels of Portland
- ⬢ Voodoo Doughnuts
Their donuts aren’t great (We live next to one and hate that it smells so good but the taste always disappoints). It is one of those iconic Portland tourist attractions, though, and the lines are always crazy.
MUSEUMS + MEMORIALS
- ⬡ First Thursday Art Walk (or Last Thursday on Alberta Art Walk)
- ⬢ Freakybuttrue Peculiarium
- ⬢ Stark’s Vacuum Museum
- ⬡ Portland’s Children Museum
- ⬡ Portland Art Museum
URBAN PARKS + OUTDOORS
- ⬢ Cathedral Park (St John’s Bridge)
- ⬢ Ira Keller Forecourt Fountain Park
- ⬢ Portland Rock Gym – try indoor rock climbing or join one of their outdoor field trips!
- ⬢ Rent a bike (Cars.. man why?😂)
- ⬡ Willamette Jetboat Excursion
- ⬢ Witch’s Castle (Forest Park)
EVENTS + SHOWS + VENUES
- ⬡ Aladdin Theater
- ⬡ Dive-in Movies
- ⬢ Evergreen Curling Club – Take curling lessons
- ⬡ Festival of Balloons in Tigard (next one: Jun 23-25, 2017)
- ⬡ The Naked Bike Ride (June)
- ⬡ Oregon Brewers Festival (next one: July 26–30, 2017)
- ⬡ PDX Adult Soap Box Derby (Aug)
- ⬡ Portland Meadows (horse racing)
- ⬡ Rose City Rollers (roller derby – 2016 international champions)
- ⬡ Rose Quarter
- ⬡ Top Down: Rooftop Cinema
FOOD + DRINK
- ⬢ Apizza Scholls – our fave pizza spot so far
- ⬡ Ataula
- ⬡ Ava Gene’s
- ⬢ Aviary
- ⬡ Beast
- ⬢ Blue Star Donuts (that blueberry bourbon basil <3 but can be hit or miss)
- ⬡ Biwa
- ⬡ Bollywood Theater
- ⬢ Castagna
- ⬢ Coco Donuts
- ⬡ Davenport
- ⬡ Expatriate
- ⬢ Farm Spirit (great vegan option, but we really enjoyed it as non-vegetarians)
- ⬢ Ha & VL Sandwich / Rose VL
- ⬡ Hair of the Dog Brewing Co – Beer Advocate’s Top 50 American Breweries
- ⬢ Heart Coffee (other local favorites: Good Coffee, Barista, Water Ave, Coava)
- ⬢ Lardo
- ⬡ Le Pigeon (try the pigeon)
- ⬡ Måurice
- ⬡ McMenamins Bagdad Theater (BrewPub Movie Theater)
- ⬢ Multnomah Whiskey Library (only Mondays are open to the public)
- ⬢ Nong’s Khao Man Gai’s Chicken and Rice (regular spot)
- ⬡ Nodoguro
- ⬡ Nostrana
- ⬡ Olympia Provisions
- ⬡ Paley’s Place
- ⬢ Park Kitchen
- ⬢ Pine State Biscuit
- ⬢ Pip’s Original – get the flight of chai tea. The doughnuts can be hit or miss.
- ⬡ Podnah’s Pit
- ⬢ Pok Pok (want to try making their famous wings at home?)
- ⬢ Portland Distillery Row Tour (get the passport!)
- ⬡ Roe Restaurant
- ⬢ Salt and Straw Ice Cream (strawberry balsamic with cracked pepper)
My favorite is the strawberry honey balsamic with cracked pepper! I also saw that they opened up a location in LA! Pro Tip: You can skip the long lines if you buy a pint instead. They also opened up a sister soft serve shop called Wizbangbar, which got a lot of hype, but we love Salt and Straw is so much better.
- ⬢ Screen Door (brunch: chicken + waffles are good, but the praline bacon – mouthwatering!)
- ⬡ Smith Teamaker Tea Flights
- ⬡ St. Jack
- ⬢ Stumptown Coffee Roasters Flagship Cafe (SE 45th and Division)
- ⬢ Sweedeedee
- ⬡ Taqueria Nueve (T9)
- ⬡ Tasty n Sons
- ⬡ Toro Bravo
- ⬡ Clackamas River Trail (13 miles / 25 mins)
- ⬡ Oregon Lavender Farm (21 miles / 34 mins away)
- ⬢ Oneonta Gorge Hike (30 miles / 35 mins away)
- ⬢ Multnomah Falls (30 miles / 35 mins away)
- ⬢ Latourell Falls (30 miles / 35 mins away)
- ⬢ Elowah Falls Hike (36 miles / 36 mins away)
- ⬢ Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls (36 miles / 38 mins away)
- ⬢ Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival (36 miles / 45 mins away, next one: Mar 24-Apr 30, 2017)
- ⬡ Wahclella Falls (39 miles / 40 mins away)
- ⬡ Enchanted Forest Theme Park (55 miles / 55 mins away)
- ⬢ Silver Falls State Park Trail of Ten Falls (56 miles / 1 hr 10 mins away)
- ⬢ Rowena Crest (75 mi / 1 hr 20 min away)
- ⬢ Opal Creek Hike (91 mi / 2 hr away)
- ⬢ Cannon Beach (80 mi / 1 hr 30 min away
- ⬡ Mt. Hood (98 mi / 2 hr 22 min away, best time to summit: May – Mid-July)
101 THINGS TO DO IN PORTLAND MAP
Honorable mentions / knocked off the list:
- Bamboo Sushi – the rice wasn’t real sushi rice and fell apart when you picked it up. Also, overpriced because you’re paying for sustainable sushi, which is great if it didn’t taste so mediocre.
- Foster Burger – this was on thrillist’s best burgers in America for 2013. It wasn’t a terrible burger, but I wouldn’t pay for it again.
- Little Big Burger – locals love it here, but it was just a standard burger.
TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS
- When to Visit: High season is mid-May to Oct, low season is January to March, and shoulder season is November to December and April to mid-May according to the Portland Oregon Visitors Association.
- What You Need to Know About Parking: If you are paying for street parking, you always have to put your ticket on the curbside window whether it’s the driver’s side or passenger side. You can still get a ticket if it’s in the wrong place.
- Public Transportation is Great in Portland. Between the MAX and the buses, you can get everywhere (as long as you don’t mind some walking). Some of our friends don’t own a car.
- Pack a Rain Coat: There are a lot of rainy days, though it’s more of a drizzle than a downpour. Rain doesn’t stop Portlanders from going out.
- There’s no sales tax in Oregon. Buy all your high ticket items here. We’re going to try to buy a new car here and definitely any new electronics we need.
- East Portland is the Most “Hipster” Part of Portland. It also has most of the food spots where you’ll want to eat.
- Portland is the Beer Capital of the World. It has the most breweries in the metro area and the number of breweries continue to grow.
- Renting a car? It’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon. At first it was strange, but now it’s the best and we feel spoiled!
- 25 Free Things to Do in Portland
- The Ultimate Portland Food Bucket List
- Best Day Trips from Portland
- Portland Breweries Bucket List
- The Ultimate Oregon Waterfalls Bucket List
- 10 Most Underrated Things to Do in Portland Oregon
- Walking Portland Oregon Guide
- 19 Things You Have to Explain to Out of Towners About Portland
- 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland Oregon
- Moon Oregon Handbook
STAYING IN PORTLAND? READ REVIEWS AND FIND BEST PRICES:
OTHER CITY BUCKET LISTS
- 101 Things to Do in Asheville
- 101 Things to Do in Atlanta
- 101 Things to Do in Las Vegas
- 101 Things to Do in Los Angeles
- 101 Things to Do in NYC
- 101 Things to Do in Portland Oregon
- 101 Things to Do in San Diego
- 101 Things to Do in Seattle
- 101 Things to Do in Beijing China
Have you been to Portland?
Anything we’re missing or doesn’t deserve to stay on this list?
Updated: Jan 22, 2017