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Things to do in Portland

Things to do in  Portland

Welcome to Portland

Oregon's largest city, Portland sits at the confluence of two major rivers. The Willamette River runs through the city center, while the Columbia River is north of the city on the border with Washington. Portland is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts, foodies, and beer lovers. It's the ideal base to explore the gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery, and a reliable tour guide will help you find that frame-worthy photo op. Just an hour away, you’ll find the Columbia River Gorge with its numerous waterfalls (including the iconic Multnomah Falls) and the famous wineries of the Willamette Valley. If you’re up for a workout, do some hiking, paddle-boarding or even white-water rafting. The Oregon coast, another great day trip option, offers miles of public beaches to explore. In Portland itself, join locals on a jog or bike through Forest Park, the largest urban park in America. Stop at Powell's Books to browse the stacks; do a bike tour of the many breweries in the area; or sample a wide variety of international cuisines from the city’s famous food carts. Comedy fans won’t want to miss a tour of the local landmarks that serve as the backdrop for the hit IFC sketch show, “Portlandia.”

Top 10 attractions in Portland

#1
Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

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The Columbia River Gorge, one of the great natural treasures of the Pacific Northwest with its many dramatic waterfalls, channels the mighty Columbia River through the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, marking much of the border between Oregon and Washington. The gorge figures in early United States history, as it was here that the Lewis and Clark expedition completed its final stretch in 1805. Today the area is popular with hikers, windsurfers, and wine lovers.More
#2
Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

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Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest waterfall at 620 feet (189 meters) and one of the state’s top natural landmarks. The falls are made up of two waterfalls fed from Larch Mountain and are recognizable for their setting tucked into sheer rock faces. The cascades are made more fairytale-like by the Benson Bridge, which spans the top of the lower falls and provides great photo ops.More
#3
Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

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Of the many waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge, Latourell Falls is closest to Portland – which means it attracts plenty of visitors.Most of the waterfalls in the Gorge have at least two levels, but Latourell Falls drops straight from its highest point to the bottom in one fall. Height estimates vary, but it's somewhere between 224-249 feet tall depending on what you read. The creek that makes up the waterfall, Latourell Creek, isn't very large, so in the dry summer months the waterfall can sometimes decrease to a trickle. In the winter, however, it's quite impressive.Latourell Falls are named for a former postmaster general of nearby Rooster Rock in the late 1880s, Joseph Latourell, and are within the Guy W. Talbot State Park. The bottom of the falls is easily accessible – there's a parking lot nearby – and there's a two-mile trail to reach the top of the falls.More
#4
Portland Steel Bridge

Portland Steel Bridge

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Portland is a city of bridges, and each bridge has its own story. The Steel Bridge has the distinction of being the only double-decker bridge in the world with independent lifts and was opened in 1912, spanning the Willamette River connecting Northwest and Northeast Portland. It carries not only car traffic but also pedestrians, bicycles, light rail, and trains. It was originally built to replace an 1888 bridge which had the same name.Both of the decks of the bridge can rise independently of one another, although at times both must rise to allow larger boats to pass underneath the bridge. With the railroad on the lower deck, however, it's possible to lift the lower deck for smaller boats without disturbing the car traffic on the upper deck.More
#5
Portland Pearl District

Portland Pearl District

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Portland’s Pearl District lives up to its evocative title. The small neighborhood in the heart of downtown is packed with local finds, from avant-garde art galleries to craft breweries to fine dining, with many establishments housed in renovated warehouse spaces. Plus, a bike- and pedestrian-friendly trail along the Willamette River accents the Pearl’s waterfront location.More
#6
Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley

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A short jaunt southwest from downtown Portland, the Willamette Valley is known by wine lovers worldwide for its delectable pinot noirs, often produced in small batches. This picturesque region is also dotted with tasting rooms and is a popular spot for wine-tasting excursions from Portland.More
#7
Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood

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Just outside of Portland, Mt. Hood stands at a majestic 11,249 feet (3,429 meters), making it Oregon’s tallest mountain. The dormant volcano often has steam rising from its fumaroles, adding to the serenity of the surrounding vista. Adventure-seekers who opt to climb the mountain all the way to its summit are rewarded with 12 glaciers at the peak—plus stunning views of the Cascade mountain range, and the valleys and cities below.More
#8
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

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Designed for science fans of all ages, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) features five separate halls, eight hands-on science labs, a real submarine, an OmniMax giant-screen theater, and a planetarium. The museum is a science playground, with 200-plus interactive exhibits covering subjects such as climate change, chemistry, the human body, and technology.More
#9
International Rose Test Garden

International Rose Test Garden

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Free, outdoors, and centrally located, the International Rose Test Garden is an easy addition to your Portland vacation. Take time to smell some of the 10,000 roses representing 650 species when you stroll through the active test garden, located in Portland’s popular Washington Park.More
#10
Wahkeena Falls

Wahkeena Falls

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Situated on the Oregon side of the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Wahkeena Falls cascades 242 feet (74 meters) in tiers through lush green forest. It’s one of the most popular waterfalls in the area, not only because of its beauty, but also because getting to it requires only a very short hike.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Portland

How to Spend 1 Day in Portland

How to Spend 2 Days in Portland

How to Spend 2 Days in Portland

Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley

Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley

Top activities in Portland

Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock
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Willamette Valley Wine Tour from Portland with Lunch
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Full-Day Mt Hood Waterfall Tour with Lunch and Wine Tasting
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Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls and Mt Hood Tour from Portland
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Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
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Portland Morning City Tour

Portland Morning City Tour

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Portland Brewery Bike Tour
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Portland Brewery Bike Tour

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Sunset Sailing Adventure on a Classic Yacht in the Heart of the Columbia Gorge
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Columbia River Gorge Tour
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Columbia River Gorge Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Portland

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Best Tour Ever
Maria, Oct 2020
Columbia River Gorge Tour from Portland
Pete is a walking-talking dictionary when it comes to waterfalls and Portland!
star-5
BOOM!
William_K, Oct 2020
Columbia River Gorge Tour
We had never been or Oregon and wanted to see waterfalls in Portland.
star-5
Great guided hike to the falls!
Mark_F, Aug 2020
Half-Day Columbia River Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour
She gave us an awesome outing in the gorge and took us to several breath-taking waterfalls.
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Portland City Tour
Teri_A, Jul 2020
Portland City Tour
Great way to see downtown Portland!
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Oregon’s natural beauty
Ani_E, Feb 2020
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
Spent a wonderful afternoon exploring the beautiful Gorge and numerous waterfalls.
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Beautiful at Mt Hood
Leigh_D, Feb 2020
Mt Hood Day Trip from Portland to Multnomah Falls and Hood River
Can’t wait to return to see more of Portland.
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Mt Hood, Multnomah falls, Hood river
Juan_B, Feb 2020
Mt Hood Day Trip from Portland to Multnomah Falls and Hood River
Phil our tour guide was great, if you're not familiar with the area this is a good tour to see the Portland area.
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Waterfall tour
leslirizz, Jan 2020
Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
He knew so much about Portland and its history that his stories and commentary were just as good as seeing all the beautiful waterfalls!
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Wonderful Tour!!
tygerwink, Jan 2020
Morning Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
We not only learned about the waterfalls but also about Portland and Oregon history.
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Beautifully scenic tour!
almostamirror, Nov 2019
Morning Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
Loved this tour of waterfalls and river gorge close to Portland.
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great tour
SusanC4921, Oct 2019
Portland Sightseeing Tour Including Columbia Gorge Waterfalls
Loved this tour, feel like we got a great overall view of Portland, we saw most of the city, and the rural area and beautiful waterfalls.
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Multnomah Falls Tour with Aaron
ericjaaaaames, Sep 2019
Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
Aaron was a great guide and I enjoyed sitting in the front of the van with him, chatting about the waterfalls, Portland, and the state Oregon in general.
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Great way to see Portland
Destination227760, Sep 2019
Portland City Portland Afternoon City Tour
I’ve never been to Portland before and this was a great way to see the city.
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Oregon beauty
myronhs, Aug 2019
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls and Mt Hood Tour from Portland
We highly recommend it to visitors to Portland.
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Loved the tour!
FarAway695188, Aug 2019
Portland Sightseeing Tour Including Columbia Gorge Waterfalls
John, our tour guide, is friendly, funny and knowledgeable about the city of Portland as well as the history of the beautiful waterfalls.
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Great tour
A1120HLterryb, Jul 2019
Portland Morning City Tour
Our guide did an exceptional job of informing us about the great things to do in Portland.
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Very Pleasant Tour
jbsdeal, Jul 2019
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls and Mt Hood Tour from Portland
If I were to visit Portland again, I would certainly book another tour and hope to get Will as the guide.
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Pacific Coast as Lewis and Clark Saw It!
CountEm, Jun 2019
Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock
Can you afford to visit Portland and miss the Pacific Coast?
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Tour was beautiful
718katier, Apr 2019
Columbia River Gorge Tour
She navigated like a pro and was flexible on timing and activities once it started raining.
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Great weather, great views!
mckenzielmccall, Oct 2018
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland
We visited two waterfalls, a historic lookout and the Bonneville hatchery.

All about Portland

When to visit

Portlanders love outdoor activities, and with summer temperatures at a comfortable high of around 80°F (26.6°C), it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the city’s outdoor markets, street fairs, and gardens. Plus, it’s the main season of the Portland Rose Festival. For budget-seeking travelers, winter brings lower hotel rates, but also a higher chance of rain.

Frequently Asked Questions