While it is always fun to travel to the top tourist destinations in a city, it might not be the best way to enjoy the true culture, history, and heritage of a place. If you want to truly experience a city consider starting from popular neighborhoods, fun-packed stores, and awesome events. Portland has its fair share of beautiful, quirky, underrated and unique spots that are not always highlighted by the media. Here are our 15 best non-touristy things to do in Portland, Oregon…
1. Go Vintage Shopping at Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique
We all have a favorite year that we wish we could travel back to. Some cherish the history by listening to old songs, others like to get dressed in vintage clothing. Whatever your preference is, we can all agree that the glamor and appeal of vintage clothes are tough to beat.
From beautiful designs to high-quality wear, Xtabay is bringing you a wide variety of first-class vintage clothing that will take you back to the past. With around 20 years of experience, the store is the authority when it comes to fine, ageless dressing.
Whether you are a fan of the 20s, 80s, or anything else in between, Xtabay has something in store for you. So what are you waiting for? Grab your shopping bags and get your favorite clothes now.
Address: 2515 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202, United States
2. Spend an Evening at Multnomah Whiskey Library
Spend your evening reminiscing about old flavors or try out some of the new, bold stuff. Multnomah Whiskey Library is the place to be if you love wine tasting or simply want to spend the evening with some friends.
With over 1500 different types of wine and cocktails, this wine library will blow away your taste buds and allow you to develop a sophisticated wine palate. The place also features a full-fledged restaurant with a varied menu.
Address: 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205, United States
3. Karaokê at Alibi Tiki Bar – one of the best places to experience Portland as a local
Alibi Tiki Bar was launched in 1947 and is one of the oldest and most well-respected tiki bars in Portland. The owner had a deep love for the tropical culture and gathered stuff from different parts of the world including the Hawaiin islands to form this beautiful place.
Invite your friends over to Alibi Tiki Bar for a wild, fun night full of exotic drinks, strong flavors, and music. Make sure you are ready to sing along, ‘cause the fun is incomplete without karaoke.
Address: 4024 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97227, United States
4. Catch a Show at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom is a historic landmark in Portland that will take you back in time with its pristine and nostalgic vibe. Formed in 1914, this ancient structure has always been the center of attention.
The ballroom has been entertaining the masses for decades and still holds a stellar reputation in the community. If you love dancing and singing concerts then you should definitely check the shows they have lined up for this week.
Address: 1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
5. Watch a Portland Timbers Game
Did you know that Portland has its dedicated soccer club that competes in the MLS? While soccer is not as prevalent as some of the other sports in America, there is still a die-hard fanbase that follows the games and appreciates the sports.
Either way, you don’t need to be a soccer fan to enjoy the sports and have a fun time. If you want to partake in the soccer culture and feel the excitement in the stadium as the home team plays, head over to Providence Park to catch a game.
Address: 1844 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205, United States
6. Hang out with the Hipsters at Doug Fir Lounge
Doug Fir Lounge is the ultimate, multipurpose spot that is always brimming with excitement. Whether you want to catch a show, have a meal, or simply hang out among the trendy crowd, the lounge is the place to go.
With a wide variety of events lined up, it’s a great way to meet your type of people and have a blast of a night. You can also book a place for a private event. With around seven different event spaces, unbeatable service, and great food, it’s the perfect place for your special days.
Address: 830 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
7. Food Carts at Hawthorne Asylum
It’s not always about the expensive concerts and fine dining, sometimes fun and excitement can be found in exploring the local culture. Head over to Hawthorne Asylum to try out some delicious street food and satisfy your taste buds.
With a characteristic firepit and exciting atmosphere, it is the ultimate place to hang out with your buddies.
Address: 1080 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
8. Boutique Shopping in The Pearl District
It’s tough to beat the lively atmosphere at Pearl Street. If you are ever looking for a serious shopping session with your friends, consider heading over to the Pearl District which is lined with a variety of shops.
You can also explore Powell’s City of Books while you are at the place to pick up a classic or modern fiction
Address: Pearl District, Portland, OR, USA
9. Go for Brunch at Jam on Hawthorne
Jam on Hawthrone is certainly the fan-favorite when it comes to breakfast dining and brunches. With both indoor and outdoor dining, it is the perfect comfort spot to enjoy your favorite dishes.
Enjoy your food surrounded by beautiful art or outside in the incredible atmosphere. It is the perfect place to catch up with friends over a delicious brunch.
Address: 2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, United States
10. Take Part in Portland’s Naked Bike Ride – a quirky and unique activity in Portland
It’s not so much about the naked bike riding as it is about getting together and making a point. Portland’s Naked Bike Ride is the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and make a bold statement.
The event is all about embracing your body and promoting a fuelless mode of transport. Many people also love to travel for the incredible after-parties and the lively atmosphere.
11. Visit Hip Chicks Do Wine Urban Winery
This small, urban wine tasting spot is not to be taken lightly. Wine fanatics from all over Portland travel to this simple, sophisticated spot to enjoy wild, exotic, and bold wine flavors. Head over to the place with your friends for an incredible wine-tasting session.
For the small price of twenty dollars, you can get 4 different wines and 1 bonus sangria. The deal can’t get any better.
Address: 4510 SE 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97202, United States
12. The Wishing Tree (NE 7th Avenue)
The Wishing Tree is a horse chestnut tree where tourists and residents show up to make a wish. The story involves a mother who before traveling out of town, wrote a few wishes and hung them on the tree.
Upon her return, the tree was full of wishes by other residents who supported the woman’s gesture and wrote their own wishes in return. Today The Wishing Tree is a sweet, wholesome spot where you can go if you are feeling hopeless or have some wishes of your own.
Address: 2954 NE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97212, United States
13. Go for Henna Body Art (or a massage!) at Silk & Stone Holistic Day Spa
Silk and Stone is an all-around spa and beauty spot which relies on traditional methods and natural ingredients to keep your skin, hair, and nails safe. Whether you want to color your hair, get a haircut, manicures, or anything else that comes to mind, Silk and Stone is the spot to go.
They also have a range of beauty products that can be found on their website. It’s the perfect girl’s spot for a natural transformation. So gather your friends and head over to the place now.
Address: 3807 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
14. Cocktails and Views at Roof Deck at Revolution Hall
Revolution Hall is one of the best spots to enjoy music events in Portland. The hall also features additional floors with a drinks spot and mesmerizing views. Originally built as a school auditorium, the place has since evolved to become a gathering spot for people of all ages.
Revolution Hall can be a great place to organize your private event or get together with friends over a few drinks.
Address: 1300 SE Stark St #203, Portland, OR 97214, United States
15. Wander Northeast Alberta Street
Northeast Alberta Street has always been a popular spot in Portland. Whereas previously it was known for the high crime rate, the neighborhood has been completely reformed since the 90s. Today, Alberta Street is recognized as the staple for fashion, food, and art in Portland.
It’s a lively spot bustling with all kinds of small businesses, and a variety of restaurants catering to every need. Art lovers will find plenty to appreciate in the area and shopping fanatics can spend hours on end exploring the shops.
Address: NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, USA