Being a very friendly, safe and easy to get around city, Portland is a great choice for a solo travel break – whether you are male or female. If you want to make the most of this awesome city as a single traveler, from cool markets to beautiful, peaceful gardens, here are some of the best things to do alone in Portland, Oregon…
1. PDX Night Market – a great place to go solo where food, music and culture meet
PDX Night Market is a quarterly event that displays native businesses of Portland. From food and drinks to art and crafts to music and culture, there’s so much that this event offers to its attendees.
The PDX Night Market showcases some of the best food businesses across Portland, such as Olympia Provisions, Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai, Twisted Gyros, Pdxempanadas, and Los 2 Compadres. The event also features an eclectic array of lifestyle businesses, including Soul Space Incense, Out of Office Ceramics, Penrose Candles, Cozy Creations, Katie M Mudd Ceramics, and BeeWild Candles. They also have an extensive line-up of threads, adornments, and beauty and body products.
If you feel like doing something alone while you are in Portland, spending an evening at PDX Night Market may be the best option. At PDX Night Market, you can explore colorful and diverse native art by The Scribblist or Joan McGinnis Art while enjoying a margarita from Eola Hills Winery. The timings of the event vary depending on the season.
Address: 100 SE Alder St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Phone: +1 503-974-6717
2. Portland Aerial Tram – an awesome activity to do alone where you’ll have a great time
The Portland Aerial Tram or OHSU Tram is an aerial commuter tram that travels between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill. It has two stations i.e. S. Moody & Gibbs on the waterfront and Kohler Pavilion on the hill. The tram is accessible to the public all year long as it is designed to withstand severe weather conditions.
OHSU Tram is one of the only two commuter aerial trams in the country. If you want to do something adventurous alone while you are in the city, you may want to take this 3-minute ride from South Waterfront to Marquam Hill or vice versa. You can explore the best of both neighborhoods while having a ride on the tram. The tram is not pet-friendly and you can only bring service animals on it.
Address: 3303 S Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, United States
Phone: +1 503-494-8283
3. Freakybuttrue Peculiarium – a funky solo experience in a unique museum that highlights scary and weird artwork
Located on Thurman Street in Northwest Portland, Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is an art gallery and museum showcasing peculiar artwork, macabre displays, and merchandise. It’s a great place to visit alone as the gallery is too morbid for children. The gallery also features merchandise, such as artistic t-shirts, totes, comic books, hoodies, and vinyl stickers.
It is the only gallery that features the artwork of Colin Batty and Mike Wellins. The place is worth visiting if you are an admirer of sui generis art. You can spend an entire afternoon here, exploring the creepy aesthetic masterpieces of Colin Batty. The museum is open Wednesdays through Mondays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Address: 2234 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210, United States
Phone: +1 503-227-3164
4. The Grotto – perfect spot to go alone for some peace and me-time
Located in the Madison South district of Portland, The Grotto or The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother is a shrine that stretches over 62 acres of area both at the top and foot of a cliff. It is an outdoor shrine where people come to seek peace, pray, and enjoy natural beauty.
The Grotto is actually a 30 feet wide cave in the The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother. The cave boasts a statue of the Virgin Mother carrying Jesus in her arms. It is one of the most frequented holy places in the city. Whether or not you are religious, you can visit this beautiful shrine alone to meditate, reflect, or enjoy some moments of peace.
The shrine also features The Chapel of Marry, The Peace Garden, and The Monastery. The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother is open between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. on all days of the week.
Address: 8840 NE Skidmore St, Portland, OR 97220, United States
Phone: +1 503-254-7371
5. Hike at Hoyt Arboretum – a beautiful and serene place for solo hikers
Located in the west of downtown Portland, Hoyt Arboretum is an urban park that spans 189 acres on top of a ridge in the Tualatin Mountains. The park is a part of Washington Park, a huge complex of public parks in Portland.
From birding to hiking to picnicking, you can enjoy a wide range of activities in this beautiful urban park. The park features lush green foliage, a tree museum, and thousands of endangered trees.
Hoyt Arboretum boasts 12 miles of hiking trails that can be used by hikers of all levels. If you are visiting Washington Park, you may want to hike along the Hoyt Arboretum. It’s one of the most enjoyable things you can do alone in the park. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on all days of the week.
Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
Phone: +1 503-865-8733
6. Portland Japanese Garden – a lovely place to go by yourself to enjoy nature
Located in Washington Park in Southwest Portland, Portland Japanese Garden is a public park that features eight botanical gardens that stretch across 5.5 acres. The park boasts exquisite waterfalls, a teahouse, walkways fringed by beautiful herbage, and circuitous streams.
Portland Japanese Garden is a great place to decompress and enjoy some moments of solitude. The park is open Fridays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Phone: +1 503-223-1321
7. OMSI After Dark – night event where you can enjoy your own company whilst exploring exhibitions
Located along the south waterfront of Portland, The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a science and technology museum that features large-screen theaters, science labs, a planetarium, and a massive array of hands-on permanent displays.
You must attend the OMSI After Dark event to explore all features of the museum. OMSI After Dark is a night event for people above 21. From rotating shows to submarine tours to food and drinks, you can have it all at OMSI After Dark.
Address: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Phone: +1 503-797-4000
8. Multnomah Falls – a charming place to enjoy nature as a single traveler
Located on Multnomah Creek in Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is one of the most frequented natural recreation spots near Portland. You can access the waterfall from the Historic Columbia River Highway and Interstate 84.
With an elevation of 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. The waterfall features both paved and unpaved hiking trails. Multnomah Falls is worth visiting if you want to revel in the striking views of the Columbia River.
Address: 50000 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Bridal Veil, OR 97010
9. Portland Art Museum – a place full of art ideal to spend time on your own
Located on the West Coast of Portland, Portland Art Museum features a large array of Asian and American Art. It is one of the oldest museums in the country with a diverse collection of artworks from local and global artists.
Portland Art Museum also boasts a film theater and hosts weekly exhibitions. It is a great place to visit alone for history buffs and art enthusiasts. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The museum also has a small cafe and a gift shop.
Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Phone: +1 503-226-2811
10. Tilikum Crossing Bridge – a pleasant outdoor attraction if you are traveling to Portland on your own
Tilikum Crossing Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that connects the South Waterfront district of Portland to the Central Eastside. The bridge is open to pedestrians, bikers, and public transport.
Crossing this 14-feet wide bridge is one of the amazing outdoor adventures you can do in Portland. As you cross the bridge, you will experience lighting changes and mesmerizing views of the Willamette River.
Address: Tilikum Crossing, Portland, OR 97201, United States
11. Oregon Rail Heritage Center – an awesome attraction to do alone whether you are a railway fan or not
Located in Southeast Portland, Oregon Rail Heritage Center is a railway museum that features 60-years-old rail heritage artifacts symbolic of Portland’s distinct position as the rail hub of the country.
The museum also features a broad array of vintage passenger cars, steam locomotives, and other rolling stock. Whether or not you are a railroad enthusiast, you will have a good time exploring the rail history of Portland at Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The hands-on exhibits available in the museum are free to the public.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center is open Thursdays through Sundays between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Address: 2250 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Phone: +1 503-233-1156
12. A Bike Tour of Breweries – a good combination of beers and exercise if you are by yourself
Portland boasts some of the best breweries in the Pacific Northwest. If you are a fan of English craft beers, you must make a bike tour to Level Beer in the Argay neighborhood of East Portland.
By taking a bike tour of a brewery, you can learn a lot about how beers are made and sold. If you like German-style beer, you may want to take a tour of Rosenstadt Brewery. While you can explore a brewery on foot, it’s more fun to do it on a bike.
13. Powell’s City of Books – an ideal spot for readers aficionados or cool geeks to explore alone
Located on Burnside Street in West Portland, Powell’s City of Books is the largest independent bookstore in the world. It is a landmark bookstore that attracts travelers and tourists alike.
The bookstore features an excellent selection of books. They have over 3,500 sections of books arranged in 9 color-coded rooms. The bookstore is open throughout the week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you are a book lover, you may want to spend an entire day exploring the eclectic array of books at Powell’s. They also have a gift shop and a cafe.
Address: 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
Phone: +1 800-878-7323
14. Columbia River Gorge Airplane Tour – a notable landmark for a solo adventurer
The Columbia River Gorge boasts some of the most prominent landmarks of the Pacific Northwest. From exquisite waterfalls to alpine meadows to rainforests, it features all types of natural landmarks.
If you want to explore all parts of this massive canyon, you should take an aeroplane tour over the Columbia River Gorge. An aeroplane tour of the Columbia River Gorge allows you to see every corner of the largest national scenic area in the United States.
Address: Hood River, OR 97031, United States
Phone: +1 541-308-1700
15. City Tour on an electric Segway – good idea to explore the city of Portland by yourself and meet others too
While there are many ways to do sightseeing, you may want to ride an electric Segway to make your experience more adventurous. From the coast of Willamette River to downtown Portland, you can explore all parts of the city on an electric Segway.
If you like sightseeing and know how to ride a Segway, a city tour on an electric Segway may be the best thing you can do alone in Portland.
Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After travelling around most of South America, living in Spain and Italy and then moving to England, her feet have stayed continually twitchy. Studying for a degree in Spanish translation and then learning five more languages only poured more fuel onto her travelling ardor.
Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and hearing about the local stories. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. She counts Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall as her most favourite places in the world.