Portland’s neighborhood’s are pretty awesome, but its compact, buzzing downtown is a total must-see. Downtown Portland is made up of 200 compact blocks, with plenty of corners and districts to explore as well as trendy bars, cool restaurants, eclectic food trucks and indie boutiques.
From lazy afternoons to something more active, here are the best things to do in downtown Portland, Oregon…
1. Visit Portland Saturday Market
Portland Saturday Market is an outdoor market in Tom McCall Waterfront Park that sells handicrafts made by local artists. It is the largest constantly-running market in the United States.
Portland Saturday Market features a broad range of handicrafts, including pottery, jewelry, woodcrafts, and papercrafts among others.
If you are an art lover, you must visit this historic market even if you don’t want to buy anything. It’s a perfect place to explore Portlandian art.
The market showcases products by more than 250 vendors. Portland Saturday Market is open on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Address: 2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, United States
- Phone: +1 503-222-6072
2. Check out the Food trucks at Hawthorne Asylum
Portland is famous for its rich culture, history, and cuisine. If you want to enjoy the best of local Portland cuisine, you must try food at Hawthorne Asylum.
Located on Madison Street in Southeast Portland, Hawthorne Asylum is a sprawling food court featuring a wide range of food trucks. It offers an eclectic American fare served at communal tables.
The food court has a vibrant ambience and attracts food lovers from all parts of the city. It is open every day from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Address: 1080 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
3. Take a picture at Portland Stag Sign
Portland features many cool photography locations. While you are in Portland, you must take photos with all historical landmarks in the city.
Portland Stag Sign is a neon-and-incandescent-bulb sign on the top of the White Stag Building in the Old Town Historic District of Portland.
Portland Stag Sign is a landmark sign that carries various messages and animations. If you want to let people know that you are in Portland, you must click a photo with this sign. It is an iconic sign that screams ‘Portland’.
Address: 70 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
4. Visit Pioneer Courthouse Square
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is a public space that stretches across an acre of city block. It is popular as the living room of Portland and is configured as an amphitheatre featuring 25 steps of seating area.
Pioneer Courthouse Square hosts more than 300 years every year. It also features Umbrella Man, one of the most popular pieces of public art in the state of Oregon.
The square is open to the public every day between 5 a.m. and 12 a.m.
- Address: 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
- Phone: +1 503-223-1613
5. Listen to some music at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
Whether you are a music lover or not, you must spend an entire evening at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom.
Located in a historic building on Burnside Street in West Portland, Crystal Ballroom is a concert venue and club featuring a spring-loaded dance floor.
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom hosts a wide range of live musical performances. It has a classy bar offering Northwest-style pub fare and hand-crafted beers. The ballroom has a beautiful interior and a vibrant ambience.
- Address: 1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
- Phone: +1 503-225-0047
6. Go shopping at Pioneer Place
Located in Southwest Portland, Pioneer Place is an urban shopping mall featuring classy vintage shops, indie boutiques, and ritzy eateries. This vibrant retail destination lies in the heart of downtown Portland. It features a broad array of luxury retail outlets and offers a matchless shopping experience.
Pioneer Place stretches across four city blocks and comprises four buildings that connect with each other through skywalks or underground mall sections.
Pioneer Place is open Sundays through Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the mall stays open till 7 p.m.
- Address: 700 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97204, United States
- Phone: +1 503-228-5800
7. Go for a Vegan burger at Loving Hut
Whether you are a vegan or not, you must try a vegan burger at Loving Hut while you are in Portland. Located on Jefferson Street in Southwest Portland, Loving Hut is a restaurant serving Asian-accented cuisine.
Loving Hut offers an extensive menu of Asian food with vegan options. Their vegan burger comes with both Asian and American touches.
The restaurant is open Wednesdays through Sundays at different timings, mostly between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. They also have happy hours between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Address: 1239 SW Jefferson St, Portland, OR 97201, United States
- Phone: +1 503-248-6715
8. Take a walk at Waterfront Park Trail
If you want to explore the shores of the Willamette River on foot, you must take a walk along the Waterfront Park Trail. It is an out-and-back trail that allows you to explore all corners of the park.
While you can cycle along the trail, it may be better if you walk as it is only 12 miles long. The trail is family-friendly and has an elevation gain of 320 feet.
As you travel along the bank of the Willamette River, you get to explore tiny natural areas and riparian corridors. The walk starts at the Sellwood bridge and takes you all the way to Eastbank Esplanade-Waterfront Park.
9. Drink a Whiskey at Multnomah Whiskey Library
Multnomah Whiskey Library is the best place to enjoy top-notch cocktails in Portland. Located on Alder Street in Southwest Portland, Multnomah Whiskey Library is an upstairs lounge with a vintage interior.
At Multnomah Whiskey Library, you can enjoy more than 1,500 spirits in a cozy setting. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. to 11:15 p.m.
Address: 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Phone: +1 503-954-1381
10. Explore the Willamette River in an electric boat at Riverplace Marina
The Willamette River is one of the top attractions of Portland. You can explore every corner of the river in an electric boat at Riverplace Marina.
Located in Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Southwest Portland, Riverplace Marina provides direct access to the Willamette River and many other fun activities.
It offers secure boat moorage and paddleboard and kayak storage.
- Address: 0315 SW Montgomery St, Portland, OR 97201, United States
- Phone: +1 503-241-8283
11. Visit Washington Park
Portland is home to a wide range of urban parks featuring diverse garden styles, wildlife, hiking trails, and exquisite vegetation.
Located on Canyon Road in Southwest Portland, Washington Park is a complex of parks housing a rose garden, Japanese garden, amphitheater, children’s museum, soccer stadium, and arboretum.
The park covers about 485 acres of natural land, including miles of hiking trails.
From picnicking to hiking to birding, you can enjoy a wide range of activities at Washington Park. The park is open to the public every day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
- Phone: +1 503-319-0999
12. Play golf at Glowing Greens
Located on Taylor Street in Southwest Portland, Glowing Greens is an indoor course for mini-golf with a pirate theme. It is a family-friendly indoor destination featuring a colorful playroom for kids.
The place is open Fridays through Mondays at different timings.
If you like the idea of playing blacklight miniature golf, you must visit this place while you are in Portland. Glowing Greens also features escape rooms in a basement setting.
- Address: 509 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR 97204, United States
- Phone: +1 503-222-5554
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Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele.