From chilled afternoon activities to lively bars, you can get up to pretty much everything you like in Portland. Progressive, unique and fun the city makes a truly wonderful break any time of the year. Just passing through and want to squeeze as many things as possible? Here is how you can spend an awesome day in Portland, Oregon…
Wake up with a coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Based in southeast Portland on Belmont Street, Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a great place to start your day in Portland. The coffee chain offers a range of drinks to choose from.
Their Hazelnut Butter Mocha is one of the seasonal specials and has been recommended by all the people who have tried it. If you’re in the mood for a refreshing drink, you can try their Immunity Lemonade. Other options include Seasonal Shrub, Cranberry Orange Orange Matcha Latte, and Chai.
The cafe also offers great breakfast options. Stumptown Coffee Roasters stays open from 6:30am to 5pm on weekdays and 7am to 5pm on the weekends.
Address: 3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Go for Breakfast/Brunch at Jam on Hawthorne
Jam on Hawthorne is a great place if you’re looking to have a brunch to remember in Portland. Located in southeast Portland on Hawthorne Boulevard, the restaurant offers the best American breakfast in town along with vegan-friendly options.
Their Two Egg Breakfast and Chicken Sausage Scramble are worth a try if you’re in town. Jam on Hawthorne also offers a great comfort food menu, which includes Ty’s Big Breakfast, Bennie Hashbrowns, and BBQ Tempeh Hash, among other options.
Open from 8am to 2pm throughout the week, Jam on Hawthorne offers dine-in, takeaway, and delivery options.
Address: 2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Take Portland Aerial Tram and head to downtown
The Portland Aerial Tram, also known as the OHSU Tram, provides you with a breathtaking view of the city. Located on South Bond Avenue, the tram terminal is easily accessible through buses, cars, and light rail, along with other means of transportation.
You can use the tram to visit downtown Portland and explore all the exciting stuff it has to offer. The tram travels at 22 miles per hour and reaches a height of 500 feet during the trip. The trip lasts for four minutes, and the two tram cabins can hold up to 79 people.
The two Trams are named after Jean Richardson and Walt Reynolds, two well-known figures in the Oregon State University area.
Address: 3303 S Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, United States
Explore Pioneer Square
The Pioneer Courthouse Square, more commonly known as Portland’s living room, is situated in a 40,000 square-foot area. It is based in the heart of downtown Portland and occupies an area equivalent to a whole block.
Famous for hosting some of the best and most vibrant concerts and festivals, Pioneer Square is a must-visit. There are food carts inside the square that you can try to get a taste of the local food; Amelia’s Mexican Food and Fried Egg I’m in Love, among others, offer some great choices to choose from.
Pioneer Square stays open 7 days a week from 5am to 12pm.
Address: 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Visit Portland Art Museum
Located in southwest Portland on Park Avenue, the Portland Art Museum is an art lover’s paradise. Founded in 1892, it is the oldest art museum on the west coast.
There are some exquisite exhibitions at the museum that you can enjoy. Some of the artworks on display include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism, along with Mesh, Aux/Mute Gallery, and Portraiture From The Collection of Northwest Art, to name a few.
The Portland Art Museum stays open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Go for Lunch at Hawthorne Asylum
Hawthorne Asylum is a food court located in southeast Portland on Madison Street. There are several food trucks and carts that offer unique cuisines to choose from; there is something for everyone.
From a full-fledged lunch to snacks and drinks, Hawthorne Asylum offers everything; it is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore Portland. There are vegan options available as well. You can also play mini-golf if you want.
The court stays open from 8am to 9:30pm all 7 days of the week.
Address: 1080 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Explore Downtown Portland
Downtown Portland is full of tourist attractions and is a great place for anyone looking to explore the culture of the city.
You can find unique dining options ranging from food trucks to seafood bistros. If you need any souvenirs that define the essence of Portland, you can find indie boutiques with local brands. Furthermore, you can visit the Saturday Market in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park; it has everything from live music to local jewelry and glass art.
It is a great place to visit if you’re looking to spend a day in Portland.
Browse Powell’s City of Books
Powell’s City of Books on West Burnside Street is a book lover’s paradise. It offers a selection of timeless books, both used and brand new.
The store is home to over a million books and is the largest used and new bookstore in the world. It occupies a whole block and has 3,500+ different sections with books from every genre and time period. There is also a Rare Book Room consisting of exclusive books you cannot find anywhere else in the world.
Powell’s City of Books is open from 10am to 9pm all days of the week.
Address: 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
Grab a donut at Voodoo Doughnut
Voodoo Doughnut is a restaurant chain that offers some of the best donuts you will find anywhere in the world. Located in two different locations within Portland, it offers a range of unique donuts to choose from.
Their Must Try Donuts range consists of the Voodoo Doll, Bacon Maple Bar, and Portland Cream, which are all worth a try. Vegan options are also available for people to avoid meat.
The Voodoo Doughnut outlet in Davis stays open for 24 hours, whereas the Old Town outlet is open from 5am to 3am.
Address #1: 22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, United States
Address #2: 1501 NE Davis St, Portland, OR 97232, United States
Visit Lan Su Chinese Garden
Located in northwest Portland on Everett Street, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is the perfect place for you if you love plants and want to witness some rare plants that you won’t find anywhere on the continent.
Along with unique plants, you can also enjoy a peaceful cup of tea at the Garden Teahouse. If you want to take a souvenir with you, you visit the Garden Shop. The Lan Su Chinese Garden also has decorative stonework waiting to be explored.
Open from 10am to 4pm, the Garden offers an experience you won’t find anywhere else in Portland.
Hike Through Washington Park
If you want to go on an adventure, you hike through Washington Park. It is located in southwest Portland on Canyon Road and has a number of places you can explore.
You can hike all the way up to the Hoyt Arboretum, located on a ridge in the Tualatin Mountains. Or you can visit the International Rose Test Garden, which has over 650 unique varieties of roses to offer with more than 10,000 bushes.
The Washington Park stays open from 5am to 10pm and is a must-visit for adventure lovers.
Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
Take a wander round Saturday Market + PSU Farmers Market
The Portland Saturday Market and the Portland Farmers Market at PSU are two markets, both based in southwest Portland, that offer an outdoor experience that is hard to find in other places.
The Saturday Market is full of distinct handicrafts and unique art that showcases Portland culture. The Farmers Market is also a great place to visit if you are in the neighborhood.
Both markets only open on Saturdays are worth a visit because of their distinctiveness.
Address (Saturday Market): 2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, United States
Address (PSU Farmers Market): 1803 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97201, United States
Biking at Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Biking at Tom McCall Waterfront Park is another great outdoor activity that allows you to connect with nature and explore more of the natural beauties that Portland has to offer.
Opened in 1978, the park is located in southwest Portland on Naito Parkway. The natural aesthetics of the park are not comparable to any other place, making biking in the park a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is open all days of the week from 5am to 12pm.
Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, United States
Go Shopping in the Hawthorne & Division
If you want to spend your afternoon shopping in Portland, there is no better place than Hawthorne.
You can find gift shops, bookstores, and resale boutiques that will provide you with everything you need. There are also a number of eateries you can visit for a snack.
Located in Southeast Portland, the Hawthorne area is one of the liveliest in the city.
Grab a drink at Multnomah Whiskey Library
Based in southwest Portland on Alder Street, the Multnomah Whiskey Library is a great place to relax and have a drink in peace.
Along with over 2,000 different spirits for you to try, the lounge also offers great cuisines and has a great menu. A collection of rare whiskeys that are not available anywhere else, this place is perfect for people who love trying different drinks, especially whiskeys.
The lounge also organizes private events, among other unique offerings.
Address: 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Visit one of the many awesome Craft Breweries
The craft breweries in Portland are also a must-visit if you need something to do at night in Portland.
Famous for its breweries, the city is nicknamed Beervana. There are several microbreweries in Portland that brew some of the best-tasting beers you will ever find.
You can choose between a number of breweries or just visit all of them if you’re in the mood to find the best craft brewery in the city.
Catch a Movie at Living Room Theaters
Enjoying a movie at the Living Room Theaters is another fun night activity to undertake in Portland.
The theater displays over 21 movies each evening that you can enjoy while resting on recliners and having your food and drinks served right where you are.
Address: 341 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Hang out with hipsters at Doug Fir Lounge and Restaurant
Located on East Burnside Street, the Doug Fir Lounge is a great place to enjoy live music.
Their dinner menu offers a lot of delicious options. Happy Jackfruit Tacos, Shells & Cheese, Eastside Chicken Strips, and Fir Burger are some of the many options you can find there.
Address: 830 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
End the evening at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
Built in 1914, the McMenamins Crystal Ballroom organizes unique musical events and shows.
Droeloe, YungBlud, G. Love & The Juice, and An Evening with Sparks are some of the many events scheduled to take place in the ballroom within the next few months.
It is located on West Burnside Street and is worth a visit if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Address: 1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
We also have posts on…
- Best weekend trips from Portland
- Best day trips from Portland
- Best Things to do near Portland
- Adventurous trips to do near Portland
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.