With a quirky, fun, creative, and colorful outlook and some seriously gorgeous backgrounds, I honestly believe Portland is a photographer and Instagrammer’s dream. From cute and quirky cafes to wonderful waterfront parks, here are my all-time favorite Instagrammable spots in Portland…
Portland waterfront includes parks like the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and South Waterfront Park, along with the South Waterfront Park, as well as landmark hotels, plazas, bridges, and the view across Ross Island.
It’s a beautiful area by day, and I love that the park gives you endless options for Instagram shots, especially when the music festivals are on, but it really comes alive at night.
Here, you can grab fantastic images as the city lights reflect off the water and give your followers a different look at Portland life. A beautiful area that is perfect on its own or makes a great backdrop for whatever you are doing, it’s the most versatile place in Portland for your Instagram story.
Reflective city lights enhance photos
Versatile backdrop for creativity
Ideal for music festival snapshots
Beautiful waterfront parks for a relaxing walk
Crowded during music festivals
Photography is subject to the weather
The parking space is limited
Dan & Louis Oyster Bar
Bill Naito Legacy Fountain
Portland Oregon White Stag Sign
Portland White Stag Sign
A lighted neon sign is sitting on top of the White Stag building in downtown Portland. It’s been there since 1940 and, as a result, is perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in the city.
I personally love this photogenic spot and it’s great for your Instagram as an instantly recognizable mark of where you are. Try to take photos around Christmas where the famous white stag is given a red nose and festive addition.
Iconic historical landmark from 1940
Christmas photos with memorable red-nosed stag
Stunning sunset photo backdrop
Ideal for beautiful Instagram shots
It gets crowded during special events
Only lights up at night
Portland Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnels Tour
Japanese American Historical Plaza
Lan Su Chinese Garden
St. John’s Bridge
The city has a lot of bridges, but if you want the best Instagram locations in Portland, you have to pick St. John’s Bridge. A classic steel suspension bridge, it has two 120-foot-high towers and a 2,000-foot total span.
The size is impressive, but set against the backdrop of the tree-covered hills on the opposite bank, it has an even greater visual impact as the contrast between artificial and natural is so stark.
Other than that, the stone arch supports are a great detail for closer shots, and when dotted with vehicle lights at night, you can create some unforgettable images.
Iconic steel suspension bridge
Offers picturesque city and river views
Unique blend of nature and architecture
Stunning sunset views and night shots
Sunsets last for a short while
Potholes can cause problems for drivers
Urban German Wursthaus
Cathedral City Park
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
With its bright neon lights outside and the fabulous art deco interior that was completely restored in the 1980s, wherever you take photos around the concert hall, you will get something amazing.
It is perhaps the interior where you can get the best effects; the steeply sloping seating, reminiscent of a Roman amphitheatre, creates an incredible look on camera, and careful framing will leave your followers wondering how you got the shot.
Outside, the wonderful 1920s style is so cool and unlike most buildings in the area and is sure to stand out and grab attention.
Art Deco interior and historical significance
Unique Roman amphitheater seating
Ideal for creative photography
Unique 1920s architectural style and neon lights
The seating capacity is limited
Opens for events only
Mill Ends Park
Portland Art Museum
Hotel Rose - A Staypineapple Hotel
The view of Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion
The mansion itself sits in the West Hills of Portland and is built in a French Renaissance style, which makes it a great place to grab some interesting photos in its own right.
However, what makes the drive or hike you are feeling fit to Pittock Mansion so worthwhile for your Instagram page is the view.
Look east, and you have Mount Hood in the distance, the green, tree-lined hills in the middle ground, and Downtown Portland in the foreground. It’s an impressive sight and makes for an iconic image that your followers will love.
Ideal for nature and city enthusiasts
Stunning view of Mount Hood
Unique French Renaissance architecture
Historic mansion from the 1910s
The hike might not be accessible to all
Closes early at 5 pm
Portland Japanese Garden
With 12 acres of beautiful gardens to explore, you can find the perfect setting for your photos. With naturally growing trees, ferns, and shrubs from Japan, ponds, waterfalls, bridges, and more, beautiful images are never far away.
The Japanese plant life gives a very different look that stands out, too, while Koi Carp and stone gardens are unmistakably Japanese.
The pavilion is host to a range of cultural events throughout the year, and they can give you some magical photos of a different culture.
12 acres of picturesque Japanese gardens
Cultural events for diverse photo opportunities
Unique flora from Japan
Ideal for nature lovers and plant enthusiasts
Closed on Tuesdays
Pollen can cause problems for allergic people
International Rose Test Garden
Oregon Holocaust Memorial
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
With its rows of brightly colored tulips of every variety stretching into the distance, every photo here will stand out. Rich, vibrant colors, traditional windmills, and natural beauty are great, and if you drop by during the annual Tulip Festival, you can expect even more.
Images from the farm will really stand out when placed among city shots from the rest of your Portland adventure, a splash of color that no one will ignore.
Unique traditional windmill adds charm
Stunning and vibrant tulip displays
Perfect during the annual Tulip Festival
Vibrant colors enhance city snapshots
Crowded during Tulip Festival
Seasonal availability may limit visit times
Cathedral Park has something for everyone. From the beach to nature walks, views across the river to the tree-lined hills beyond, and, of course, the fabulous St/ Johns Bridge.
If you want to take some beauty shots of Portland, then this is where you will find Instagram gold.
Iconic view of St. John’s Bridge
Scenic river and hill views
The serene atmosphere for photography
Nature walks and beach access
St. Johns Bridge
McMenamins St. Johns Theater & Pub
There is no mistaking the bright pink exterior of Voodoo Doughnuts’ second outlet in Portland; with its wild graffiti-like artwork, it will certainly stand out on any Instagram feed. Voodoo Doughnuts Too also benefits from fewer crowds than the original Old Town location, so it is generally better for your Instagram shots.
However, if you are happy with the crowds, the original Voodoo Doughnuts has plenty to offer, too.
With a less in-your-face purple frontage, the exterior may not be as photogenic, but inside, it is a riot of color with all kinds of delicious, sweet snacks that make wonderful images. Whichever location you try, you will love it; just don’t eat too many!
Colorful and photogenic interior
Less crowded than the original location
Pink exterior and unique graffiti-like artwork
A wide variety of delectable treats
Food is limited to donuts only
The pink exterior might not appeal to all
Jupiter Hotel Portland
Buckman Field Park
This restaurant may not look like it’s anything special from the outside, no different from a hundred other eateries in the city. To get to the special part, you really have to go inside.
Here, among the tables, you’ll find an olive tree. It’s a beautiful thing and well worth a visit on its own. But you can also enjoy some lovely and photogenic food here, with a variety of sandwiches, pastries, and ice creams that taste as good as they look.
Variety of delicious sandwiches and pastries
Unique indoor olive tree
Aesthetic and photogenic food
Great ambiance for social media
Closes early at 3 pm on Tuesdays
The exterior is unassuming
It might require a prior reservation
The Fields Offleash Park
Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown
Presso Coffee in Portland
The Coffee is great, but you come here for the mural right outside. A pink wall and beautifully intricate flower mural make a great backdrop for your Instagram shot, giving you classic Portland style in an easy-to-get photo.
There’s a second mural on the wall inside, too, next to the counter. This one has a flower theme, too, but it is more realistic in terms of color and looks. Both make for great shots on your Portland adventure.
Perfect for classic Portland-style photos
Two stunning murals for a variety
Great coffee as a bonus
Ideal backdrop for social media
Only focuses on coffee
The indoor seating is limited
Paul Bunyan Statue
Oregon Contemporary Art Centre
Upper Left Roasters
If you want a photogenic coffee, this is the place to go.
With fewer baristas and more coffee artists, you can get an Instagram-worthy shot of your delicious drink, as they’ll make it look absolutely fabulous for you.
Coffee artistry for great photos
Ideal for social media
Offers a unique coffee presentation
Photogenic coffee and atmosphere
The staff is limited
Busy during peak hours
North Rose Garden
Helium Comedy Club
National Hat Museum
Never Coffee interestingly uses color, both on its logo and throughout the café. With modern wall art and more, there are endless opportunities for finding the perfect shot; even the menu itself has artistic appeal.
Great Coffee as well, a lovely place to spend time.
Unique and artistic decor
Abundant photo opportunities and vibrant ambiance
Ideal for leisurely visits
Unique menu design and great coffee
It can be a bit expensive
Closes early at 4 pm
Multnomah Whiskey Library
Petunia's Pies & Pastries
Behind the imposing façade, this hotel hides a truly incredible interior. Awash with wood, leather, and marble, it is an extravagant paradise that takes you back to the classic 1930s heyday of cinema.
From the bold flower designs found on the floors to the giant images of Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, and more in the lobby, everywhere you turn, there is an opportunity to grab an iconic image.
The rooms carry on with this, and outside, the classic minigolf course and more mean that all day, every day, this hotel gives you a chance at unique, eye-catching images that your followers will love.
Fun and unique leisure activities
Captures the 1930s cinema heyday vibe
Iconic photo opportunities at every corner
Instagram-worthy interiors and decor
Retro charm but fewer modern amenities
Luxury may come with a higher price tag
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
OSA Oregon Society of Artists
It may not be as obvious as some, but Ace Hotel is a great place to grab some quirky images that give a very different take on Portland. A useful style allows the distinct foal pieces in each room to stand out further and provides a very different aesthetic for any Instagram shot.
Things like the giant ‘Hotel’ sign in the lobby, piles of books used as bedside tables, and more give plenty of opportunities to grab images that really are something completely different.
Quirky room details for creativity
Distinctive 'Hotel' sign in the lobby
Piles of books as bedside tables for charm
Unique off-beat Instagram photo opportunities
It may not suit all photography styles
It might be less conventional for some
Cheryl's on 12th
North Park Blocks
Other great spots
Portland Aerial Tram
On a clear day, a trip on the aerial tram can give you clear views across the riverfront and downtown Mount Hood and Mount ST. Helens is on a short journey.
A new perspective lets you see the beautiful area in new ways, capturing images that you simply cannot get from any other vantage point.
Unique perspective for captivating images
Stunning cityscape photography opportunities
Panoramic views of the riverfront and downtown
Closed on Sundays
Limited space for passengers
Weather-dependent for clear views
Momiji Sushi Restaurant - OHSU
Red Fox Vintage Woodstock
Red Fox Vintage is an incredibly cool store that sells vintage clothes of all kinds, and if you visit, you will probably find something to fall in love with, but it’s outside where your Instagram opportunity lies.
The giant mural includes themes from Greek mythology and is a must-see for any visit to the area.
Unique vintage clothing and decor
A collaboration of the city’s top vendors
Captivating Greek mythology-themed mural
Ideal for Instagram enthusiasts
Smaller spaces can feel crowded
Closes early at 6 pm
Woodstock Farmers Market
Cloud City Ice Cream
Some stores sell plants; then there is Pistils Nursery. With so many plants, a visit is like a trip around the world to see the best flora and fauna from every continent.
It makes for wonderful imagery, while the exterior is just as interesting, harking back to the traditional wooden storefronts of the 1800s.
Wide variety of global flora
Stunning Instagram photo backdrop
Ideal for plant enthusiasts
Captivating 1800s-style exterior
Pollen allergy can be a problem
The unique style may not appeal to all
Beach Community Garden
¿Por Qué No?
Eem - Thai BBQ & Cocktails
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Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
I’ve been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, express.co.uk, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and metro.co.uk. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.