With a gorgeous setting straddling the Willamette River, bordering the beautiful Columbia River and with a backdrop of the stunning Cascade Mountains. Portland offers some of the Pacific Northwest’s most enviable views and scenery. From scenic city views from towering man-made architectural wonders to viewpoints where you see the stunning surrounding natural scenery, here are the best views in Portland, Oregon…
1. Mount Tabor Park – offers some of the best views of Downtown Portland Oregon
Mount Tabor is a fascinating place to visit, it is an extinct volcano vent around which Southeast Portland grew. It is a popular park and open spaces destination for city residents and visitors. Views from the heights of the park are spectacular, with a 360-degree panoramic view of downtown Portland below, and Mount Hood in the distance beyond the city.
The extensive park area boasts a mass of trees and tranquil scenery which is stunning all year round but especially in the fall when the trees put on a glorious show with their tapestry of colors. Like most parks, Mount Tabor offers visitor amenities and enjoyment with covered picnic areas, playgrounds, a community garden, several hiking and riding trails, and a dedicated visitor’s center. The Park’s most unique features are its tranquil water reservoirs and cinder cone cutaway.
- Mount Tabor SE Salmon Way, Portland, OR 97215, 97215
2. KOIN Tower – for one of the best view of the city of Portland
Occupying a full city block, this remarkable skyscraper is the third tallest in Portland, Oregon. Comprising 35 stories of retail, office space and luxury residential real estate, the architectural design of the Koin Tower has been fondly referred to as, “The Mechanical Pencil.”
At the top of the building, the Fountain Plaza Condominiums have breath-taking city views, and sweeping vistas of the Willamette River and Mount Hood in the background. The Koin Tower is centrally located in downtown Portland and from the building you can see nearby urban parks and the Willamette River docks, and right out to the distant Forest Park.
- KOIN Tower 222 SW Columbia Street Portland
3. Mount Hood – a beautiful scenic overlook
Mount Hood looms tall and imposing, east-southeast of Portland about 50 miles away along U.S. Route 26. It is Oregon’s highest mountain, and one of the tallest mountains in the United States, nestling within the Mount Hood National Forest.
The mountain is distinguished as the only year-round, lift-serviced ski fields in North America. It boasts the longest ski season in the U.S., operating as late in the year as September. Visitors can drive right up the mountain to the three famous ski resorts. The Timberline Lodge and ski field are located at around 6000 feet elevation, on the southern flank of the mountain. This remarkable lodge is a National Historic Landmark, constructed with massive timbers and impressive local stone. Mount Hood is a popular destination, being the second most climbed mountain in the world, after Mt. Fuji in Japan.
Oregon 97041, United States
4. St. Johns Bridge – for stunning views of Portland’s surrounding scenery
St. Johns Bridge is an impressive, steel suspension bridge spanning the Willamette River in Portland, from the Cathedral Park area over to Northwest Portland. It is the tallest bridge in Portland, with a 205-foot navigational clearance and two impressive 400-foot-tall bridge towers reminiscent of Gothic cathedrals. In synergy with this design, it boasts arches under the bridge, constructed to look like cathedral windows.
The bridge attracts year-round visitors who can relax in the attractive surrounds of Cathedral Park beneath it or stroll along the walkway looking for photo opportunities. For a memorable experience, take a walk under the bridge at dusk or dawn and admire the sun’s stunning display, shimmering across the open water.
- St. Johns Bridge, 8600 NW Bridge Ave, Portland, OR 97203, USA
5. Pittock Mansion – for the best views of Mount Hood from Portland city
Located up in Portland’s West Hills, the Pittock Mansion is a château-style, imposing residence built in 1914, modeled after stately homes in the French Renaissance era. It began as the home of the Pittock family until it was sold and subsequently opened to the public in 1965 as a historic house museum. Certainly, worth a visit, it is renowned for birdwatching and its glorious views overlooking Portland’s skyline and the mountains beyond the city.
Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of this community landmark, learning the history of the family, the era, the mansion, and its restoration. It tells the history of Portland’s transformation from a small pioneer township to a modern, industrialized city.
Pittock Mansion 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, USA
6. The International Rose Test Garden – for some of the prettiest scenery in Portland
This celebrated rose test garden in Washington Park in Southwest Portland boasts more than 10,000 rose bushes with around 650 different varieties. The flowers bloom from April through October, with the peak display in June, depending on the weather. A stroll through the roses is a memorable experience, of breath-taking loveliness. Founded in 1917, the Portland rose garden is the nation’s oldest continuously operated public rose test garden.
Visitors can enjoy free guided tours and take in not only the roses, but some sweeping views of downtown Portland itself, and beyond to Mount Hood in the distance. The rose gardens are maintained by volunteers. The primary function of the gardens is to serve as a testing ground for new rose varieties, with the majority of the rose varieties in the garden being commercially available.
- The International Rose Test Garden 400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
7. The Roof Deck at Revolution Hall – offers fantastic views of the city
The Roof Deck at Revolution Hall is a popular gathering place for visitors to enjoy the sights of Portland city, along with some casual dining and drinks. The scenic rooftop deck is, however, only open seasonally, depending on the weather.
The deck is at the top of an impressive brick building overlooking a large dog park in the foreground with the city as a backdrop. It was once the Washington High School, located in inner Southeast Portland, but now it is a concert venue.
The top floor Roof Deck Bar at Revolution Hall has a casual atmosphere, offering draft beer, cocktails, and a grill menu. But it is the sweeping 360-degree views over downtown Portland and Mt. Tabor on sunny days that are the prime drawcards for this venue.
- Revolution Hall 1300 SE Stark St #203, Portland, OR 97214, USA
8. Eastbank Esplanade – for amazing views of Portland’s skyline
The Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade meanders along the eastern shore of the Willamette River in Portland for about 1.5 miles. It is a pedestrian and bicycle pathway, suitable for a pleasant stroll, a jog, or a scenic bike ride. It travels north from the Hawthorne Bridge, past the Morrison Bridge and the Burnside Bridge, to the Steel Bridge.
It has connections to eastside neighborhoods and across the river to Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Where the Steel Bridge spans the river, the pedestrian walkway needs to be raised when boats passed beneath it. Part of the Eastbank Esplanade has a fabulous floating walkway on the actual river. The esplanade offers a novel way to view the city bridges and the beautiful Portland skyline.
- Eastbank Esplanade (a path along the east side of the Willamette River in Portland)
9. Tom McCall Waterfront Park – beautiful blossom and beautiful scenic views
Opened to the public in 1978, the Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park can be found in downtown Portland, Oregon, running alongside the Willamette River. The award-winning riverfront park was renamed to honor an Oregon Governor, Tom McCall, who championed the beautification of the site. It is open to the public for recreational use and as a handy route for commuters on foot and bikes accessing downtown Portland.
The park is home to numerous popular festivals and events each year. The green, open space continues for 1.5 miles along the Willamette River and is comprised of over 36 acres of public park offering plenty of activities and space for families, joggers, and cyclists to relax and enjoy themselves. It hosts the Salmon Street Springs, fabulous on a hot day, and the Japanese American Historical Plaza.
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
10. Portland City Grill – offers beautiful vistas views of Portland
For new American dishes with an Asian flavor, coupled with a skyline view, pay a visit to the award-winning Portland City Grill. Perched up on the 30th floor, you can take in the unsurpassed views of Portland city right out to far off vista of the Cascade Mountains, while you dine out in the lofty atmosphere.
The Portland City Grill creates a memorable dining experience with a heavenly menu and a sophisticated bar. You can order a standout wine or a crafted cocktail with your selection from their Steakhouse, Asian or American cuisines. The Portland City Grill is sensitive to every guest, catering for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free preferences.
- Portland City Grill – 111 SW 5th Ave 30th Floor, Portland, OR 97204
11. The Vista House on Hwy 30 – for beautiful views of Columbia River and the scenic Columbia River gorge
The Vista House panorama on historic highway 30, outside of Portland, Oregon, overlooks the mighty Columbia River and the scenic Columbia River gorge. Built in 1928 on a rocky clifftop as a rest stop observatory, it is a memorial honoring Oregon’s pioneers and settlers. The Vista House is located on Crown Point, more than 730 ft above the river.
The octagonal-shaped stone building serves as a museum and tourist attraction. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features marble floors, carved stone panels, stained glass windows, and has simply stunning views. For visitor comfort, Vista House provides all the tourist amenities, including a gift shop, restrooms, wheelchair accessibility, car parking areas, and offers guided tours.
- The Vista House, 40700 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, United States
12. The top deck of the Fremont Bridge – one of the best viewpoints in Portland
The Fremont Bridge has a southwest aspect, looking towards the city’s West Hills when traveling south on Interstate 405 as you approach downtown Portland. It is a monumental, steel-tied-arch structure spanning the Willamette River. The bridge has been designed with two four-laned decks, with the lower deck carrying northbound traffic and the upper deck carrying southbound traffic. However, no pedestrian traffic has been catered for.
It was, at the time it was built, the longest tied-arch bridge in the world, exceeded these days only by the Caiyuanba Bridge crossing the Yangtze River in China. You can walk or ride a bike across the bridge on one day of the year and the spectacular views from the top deck are truly worth the effort, it offers fabulous views of the city.
- Fremont Bridge – Stadium Fwy, Portland, OR 97232, USA
13. Departure Restaurant and Lounge – for stunning views of the downtown Portland skyline
Fine dining and stylishly appointed surroundings describe the Departure Restaurant and Lounge, located at the top of the historic Meier & Frank building, on Morrison St, Portland. This sophisticated restaurant offers modern pan-Asian cuisine coupled with curated cocktails and panoramic city views.
It boasts two rooftop decks with stunning views taking in the downtown Portland skyline, the picturesque Willamette River, and Mount St. Helens, which will surely leave a lasting impression. The less adventurous may choose to dine inside, in the relaxed comfort of the elegant lounge. The imaginative menu spoils diners with a culinary exploration of flavors from the far East.
- Departure Restaurant and Lounge – 525 SW Morrison St 15th Floor 15th Floor, Portland, OR 97204, United States
14. Butte Summit – for great views of the Cascades Mountains range
Part of the Rocky Butte Natural Area, Rocky Butte is an extinct cinder cone butte in Portland, Oregon. It belongs to the Boring Lava Field, which is comprised of a group of volcanic vents and lava flows that extend throughout both Oregon and Washington states. The history of the mountain includes a variety of purposes like a jail, a Baptiste college, and the Hill Military Academy.
These days it is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and tourists who can view the mountains and forested terrain from the Butte summit. The Salmon Butte trailhead leading up to the treeless summit rewards the visitor with spectacular views of giant, craggy volcanic peaks on the horizon; Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson forming part of the Cascades Mountain range.
- Butte Summit Portland, OR 97220, United States
15. Xport Rooftop Lounge – for some of the best views from a rooftop in Portland
The Xport Bar and Lounge is a sophisticated new rooftop restaurant retreat, roosting high above the city of Portland, Oregon. It sits atop the 16-story Porter Hotel. Rivaling the stylish ambience of Portland’s Departure Restaurant, you can enjoy cocktails and sumptuous international cuisine served either indoors or outdoors, overlooking the city skyline and distant mountain vistas.
The Xport rooftop bar and restaurant offer continental classic dining artfully combined with exotic Eastern flavors to provide a unique culinary adventure for the bold. For those dining out on the wrap-around patio, there are fire pits and spectacular views as far out as Mount Hood on one side, and the West Hills from the other side.
- Xport Rooftop Lounge SW Jefferson St &, SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, United States