Portland offers amazing things that you must see or experience in your visit. Other than walking and exploring the downtown and the 23rd street, there’re so many attractions in Portland Oregon that you must see on your trip.

1. Saturday Market:

The first attraction I experienced in Portland. It was our first Saturday in the city and also the last market of the year (due to weather it’s open only from June to October). You can explore local artists, food, and live music. It’s located on the waterfront and you can rent a bike or walk around. The waterfront is a great place on its own. I love walking around, see the ships coming from the ocean, and eat. 

2. Voodoo Doughnut and Blue star Donut:

Portlandians have their competition between the Blue Star Donut to Voodoo Doughnut. Honestly, I don’t have a favorite, both of them are amazing but really different and it depends on your own personal taste. Voodoo Doughnut is more touristic and almost impossible to reach during the weekends. They have so many flavors- my favorite is the Oreo.

You can find any flavor from mango, grapes, strawberries, chocolate, peanut butter, and even cereals. If you go to Voodoo Doughnuts, there’re two locations- one in downtown Portland, and one in the NE side of the city. The downtown location is always busy, especially during the weekends while the second one is easier to reach (due to COVID-19 the NE location is temporarily closed). 

The Blue Star Donuts has a few locations over the city. Unlike Voodoo Doughnut, their combinations are not as obvious such as strawberry or chocolate. My favorite is the Blueberry Bourbon Basil which is really good. They have more locations and consider to be less touristic, but a lot of locals prefer them over the touristic Voodoo Doughnut. Anyway, both places are extremely good and part of Portland’s best places. 

3. Powell’s City of Books:

Any book lovers? If you’re like me this place is heaven. 

Powell’s city of books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world. According to their website, they’re housing approximately one million books (how crazy is that??). In their downtown location- 1005 w. Burnside st. / Portland, or 97209, the city of books has 9 colored rooms and over 3,500 different sections. And if that’s not enough they even have a Rare Book Room. 

If you’re a book lover, this place is definitely one of the best attractions in Portland! You can explore this place for hours without notice of the time. You can sit and read in the Basil Hailward Gallery, drink coffee, and enjoy a good book. 

4. Explore the Street Art- Alberta Art District:

One of my favorite attractions in Portland! Street art covering the entire city but there are some specific streets where you can find them everywhere. Alberta District is one of those streets. You can take photos in front of the cool walls, shop in one of the local stores, grab something to eat, and basically enjoy the city vibe. 

If you decide to eat there:

–       Proud Mary is a great restaurant! It’s an Australian Café and this Portland’s location is their first location outside of Australia. The restaurant is offering breakfast, brunch, and lunch. If you’re looking for delicious food (that also looks amazing), it’s the right place. 

–       Salt & Straw- one of the most iconic ice creams in the area (as I’ll mention at point #5). This location is usually less crowded and worth stopping by. 

–       Random Order Pie Bar is highly recommended for pie lovers. My favorite is the banana cream. => As for today, this place is temporarily closed due to Covid-19  

attractions in Portland- Alberta street

5. Food Carts:

You can’t visit Portland without trying at least one of the local food carts. Portland has a reputation as a food-centric city with more than 500 food carts at any given time. In fact, Portland ranked as the top food truck-friendly city in America according to the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Most carts are organized into “pods”- a collection of food carts parked together such as Cartopia (on 1207 SE Hawthorne Boulevard). The food carts offer some of the best food in the city and some of the local restaurants also hold food carts in different locations across the city. 

6. Multnomah Falls:

Already wrote about these falls in “The Best 5 Waterfalls in Oregon”.

They are the most popular and touristic falls in Oregon. It’s about 30 min drive from the city to the Columbia River Gorge. It is a great opportunity to see the incredible Gorge. You can hike or simply watch the falls, drive in the scenic road and enjoy the views of the Columbia Gorge. If you’re going, I recommend taking the scenic road and stop at Vista House. It’s a viewpoint with a panoramic view of the Columbia. If you’re taking the scenic road, there’re a few other falls on your way to Multnomah falls that you can simply see from your car (stop to take some picture or hike). 

7. Pittock Mansion and Forest Park:

Pittock Mansion has an incredible view of the city and Mt. Hood. The place serves today as a museum and tells the story of Portland’s transformation from pioneer town to a modern, industrialized city. It’s located in Forest Park, the largest urban forest in the United States (5,200 acres). It has 80 miles of trails where you can experience the Northwest without leaving the city limit. 

View from the mansion

From Pottock Mansion, there’re a few hiking options:

  •  Pittock Mansion to west Burnside Pedestrian Bridge via Wildwood Trail: 1.5 miles easy loop.
  • Pittock Mansion via Upper Macleay and Wildwood Trail: A short 2.7 miles loop trail. The trail considers easy, kids and dogs friendly. 
  •  Lower Macleay park to Pittock Mansion: 5.4 miles moderate hike.
  • Pittock Mansion via Wildwood Trail: 6.2 miles easy out & back trail.   
Pittock Mansion

8. Salt & Straw:

Portland is known for her weirdness for a reason. Salt & Straw is an Oregon-based small ice cream company. There isn’t a way to describe these flavors unless you taste them for yourself. Their flavors are curiously delicious.

This place is very “Portland”, there’s no way you can find flavors such as Honey Lavender, Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper in a lot of places. All flavors are handmade in small batches using organic and sustainable ingredients.  This place is definitely worth a try!

Their location is the 23rd street is always crowded mostly during the weekends. If you’re also going to Alberta District, it may be better to stop there and skip the lines.  => during the Covid-19 they’re open for orders but close to dining.

9. Breweries:

I was surprised to discover that Portland has about 75 breweries which is more than any other city on Earth. The city loves beer and shows it in its 11-day beer “week” in June and many beer festivals (at least one beer festival every month). If you’re in the city, try the local breweries. I always tell them what kind of beer I like, and they give me one of their local beers that always fits my taste.  

10. Portland Bridges:

Shockingly, not all of the best places in the city are food-related (even though most of them are). Portland has amazing bridges all over the Willamette River. They connect between the west and east side of the city. Each bridge is unique and different from the other ones. You can cross the bridges by foot or rent a bike in one of the bike’s stations around the city. It may not be the Golden Bridge in San Francisco but they definitely worth the look. My favorites are Hawthorne Bridge, Tilikum Crossing, and the St. Johns Bridge. 

Hope you’ll have an amazing trip in Portland, Oregon!

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This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Melinda

    I have always wanted to visit Portland and now have 10 more reasons to go. The street art and bookstore sound amazing!

  2. Portland has been on my bucket list for quite some time now! I’m adding all of these places to my bucket list for when I visit, especially the street art!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      Yay! I’m sure you’re gonna love it 😊 the city is full of street art! You can find it almost in every street

  3. Colleen

    I’d love to visit Portland someday. These are dome great ideas – deg need to try that Salt & Drraw ice cream place!

  4. Farrah

    I’m so sad–my best friends and I were supposed to go on a PNW road trip together this fall, but that’s going to have to be postponed til next year (or later ._.). Thanks for putting together this post though! (Yay for inspiration on pit stops + more places to explore! <3) I've heard amazing things about Salt & Straw!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      Ohh I’m so sorry to hear about your trip 🙁 I hope you’ll be able to come soon!

  5. kmf

    Portland is on my list and now all of your recommendations are now added to the list. Those donuts and quirky ice cream flavors…yum! Such a beautiful and eclectic city…can’t wait to visit!

  6. molly

    The Saturday Market is the best! Portland has it all – Breweries, waterfalls, and donuts!

  7. Sarah Camp

    What a cute place to explore! I love Markets and food carts and would be all over that. Love the street art too. I’ve been seeing a lot more of that lately and I think it’s so awesome to have some great talent around town to spruce up the walls!! Makes for great photo ops!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I love when cities allow street art in certain parts of the city. I think it adds so much uniqueness and beauty to the place 😊

  8. Maggie

    Portland is kind of a mess right now but I’d love to visit one day when things have calmed down! Powell’s City books sounds AMAZING – I’m a sucker for books. And Multonomah Falls has been on my list for a long time!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I hope you’ll be able to visit soon (when everything calms down). If you’re a book lover, you can spend days only in the book store 😊

  9. Shay

    Portland seems so fun. I’d love to see the street art and eat all the donuts!

  10. Hannah

    Wow, I really need to visit Portland! Donuts, books, and waterfalls is my idea of heaven! Thanks for the wonderful guide. I hope we’ll be in a position to visit Portland one day soon!

  11. Caitlin

    Love this list! Are you a local? I was in Poland like two years ago now and managed to get to a number of things on your list. How cool is Powell’s?! But there’s still lots to see in the city!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I am! Powell’s is one of my favorites 😊 there’s so much to do in the city!

  12. Nidia Lisic

    I’ve never heard about those donuts, Would really love to try Voodoo one! Didn’t know much about Portland but if you say it is a place for book lovers sounds like a good place for me! And also love chasing waterfalls so might give Portland a go!

  13. Cass

    I didn’t know much about Portland and now loveee the look of it. Lovely nature around too!

  14. Albi

    Portland seem like really fun place to be, I especially love street art, so colorful!

  15. Stephanie

    This is literally the perfect trip for me! I love street art! Also, I’m a HUGE book fiend. I cannot walk in a book store and not buy several of them. I think I would love to see the Powell City of Books, but I’d probably never come out of it!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      Haha that’s how I felt at my first time there 😅 I tried so much not to buy half of the store and we spent around 2 hours just exploring!

  16. Taylor

    I actually just came back from a trip to Portland and loved it. It’s such a cool city and the food is amazing! I also enjoyed visiting the Rose Garden and Japanese Garden in Washington Park. 🙂

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I’m so happy to hear! The rose garden is beautiful in this time of year 😊

  17. Patti

    I went to Portland a few years ago and that was where I discovered Salt & Straw too. Thank goodness they have expanded now. YUM! Multonumah Falls was also the first big waterfall I have ever visited. Now I’m waterfall obsessed.

  18. Sharon

    Lovely suggestions on your list here. Salt and Straw sounds great!!!

  19. Katie

    Great Portland roundup! Portland reminds me a lot of my home city of Denver – especially with the breweries. But the food scene in Portland has to be one of the best in the country

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I totally needs to visit Denver! I heard so much about it but haven’t got the time to visit

  20. Arielle Kurtze

    Oregon has so many great and quirky places to visit. It’s truly a unique place. We’ve never been to Oregon and we really need to go. I will definitely use your list for places to go check out. Great post and thanks for sharing!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      Thank you so much for reading! I hope you’ll come to Oregon one day. It’s such an amazing state 😊

  21. I’ve heard of Voodoo doughnuts before but didn’t realize they were from Portland. I’ve never visited before but I’ve always wanted to.

  22. Coni

    You had me at Powell’s city of books! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place before! Usually I’m happy to go to any city with food trucks and local markets, since you get to appreciate the local vibe much better in those places, but the Forest Park and the view form the Pittock Mansion would have also pull me to Portland. Who knew there are so many interesting things? Thanks for sharing!

  23. Francesca

    Powells and the food carts are two of my favorites in Portland! It is such a fun city to explore and has so many unique attractions.

  24. Francesca

    Portland looks absolutely amazing with so much to do and see! Salt & Straw sounds definitely interesting with their ice cream flavours but I’d love to check it out one day haha.

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      It certainly interesting! They opened a few locations in California and Washington as well 😊

  25. Helga

    Portland looks really fascinating! I’m adding it up on my bucket list!

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