Portland Sightseeing


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  • The Faux Museum, 139 NW 2nd Ave (2nd and Davis in Old Town. Tu-Sa noon-7PM, Sa noon-5PM, M closed. Gallery and Gift Store featuring interesting historical and quirky displays, such as the world's only remaining woolly ant. $6 adults/children, $5 seniors.

  • Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis St, +1 503 223-2654. Tu-Sa 11AM-6PM; first Thursday of every month 11AM-8PM. A museum in partnership with the Pacific Northwest College of Art, with an excellent collection of art from some top contemporary artists. $4 adults, $3 students/seniors, free on First Thursdays.

  • Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave (across from the Portland Art Museum, +1 503 306-5198. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Lots of artifacts and exhibits on the history of the state. $11 adults, $9 students/seniors, $5 youth, free for ages 5 and under.

  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, 1945 SE Water Ave, +1 503 797-6674. Summer: 9:30AM-7PM daily; Winter: Tu-Su 9:30AM-5:30PM. OMSI is great for kids, with hundreds of hands-on activities with a particular emphasis on technology and earth sciences; you can spend a full rainy day here and not get bored. Moored in the river just outside is the USS Blueback, an old navy submarine which is open for tours (separate ticket required). There's also a planetarium and an IMAX theater which requires separate admission, but you can view the IMAX projector in operation without paying for the movie ticket. $12 adults, $9 youth/seniors (parking $2/car, IMAX theater, planetarium, and submarine tickets require separate admission).

  • Pittock Mansion, 3229 NW Pittock Dr (Bus 20 from Downtown to NW Barnes, followed by a 15 min moderate climb, +1 503 823-3623. Feb-Jun, Sep-Dec daily 11AM-4PM; Jul-Aug daily 10AM-5PM; grounds open daily 5AM-9PM. A stunning Victorian mansion in the hills of west Portland, dating back nearly a century now and preserved just as it looked then. The mansion also contains beautiful artworks and furniture collected by the original owners. $8.50 adults; $7.50 seniors above 65; $5.50 youth 6-18; free for children under 6.

  • Portland Aerial Tram, at SW Moody and Gibbs (in South Waterfront, at the southern end of the streetcar line. Trams depart every 6 minutes M-F 5:30AM-9:30PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su June-Sep. 1PM-5PM. An aerial tram which connects the South Waterfront neighborhood to the Oregon Health Sciences University campus on a hill to the west. The tram is sleek and offers an excellent view of Downtown and the surrounding area, with splendid views of the mountains on a clear day. The joint-venture project is part of Portland's public transit system. Roundtrip $4, children 6 and under free.

  • Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave, +1 503 226-2811. Su noon-5PM, M closed, Tu-W, Sa 10AM-5PM, Th-F 10AM-8PM. Has several outstanding collections and is regularly updated by moving exhibits. It is an expansive museum where on could easily spend an entire afternoon. With trolley and max stops nearby, as well as several bus lines in the vicinity, it is easily accessible by public transportation. The Whitsell Auditorium in the basement of the museum is where the Northwest Film Center hosts film screenings. $15 adults, $12 seniors/students, children 17 and under free; free on the 4th Friday of every month 5-8PM.

  • Portlandia, 1120 SW 5th Ave (W side of Portland Building. Looming over the west entrance of the Portland Building is the second-largest hammered-copper statue in the U.S. (after the Statue of Liberty); a classical sculpture of a woman bearing a trident, crouching over the entryway and reaching down to welcome visitors. For its sheer size, it's surprisingly easy to miss - keep your eyes peeled for Michael Graves' historic postmodern building painted in red, blue, and tan.

  • Sapporo Friendship Bell, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (at the entrance to the Oregon Convention Center. This gift from Portland's sister city Sapporo, Japan is encircled by red and yellow roses.

  • Oregon Maritime Center and Museum, SW Naito Pkwy at Pine St (on the Willamette River, +1 503 224-7724. W, F-Sa 11AM-4PM, closed Su-Tu, Th. Located on the Portland, a steam sternwheeler tug boat moored in the river, the museum contains numerous ship models, maritime artifacts and memorabilia, while tours are offered of the ship itself. $7 adults, $5 seniors, $4 students, $3 youth, children under 6/military free.
  • Neighborhoods


    from Wikivoyage by Ajbenj at English Wikipedia by-sa/3.0

    Portland has many unique and interesting neighborhoods to explore. One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Portland is constant possibly of discovery. Rather than containing most places of interest to a few busy streets, Portland has food, shopping, parks, and other activities sprinkled all throughout the city. There is always Here are just a few notable neighborhoods:

  • Downtown Portland is the heart of the city, centered around Pioneer Square and home to modern commercial towers, new condominiums, and converted lofts, along with several museums and urban parks of interest to tourists, including Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the river. To the immediate south of Downtown is the campus of Portland State University and South Waterfront, an urban revitalization area at the southern end of the streetcar line with newly built glass residential towers.

  • Just to the north of Downtown is Old Town, which is where Portland was first settled and which has some historic buildings and is a nightlife center, but also contains a fair amount of social services for homeless and mentally ill. The neighborhood also holds the remnants of Chinatown which, despite a lovely archway entry at Burnside and 4th Avenue and some Chinese-inspired street decorations, is rather desolate and may prove a disappointment for visitors expecting the bustle of San Francisco's or New York City's Chinatown.

  • Just to the northwest of Downtown is the Pearl District, a very hip and trendy neighborhood on the streetcar line which was not long ago derelict warehouses and empty industrial space. The economic success of the Pearl has made it a frequently cited urban planning model, and it is an excellent place to hang out and people watch, eat in fine restaurants, and visit the famous Powell's Bookstore. Perhaps the best spot to people watch is Jamison Square, a city park at the heart of the Pearl that includes a popular fountain which fills a pool during the summer months that's popular with little kids. For a slightly more quiet retreat, Tanner Springs Park is just a couple of blocks north and built to resemble a piece of reclaimed wetland, with tall grasses and a nice pond. On the First Thursday of every month, all art galleries in the Pearl district open their doors for casual viewing, and many serve wine and cheese.

  • To the north of the Pearl, at the northern end of the streetcar line is the Northwest District, also known as Nob Hill and also on the trendy side and with a variety of retail shops, bars, and restaurants along with plenty of lovely Victorians and tree-lined streets. West of this is the West Hills, where the well-to-do of Portland have traditionally lived. Because of the geography, the streets in the West Hills are a bit of a maze, but they still make for an interesting trek; you'll find lavish mansions, ornate public staircases, and good views of Downtown.

  • Hawthorne Blvd, which runs east-west across the river from Downtown, has a broad selection of shops including a menagerie of vintage goods at the House of Vintage and the ornate Bagdad Theater Pub, and is a center of the counter-culture/bohemian community which is dissipating to make way for a variety of upscale businesses. The nearby Belmont Street is also worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood, with a similar - if smaller - array of shops and attractions.

  • Located along Broadway and Sandy Blvd northeast of downtown, Hollywood is a commercial district for the nearby neighborhoods and home to the Hollywood Theater, a historic non-profit theater with an ornate facade showing a variety of independent, second run, and classic films as well as original programming and interactive events. There is also a popular Saturday farmers market in the neighborhood during the warm months.

  • To the north of downtown between MLK Blvd and 30th Avenue, Alberta Street has much the same feel as Hawthorne Blvd; a counter-culture/bohemian community that's becoming popular with yuppies. Alberta is home to Last Thursday, said by many locals to be the alternative to First Thursday in the Pearl District and also featuring wine tasting and gallery openings, along with street vending and performance artists. The Neighborhood between Alberta Street and Broadway is known as Irvington, and contains many historic Craftsman homes.

  • Other neighborhoods to explore include: St. Johns in North Portland featuring the gorgeous St. Johns Bridge, Mississippi Avenue, quaint Sellwood, Inner Southeast a loosely defined neighborhood where bars and music venues have been cropping up amidst the industrial landscape, Foster-Powell, East Burnside and Stark, Division and Clinton Street, and North Williams.
  • Parks and Gardens


    from Wikivoyage by PerryPlanet Penarc Public Domain

  • Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, SE 28th Ave & Woodstock Blvd, +1 503 771-8386. Summer: 6AM-10PM daily, Winter: 6AM-6PM daily. A display and test garden was initiated in 1950 that includes more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, the gardens provide a magnificent display of color, giving visitors the opportunity to view many varieties rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest. During the fall, many companion trees add dramatic coloring. Spring-fed Crystal Springs Lake surrounds much of the garden, attracting many species of birds and waterfowl. $4 in the summer months ; free for all in the winter.

  • Forest Park. Located on the hills northwest of Downtown, Forest Park is one of the nation's largest urban parks at 5,000 acres. There are many great hiking and biking trails to be found winding through this natural forest setting. Free.

  • The Grotto Gardens, 8840 NE Skidmore St (entrance on NE Sandy Blvd across from NE 85th Ave, +1 503 254-7371. Open at 9AM; closing time varies from 4PM in the winter to 8:30PM in the summer; consult website for current information. A tranquil and spiritual sanctuary which hosts reflection ponds, secluded gardens, and shrines on the top of a basalt cliff. The best time to visit is during the holiday season when the grotto is illuminated with lights. The Grotto also makes for a very romantic destination for a special night out. Lower level free, nominal fee at gift shop for token to access upper level.

  • Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St (at 3rd in Old Town/Chinatown, +1 503 228-8131. Summer: 10AM-6PM daily, Winter: 10AM-5PM daily. A beautiful urban retreat in the heart of Chinatown with a pond, a teahouse, pavilions, and lots of gardens. If you are on a budget, you can peek in through the ornate open windows and see much of the gardens without paying admission. $9.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $7 students, children 5 and under free.

  • Laurelhurst Park, SE 39th Ave & Stark St. 5AM-10:30PM daily. A beautiful park designed by a horticultural expert from the same team that designed New York City's Central Park. This park has a great atmosphere in good weather, with lots of locals and visitors enjoying the duck pond, the bike paths, and the off-leash dog area. Free.

  • Mill Ends Park, SW Naito Pkwy & SW Taylor. The "smallest park in the world", a title backed up by the Guinness Book of Records, Mill Ends was originally created satirically for the purpose of being "a leprechaun colony and racetrack for snails." It is located in the median of SW Naito, and consists of nothing more than a single small tree in the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection. Free.

  • Mount Tabor Park, SE 60th & Salmon St. 5AM-midnight. At the eastern end of the Hawthorne District, Mt Tabor is a forested park situated atop an extinct volcanic butte with great views of the city. The park contains a couple of reservoirs and lots of winding trails, and is also the home of the popular PDX Soapbox Derby event (see below under Do). Free.

  • Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Broadway and Yamhill, +1 503 223-1613. This is the central courtyard of downtown Portland, a big gathering spot that's popular with tourists and locals alike. Notable features of the park are a cascading waterfall fountain, chess boards, and the Weather Machine, a machine that predicts the weather every day at noon. Many other sculptures and art elements surround the square, including Kvinneakt, the bronze statue of a nude woman that's otherwise known as the "Expose Yourself to Art" statue after a popular poster featuring a flasher (former Mayor Bud Clark) facing this work. Free.

  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Naito Pkwy (Between the Steel and Marquam bridges. This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront is a scenic slice of park land, with views over the Willamette River and of the skyline. At one point, this narrow stretch of land was a four-lane freeway, but growing environmental awareness led to the city replacing the freeway with this park. Along the waterfront there are a number of fountains, memorials, and gardens, including the Salmon Street Springs, a large fountain at the Salmon Street entrance that's popular with kids during the summer; the Battleship Oregon Memorial, the old mast of the USS Oregon battleship between Oak and Pine Streets; and the Japanese American Memorial Garden at the north end of the park has monuments telling the story of people of Japanese descent in the US, including the WWII internment camps. The park is also home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Waterfront Blues Fest and the carnival-like Rose Festival. Free.
  • Washington Park


    from Wikivoyage by Shannon LaBelle /by-sa/3.0

  • Washington Park, SW Park Pl (directly west of downtown, +1 503 823-2525. Daily 5AM-10PM. Washington Park is a classic urban park, sprawling over about 140 acres, with many trails that take you between the stands of trees, around the hills and through the canyons - a park so large it can be easy to get lost without a map. In addition to the many attractions listed below, it also contains memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Holocaust, and the Lewis and Clark expedition, and has beautiful vistas of Portland and Mount Hood. The MAX red and blue lines can take you to the park; the station is located at the south end of the park, outside the World Forestry Center and the Oregon Zoo entrance. Free (some enclosed attractions have separate ticketing).

  • Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd (on the western side of Washington Park, +1 503 865-8733. Grounds 6AM-10PM daily; Visitor Center M-F 9AM-4PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM. A large arboretum with paved trails of varying length and over 1,000 species of trees and plants in a natural setting. Free.

  • International Rose Test Gardens, 850 SW Rose Garden Way (10 min on Washington Park Shuttle from Washington Park MAX, +1 503 823-7529. 7:30AM-9PM daily. The largest rose test garden in U.S., perched on a hill overlooking Downtown Portland, with thousands of roses planted in every possible way: rows, bushes and vines. Best to come between May and July, when it gets fragrant as everything's in bloom. Volunteer gardeners offer free guided tours at 1PM during the summer months. Free.

  • Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park, +1 503 226-1561. Winter 10AM-4PM daily, Summer 9AM-6PM daily. A good-sized zoo with Pacific Northwest animals, a primate house, and an Africa area, as well as a large Asian Elephant exhibit and breeding area, which is noteworthy among zoos. $11.50 adults, $10 seniors, $8.50 children, aged 2 and under free (parking $4/car, discount for public transit users).

  • Portland Children's Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park, +1 503 223-6500. 9AM-5PM daily. Lots of interactive exhibits designed for kids. $10 general, $9 seniors/military, free for children under age one (parking $2/car; discount for public transit users).

  • Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston Dr (across from the Rose Test Gardens, +1 503 223-1321. Winter Tu-Su 10AM-4PM, M noon-4PM; Summer Tu-Su 9AM-7PM, M noon-7PM. A haven of tranquil beauty across the seasons, Portland Japanese Garden has been proclaimed as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. $9.50 adults, $7.75 seniors/students, $6.75 youth, child 5 and under free.

  • World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, 4033 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park, +1 503 228-1367. 10AM-5PM daily. Built like a giant log cabin, this museum is devoted to the science and cultural impact of Pacific Northwest forests. $9 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children, children 2 and under free.
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