Portland, OR - Your top 3 Must-Do or See

Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 25
Portland, OR - Your top 3 Must-Do or See

Hello everyone! My family (5 of us, ranging in age from 28-54) finally decided on Portland for our vacation in July. We will be there for a week. Each of us like different things, so I'm looking for your top 3 favorite things to see or do in and around Portland. Many thanks!
kcscheer is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,478
I saw your other post mentioning things you like to do. Can I suggest central Oregon to you? It would fit your wants perfectly. You might want to repost on this thread the things you are all looking for , then we can give you more suggestions, whether it be here in Portland or somewhere else nearby.
mms is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16,920
I've only visited once, but these were my favorites:

The Japanese Gardens.

Powell's Bookstore.

Walking around the Pearl and Northwest 23rd area and stopping a lot for food and drinks.

We also got lost walking to the Japanese Gardens and ended up on a street with some beautiful homes. We just kept walking for about an hour because the houses were so beautiful. I can't remember the street name but it's near Northwest 23rd and heads up the hill.
kureiff is online now  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 37
Visiting Powells

Seeing a concert at the Crystal Ballroom

Enjoying some great beers and pub food at Bridgeport Ale House
peteandem is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16,920
The street is Vista Avenue . . . just in case you feel like taking a long walk!
kureiff is online now  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 308
IMHO, Portland is like every other semi big city, so not much to recommend there. But, outside of Portland (using Portland area as a base has some spectacular things to see and do:

1.) The Oregon coast, Lincoln City, Canon City are very intersting

2.) Hood River with the wind surfers, and multinomah falls are a nice half day drive east

3.) The Evergreen Avaition Museum with the Spruce Goose is worth a trip to McMinville a little south of Portland.

3.) Mount Hood, and the Timberline lodge offer some easy hikes up to the snow line.

4.) Mt St. Helens is a fairly long days drive from Portland, but well worth seeing.

Spokaneman is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,242
"Around" Portland, I'd consider:

1. Day trip to the coast;
2. Columbia River gorge;
3. Wine country tour & tasting.

Best antiquing in town is probably in the Sellwood District of southeast Portland.

Given the diversity of interests, you might also consider splitting the trip between two destinations: Portland & coast, or Portland & central Oregon.
beachbum is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
My favorite place in Portland is Chinese Gardens. Outside - Multnomah falls.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,176
There is a great bike trail along the waterfront that you can ride for miles on along the river- its paved and I think its a fun way to spend a day.
Bike rentals are available in the marina area.
If you dont like biking, walking from bridge to bridge and down through Old Town is fun too
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Go to the art museum.
Drive to Cannon Beach.
Drive too Hood River.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,900
When in July? Two of my favorite waterfront festivals are in July. Here are the links:



Portland also has a reputation as being a foodie city. There are countless wonderful spots to dine. Do a search for Portland restaurants and you will find a lot of info.

Grab a movie at one of the McMenamins theater and brew pubs.

Take a hike through Forest Park

Walk around the Rose Garden

Attend a concert at the zoo, accessible via MAX from downtown

Definitely spend time at Powell's Book store. it is one of my favorite ways to spend a few hours.

Enjoy your trip!
eurotraveller is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,903
My faves have all been mentioned, but it's worth repeating:

1. Do not, under any circumstances, miss the Rose Garden, I absolutely forbid it!! That's the best rose garden I've ever seen. Also visit the nearby Japanese Gardens.

2. Multnomah Falls and Columbia Gorge

3. Cannon Beach

I regret missing Mt. St. Helens, but I will go on my next visit.
P_M is online now  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
Go to NW Thurman, then take Thurman all the way to Forest Park, the road dead-ends. Park , get out and walk through a huge forest,*right IN the city* with drop dead views of the city and Mt Hood.

Take the TriMet Train to the Zoo.(very short ride)
It is a great zoo with the dearest sculptures everywhere, my favorite is on a park bench, a small bronze squirrel and a lunch box.
You don't have to go to the zoo though, that is where you get the bus to the Japanese Gardens.

Take the free bus that comes along to the Japanese Gardens. You can spend a long time there, amazing, just amazing.

Then walk down the hill from the gardens and you will be at the Rose Test Gardens..from there if you are good walkers, you can get to NW23rd and have lunch or shop or have dessert.

Or, get on the Streetcar and just get off wherever you feel like .. Downtown by the Art Museum and the South Park Blocks (there are Farmers Mkts on Sat & Wed)..in the Pearl..on to NW 23rd...

Scarlett is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,963
July is a great time in Portland (been there 3 times in July). Love all stuff already mentioned. I usually head to Powells 1st.
trippinkpj is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
So...in July, when you come out of Powells, walk across the street to Mio Gelato and have a few
Scarlett is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,901
I will limit my suggestions to Portland proper:

1. Go to a McMenamins. It's an Oregon-based chain of pubs with a unique, local flavor. The McMenamins brothers run a whole variety of unique pubs, some of which are mini-resorts, others of which are theater-pubs (cheap movies, drink beer). Some of them are ordinary pubs. I love their burgers.

The McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale (just east of Portland) might be a good stop if you visit the Columbia River Gorge (which you should!!!) - neat place, lots of character, several bars and restaurants, hotel rooms, wine tasting...in a converted "poor house" from the depression era. Neat murals on the walls inside depict the life in the old poor house in a sometimes moving way. Really unique place.

2. Take a spin on the Portland Street Car (aka trolley, but NOT to be confused with the MAX train). Get on and off a few times; one of your stops can be Powell's. Another stop can be Riverplace (south part of Waterfront park). You might also get off on NW 23rd and walk around - one of Portland's nicer neighborhoods - or around the hip Pearl District (Powell's is at the south edge of the Pearl).

If you are up for a long walk, you can walk across one of the bridges from Waterfront Park, walk along the Eastbank Esplanade and see a good view of Portland (watch out for all the bikes and joggers). Portland has a unique variety of bridges and you'll see many of them from out here. While we're speaking of bridges....

2a. The St. Johns Bridge. This beautiful suspension bridge (some compare it to a mini Golden Gate, except that it's green) is actually northwest of downtown proper (out highway 30, toward Astoria) about 6 miles or so. If you didn't drive out that way, you'd never see it (you can barely see it from the north part of downtown). But it's an amazing bridge, if you like bridges; very gothic-looking.

3. Portland Center Grill, in the 30th floor of the US Bancorp tower downtown (SW 5th and Burnside). You can eat at the restaurant but better to simply go at happy hour (go EARLY, it gets mobbed, especially on a Friday!) and have a drink - and check out the nearly 360 degree view of Portland. You can see EVERYTHING from up there. Hope you aren't afraid of heights!

(I hadn't mentioned the International Rose Test Garden aka "Rose Garden" because it has been mentioned elsewhere - but it is really a must-see in the summer.)
Andrew is online now  
Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 599
Saturday Market on the water front was fun for the visitors we had when I lived up there.Sipping a Latte and people watching in Pioneer Square is fun as well. Powells...if they like books is unbeatable. Multnomah falls, Hood river. You got some great advice here!
For the locals: I was going to suggest a picnic under the Burnside Bridge at Sunset to be funny but I didnt want anyone to actually try that and get hurt. =)
panhandle is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,795
#1: Have lunch with Scarlett.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
LOL .. Patrick!
Scarlett is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 109
1. Powells Bookstore
2. Washington Park: Rose Garden, Japanese Gardens, Zoo, Children's Museum, Arboretum.
3. Jet Boat ride on the Willamette. I loooove the tour and ride. A different perspective on the city.
4. Visit whatever festival is going on at the waterfront. (In July, there's sure to be at least one!)

Outside of Portland:
1. Columbia River Gorge
2. Mt. Hood/Timberline
3. Oregon Coast
EnricoIV is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information