The Northern Pacific Coast is famous for being a relaxed and welcoming kind of place, and Oregon's largest city of Portland is no different. A cultured, laid-back, and altogether interesting place, the city offers an array of things to do in Portland for any vacationer. Portland Oregon attractions include great museums, a zoo, bustling markets, and the Willamette River, on whose banks the city is built. There’s also a host of excellent activities in Portland and its immediate area, with wine tasting always popular among vacationers.
The Oregon Zoo is one of the most popular things to do in Portland. Dating back to 1887, it’s a zoo with a reputation for humane animal exhibition. A lot of attention has gone into recreating the natural ecosystem of each species, while the sheer amount of space each family of animals is afforded places the Oregon Zoo up there with the best in America. Activities in Portland at the Oregon Zoo include watching the pack of elephants at feeding times and trekking through the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
For museum or science buffs—or, for that matter, anyone with an interest in how the world works—the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of the must-see Portland Oregon attractions. Located on the banks of the river, the museum includes numerous educational exhibits, some of which are interactive, and an IMAX theatre. For families on vacation, this has to be considered one of the best things to do in Portland, as the museum caters to children and adults alike.
Portland Rose Garden
Not to be confused with the Rose Garden Stadium, which is home to the Portland Trailblazers, the Portland Rose Garden is basically one large botanical garden focused almost entirely on the rose. Particularly scenic during spring when the roses begin to bloom, a gentle afternoon stroll around the garden ranks as one of the most pleasant activities in Portland available to both travelers and locals.
Portland Art Museum
Portland Oregon attractions include the Portland Art Museum, which is among the best art museums and galleries found anywhere in the US. This well-organized museum has been recently renovated; the art space here is second to none; and it includes great works by the likes of Renoir, Van Gogh, and Monet.
Portland Saturday Market
A visit to the Portland Saturday Market is easily one of the best free things to do in Portland. Taking place, as its name suggests, every Saturday between the months of March and December, the market features a wonderful array of artisans’ stalls, food booths, and folk entertainment. It is, all in all, a great place to spend half the weekend.
Wineries in the Willamette Valley
An absolute favorite among Portland Oregon attractions for vacationers to this city is wine tasting in the surrounding wineries. The Willamette produces unpretentious fare—the wine is as laid-back as the surroundings, which makes it just about the perfect combination for day trips or longer vacations away from the bustle of the city.