Portland, the largest city in Oregon, straddles the Willamette River and is considered by many to be one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. Discover the best places to visit in this lush state with our list of the top attractions in Portland, Oregon. You could spend a lovely few days browsing handmade wares in the Pearl District, exploring lush parks and gardens, cycling over city bridges, or tasting your way through the best restaurants. We’ve narrowed your must-see list down to the 6 Best things to do in Portland.
Best things to do in Portland
Explore Pittock Mansion
Pittock Mansion is sat in the hills to the west of Portland and it is a beautiful home that is absolutely worth a visit. The Mansion was built in 1909 as the home of Henry Pittock and his wife. The mansion has 46 rooms and sits within 46 acres of land. The property is now owned by the city of Oregon. The mansion was opened to the public in 1965 and approximately 80,00 people visit each year. The property sits at 1,000 feet above sea level making it fantastic for bird watching. Throughout the year the mansion has appeared in various TV shows and films, the most famous being the movie ‘Unhinged’ which was banned in several countries due to its content.
Relax In The Portland Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden in Portland should be on every visitor’s list. It stretches out over five and a half acres and is split into five very distinct areas. The thinking behind the Japanese garden is that one should feel peace, harmony, and tranquillity when they enter. Japanese gardens have a lot of culture and history to them. As you move from one area to another the feeling of tranquility follows you. Many hours can be spent exploring the garden and admiring the beautiful ponds, trees, and bridges.
Catch An Event At The Oregon Convention Center
The Oregon Convention Center opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1990. The building covers an area of approximately 1 million square feet and features the largest ballroom in the city of Portland. The center provides hundreds of jobs for the people of the city and raises millions of dollars each year for the city. There are two spire towers that provide the internal light for the building and they have become a famous memorial of September 11 when they are illuminated each year. The building also happens to feature the largest Foucault Pendulum in the world.
Spend The Night At A Portland Historic Landmark
The Benson Hotel in downtown Portland is a 287 bedroom historic hotel that is a Portland Historical Landmark and on the U.S National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is one of the finest in the city and features a classic décor with modern amenities. There are two stunning ballrooms at the Benson Hotel which are often used for functions, weddings, and public events. There is a selection of fine dining available and highly trained staff are always on hand to make sure your every need is catered for.
International Rose Test Garden
The Rose Test Garden in Portland’s Washington Park was founded in 1917 and is the oldest continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. Developing new rose varieties and even miniatures, the grounds are divided up into several sections with many interesting plants and spaces to explore. Award winners are planted in what is known as the Gold Award Garden, which also features a lovely gazebo.
It’s best to visit during the late spring bloom. On blue-sky days, Portland’s city center and Mount Hood are in clear view from the gardens. Parking is often competitive at the International Rose Test Garden, and the city provides expansive public transit options to reach the park.
Visit Portland Art Museum
The oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum was founded in 1892 and has since amassed a substantial and varied collection. The number of items exceeds 50,000, and only a small portion is displayed in more than 112,000 square feet of gallery space. Highlights include Native American artifacts, graphic arts, English silver, Asian art, photography, and Northwest art.
One of the Portland Art Museum’s most notable pieces is Vincent Van Gogh’s Cart with Black Ox. Also part of the museum is the Northwest Film Center and the visual-arts focused Crumpacker Family Library. Free days are offered at the museum in the evenings on the first Thursday of every month.