Welcome to Portland
Thank you for considering a visit to Portland — a city that’s always been a little bit different. In fact, one of the city’s unofficial mottos, displayed on a large mural near the famous 24-hour Voodoo Doughnut, is “Keep Portland Weird.” As you explore the city, you’ll be delighted by what sets Portland apart.
Start with the hundreds of food carts operated by independent owner/chefs. That’s just the beginning of the staggering selection of food and drink options: Portland also has more craft breweries than any other city on earth. To counteract all those calories, plan to hit the pavement with one of many walking tours or take a hike in one of the country’s largest urban forests, just minutes from downtown.
Other things visitors sometimes find surprising, Portland locals just take for granted. Here in Portland, for example, it’s perfectly normal not to pay any sales tax, which makes the indie boutiques and big brands all the more affordable. Inviting shops, attractions and eateries are scattered throughout Portland’s neighborhoods, and you’ll find the diverse population extremely welcoming.
Portland’s Top Sights
Portland’s fun and unexpected attractions range from gardens and museums to retailers of doughnuts and books.
Built by artisans from Portland’s sister city of Suzhou, Lan Su Chinese Garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty-style garden with covered walkways, bridges, pavilions and a richly planted landscape framing a picturesque lake.
The Portland Art Museum, in the heart of downtown’s cultural district, is internationally renowned for its permanent collections (featuring an extensive collection of Native American art), modern art and special exhibitions.
At the Oregon Zoo, you can travel around the world in an afternoon, observing more than 2,000 animals from around the world, including a herd of eight Asian elephants. The youngest, Lily, was born in 2012.
In the popular Old Town nightlife district, people line up 24 hours a day for Voodoo Doughnut’s wacky creations with toppings like bacon, Cap’n Crunch and Oreos. Nearby, the Portland Saturday Market, is the largest operating arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S. And no trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Powell's City of Books. Covering an entire city block, this is more than a great bookstore: It’s a microcosm of Portland, packed with smart and eclectic offerings, passionate people and, naturally, its own coffee shop.
Beer Capital of the World
Beer lovers, look no further — in Portland, you’ll find 53 breweries (more than any other city on earth), scads of annual beer fests, brew ‘n’ view movie theaters, beer pairings at fine restaurants and tap lists galore. Since the early 1980s, Portland brewers have been hard at work, pioneering the craft beer movement with fresh local ingredients. Along with bustling brewpubs and a calendar overflowing with beer-themed events, their innovative, tasty brews help the city to continually earn its “Beervana” nickname.
Come visit soon to see firsthand what makes Portland extraordinary. After all, that’s just a fancy word for weird.
Portland, Oregon Highlights
Don't leave without tasting...
A meal from one of the 600 food carts offering everything from Ethiopian to Ugarit cuisine.
Where locals go to relax
Locals go for a hike in one of the 6,000 acres of park and wilderness within the city limits. Or maybe to one of the 40 microbreweries in town, more than any other city in the world. Or to one of the 400 wineries in Oregon—many are less than an hour from the city.
Put these events on your caledar
- Portland Jazz Festival (February)
- Indie Wine Festival (May)
- Portland Rose Festival (June)
- Waterfront Blues Festival (July)
- Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art (TBA) festival (September).
A bottle of Pinot Noir or eau de vie with a pear in the bottle, a ‘Keep Portland Weird’ bumper sticker, anything made out of myrtlewood or anything with hazelnuts.
Your child will always remember...
The real submarine at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry or meeting Packy the Elephant at the Oregon Zoo.
Portland Art Museum, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Forest Discovery Center, Pittock Mansion, Oregon History Museum, Children’s Museum. As for performing arts, take your pick from Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theater, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Chamber Music Northwest, White Bird Dance, Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Opera, Oregon Symphony and hundreds of other options.
If you want to fit in
Get a tattoo! (Just kidding.) Recycle, wear comfortable shoes, don’t use an umbrella, and don’t honk your horn.
There is no sales tax here so everything becomes a bargain! Check out the neighbourhoods of Nob Hill, Mississippi and the Pearl. And don’t miss Powell’s Bookstore, the largest independently owned bookstore in North America.
Mississippi or Alberta.
Waterfront Park from Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) through to Labor Day (first Monday in September) is the site of a constant stream of festivals and events, from the Brewers Festival to the Bite to the Blues to the Rose Festival to the Portland Marathon.