8 Must-Do Activities in Portland, Oregon
Portland is well known as one of the most unique cities in the United States — it’s no wonder the city motto is “keep Portland weird”. Prized for their craft beer, quirky streets and shops, and food trucks, experiencing Portland is not quite like any other city in Oregon, or all of the United States. To get a real feel for what the city has to offer, these are the top activities and destinations you simply can’t skip:
“Freaky But True” Peculiarium and Museum
One of the strangest sites in the weird city of Portland is the “Freaky But True” Peculiarium and Museum. Full of off-the-wall, creepy, and head-turning exhibits, this odd spot is a prime place to take in the weirdness. We won’t reveal too much about what’s inside, but if you’re into art displays, alternative scenes, and a bit of horror, this is a must-see.
Powell’s City of Books
This famous bookstore is actually the largest independent bookstore in the world. It has nine rooms holding an impressive 3,500 sections and about one million books in total. If you like books, it’s easy to spend hours on hours here. And even if you don’t, it’s still an impressive place to check out. They also have a calendar of events on their website so you can look out for book signings and readings.
Pittock Mansion Museum
The Pittock mansion was constructed in the early 1900s by one of the most wealthy and influential families in the city during that time. The French Renaissance-style architecture decorates a whopping 23 rooms. The interior of the house has been preserved to look the same as it did when Henry Pittock and his family moved in in 1924. You can tour the inside of the historic mansion, or just check it out from the outside.
The Portland Farmer’s Market
To feel like a true Portland resident, take a stroll through one of the farmer’s markets. There are a variety that take place at different times throughout the year, so you are bound to find one running during your stay. The Portland State University Campus hosts a year-round market every Saturday featuring locally-grown produce and artisan goods. For a more crafty market, try the Portland Saturday Market on the river.
Iconic White Stag Sign
The white stag sign is a classic symbol of Portland that has been on display since 1940. Over time the sign has changed ownership a number of times, so the words on the sign have changed, but the iconic white stag and outline of the state have always remained. You can spot this attraction on Couch street.
Attend a Sofar Sounds Secret Concert
This unique event curation service delivers the pure spirit of Portland. Sofar Sounds hosts live music events with a twist. They curate one-of-a-kind concert experiences in intimate settings, but the exact location and artists remain a secret when you buy the tickets. Sofar reveals clues of what to expect, such as the venue environment, but the rest remains a mystery. 36 hours before the show, you’ll receive the names of the three artists and the show location.
Look Out for Horse Rings
Throughout the more historic neighborhoods in Portland, you might be surprised to find metal horse rings on the edge of the sidewalks. These used to be horse hitches back when horses were the primary mode of transportations. The city began removing horse rings in the 1970s until residents complained that it was a removal of a party of history. Now, all horse rings are replaced after any construction, so you can have a little scavenger hunt of sorts looking for them on the streets.
Eat at a Food Truck Pod
If you’re looking for some grub in Portland, you’ve got to try one of the many food trucks located throughout the city. It shouldn’t be hard to find one — they are literally everywhere. If you want a more immersive food truck experience, check out a food truck pod. A food truck pod is exactly what it sounds like: an area where food trucks gather. There are many pods in the city where you can browse a variety of truck options, such as the Alder Food Truck Pod, Cartopia, Mississippi Marketplace, and Hawthorne Asylum. You’ll find dishes from all cultures and parts of the world, from Mexican, to German, to Ethiopian.