Keep Portland Weird Sign

Portlandia or Portland

Best of Portland or finding the Real Portland in Portland, Oregon

So everyone has their must see-and-do places in Portland. Here are places in Portland that I find interesting and really interesting. The place we show our respectable visitors and place that make Portland the funky place we love – what makes Portland Weird. But those funky places that made Portland weird are disappearing fast so you better visit soon.

Popular Tourist Attractions

From what I have seen from the local tourist bureau and tour companies this is where they want you to go in Portland. Well they got some of it right but if you want to find Portland or Portlandia in Portland you have to reach further. Some of it is looking at the history of Portland, some is finding the last pieces of what made Portland hip and some of it requires being brave enough to climb over the bodies passed out on the street to find the last creative spaces that will keep Portland Weird for a little longer.

But to start here is the standard list most often sited.

Powell’s Books – Big book store. I have only gone here a few times but I have to admit I have gotten mesmerized by what seem like endless isles of books and have lost all track of time. Big thing about this place in the early days was you could sell your old text books back to them.

Pittock Mansion– Part of Portland’s history and best free view of the city. Mr. Pittock was the Publisher of the Oregonian Newspaper and this was his retirement home.

International Rose Test Garden – If you like Roses and gardens it is a nice place to visit.

Chinese Garden – I have been here and have no need to go back. If you have not been to a Chinese garden this could be worth visiting. The Chinese immigrants are part of the Portland Story the garden is not.

Japanese Garden – They just did a big redo on the buildings and gift shop so you need to go there so we can pay for the place. If you have not been to a Japanese garden this could be nice place to go. It is located in Washington Park.

Voodoo Donuts – Donuts? You came all the way to Portland to get a donuts. For many years if you are downtown at 2 am and feeling no pain it is a good place to get a sugar rush to get you home. Today donuts are a new trend an it started with Voodoo.

Oregon Zoo

If you have kids could be a good place to go. Do it on a warm sunny day. On a cold rainy day (that 9 months of the year here) the animals just hide away.

The Grotto

Tom McCall Water Front Park – OK, Water Front park is pretty nice on its own and is key to the history of Portland. The event held here make it a culture center for the city. If one of our big events are going here when you are here you can see just how crazy Portland can be.

Mill End Park – Kind of weird but I guess that is Portland. It is in the middle of the street next to Water Front Park and is the smallest park in the world.

Forest Park – This is a must for folks who live in Portland and is used a lot. If you are visiting there are 80 miles of trails so I don’t think you are going to see it all in one day. I have a recommend hike on its web page.

Pioneer Courthouse Square – It’s better than the parking lot that was here for 20 years. It is known as the “Portland’s living room ” but when there is not an event going on there is not much to see.

Saturday Market – Local crafters gather here on the weekend to peddle their wares. This has been going since the sixties and you never know what original handmade item you might find. Not weird but the arts and craft side of Portland.

Farmers Market – Summer time we have farmer markets all over the city. From the farm to the table and a must for the vegans.

Oregon Museum of Science & Industry – For Portland this is nice. If you have been to the one in Chicago this is a mini me. I know the children’s area can keep the grand kid entertained all day. And they have a real Navy sub you can go on. Not Portlandia – this Portland.

Portland Art Museum – This is not the Louvre. For me they have a small collection of NW Coast Native art that is special.

Selfie Landmarks – Portland Oregon Sign, Keep Portland Weird Sign, Salmon in Building, Bart Simpson sidewalk, Umbrella Man, China Town Gate

But wait there’s more.

But first you may want to check out why I did this site. 

Other thing to see by category

Scroll down the page to see more or use the links below to jump to the category you are interested in.

Alternative Attractions

This is more of the funky stuff of Portland. Some might say the weird part of Portland. This can be the stuff that pisses off city hall but we love it.

Burnside Skatepark – The creation, growth and maintenance shows the rebel side of Portland. Redevelopment, as with most of Portland, may end it.

Street Art

Museums

 World Forestry Center

Oregon Historical Society

Pittock Mansion

Fort Vancouver

Earliest white man history begins not in Portland but across the river in Vancouver.

Parson Air Museum

Children’s Museum

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

One of our newest sites and has train rides.

Smaller Museums

Portland Fire & Rescue Historic Museum

Maritime Museum

Portland Police Museum

Oregon Jewish Museum

Oregon Nkkei Legacy Center

 

Kayak & Canoe Museum

Audubon Society of Portland

Odd Museums

Ping Pong Puppets – Puppet Museum

The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum

Historic Sites

Union Station

Hazel Hale

Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery

Skidmore Fountain

Ankeny Plaza

Tours

Brewvana

Craft Beer is a big thing here in Portland so an educational bus tour of Breweries and Brewpubs in Portland is in order.

I have a website just on craft beers at BrewpubsPDX.com 

Willamette Jet Boat Tour

 

Food & Drink

I am not what you would call a “foodie.” I am more a beer snob. I have a whole wed site dedicated to that at Brewpubs PDX . But through the years I have gotten out to a few places. These may not be the momentary trendy spots but I have found them interesting and a good value.

Horse Brass Pub

Stepping Stone Cafe

Dan & Louis Oyster Bar

Sheridan Fruit Co.

Rimsky-Korsakoffe House

Late night coffee hang out.

The Tao of Tea

Teas from around world served as in the country of origin.

A Roadside Attraction

Montage

Late night bistro with great mac and cheese.

Produce Row Cafe

One of Portland’s first pubs.

Flying Pie Pizzeria

Olympic Provisions

Pine State Biscuits

Stumptown Coffee

Mothers Bestro

John St. Cafe

The Fishwife

Lemon Grass

Cheese Bar

Michael’s Italian Beef & Sausage Co.

Nicholas Restaurant

Salt & Straw

Ken’s Artisan Pizza

Papa Haydn

Huber’s Cafe

Tasty N Sons

Ken’s Artisan Bakery

Elephant Delicatessen

Marrakesh Restaurant

Places for the view

The Chart House

Portland Grill

Departure

 

Donuts

I don’t know how we became such a donut town but it seem what we are known for. I do know it started with Voodoo Doughnuts. They started making weird donuts that were fun. And they made them late at night so folk who been indulging in a good time could stand in line and get a sugar rush before heading home. If you build a niche –  competitors will come. Now we have a number of shops doing unusual donuts.

Voodoo Doughnut

Blue Star Donuts

Pips Donuts

Coco Donuts

Annie’s Donuts

Tonalis Donuts Shop

Back to Eden Cafe

Doe Donuts

Delicious Donuts

Rocking Frog Cafe

Staccato Gelato

NOLA Doughnuts

Food Carts and Food Cart Pods

First Food Cart Pod – Corner of Hawthorne and 12th – their the ones that started it.

Chocolate

Moonstruck Chocolates

Woodblock Chocolate

Alma Chocolate

Cacao drink Chocolate

Missionary Chocolates

Azar Indulgences

Verdun Chocolate

Yen for Chocolate

Ranger Chocolate

Ice Cream

Ruby Jewel

Salt & Straw

22 Below

Fifty Licks

Pinolo Golata

Wiz Bang Bar

Lovely Fifty Fifty

Puffle Waffle PDX

What’s the Scoop?

The Original Dinerant – For Milkshake

Shopping

There is no Sales Tax in Oregon – Tax Free Shopping. These may not be the traditional tourist shopping spots but if you are new resident of Portland you might find these are good places to know.

Made in Oregon

Specializes in only made in Oregon products.

Sheridan Fruit Co.

Portland Outdoor Store

Cargo

 

City Liquidators

If you are working on your homestead in Portland and wanting to keep it and funky these are good places to know.

Aurora Mills PDX

Lots of repurpose old stuff.

Hippo Hardware

You just have to go and experience the place.

 

The Rebuilding Center

They offer affordable used building and remodeling materials with the goal of promoting the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials — a non-profit resource to strengthen environmental, economic and social fabric of local communities.

 

Places to Stay

Caravan – Tiny House Hotel

McMenamins Kennedy School

McMenamins Crystal Hotel

Activities

Oaks Park Amusement Park

Old fashion and yet new, classic amusement park.

Ground Kontrol – Classic Arcade – Video Games and Pinball.

Glowing Green Blacklight Miniature Golf

Glowing Greens is Portland’s premier, black light, indoor, 18 hole, 3-D Adventure miniature golf course.

Portland Spirit Willamette River Cruises

Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Portland Spirit

Willamette Jet Boat Tour

Kayak Paddling Tour on the Willamette

Paddling tour put on by Portland Kayaking. Paddle from downtown around Ross Island.

Portland Aerial Tram

Brew Cycle or Brew Barge

Alder Creek – Assorted Kayak Tours

Alder Creek Rentals – If you are qualified and just need a boat.

Scovare Expeditions – Sail and power boat cruises

Electric Castle Wunderland – Arcade, movies, Laser Tag, Multiple Locations

Alpenrose Dairyville

 

Theater

Artist Repertory Theater

Portland Center Stage at the Amory

Imago Theatre

Portland’5 Centers for the Arts

Portland Opera

Portland Symphony

Oregon Symphony

Third Rail

 

Gardens

Rose Garden

Chinese Garden

Japanese Garden

Hoyt Arboretum

Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden

Nine and half aces Rhododendron Garden

Elk Rock Garden

Parks

Council Crest Park

Highest point in the city. On a clear day views of the mountains and Portland.

Park Blocks

Peninsula Park

Forest Park

Cathedral Park

Laurelhurst Park

Tom McCall Water Front Park

Water front trail for seeing the river and the city.

Willamette Greenway Trail

East Bank Esplanade

East side of the Willamette River Trail.

Pioneer Square

Good place for city events but not much to see otherwise.

Washington Park

Lots to see and do here.

Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park

 

Powell Butte

Rocky Butte

Oaks Bottom

River View Nature Park

Mill End Park

Leach Botanic Gardens

Jackkson Bottom Wetland Preserve

Hopkins Demonstration Forest

Champoeg State Park

Where the first government was formed.

Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Linear Neighborhood

NW 23rd

Hawthrone

Transportation

Hop on Hop off Bus Tour

Trimet – bus, Trolly, Light Rail

ReNow

Bike Town PDX

 

Getting out of Portland

The best part about Portland is getting out of it. Portland is located in the center of some of the best places for outdoor activities and sight seeing in the world. This is the real reason we all live here.

 

This is my working page for my visit Portland Project. Finished material is on my website at http://visitportland.brewpubspdx.com/