Top 10 Things To Do In Downtown Portland, Oregon

things to do in portland downtown
Rienz Althron
Rienz Althron 
Updated

There are many things to do in downtown Portland, Oregon and we’ve got a few suggestions for you! Being the center of the city, it is home to many tourist attractions, such as museums, boutiques, and restaurants. There’s also the Portland Saturday Market where you can listen to live music and grab some souvenirs for cash. You can also watch theatrical events, ballet dancers and other events in Keller Auditorium. We know you’re not that familiar with the ins and outs of downtown Portland. To help you go out and about in this wonderful part of Portland, have a look at our suggested activities down below! Check out the top things to do in downtown Portland, Oregon so that there is never a dull moment during your vacation.

1. Take a morning jog along the lively Portland waterfront area

Waterfront Park, Portland
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 2.0

You may want to start your first morning in downtown Portland with a jog in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Doing some physical activity first thing in the morning will get you in a positive mood and will set up your energy levels for the rest of your day! The park is frequented by a lot of morning joggers who’d like to be rejuvenated by the beauty of Willamette River. Not to mention the relaxing effect of the cherry blossom trees lined along the parkway.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204

Website: Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Opening hours: 5:00am - 12:00am (daily)

2. Savour delicious food and flavorful beer at Kell’s Irish Pub

Kell's Irish Pub
Source: Photo by Flickr user H.L.I.T. used under CC BY 2.0

Have a good time at the country’s number one Irish Pub restaurant. Serving good food, flavorful beer, and high-quality cigars to its customers for 25 years, they know how to please their patrons in taste, ambiance and everything in between! They’re famous for their steaks, fries and Irish lamb stew! So, drag your friends here and they’ll thank you later!

Kell’s Irish Pub

Address: 112 SW Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Website: Kell’s Irish Pub

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 1:00am; Fri: 11:30am - 2:00am; Sat - Sun: 11:00am - 12:00am

3. Take a selfie at Mill Ends Park - the world's smallest park

Mill Ends Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lovemedead used under CC BY-SA 4.0

How about taking a selfie, or even groupie if you have your friends with you! Introducing Mill Ends Park - the world’s smallest park! The journalist Dick Fagan once planted flowers in this small spot back in the late 1940s and dubbed it as the smallest park in the world. Since then, it became a widely known tourist attraction, garnering a visit from travelers around the world.

Mills End Park

Address: 56 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR 97204

Website: Mills End Park

4. Contemplate the coming and going of people in Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square May 2008
Source: Photo by user LWYang used under CC BY 2.0

Pioneer Courthouse Square was first officially opened on Portland’s 133rd anniversary, the 6th of April 1984. If you want to take a picture together with one of the most famous artworks in the square, Allow Me, like everybody else, you should definitely visit this spot. It’s not just a place for selfies or groupies, you can also enjoy the coming and going of people here to evoke the feelings of sonder in yourself.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Address: 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Website: Pioneer Courthouse Square

Opening hours: 5:00am - 12:00am (daily)

5. Take a picture of the infamous Keep Portland Weird sign

Keep Portland Weird
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Webster used under CC BY 2.0

If you haven’t heard yet, Portland has a mantra that sums up everything special about this city. Keep Portland Weird! While there are a lot of funny signs here and there in this place, this sign captures the very essence of Portland’s hippie counterculture. We suggest taking a selfie in a wacky pose under this infamous sign and post it on social media with the hashtag #KeepPortlandWeird! It’s going to be fun!

Keep Portland Weird sign

Address: 350 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Website: Keep Portland Weird sign

6. Devour ice cream scoops at the famous The Cookie Dough Cafe

Cookiedough
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Geraldine used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Do you still have fond memories of eating cookie dough before actually baking them? Well, The Cookie Dough Cafe wants every adult to relive those moments, but more deliciously! Take a scoop or two. Maybe three. No, actually, five!! Yes, that’s how irresistibly good every scoop of their cookie dough is! Plus, they have several flavors that are all a must try!

The Cookie Dough Cafe

Address: 120 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Website: The Cookie Dough Cafe

Opening hours: Sun - Tue: 12:00pm - 9:00pm; Wed - Thu: 12:00pm - 10:00pm; Fri - Sat: 12:00pm - 11:00pm

7. Celebrate the Festival of Flowers

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Oregon
Source: Photo by Flickr user Bonnie Moreland used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Pioneer Courthouse Square annually hosts one of the most famous festivals in Portland, the Festival of Flowers. Local artists come together to design colorful arrangements of more than 20000 flowers. This year, Portland celebrates its partnership with a local architecture firm, Walker Macy. The flowers will then be available for sale between the 5th and 7th of June. It’s going to be fun to participate in this festival!

Festival of Flowers

Address: 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Website: Festival of Flowers

Opening hours: 8:00am - 6:00pm (daily)

8. Witness the spectacular Grand Floral Parade in June

Grand Floral Parade
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jason McHuff used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you love flowers and parades, witness both of them in the Grand Floral Parade! The annual parade has been going on for over 100 years already and they have put a smile on the faces of many tourists and locals alike. Participants come from all different cultures, religion, and ethnicity, showing that Portland strongly supports its diverse community. You wouldn’t want to miss this spectacular event, would you?

Grand Floral Parade

Address: 300 N Winning Way, Portland, OR 97227

Website: Grand Floral Parade

Opening hours: 10:00am - 2:00pm (daily)

Price: 30 USD

9. Tune to the music on Main Street

Main St - Portland Oregon
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Werewombat used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Visualize chilling out solo or with friends while drinking beer and eating good food and singing along with the crowd! Because Portland’s Center for the Arts will be holding free concerts in downtown Portland, on Main Street. The free concerts will commence during summer so you can enjoy the music without having to worry about getting drenched in rainwater.

Music on Main Street

Address: SW Main St, Portland, OR 97204

Website: Music on Main Street

Opening hours: 5:00pm - 7:00pm (daily)

10. Take the half-day Columbia Gorge Waterfalls tour (from USD 155.0)

Go on a half-day adventure to the Columbia Gorge Waterfalls and experience the wonders of Oregon. Unleash your inner wine connoisseur and sample quality wine from local wineries and the famed Oregon pinot noirs. Bring out your binoculars and feast on the beauty of the Cascade Mountain Range. All these and more, plus an expert guide to keep you well informed along the way!

Columbia Gorge Waterfalls, Wine Small Group Tour from Portland

Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

Be happily busy in downtown Portland, Oregon

Who says being busy means being serious and stiff, when you can be busy going out and experiencing fun-filled things to do in downtown Portland, Oregon! Don’t let your work life get the best out of you! Remember to ‘Keep Portland Weird’!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Rienz is a former office-based employee who entered the world of travel writing. His ultimate dream is to be able to travel the world and experience as much of it as he can. By pursuing his dreams,...Read more

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