Stay in shape while in Portland

WHEN IT comes to trip-planning, I used to be a strictly eating, drinking, urban-sightseeing kind of traveler, and exercise fell by the wayside. But that left me lethargic and largely confined to neighborhoods overrun with tourists. So I decided to try to incorporate my love of cardio into my love of travel. And the last few trips I’ve taken, I’ve found that working out is not only a great way to get to know a new destination — it gives me more energy for the aforementioned eating and drinking.

In some cities, that means just getting a temporary pass to a gym, but in Portland, that means taking advantage of hiking, biking, kayaking, running, and more, with little to no logistical challenges. While the city is, of late, best known for artisanal donuts and ice cream, the people of Portland take their physical fitness seriously, and it shows: we’re one of the healthiest cities in the US.

Whether you stay in the city or you rent a car and take a day trip, Portland has plenty of opportunities to work up a sweat all within a few hours of downtown.

Run (or bike!) to the top of Mt. Tabor.

An extinct volcano 5 miles from downtown Portland, Mt. Tabor rises hundreds of feet above the relative flat of the east side. With huge Douglas firs, plenty of open space, and killer views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood, this spot is a local favorite for runners, cyclists, and walkers.

You can enjoy Mt. Tabor in a few ways: Rent a bike from one of Portland’s many bike shops and do the grueling 2-mile loop up to the top. Or perhaps run the 282 stairs on the Mt. Tabor Summit Stairway.

Take a hike in Forest Park.

Portland

Photo: adie
reed

While Mt. Hood (the big bad centerpiece of the Portland skyline) is just shy of 60 miles outside of the city, you can still get your hiking fill without ever stepping foot outside of the city limits. The largest forested urban park in the US, Forest Park is lined with more than 80 miles of trails and has plenty of entry points that are easily accessible by public transportation.

Walk or run — most of the trails are wide and well-maintained by the Forest Park Conservancy Group — at any level of fitness, with easy trails like Lower MacLeay or more challenging, like the Maple Trail Loop.

Bike or run down the Eastbank Esplanade and Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Portland

Photo: Ian Sane

The breeze floating off the Willamette River is too good to pass up for runners and bikers alike, which is why you’ll find so many cyclists, runners, skaters, and more enjoying the flat, paved pathways along the river on any sunny day.

Rent a bike from Kerr Bikes, a nonprofit rental service which has locations on both sides of the river, or grab a bike from Nike’s Biketown bike sharing service, which I suggest only renting for short rides, due to their unwieldy size and lack of helmets available.

Start with the 1.5-mile Eastbank Esplanade, which runs from the Steel Bridge down to the Hawthorne Bride and features floating walkways, bridges, and plenty of pull-outs for taking in the view. Then you can cross the river at the Hawthorne (or the Steel) and do another 1.5 miles in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the cherry blossom-lined path that runs along the west side of the river. This ride is a low-stakes way to see the city and get a workout in.

Bike down the Springwater Corridor to Oregon City.

From the Eastbank Esplanade, you can continue south past OMSI and catch the relatively flat Springwater Corridor, a 40-mile paved loop and former rail corridor that runs from downtown Portland out to Boring, Oregon.

With many entry points along the way, you can spend as much or as little time on the trail as you want. Run 3.5 miles from Eastbank to antiques store and coffee shop-heavy neighborhood Sellwood, passing Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge along the way. Keep an eye out for herons, eagles, and deer while you’re in that ‘hood.

Or, if you’re up for something more challenging, you can take your bike on a 30-mile bike ride to and from historical Oregon City. Ride the Springwater until you reach Milwaukie Avenue, then turn south toward the city of Milwaukie. Keep your eye out for the Trolley Trail: It’ll take you right to Oregon City, which has a budding craft beer scene and plenty of good eats to fill up for the ride back.

Do circuit training on Terwilliger Boulevard’s Hill.

South of downtown, just below Oregon Health and Sciences University, which is perched on what the locals call Pill Hill, is Terwilliger Boulevard, a hilly road that cuts a path through Marquam Nature Park and terminates at famed Duniway Track.

Terwilliger is open to traffic, but runners need not worry about stop signs or intersections. The path, which runs parallel to the road, is 2.6 miles of tree-lined, uninterrupted hill running. (Bonus: if you’re into trail running, Marquam Nature Park has several trailheads that start on Terwilliger.)

This run is a personal favorite of mine, especially since you don’t have to share the path with cyclists, there are bathrooms along the route, and there’s a working water fountain. To boot, if you need to do interval training or anything of the sort, you can head back to Duniway Track, which is a popular training spot for many local athletes.

Boulder at one of Portland’s many rock-climbing gyms.

While you could get a week-long pass to any number of chain gyms in Portland, spending time at one of Portland’s many bouldering and rock-climbing outfits is a fun way to get out of the downtown, touristy core and get into some locals’ favorite neighborhoods while keeping your exercise routine interesting.

Head to The Circuit’s Northeast location (which is just a few blocks from bars on East Burnside and Restaurant Row on NE 28th) and climb to your heart’s content — no ropes needed, no limit to how much you can climb. A day pass is only $16 for adults, $12 for students, which includes fitness and yoga classes.

Join a brewery running group for the night.

If you’re the type who prefers a little booze with your cardio, Brewery Running Series hosts a few “5k-ish” runs to local watering holes like Migration Brewing and The Commons Brewery. Running groups are a great way to get to know locals, and throwing in a little IPA at the end of 3.2 miles is never a bad idea.

Take a group bike ride (to a bunch of breweries) with BrewCycle.

If you’re with a big group, you could sign up for BrewCycle and rent a 15-person cycling monstrosity. Pedal your way between breweries while listening to the music of your choice. While most people who participate in this activity “woo” to their hearts’ content, it’s much harder than it looks. Expect a real workout, especially if you don’t have 15 passengers.

Kayak the Willamette River.

You don’t need to leave the city in order to enjoy water sports: Rent a kayak and take some time to paddle along the Willamette. Just beware of passing water crafts, especially if it’s sunny: The downtown marina is high traffic on nice days. If quiet is more your speed, stay to the south of the Ross Island Bridge: Enjoy a flat-water paddle and maybe even take a break on Ross Island, where there’s a famously nosy herd of deer.

Hike King’s Mountain in the Coastal Range.

While this isn’t technically in Portland, it’s just under an hour outside of the city, and renting a car is worth this hike.

Portlanders can be sensitive about keeping their favorite hikes off the radar, but the 5.1-mile King’s Mountain trail is too good not to share.

Smack in the middle of the coastal range in Tillamook State Forest, this hike isn’t just your regular schlep up to decent views. It comes with a punishing ascent: A 2,562-foot elevation gain over the first 2.5 miles that will leave the ill-prepared turning around and crawling back to the car. Not for nothing, though: After you claw your way to the top, you’ll be rewarded with mountains as far as the eye can see and, on bright days, a hint of Pacific Ocean.

Surf at Indian Beach.

Though Portland is a little over an hour from the coast, the best surfing in the state can be found near Cannon Beach, which is, lucky for you, a straight shot from the city on Route 26. Cannon Beach, a little hamlet with a great main street, is home to Cannon Beach Surf, which offers rentals and lessons to interested parties. Locals love Indian Beach because unlike much of the Oregon Coast, the breaks are far enough out to actually enjoy the ride.

How to road trip Oregon

Oregon is just one of those states that’s meant for road trips. Between the rugged coastline, the verdure of the Western Cascades, and the high desert, the diverse terrain creates all kinds of epic possibilities. From the Columbia River Gorge to Crater Lake to Mount Hood, there is definitely no shortage of things to see. Be sure to travel slow and take the time to stop and look around so that you can immerse yourself in place and culture that make our state so awesome.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

1. Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway via US 30, I-84.

Weeping Eagle Falls de Gary Randall en 500px.com

Gary Randall

A road trip in Oregon is just not complete unless you’ve experienced the surreal 70-mile drive through the Columbia River Gorge, a National Historic Landmark that also happens to be America’s first scenic highway.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

 Columbia River Gorge National Scenic AreaHood River, United States#hiking

Drive along the scenic Columbia River, lush green forest, and waterfalls. Be sure to stop at one of the numerous hiking trails along the way to truly realize the beauty that is the Columbia River Gorge.

Make a stop at Vista House for a breathtaking view of the Gorge from the rotunda at Crown Point. If you want to see the famed yet often crowded Multnomah Falls and have time to kill, hike the five-mile Multnomah-Wahkeena loop and pass through forest lands of fairy tale essence  – as well as eight waterfalls. Start at the Wahkeena trailhead as Multnomah is heavily trafficked. While driving through Cascade Locks visit Eastwind Drive-In for a monster-sized ice cream cone.  Hood River is also a must-stop if you like quality craft beer, home of Double Mountain Brewery (get the pizza here), Full Sail Brewery, and Friem Family Brewers, to name a few.

Dog Mountain Lookout

 Dog Mountain LookoutStevenson, United StatesOne of the most difficult Columbia Gorge trail heads. Beautiful in the spring because of the wildflowers. Pack smart, wear hiking boots and expect one heck of a climb #outdoors #familyfriendly #columbiagorge #extreme #hiking

2. Hells Canyon Scenic Byway via OR 82, Imnaha Road, FR 39, OR 86, I-84, OR 203.

Hells Canyon at Sunset de Devin Dahlgren en 500px.com

Devin Dahlgren

This 208-mile horseshoe route has it all – rugged canyons, forested mountains, desert, and river. Depending where you are, start in La Grande or Baker City, both of which have vibrant downtowns and are good places to get some road snacks and gas – be sure to fill your tank before leaving as fuel stops are limited on this trip.

Seven Devils Campground

 Seven Devils CampgroundRiggins, United States#hiking #snow #camping
There’s a 26 mile loop around the Seven Devils that’s good for hiking and packing and hunting. Seven Devils is part of Hell’s Canyon, which runs along the western border of Idaho.

Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in the US. From FR-39 turn onto FR-3965 near the Ollokot campground and look down onto the canyon from Hells Canyon Overlook. Better yet, experience Hells Canyon National Recreation Area to its fullest by signing up for a rafting trip along the Snake River. For some culture, make a stop in Joseph, a small western arts town that happens to be a nice gateway for Wallowa Lake, a scenic base wedged amongst the majestic glacial peaks of the Wallowa Mountains. From Wallowa Lake, you have easy access to Eagle Cap Wilderness, which has a plethora of trail options for hikers and horseback riders.

Snake River

 Snake RiverRiggins, United StatesBackpacking along the Snake River. This trail runs from Pittsburgh Landing out towards Kirkwood Ranch and much farther beyond. Watch out for snakes in the late summer. And bring your fishing pole!

#rivertrail #horsebackriding #hiking #camping

Travel this route anytime from June through October since parts of the byway are closed during winter due to snow.

3. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway via US 97, OR 138, OR 62.

Fire Over Crater de bun lee en 500px.com

Bun Lee

Thousands of years ago, a massive eruption caused a volcano to collapse, thus making way for the caldera that created Crater Lake, home to Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake National Park

 Crater Lake National ParkKlamath County, United StatesMount Mazama blew up 7,000 years ago, and now we have this bad boy. Utterly incredible. Definitely bring your wide angle lens. #nationalpark #hiking #photography

At 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is America’s deepest lake, and apparently our most pristine.

If you are starting this trip in Medford, be sure to fuel up at BricktownE Brewing Company.  

BricktownE Brewing Company

 BricktownE Brewing CompanyMedford, United StatesCheap awesome beer. Amazing burgers. All a girl needs. Lemme know how the pulled pork tater tots are…dying to know. #beer #cheap-eats

After burgers and before you hit the road RoxyAnn Winery in Medford is also worth a visit.

RoxyAnn Winery

 RoxyAnn WineryMedford, United StatesTotally cute winery. Good wine, can wander the fields, pumpkin patch. Romantic, good views of the hills. #wine

Stop at Merriam Point for some epic scenery. Then take your time driving clockwise along the 33 mile Rim Drive encircling the electric blue lake so that you can easily stop at one of the many overlooks.

Rim Village

 Rim Village Café and Gift ShopKlamath County, United StatesIf you don’t want to snowshoe or cross country ski across avalanche zones and otherwise sketchy terrain, you’ll be happy to know that this view exists from the parking lot of Rim Village. As long as the road is open, you can get up to this vista within a minute. Kids can play here and you don’t need snowshoes, but be mindful of the (marked) edges. The coffee sucks and wifi is $4 for an hour, but if you’re desperate, it’ll do the trick. #snow #nationalpark #winter

Be sure to stop at the Cleetwood Cove trailhead, the only trail that leads down to the water’s edge.

Watchman Peak Trail, Crater Lake

 Watchman Peak Trail, Crater LakeKlamath County, United StatesAnother picture of Crater Lake at sunrise

Also along the route, OR 62 takes you to Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, where you can find Oregon’s largest lake, Upper Klamath Lake, an area that attracts more than a million migrating birds.

4. Pacific Coast Scenic Byway via US 101.

Ecola Afternoon de Katherine Gendreau en 500px.com

Kathrine Gendreau

 

Since there’s a ton to see and do along Oregon’s 363-mile stretch, we suggest you plan it in segments to get the most out of the trip.

Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area

 Devils Punchbowl State Natural AreaOtter Rock, United StatesHome to a close-knit surfing community, the Devil’s Punchbowl and, yes, a bunch of otters. Good for a quiet weekend getaway #oregon #coast #beach #outdoor #surfing

Spend some time exploring the rugged landscape, where hikes are plentiful and artsy beach towns abound.

Heceta Head Lightstation

 Heceta Head LightstationFlorence, United StatesThe most epic B&B in Oregon overlooks a few coves and is surrounded by trails and woods to explore. The perfect #romantic getaway spot. #Oregon #coast #beach #lighthouse

While passing through Newport be sure to stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and after take in the view from Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

 Oregon Coast AquariumNewport, United StatesNot the biggest aquarium but makes up for it with variety. The deep sea tunnel is a big crowd pleaser and the aviary section makes this aquarium unique #aquarium #museum #interactive #liveanimals #kidslearning #activekids #familyfriendly

Climb sand dunes at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and visit Cannon Beach to see the 235-foot Haystack Rock.

Sand Dunes Frontier

 Sand Dunes FrontierFlorence, United StatesOne of the more exhilarating outdoor excursions on the coast. Rent a dune buggy ride or just experience the joy of rolling down massive sand dunes #oregon #coast #beach #dunes #outdoor

For some nice coastline views, hike in Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach or the Cape Lookout Trail in Tillamook, where if you’re there during winter you have a good chance of seeing whales migrating south.

Ecola State Park

 Ecola State ParkSeaside, United StatesThe closest beach hike from Portland, hiking the head is perfect for a summer escape to the sea. Be sure to check out #indianbeach while you are there. #summer #kidfriendly #outdoor #hiking #camping

Cannon Beach

 Cannon BeachCannon Beach, United StatesHaystack Rock. Cannon Beach is a nice small tourist town Visit Ecola SP north of town.

Finally, you want to stop in Astoria, a quirky city with Victorian homes, antique shops, Fort George Brewery, a corny but fun tram ride, and the unassuming Columbian Cafe, which serves up a great brunch. Oh yeah, and The Goonies was filmed in Astoria.

5. Mount Hood Scenic Byway via US 26, OR 35.

Mount Hood Meadow de Jarrod Castaing en 500px.com

Jarrod Castaing

Visible from Portland, Mount Hood is not only an iconic landmark in Oregon but a great place to adventure around pretty much any time of year. Fortunately, there is a scenic drive that curves along the base of the mountain, affording incredible views. If you have time to spare, take a leisurely drive along the Hood River County Fruit Loop, a fertile valley where you will zoom past pear and apple trees, berry farms, and fields of lavender.

Mount Hood National Forest

 Mt. Hood National ForestSandy, United StatesOregon is home to some of the most scenic forests I have ever driven through. SR 35 is part of the Mount Hood Scenic Loop where I stood staring up at the towering 11,000 plus feet face of Mount Hood.

#hiking #snow #camping #oregon #pnw #scenicdrive

Approaching Mount Hood, you will soon be passing through Mount Hood National Forest, lined with old-growth Douglas fir.

Mount Hood

 Mount HoodMount Hood, United Stateswe were tryibg to see crater lake but were detoured because of all the snowfall. a bit further down the road was the entrance to the park with this incredible view and families sledding. it was magical #nature #oregon #snow

If you’re into winter sports, Government Camp is a paradisal haven for skiing and snowboarding. If you’re not into that, head up the 6- mile (very steep) road to Timberline Lodge and get drunk on hot toddies. There are multiple day hiking options too.

East Fork Tamanawas Falls Trailhead

 East Fork Tamanawas Falls TrailheadMount Hood, United StatesEverybody’s favorite waterfall on the backside of the Hood in wine country. Short, easy hike with a pretty incredible finish #outdoor #mounthood #waterfall #hiking #activekids

The exterior of Timberline might look familiar if you’re a fan of The Shining since it was filmed there. From Timberline you have a sweet view of Mount Hood’s summit, so it’s worth the drive up. While in the area you will probably want to head to Bagby Hot Springs for some much-needed relaxation – just note that it’s clothing optional.

6. Journey Through Time Scenic Byway via US 97, OR 218, OR 19, US 26, OR 7.

Painted Hills de Nicholas Roemmelt en 500px.com

Nicholas Roemmelt 

As the name implies, this route showcases some history. Along US 97, make a stop at Shaniko, a living ghost town that has been restored as a tourist stop complete with kitschy shops, tours, and annual events. Continue east onto OR 218 and you will reach the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument where all along the byway you’ll find prehistoric fossil beds, some dating back 54 million years. Get out and explore the interpretive trails to learn more about the fossils. Then for more ancient stuff, head to the Painted Hills, a colorful landscape where you’ll see years of earth’s history layered in a trippy collage of red, yellow, gold, and black soil.

Painted Hills

 Painted HillsMitchell, United StatesA long way from anywhere but worth checking out this geological wonder! #hiking #photography

From here there are a number of trails if you wish to explore the region more. As you weave along US 19 you are promised more spectacular views of the Painted Hills. Continue onto US 26 and pass through Prairie City, a scenic drive with views of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness and then up into the Blue Mountains on OR 7. Eventually, you will reach Whitney, a ghost town with a bunch of abandoned buildings, until the byway meets up with Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway, finishing your journey in Baker City.

7. McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway via US 20/US 126, OR 126, OR 242.

Clear Lake Mountain Biking de Jason Hummel en 500px.com

Jason Hummel

Start in the town of Sisters for some food and fuel, and maybe pop into a few galleries and antique shops while you’re at it. We recommend Sisters Bakery for a freshly baked doughnut and caffeinated beverage. Following the byway on US 20/US 126, you will come to Santiam Pass, a 4,817 foot pass that cuts through the Cascade Range. Here you will find some volcanic features and ashen buttes. Eventually, you will reach the McKenzie River Highway, where you can get out and explore the hiking and mountain biking trails of McKenzie River National Recreation Area. It’s also just a nice spot to laze about by the river. Further along the byway, you will come to Clear Lake, where you can walk a five-mile trail around the lake or paddle around on a canoe. Then head east on OR 242 on McKenzie Highway where you will have yet more volcano views before coming to McKenzie Pass, an epic 65-mile stretch of lava that resulted from an eruption around 2,000 years ago. Finish off at Dee Wright Observatory for panoramic views of different mountain peaks as well as a short interpretive paved hike along the lava beds.

8. Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway via OR 372, FR 41, FR 46.

A New Dawn de Malcolm Lowery en 500px.com

Malcolm Lowery

Central Oregon is definitely worth exploring, and if you plan on visiting Bend, we recommend taking a drive on the Cascade Lakes Highway, where you will find forest roads, mountains, and well, lakes. Begin with lunch (or finish with dinner, depending) at Crux Fermentation Project.

Crux Fermentation Project

 Crux Fermentation ProjectBend, United StatesMy favorite brewery in Bend. Great dog- and kid-friendly outdoor area. Limited food menu, but complements their great beers perfectly. #brewery #beer

Heading westward on OR 372 (Cascade Lakes Highway) you will enter Deschutes National Forest, a canopy of pine, fir, and hemlock. If fishing or canoeing is a thing you do, get off at FR 41 for river access and while away some time by the Deschutes River.

Deschutes River

 Deschutes River AdventuresMaupin, United StatesWhitewater rafting for the extreme crew and multi-day family vacations. Also not a bad place to get a tan in the summer #whitewaterrafting #camping #extreme #nature #outdoors #familyfriendly #activekids

Continue on towards Mt. Bachelor, where you have the option for skiing as Mt Bachelor Ski Resort happens to be the largest ski area in Oregon. Snow usually lasts through June. If you are there during summer you can ride a chairlift to the Pine Marten Lodge for some killer views that reach all the way to Washington and California.

 

Make your descent, check out Broken Top Mountain as you pass by, and then get ready for some lakes. Sparks Lake and Devils Lake are worth checking out if you have time. But don’t worry, there are still more to come if you just want to continue on the road. The byway eventually takes you south on FR 46, where there is opportunity to get off and hike to the many lakes hidden within the Three Sisters Wilderness. Consider stopping at Elk Lake Recreation Area for easy water access and views of Mt. Bachelor. Then continue on as the byway weaves along the Deschutes River, passing Little Lava Lake and Crane Prairie Reservoir.

What to do in Portland

Portland’s sudden celebrity may seem to come out of nowhere (or as a direct result of a cutesy indie sketch show), but the folks who grew up here have always known that is one of the best little cities in America. It could be the chillness, could be nature, could be the booze that locals have cleverly dressed up as a cultural amenity, but Portland has an I-don’t-speak-French about it that just keeps drawing shitloads of people.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

Sauvie’s Island

Midnight de Matt Klemsz en 500px.com

Photo: mattklemsz

The prime summer destination for summer fun just outside city limits. Good for berry picking, apple picking, hay mazes, pumpkin patches, and nude sunbathing by the river at Collin’s Beach.

 Sauvie IslandPortland, United StatesSummer/fall playground for locals. Sandy river beaches, hay rides, pumpkin patches, berry patches and pear picking with the chance to see stellar sunsets over skyline ridge. #outdoors #nature #farm #river #beach #fruit #veggies #summervibes #bargins

Crystal Ballroom

 McMenamins Crystal BallroomPortland, United StatesEverybody went to the Crystal for their first show, even if it was just to jump on the spring loaded wood floor. Turns out, it’s just as fun as a grown up #music #dance #party #livemusic #historic #livemusic #downtown #food #club #cover-charge

Growing up it was hard for a Portlander to imagine a cooler venue than the Crystal. Not only does it open its doors to minors so kids can get to see the best visiting acts in town up close, its wooden dance floor is spring-loaded. Jumping around to indie rock in a century-old building never felt so freeing.

Lloyd Center Ice Skating

Untitled de James Wang en 500px.com

Photo: chanster

Look, nobody relishes going into Lloyd center, but being the biggest mall in the state comes with a quality of people watching that you just can’t get anywhere else, and the fake snow makes the ice rink a unique holiday experience in the city. Or is it the shoe-gaze teens throwing up orange soda at the back of the Regal Cinemas theaters?

Dan And Louis Oyster Bar

Una publicación compartida de Tabitha (@tabasauras) el

One of the mainstays of the old Ankeny Alley, which is also home to the original Voodoo Donuts and Kit Kat Club. What makes the old oyster bar stand out, apart from the original décor that makes the dining room look like the hull of a fishing ship, is that it is one of the few places where visitors can see an entrance to the famous Shanghai Tunnels up close.

 Dan & Louis Oyster BarPortland, United StatesOne of the last and best old oyster bars in town. Spectacular for a quick oyster shot and a peek into one of the original #shanghaitunnels #oysters #pub #history #food #open-late #cheap-eats

Blazer Game/Timbers Game

Although it is often left out in our new reputation, Portland is a true sports town, and nothing proves that more than the raucous home games at Providence Park and the Rose Garden. Be sure to get a seat near the Timbers Army for a Portland/Seattle game.

Oregon Historical Society

Sacagawea? Lewis and Clark? The Chinook? Marie Equi? The OHS is the place where all Portland kids go to learn about the history of their home state (partially because all Multnomah County residents get in for free). Still, $11 bucks for an adult ticket isn’t bad considering how much you can learn about The Beaver State in a single afternoon.

Waterfront Esplanade

 Eastbank EsplanadePortland, United StatesOne of Portland’s biggest quality-of-life successes is also one of the best ways to enjoy the Willamette River- the heart of Portland. Good for kids, especially if you rent the frilly quad bikes at the end of Salmon Street #hiking #playground #biking #waterfront #touristspots #parks

One of Portland’s biggest quality-of-life successes is also one of the best ways to enjoy the Willamette River- the heart of Portland. Good for kids, especially if you rent the frilly quad-bikes at the end of Salmon Street.

Oaks Amusement Park

Una publicación compartida de Sasha Anderson (@wanderbilly) el

A local classic, this park showcases all the rides and games of Americana lore. Prices starting at $15.75 will get you on things like the teacup ride and a session at the old wooden roller rink. Pay $31.25 and you get unlimited access to the Screamin’ Eagle, Go Carts, Mini-Golf and the open picnic grounds by the river.

Washington Park

 Oregon ZooPortland, United StatesOne of the best in the Nw. Hosts an immense variety of animals- from polar bears to orangutans. Of zoos aren’t your thing, the free Hoyt Arboretum is nearby and full of fantastic day hikes #zoo #animals #nature #polarbear #arboretum #kidslearning #hiking #funforteens

Not only does this park have top-of-the-line views of the city and miles of foot and bike paths, it is also has International Rose Test Gardens, Portland Japanese Gardens, the Hoyt Arboretum, Oregon Zoo, the Children’s Museum, World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, the Zoo Train, an outdoor amphitheater and an archery range.

Color Warp de Evgeny Tchebotarev en 500px.com

Photo: tchebotarev

McMenamins St. Johns Theater & Pub

 McMenamins St. Johns Theater & PubPortland, United StatesOne of the top #mcmenamins in town. Historic venue with a quirky theater in an old Lewis and Clark Exposition building. Good for pub food, better for bumping into locals. #pub #beer #food #history #independent #theatre #movies #decor #cheap-eats #open-late

There are few images as symbolic of the Rose City as St. John’s bridges with Forest Park rising behind it, and no better place than to see it than from Cathedral Park. While you are in the neighborhood, check out the pub to see the last structure remaining from Oregon’s name-making 1905 Lewis And Clark Exposition.

Portland Swifts

Love Swifts de Ashley Grove en 500px.com

Photo: ashleygrove

If you are here at the beginning of autumn, thousands of Vaux’s Swifts descend upon the Chapman Elementary School to nest in its unused chimney on their way south for the winter. The helices created by the mass of swirling birds are a sight to behold and draw thousands of locals to watch from a nearby grassy hill every year.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens

 Crystal Springs Rhododendron GardenPortland, United StatesThe ultimate springtime destination. Cascading waterfalls and fountains lend ambience to some of the brightest natural colors I have ever seen. Top notch. #nature #gardens #springcolor #rhododendron #beauty #meditation #beauty #cityparks

The perfect spring appetizer for the summer’s Rose Garden entree. This botanical garden is loaded with more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas and other plants that begin to “light” up with color at the end of every winter. Thanks to a variety of pools and fountains, this is a fantastic spot to meditate in the middle of a city.

Mt Tabor

 Mount TaborPortland, United StatesBest park on the east side of town and the best spot for a view of the city skyline. Great for summer picnics and morning jogs #hiking #picnic #cityscape #outdoor #park

The East Side’s most illustrious park and best spot for a full view of the city skyline, also just so happens to be a baby dormant volcano. An amphitheater, stone mason reservoirs and statues of locals add spectacle to the park’s series of hiking and biking trails.

Portland Streetcar A or B loop

Who needs sun when the colors from the streetcars can brighten up the cloudy day? de Frank Zhao en 500px.com

Photo: frankzhao1

Lots of folks know Portland as a streetcar city (locals are rightfully proud to have just finished the first pedestrian-bike-streetcar bridge in the modern era), and these two lines are the most fun of the bunch. Not only will you get to go over the Tillicum Crossing, but you will also pass through some of downtown’s best shopping and architectural districts, as well as the core neighborhood of the East Side’s nightlife.

OMSI After Dark

 OMSIPortland, United StatesThe coolest science museum in the state (with its own submarine!). Kids love the planetarium, adults go crazy for OMSI After Dark #science #interactive #museum #planetarium #kidslearning

Nothing beats drinking beer at a science museum. Although After Dark only happens on the last Wednesday of every month, it is a highly anticipated event for local adults who are stoked to play with the logic puzzles, ride the earthquake machine, and trip out in the planetarium without their kids ruining it for them.