Portland holidays are a ticket to explore a laid-back and infectiously fun city that’s just as connected to nature and outdoor living as the rest of its home state of Oregon. People don’t take themselves too seriously here; it’s a playground of self-expression, with no shortage of quirky cafes, coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
Roam the city as the locals do: by bicycle. Tour the city’s vibrant neighborhoods on two wheels, stopping at the Pioneer Courthouse Square for a spot of lunch from one of the many quintessential Portland food trucks. Mosey along the streets of Nob Hill, browse the vintage boutiques and cafes in Hawthorne, and take a break in one of the eccentric coffee shops and bars in Belmont. Escape the rain showers in some of Portland’s cultural gems, including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Art Museum, or head beneath the city’s streets to discover its shady past in the Shanghai tunnels.
Portland: A City of Natural Beauty
With Mount Hood as its backdrop and the Willamette River flowing through it, Portland’s a city with an abundance of nature to offer. Wile away hours meandering through the wooded oasis and soak up the serenity of Forest Park, or head to Washington Park; take to the trails and explore the International Rose Test Garden, Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. To see the city from a different vantage point, scale Mount Tabor, a volcanic cinder cone set in an urban park, with a forest of tall fir trees and sweet open meadows.
To explore more of urban Pacific Northwest, travel through Oregon and discover it’s seven wonders. Or why not head south to neighbouring California and discover its breathtaking coast, stopping off at small coastal towns and bustling cities like San Francisco, LA and San Diego?
Great sample itineraries
Portland holidays are a great chance to explore the Pacific Northwest. For some inspiration, why not take a look at out sample itineraries, then give us a call so we can plan your perfect holiday?
San Francisco To Seattle Road Trip
Pacific Coast Highway Motorcycle Tour
International Rose Test Garden
Sprawling just west of downtown, Washington Park is a classic urban green space with trails winding past trees, around hills, and through canyons. The park has memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Holocaust, and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Hoyt Arboretum has paved trails that take you past 1,000 species of trees and plants, or head to the Oregon Zoo, where you will see animals indigenous to the Pacific Northwest as well as Asian elephants, a primate house, and an African area.
Powell’s City of Books
If you love roses, head to Portland’s International Rose Test Garden. This garden has more than 7,000 rose plants of more than 550 varieties and is where new roses are tested for colour, smell, disease resistance, and more. The garden features an amphitheatre which hosts classical concerts and plays, and there are a number of formal gardens with walkways, fountains, and a gazebo.
Opened in 1971, this book shop has grown to be an iconic landmark of Portland. Powell’s City of Books sprawls across an entire city block and features 1.5 million books across 3,500 sections. Lose yourself in the nine eclectic colour-coded rooms or grab a map and find your way through this amazing book shop.
It may surprise you to learn that Portland is the epicentre of craft brewing in America. Nicknamed ‘Beervana’ and ‘Munich on the Willamette’, Portland is one of the beer capitals of the world, featuring 32 breweries within its city limits and 38 in the area. Stop by MacTarnahan’s Taproom, where there are more than 12 draught beers to choose from, or head to Bridgeport Brew, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, featuring an onsite bakery and espresso bar. Widmer Brother’s Brewing introduced the first Hefeweizen in America, becoming a standard for unfiltered wheat beers.
"If you are in Portland on a Saturday, take a walk down by the river and marvel at the handicrafts, street entertainers and food booths."
"You have to go to Cacao to taste their incredibly delicious hot chocolate; it's the ultimate chocolate lovers' heaven."
Oregon Brewers Festival
Held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park each July, the Oregon Brewers Festival features all local brewers. Beer lovers come together on the west bank of the Willamette River to celebrate local craft beer, with lots of samples on offer, as well as demonstrations, vendors selling an array of beer-related items, and delicious food.
Portland Tango Festival
The Portland Tango Festival is the longest running festival in the United States that celebrates the Argentine Tango. With renowned Tango teachers in venues across the city offering classes and seminars, live music and DJs, the festival takes place over a long weekend each October, giving you the chance to experience the colourful Argentinian culture and a lot of the country’s infamous dancing.
Festival of Balloons
For three days each June, the suburb of Tigard, just south of Portland, hosts the Festival of Balloons. Each morning, a collection of hot air balloons take to the skies, with tethered rides on offer for visitors. The balloons make a reappearance in the evening, as the pilots light up the sky with the fire that fuels the balloons. Throughout the day, there’s also lots to do and see, including live music, children’s activities and a beer garden.
Portland’s food scene is constantly changing and shifting with new trends, but Portlanders’ love of the finest quality ingredients, locally produced and fresh food always prevails.
Portland has become somewhat of a haven for doughnut lovers. Possibly the most iconic are those of Voodoo Doughnuts, but the city isn’t short on choice. Portlanders get quite creative when it comes to doughnuts, so there’s a whole array of different types and quirky options from which to choose.
Portland is home to a huge number of food carts, offering a whole range of delicious food. Tacos, pastries, curries, burgers: you name it, Portland has a food cart for it. You’ll find them all over the city, parked up in car parks, parks and along the sides of roads; perfect for lunch on the go while you explore the city.
Often referred to as Beervana, Portland is beloved for its craft beer. The city is full of breweries and you’ll find a wide range of craft beers available in bars and restaurants all over the city.
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