Portland is the biggest city in Oregon, with more than 609,000 people calling it home. It is among the most populous city in the region, after Seattle and Vancouver. Visit the city anytime of the year as you can expect warm and dry summers as well as mild winters here. So you would always have something to do and the weather will more or less cooperate.
Visit the city on a bus rental in Portland, Oregon and make sure to have a memorable vacation here.
Portland is also known as the Rose City, PDX and Stumptown, among other nicknames. The city's climate is ideal for growing roses, and these blooms have given the city one of its nickname. It also has an abundance of outdoor activities, great beers, and great attractions. So why not get on a bus rental in Portland, Oregon and find out what you could do here. We promise you, there are a lot!
Portland Meadows is a horseracing track in the city where you can bet on both thoroughbred and American quarter horse races. Aside from that, you can go to Aces Players Club, Big Stack Players Club, the Players Club and Encore Poker club for some great gambling time.
If you have kids, you can take them to Oaks Amusement Park. The amusement park has 44 acres of space and has midway games, picnic grounds, a Herschell–Spillman Noah's Ark Carousel, and a skating rink. Some of the rides and attractions here include Rock-O-Plane, the Eruption, Up Up and Away, and Adventure Miniature Golf.
You can also go to Glowing Greens. This is a blacklight mini golf course that you can have hours and hours of fun golf play. Other great places you can go to include the Copper Monkey Event Center and the Playground Gym.
Portland has the best performances any night of the year. There are dance groups here that give you outstanding modern dance shows such as the White Bird, which you can catch at the Lincoln Hall of Portland State University, or at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. You can catch awesome ballet performances by the Oregon Ballet Theatre, which has been in existence since 1989. Meanwhile the Northwest Dance Project has been giving ballet-based performances since 2004.
You can also have modern dance and acrobatics when you watch BodyVox perform, as well as a host of other dance groups such as Do Jump!, Imago, A-WOL Dance Collective, Polaris Dance, and Pendulum Aerial Arts. You can also check out the new modern dance group Conduit, or Performance Works Northwest.
Theater enthusiasts would have a field day in the city. You simply must check with Portland'5 Centers for the Arts, which handles the promotions and bookings for some of the city's biggest venues. Through the group, you can find performances such as ballets, operas, solo performances, and even touring Broadway shows on the schedule at the following venues: Antoinette Hatfield Hall, Dolores Winningstad Theatre, Brunish Theatre, and the Newmark Theatre, as well as the Keller Auditorium, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and the Lincoln Hall.
You can watch performances of the Portland Center Stage, the biggest theater company in the city that gives you great musicals, main stage productions and plays. You can catch them perform at the Ellyn Bye Studio or at the Gerding Theater. You can also catch performances by the Artists Repertory Theatre and Profile Theatre, or even the dark comedies of Third Rail Repertory Theatre. You can go to the Winningstad Theatre, or CoHo Theater for some of their performances.
Portland also has outstanding children's theater such as Northwest Children's Theater, Oregon Children's Theater, and Shaking the Tree. Meanwhile, Imago Theatre presents a great show for kids with acrobats in different costumes. Or you can enjoy the shows put on by the Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre. Other groups that stage performances for kids include the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company and the Artists Repertory Theatre.
Further, you can get your fill of Shakespeare with the Portland Shakespeare Project, Portland Actors Ensemble, Original Practice Shakespeare, and Willamette Shakespeare. Or you can go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in nearby Ashland.
You can also check out Portland Playhouse for shows that touch on the African American issues and topics. Then you have the Miracle Theatre Group with more or less Latino productions, and the Jewish Theater Collaborative for more multi-cultural productions.
Lastly, there are smaller theaters here, such as the Theatre Vertigo and CoHo Productions. Or you may love the newer ones such as Post5 Theatre, Working Theater Collective and Curious Comedy Theater.
Music. Jazz, indie rock, pop, classical, no matter what genre of music you are in love with, you can find somewhere to go in Portland. Do check out the McMenamins Crystal Ballroom where you can catch the best touring rock bands, or the Moda Center which is where the Trail Blazers play their home games, but also serves as the city's biggest live music venue. You can also go to the Doug Fir Lounge for some indie performances or the Mississippi Studios and the Wonder Ballroom for more musical greats.
Classical music lovers would love:
Portland Taiko Asian American drumming ensemble is one of the city's most awarded music group. They bring together humor, movement, music, melody and rhythm together.
Meanwhile, you should not miss out on the many jazz venues and musicians here. There's Jimmy Mak's, Brasserie Montmartre, the Tea Court Lounge at The Heathman, and Wilfs, as well as Bijou Cafe, Tony Starlight's, Secret Society Ballroom, and Vie de Boheme. You can also visit the Jazz Society of Oregon's Hall of Fame or catch pianist Dave Frishberg on one of his gigs.
At different times of the year, different venues in the city come alive with musical concert series. There's the summer concerts at the Oregon Zoo, or you can enjoy the McMenamins Edgefield when it hosts summer concerts featuring some of the world's best musicians.
As for music festivals, you have the Waterfront Blues Festival, which happens on the fourth of July. The festival features the biggest names in blues and even acts from different music genres. You can also join the annual Jim Pepper Native arts festival where you can learn more about the legacy and contributions of the Native American musician. Or the Pickathon Roots Music Festival, where you could have three great days of roots and folk music in the middle of Pendarvis Farms.
You also have MusicfestNW, which is held together with TechFestNW, and has been giving standout musical performances from the best musicians in the city. But the biggest music festival in the city is the Portland Jazz Festival, which also celebrates Black History Month. This festival lasts for two weeks and features internationally known jazz musicians, as well as local and regional artists.
Visual arts. In a city with varied art galleries and museums, the best way to see the best of what its vibrant arts scene has to offer is to go on the monthly art walks. The First Thursday Art Walk takes you to downtown Portland and the Pearl District, where you would visit the various galleries including the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, among others.
The First Friday Art Walk would introduce you to the alternative art, eastside galleries and artists' studios, including ADX, Gallery Zero, the 100th Monkey Studio, 12 X 16 Gallery, and the Newspace Center For Photography, among others.
Then you have the Last Thursday Art Walk that takes you down Northeast Alberta Street. This art walk brings together art galleries, street performers, music, and fire arts. If you are a fan of independent artists and freelance performers, this is the best art walk for you.
Hump Day happens on the second Wednesday of every month. This time, you will be exploring the central eastside of Portland and get to enjoy art, music and beer.
Most importantly, schedule a visit to the Portland Art Museum, one of the oldest art museums in the country and the biggest in the state of Oregon. The museum was opened in 1892 and currently have outstanding collections related to Native American art and Northwest art. Children 17 years old and younger get in free.
Other visual arts venues you should visit include PNCA's Feldman Gallery + Project Space, Charles A. Hartman Gallery, Blue Sky Gallery, Everett Station Lofts, Quintana Galleries, Guardino Gallery, YU Contemporary, Screaming Sky, HiiH Gallery, Disjecta, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and Ampersand.
Public art. Portland has a wealth of public art on offer. Some of the best include:
Crafty, unique and amazingly beautiful. You are in for a pleasant surprise when you look for products that are made in Portland. You can get the best swimwear at Popina Swimwear, which specializes in retro-inspire suits. Or check out Leatherman, Schoolhouse Electric Co., Tanner Goods, Betsy and Iya, Grove, Queen Bee, Laura Irwin and Haunt, Ms. Wood, Egg Press, and Red Clouds Collective, for anything from the best fashion finds, to retro lighting, to iPhone cases, and to leather bags.
Shopping in Portland means that you get great savings because the state levies no sales tax. So go and find what you need here.
Downtown Portland gives you great shopping options. You can go to department stores such as Mario's, Macy's and Nordstrom, or check out the Pioneer Place mall.
Pearl District has great shops as well. This is where you would find the Powell's City of Books, Jonathan Adler, and REI. Sharing the space are wonderful art galleries, fashion forward clothing stores and interior design outlets. Meanwhile Nob Hill has a great line of Victorian houses, as well as great retailers such as Lena Medoyeff Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn.
Lloyd Center is the biggest mall in the state with close to 200 stores, a movie theater complex, and an ice rink.
Central Eastside has 811 building where you have several apparel and fashion boutiques, vintage finds and designers such as Haunt and Nationale.
You should also check out the PDX Pop-up Shops, these temporary holiday season shops give you a chance to get to shop from the city's best artists and designers. You can check out the Portland Saturday Market in the city's Old Town Area.
Then you can go down to Union Way, where you could find nine restaurants and shops in an arcade-like setting. Shop at Danner, Steven Alan, Marine Layer, Spruce Apothecary, and other shops here.
Vintage lovers would love the more than four dozen vintage shops in the city, including:
Other great shopping districts here include Belmont, Division Clinton, Sellwood Moreland, Hawthorne, Alberta Arts District, and Mississippi Williams.
Restaurants. Apizza Scholls serves pizzas that are comparable to those in New York or New Haven. Undoubtedly, they have the best pizzas in the city. But Ken's Artisan Pizza can definitely give it some stiff competition. Or you can go to Nostrana where you can order the pizzas created by chef Cathy Whims, as well as salads, steaks and staple Italian fare.
Ringside might be among the city's oldest restaurants, but they still serve the best steaks here.
Laurelhurst Market has great steaks and the classic steakhouse experience, meanwhile, Beast allows you to sample the many creations of James Beard Award winning chef Naomi Pomeroy, while Biwa is a hip izakaya that gives you great Korean and Japanese food. Then you have Tanuki, which also serves Japanese and Korean fare and drinks, but lets you experience food as a performance art.
Speaking of chefs, you can check out Gruner for some of Chef Chris Israel's cuisines. Nak Won, on the other hand, has been service great Korean food for close to 20 years now. Then you have Noisette, for those times that you want to splurge or impress. Olympic Provisions is the quintessential Portland restaurant, which we are sure that you would find charming and quaint. Meanwhile, Ox has great Argentinean food prepared only with the best quality vegetables, fish, and meat.
If you want a homey feel, then nothing beats Firehouse. Le Pigeon, on the other hand, has some great dishes that you should check out.
Ava Gene's gives you Instagram worthy plates that are also very delicious. It helps that the interiors are lovely as well. Speaking of which, the Woodsman Tavern has a clubby atmosphere that has great southern fare and serves ham, seafood and other delicious fare.
Bollywood Theater gives you a taste of street food from India, while Xico and Mextiza have great Mexican food and Taste of Sichuan has the best Chinese food here. Then you should go to Levant where you can find Middle Eastern influences on Oregon food.
Cocotte serves the best French food in town, with great cocktails and attentive service. Paley's Place is close to 20 years old, but it still has some of the best French food in the city.
Roe is luxury dining at its best, and Smallwares has some great signature Asian dishes such as oysters that are flavored with fish sauce and bacon with fried kale.
Toro Bravo gives you great Spanish food, and Evoe is a long-time favorite too. Imperial has great Oregon cuisine that you should not miss, while Park Kitchen may have an intimate setting, but you will love its creative yet delicious food.
Other restaurants you should not miss:
Golfers love the weather in Portland because it is never too cold or too hot outside. Check out the Eastmoreland Golf Course, where you can enjoy full golf amenities as well as the natural beauty of the Crystal Springs Lake & Rhododendron Gardens. Or Go to Heron Lakes Golf Course, which Golf Digest has consistently recommended to its readers. Heron Lakes Golf Course is designed by famed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Other golf courses you can visit here include:
Sports venues. Portland is also known as Soccer City, USA, owing to the football fever that infects just about everybody in the city. Check out the Portland Timbers as they play for the Major League Soccer, while the Portland Thorns FC plays for the National Women's Soccer League. Both of these teams play at Providence Park.
Then you have the National Basketball Association's Portland Trail Blazers play at the Moda Center. Or you can check out the Rose City Rollers as they play flat track roller derby at the Memorial coliseum or at the Oaks Amusement Park. Get ready for some fast paced action with these feisty local girls!
Further, you can check out the horse races at Portland Meadows, or watch a game of the Portland Winterhawks at the Memorial Coliseum.
Other venues for some great spectator sports and sports related attractions include the:
Oregon History Museum is just across the street from the Portland Art Museum, and has at least 85,000 pieces of Native American memorabilia, some pieces from the Portland's 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition, as well as the Portland Penny. You can admire the many rotating and permanent exhibits here, allowing you to learn more about the local history as well as the lifestyle and culture during the Oregon Trail period. There are also exhibits that allow you to learn about other topics, such as presidential history and memorabilia.
You can check out Pittock Mansion and get to know the city's rich history. You can admire the building's architecture, as well as the close to two dozen rooms that they have that are filled with both antique pieces and artworks. You can also catch rotating exhibits here, giving you the chance to see artworks, photographs, artifacts and other objects that tell you more about the life in Portland in the past. Lastly, do check out the amazing views of the entire city that you can get only here.
Fort Vancouver used to be where fighter pilots and fur traders lived. Today, a visit to the fort would give you a look back into the past two centuries. Enjoy the demonstrations here on how carpentry, cooking, baking and blacksmithing was done in the past. Or visit the Pearson Air Museum for more on the area's military history. Then have lunch at the Grant House, a restaurant housed inside the barrack's oldest building.
You can also check out the Oregon Rail Heritage Center where you can learn more about the city's past with trains, including the stories involving the Portland Streetcar, the Oregon Pacific and the Union Pacific. You can find three old steam locomotives here, including one of the most famous trains there is: the Southern Pacific Daylight Locomotive 4449.
History buffs should also go to:
The city also has three important memorials that you could visit. The Japanese American Historical Plaza features 13 markers and cherry trees. The Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park offers tours on request, while the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial pays tribute to the city's citizens who risked their lives during the Vietnam War.
Oregon has close to 2,000 sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a good quarter of these are in Portland. So you can just imagine what a treasure trove the city is for history lovers.
No matter where you are, there will always be a historic site for you to visit. For instance:
Portland gives you at least 200 parks. How divergent are these parks? Well, you can enter a forest, or enjoy the smallest park here. And you can definitely find something to do in one of the many parks that dot Portland.
Some of the most notable parks here include those in the downtown area such as Director Park, the newest park in the city that was dedicated in 2009. The old parking lot now features a cafe, benches, a fountain and summer events. Then you have Mills End Park, the smallest dedicated park in the world. Meanwhile the Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is among the most visited sites in the city with 9.5 million people visiting every year. Check out the visitor's center here, as well as any one of the close to 300 events held here every year. Then you have the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, where you could go in-line skating, jogging or just enjoy the waters of Salmon Street Springs. The park is where several notable yearly events are held, including the Oregon Brewers Festival, the Waterfront Blues Festival and the Portland Rose Festival. This is also where you could find the Japanese American Historical Plaza.
In Pearl District, you have Jamison Square with its great play space and wading area, as well as amazing public art such as Kenny Scharf's totem poles. You also have Tanner Springs Park, where you have a wetland in the middle of the city.
In Old Town, you have the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which is an authentic Ming Dynasty garden with bridges, pavilions, open colonnades, walkways, and a variety of plants. You are sure to love Zither Lake and the plants that surround it, giving you a peaceful and serene feeling.
In the West Side, you have Forest Park, which gives you an 8 mile long forest in the middle of the city that covers more than 5,100 acres of space. The park is where you could find at least 112 bird species, more than five dozen mammal species, and trails for jogging, running, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. You can also go on the Wildwood Trail that takes you through the park, the Pittock Mansion, Washington Park and the Audubon Society Sanctuary.
You could also check out the Hoyt Arboretum with close to 1,000 species of trees and shrubs, or the International Rose Test Garden, which is the oldest garden of its kind in the country. It has at least 10,000 rose bushes that give you great blooms and views all year round.
Peninsula Park & Rose Garden has around 6,500 rose bushes while Ladd's Circle Park & Rose Gardens has around 3,000 rose varieties.
You could also go to Portland Japanese Garden, Tryon Creek State Park, and Washington Park.
Further, you have the parks on the east side. There is the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, where you can bike or hike, and the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, where you have around seven acres of gardens featuring the rarest rhododendrons, coniferous trees, deciduous trees, and azaleas. Meanwhile, the Grotto gives you a great relaxing space in the middle of the city. It is located inside a botanical garden that spans more than five dozen acres. You can pray here or just enjoy the upwards 100 statues and shrines that you can visit.
Other parks you can find here include the Leach Botanical Garden, Mt. Tabor Park, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, and the Springwater Corridor.
The Oregon Zoo has around 64 acres of space and is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It has more than 2,200 animals belonging to 260 species. Enjoy their varied exhibits here, including:
If you have kids, take them to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry where they can explore exhibits hands on. The museum features a planetarium, a theater and an old navy submarine. Let them experience an earthquake or learn more about physics. They also have a science playground for younger kids.
You can also have your fill of these world museums in the city. For instance you have the Faux Museum, where you can get your fill of really strange artifacts, conceptual art and bizarre exhibits. The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium also has creepy and unusual exhibits include those on spontaneous combustion and a fake alien autopsy table. The Hat Museum displays at least 1,000 hats while the Lincoln Street Kayak & Canoe Museum has hundreds of fishing, hunting and boating artifacts.
Why not check out Kidd's Toy Museum, where you could find toys from the 1860s right through the 1930s? Meanwhile, there are also other unusual and interesting displays at the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, Portland Police Museum, Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum, Movie Madness, Wells Fargo History Museum, Safety Learning Center and Fire Museum, and Stark's Vacuum Museum.
Or how about joining the World Naked Bike Ride and be one of the around 8,000 people who bike around the city buck naked? Well, even if you are a bit shy, you can still join. Nakedness is optional.
Then you can go on a tour to discover the haunted side of Portland. This would take you to the White Eagle Saloon, where you can try to catch sight of apparitions such as that of Rose, and those who fell victims of kidnappings through the Shanghai Tunnel, to Sam Warrick, who worked there as a cook and bartender during the 1900s. Warrick is said to be fond of throwing condiments in the kitchen. You can also go to Old Town Pizza where you have the chance to see Nina, the city's most famous ghost.
Or how about a romp at the Lone Fir Cemetery, or joining the Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour and the Haunted Pub Crawl.
LGBT. Same sex marriages are legal in Oregon, so expect some LGBT attractions in the city. You have LGBT festivals such as THIRST Fest, POWFEST, Red Dress Party, Qdoc, Portland Pride Festival and Portland Queer Music Festival. Aside from that you have different places here where you can get a taste of LGBT nightlife and great LGBT performing arts venues.
Chartering a bus rental in Portland, Oregon starts with a free online quote. So visit BusRental.com and find out just how much you need to pay for one. We guarantee you that you will be pleasantly surprised.