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7 Awesome Things to Do in Portland, OR

When you think of Portland, you may imagine the endless rows of pine trees, mountains and green forests. It's a very diverse city, as one moment you could be living up the urban culture, while the other you are hiking in the middle of nature!

For my 27th birthday, I wanted to be able to spend it not only visiting a place I've never been, but somewhere that has been high on my bucket list for a long time now. I can easily say that Portland was the perfect place to celebrate the occasion!

The best part about this city is that there are so many different things to do, which is bound to make everyone happy! If you're thinking of visiting soon, here are some ideas to add to your Portland to-do list:


Visit Powell's - The World's Largest Independent Bookstore

If you're a bookworm, you will just about die and go to heaven here. Books on books on books!! I have never seen so many categories before... If you visit the cookbook section, you'll go down a rabbit hole of novelty cookbooks, Asian cookbooks, Keto cookbooks... etc., etc.

This incredible bookstore also has a coffee shop connected to it, where you can enjoy your reads. Chris and I ended up losing each other while exploring... thankfully all of the rooms are organized by color, such as the 'Gold Room' and 'Pink Room,' or else I don't know if I would have found him, LOL!

Immerse in a New Culture at Lan Su Chinese Garden

I never would have thought prior to visiting that I would find a Chinese Garden in the middle of downtown Portland. But little did I know that they have their own Chinatown, also!

I was in awe visiting this garden. As soon as you walk through the entry way, you feel like you've been teleported to China... beautiful architecture, plants, and artwork is found throughout here. They even have an adorable tea shop!

Sip on Some Craft Beers at Deschutes Brewery

If there was anything that I learned after visiting Portland, it's that this city REALLY loves their beer! In fact, there are about 70 different breweries in this city - one of the highest totals of any city in the world.

One of the most popular is Deschutes. Not only did I enjoy their selection of beers and ciders, but I also loved the rustic, mountainous vibe of the inside... It has a strong 'Oregon' feel to it!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Voodoo Doughnut

I don't think I've ever experienced a doughnut shop that had such a strong cult-like following! (And I mean this in the best way.) I've seen this place around before, like in Universal Orlando, and you can also find it in Texas, Colorado and California. But nothing beats visiting where it all started from, which was in Portland itself.

These are no ordinary doughnuts, as you'll find some pretty crazy and cool flavors. Cherry-filled, cereal-topped, and even ones that are shaped like voodoo dolls and filled with red raspberry jelly (Ya know, like blood?) The names of each flavor are my favorite thing about this place: The M&M's covered doughnut is called Marshall Mathers, or one with a red hot chili pepper in the middle called the Ring of Fire.

Hike Around the Beautiful Multnomah Falls

If seeing the most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific NW interested you, then you're in for a treat here. Being from the East coast, I've seen a few puny waterfalls that I thought were impressive, but boy did my jaw drop after coming here!

Multnomah Falls is about 40 minutes out of the city, and 100% worth the trek out to. I also highly recommend hiking the nearby trails, as you can get even more elevated and closer views of the waterfall!

Get Your Game On at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade

If you're looking for something not as touristy to do and have a nerdy side, then you'll have a ball at Ground Kontrol... It's a seriously impressive arcade bar, and I've been to many!

What I really love is that they have a mix of vintage and more modern games, so there's bound to be something for everyone's taste. 10 bucks worth of tokens will get you a long way, too! And don't forget to check out their bar, where they have fun drinks themed off of video games and some local beers you can try.

See A Movie in Style at Studio One Theaters

I am not normally one to visit movie theaters while traveling because, well, I can do that at home. But when I found one in Portland that had fancy couches as seating and themed after different cities around the world, I knew I had to come here! Also, this theater is local to Portland.

The tickets were about the same price as a regular movie theater, but you also get a luxury experience. The theater offers dine-in services, so you can enjoy a nice dinner while watching your movie, too!


These 7 awesome activities you can do in Portland are just scratching the surface - There is so much more you can do, and also a lot of great day trips are nearby from the city! It was the perfect way for me to be introduced to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.




Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!


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