View of Portland, Oregon, with Mount Hood

Portland, OR Guide

(Credit: JPL Designs/Shutterstock)

Why you should visit Portland, OR

With a cool, hipster lifestyle and an experimental and thriving culinary and craft beer scene, Portland makes an out-of-the-ordinary home base for a ski getaway. You won’t find any mountain chalets here; rather, Oregon’s largest city invites you to ‘keep it weird’ with fun and funky shops, restaurants, galleries and more.

While you can expect to encounter some form of precipitation during your stay, Portland is still a nature-lover’s dream. With Mt. Hood, the Gorge, the Columbia River, and the Oregon Coast in close proximity to the city, you will find Portland to be the place to visit time and time again with endless outdoor adventure to explore. Meanwhile, residents prefer to navigate their city by bike. The city that holds a Naked Bike Ride each year – just one of many examples of how Portland embraces its quirky reputation.

Ski Resorts Near Portland, OR

What to do in Portland, OR

Portland is all about the craft brews. Grab a local beer at one of the many breweries and microbreweries in town like 10 Barrel Brewery , Cascade Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company . After a nice cold one, you can catch a show at one of the city’s many great live music venues, like Aladdin Theater and Revolution Hall in the Southeast quarter of the city.

With Mt. Hood only an hour away, skiing and snowboarding are right at your fingertips – especially night skiing, as Mt. Hood Ski Bowl is the largest night skiing resort in the country. Not only are you able to ski in the winter on Mt. Hood but if you head up to Timberline Lodge, it is the only place on the mountain where you can still take lifts up to ski even in the heat of the summer. If you have an extra day, plan an afternoon of kayaking down the Willamette River, or sample some of the region’s legendary wines in the Willamette Valley.

You can also embrace the beauty of the Pacific Northwest without leaving the city by paying a visit to Portland’s Japanese Garden and the famous International Rose Test Garden . As Portland is a huge bike town, what better way to see the city than on a bike. BIKETOWN from Nike is a bike rental service that consists of biking stations set up throughout Portland where you can pick up and drop off bikes.

If the weather puts a damper on outdoor exploration, browse through some of your favorite authors at Powell’s City of Books , the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore, a huge landmark for the book worm.

Where to stay in Portland, OR

Portland is divided into four quadrants, and each neighborhood presents its own flavor and style with many eclectic places to stay.

Portland has a very unique, so it makes sense when you come across a place like Tiny Digs Hotel . Tiny Digs is a cluster of custom-designed tiny houses located on a transformed urban park in the Northeast. Each tiny house is decorated with a different theme.

Or course, there are more traditional hotel options in Portland, too. A beautiful hotel in the Pearl District in the Northwest is Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District , located within easy reach of  the neighborhood’s shops, bars, and restaurants. Or enjoy waterfront views at Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel located right along the Waterfront Park near downtown Portland. If you are looking to stay in the heart of downtown, there are a lot of great hotel options like the contemporary Hi-Lo Hotel, Autograph Collection and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland .

If you want to experience the city like a local, book one of the many charming and endearing houses in and around Portland on Airbnb.

What to eat in Portland, OR

In addition to a fantastic craft beer scene and award-winning wineries, Portland serves up some of the best cuisine in the country.

This city is a street-food frenzy with more than 500 food trucks serving affordable and imaginative dishes to go. From the Cartlandia and Cartopia pods in the Southeast, where you can sample authentic Mexican food at the Taqueria Brother Express truck or Latin cuisine at Chicken and Gun, to the Fifth Avenue pod in the Southwest, home to Bing Mi’s delicious Asian-inspired fare, you can’t go wrong.

The ice cream enthusiast will want to stop at Salt and Straw . This place is renowned for its funky frozen flavors like like goat cheese and strawberry or barbecue beans and bourbon. Salt and Straw has multiple locations throughout Portland – you can’t miss it.

Family-friendly activities in Portland

Kid-friendly activities abound in Portland. Hang with the monkeys at the Oregon Zoo in Washington Park, or get some hands-on learning at the Kendall Planetarium or the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry . Portland Children’s Museum is another interactive, educational and crafty place to take your kids with weekly ceramic and paint classes to take part in.

Portland is surrounded by luscious greenery, the perfect city to go hiking. Take your family on a hike around Lower Macleay trail, Hoyt Arboretum or Tryon Creek State Park .

Bring the kiddos to the oldest operating amusement park in the country, Oaks Amusement Park , and enjoy the attractions that the park has to offer from thrill rides to go-carting. In the Southeast quadrant, check out Mt. Scott Community Center where you can enjoy an indoor pool and indoor roller skating rink. Playdate PDX is an indoor playground unlike any other. This three story play structure in the Pearl District can be enjoyed by the kids, of course, but with a beer and wine selection, it can be appreciated by parents, too.

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