Portland, Oregon Summer Activities

Portland, Oregon has a lot of interesting things to do and is a great city for exploring beautiful places. Located less than 100 miles from the Pacific coast with easy access to incredible recreation in all directions, Portland has a lot of fun activities to enjoy, especially during the summer. Here are a few fun ideas to consider when thinking about what to do around Portland.

Get Outside

Check out Forest Park where you’ll find over 5,000 acres of biking, hiking, and visitor attractions. Also located in the park is the International Rose Garden, which features more than 10,000 roses covering 4.5 acres with beautiful views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.
Dividing the city from the east and west is the Willamette River. There are 12 bridges that cross over the river, all with a unique style worth seeing. Nine of the bridges are close to all the happenings of downtown so get your walking shoes on and enjoy the city of Portland, bridge style!
Are you tired of walking? Hop on the Portland Streetcar, which makes a big loop passing over the river to Portland State University.

Have Kids?

Spend the morning at the Oregon Zoo where there are over 23 specialized exhibits that cover 64 acres. After you visit the zoo, take a bike ride across the Tilikum Bridge to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. From camp classes to mummies, space, agriculture, and so much more, OMSI has endless amounts of knowledge and fun for you and your family.


More than 75 breweries are in Portland, which means your craft beer experience will be top notch. If you love beer, you might want to extend your visit or better yet, buy a place and call Portland home.
There are also a handful of independent distilleries that are all within walking distance of each other. This area is called Distillery Row and you can take a tour and experience the distinctive quality that only locally-distilled spirits can offer.

Good Eats

From Latin cuisine to an American burger, Portland’s Pearl District is known for having some of the best chefs and restaurants. Or maybe food trucks are more your style; you’ll find hundreds of them downtown and throughout the city, all serving a wide variety of tasty foods.
Maybe you have a sweet tooth? Only a few blocks away from the Pearl District, open 24 hours, is Voodoo Doughnut, known for the most unique and exotic doughnuts. Voodoo’s employees have the freedom to create doughnuts you never thought were possible and it’s always worth checking out.


The Pearl District is not only great for food but also has amazing shopping. There are lots of homegrown shops, with Powell’s City of Books being one of the most talked about bookstores in the nation. There are many fashion forward boutiques, art galleries, and interior design shops throughout the area. There are also big brand stores such as REI, Anthropologie, West Elm, Lululemon, The North Face, and much more.

Columbia River Gorge

If you’re up for a beautiful drive, about an hour west of Portland is the Columbia River Gorge. On your way there you will pass Multnomah Falls, Oregon’s #1 most visited natural attraction. It’s the tallest waterfall in Oregon and the second tallest in the nation.
Once you reach the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll have the Mount Hood National Forest and Gifford Pinchot National Forest to explore. Whether you take a hike in the woods to find a waterfall, go kiteboarding on the river, or climb one of the many surrounding mountains, this area is one of the most beautiful attractions in Oregon and worth the visit.
If you’re interested in learning more about this beautiful city, then check out our Portland community page.