Things to do in Portland

The largest city in Oregon is known for its liberal, creative atmosphere and beautiful nature. Whether you're taking in nature hike or the city sites, Portland is one of Vinnie Van GO’s favorite places to unwind.

From the restaurants to the shops, Portland has the small town atmosphere you’re looking for, with all the energy of a big city. Check out Vinnie's Portland city guide:

Annual Events in Portland

UFO Festival

If you’re looking for a stranger experience, you have to check out the UFO Festival. Each May, thousands come out to Portland for alien-themed parades, spaceship landing parties and pet costume contests. Meet alien abduction survivors and believers alike in McMinnville, a short shuttle ride away from Portland city center.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

This is the longest running jazz festival west of the Mississippi. Located under the St. Johns Bridge in Cathedral Park, this three-day Portland festival celebrates blues, soul and R&B. The best of the best come from far and wide to perform in this July music extravaganza – for music lovers, it’s a Portland event not to be missed!

Portland Stadiums

Providence Park

Located in Goose Hollow, a short shuttle ride from Portland city center, this Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium is home to the Portland Timbers. Other sporting events in Portland, such as Division I football games and the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, also took place on the pitch.

1844 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205

Moda Center

The 20,000 person capacity Moda Center, formerly known as the Rose Garden, is the place to see an indoor sporting event in the Portland area. This multi-purpose arena often also holds other entertainment events throughout the year. Book a Moda Center sporting event shuttle and enjoy the ride to the game.

1 N Center Ct St
Portland, OR 97227

Portland Parks

Washington Park

If the weather is nice and you need to unwind while you’re in town, make a visit to Washington Park. This public park has everything you could need or want for a nice day outdoors. There’s a zoo, a children’s museum, a rose garden, an amphitheater and a Japanese garden. Make Washington Park a must-visit during your time in Portland. Make your trip easy with park transportation with GO.

4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Portland, OR 97221

Portland Japanese Garden

This is one of Vinnie Van GO’s absolute favorite spots in Portland. The beautiful traditional Japanese garden occupies 9.1 acres within Washington Park. The garden contains sand and stone gardens, bonsai trees, a tea garden with an authentic tea house and many streams, ponds and waterfalls. This is truly a special place.

The Grotto

Also known as The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, this internationally-renowned botanical garden and Catholic shrine is just a short shuttle ride from Portland city center. The shrine sees hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, who trek the 110-foot cliff to enter the meditation hall. A visit to this site promises a beautiful walk and 23 unique statues and memorials.

8840 NE Skidmore St
Portland, OR 97220

Portland City Tours

One of the best ways to see the Northwest of the United States is to get outside. There are plenty of touring options that will get you out in the fresh air, while still giving you a taste of what Portland has to offer. Pedal Bike Tours is a great option for those who love to cycle. With excellent reviews, this tour is both fun and informative. If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, you can also see Portland’s highlights by segway. For those who want to get out of the city and into nature, Wildwood Adventures offers private tours of the surrounding wilderness. Whichever option you choose you’re sure to have a fantastic time during your stay in Portland.

Portland Restaurants

Portland has a booming local restaurant industry. Famous for their organic and farm-to-table, sustainable options, make these restaurants a priority on your next visit.

Milk Glass Market

This John Gorham-owned cafe is the best place to get amazing cheddar egg biscuit sandwiches, pastries, and other affordable fare in a trendy but friendly environment. This farm-to-table establishment has some of the best coffee around.

Address: 2150 N Killingsworth St Portland, OR 97217


If you’re looking for a great meal, Ataula is one of Portland’s finest. Chef Jose Chesa has won many awards, and this Spanish gastropub is amongst his finest work. Call ahead for a reservation, book a limousine to make it a night on the town, and indulge in tasty tapas and savory sangria.

Address: 1818 NW 23rd Pl Portland, OR 97210

Paley’s Place

Often referred to as “the Balthazar of Portland”, this eatery is both classic and innovative. Enjoy a Northwestern spin on classic French cuisine. While a pricier option, join during happy hour for affordable $6 Old Fashioneds and $2 oysters.

Address: 1204 NW 21st Ave Portland, OR 97209

For more travel tips and recommendations
visit Vinnie’s blog “Going Places".

For ground transportation two/from more than
90 airports worldwide, click here.