If you are downtown, these are the places you are going to want to visit in the City of Roses. Whether you want history, entertainment or a lovely place to relax, Portland’s downtown has it all. Check out our list of the top 12 unforgettable attractions downtown to get inspired for your next trip into the city.
1. Powell's Books
Anyone who loves books knows about the amazing city-block bookstore Powell's. Touted as the world's largest independent bookstore, it would be hard to not find what you are looking for here.
2. Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum is the oldest on the west coast and the 7th oldest in the country. Showcasing Native American art, Asian art, and sculpture, among many other things, the museum is 240,000-square-feet of museum waiting to be explored.
3. Portland Saturday Market
This market is a walk through some of the best artisans and craftspeople of the city. Great for holiday shopping and unique gifts, the market is open Saturdays and Sunday on the waterfront from March through December 24.
4. PSU Farmer's Market
For a look into the food culture of Portland, a trip to the largest farmer's market in the city is a must. Brimming with fresh produce and ready-made goods, the market is a testament to Portland's love of local food, and there are plenty of samples to go around.
5. Salmon Springs Fountain
Located on Naito Parkway, this fountain is a must-visit, especially if you are downtown on a warm day. Open during spring, summer and fall, the fountain has been keeping kids and adults a little cooler since 1988.
6. Lan Su Chinese Garden
You may miss the Lan Su Chinese Garden if you are walking by. Surrounded by a wall, this classical garden is hidden away in its own beautiful world. Stroll the gardens, or stay for a cup of tea. Either way, you will leave feeling relaxed after time spent here.
7. Oregon Historical Society
To get a look into the history of Portland and the state, this is a great place to stop. Featuring displays on Native Americans of the area, as well as early settlers, this museum is packed with loads of information and displays that will interest the whole family.
8. Japanese American Historical Plaza
Located along Naito Parkway, this plaza along the waterfront (north of the Burnside Bridge) tells the story of Japanese Americans in Oregon through poetry and sculpture. If you want to learn more about Japanese Americans in the region, you can head to the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center located at 121 NW 2nd Avenue.
9. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Walk along the waterfront and get some great shots of one of the city's most picturesque locations. If it is warm, head to Tom McCall Bowl Beach and dip your toes in the Willamette.
10. Mill Ends Park
The smallest park in the world, Mill Ends Park is located off Naito Parkway near SW Taylor Street. Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records in 1971, this tiny park continues to hold the record and a visit is a must if you are in the area.
11. Shanghai Tunnels
Located under Old Town/Chinatown, a series of tunnels that are said to be haunted await. Built to load cargo on and off ships at the river, the tunnels were purportedly used to kidnap people into a life working on the boats. Take a tour of the underground tunnels for a completely different look at the city.
12. Oregon Maritime Museum
Take a tour of this historic steamboat on the Willamette for a look into maritime history. Tour the pilot house, engine room and more on this fun guided tour.
What did we miss? Let us know your favorite Portland attraction in the comments below.