Portland Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Portland neon sign

Oregon's state capital Portland is ideal for travelers looking to experience the best of the Pacific Northwest. Known for its bohemian neighborhoods and sailing history, Portland boasts excellent museums, chic restaurants, and family-friendly attractions encircled by Oregon's verdant countryside. 

Named after Portland, Maine, the City of Roses originated in the early 1800s, with thousands of pioneers settling in the region after completing the Oregon Trail. Despite being considered one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. during the 20th century, Portland is now one of the safest due to its booming economy and progressive political values. 

Check in at a Portland luggage locker, and get ready to hike through Oregon's beautiful landscape and discover this modern metropolis.

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8 Best Ways to Experience Portland in 2024

Portland offers quirky cultural highlights and access to impressive Pacific Northwest scenery. It’s no wonder it’s become such a popular place to visit in recent years. But if you want to get a glimpse of what makes this West Coast city so special, it’s good to have a local guide on your side. Drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage locker in Portland and you’ll be ready to dive deeper into Oregon’s biggest city. The companies listed below are ready to help you get to grips with their town.

Best Segway tour — Portland By Segway

There’s lots to see in Portland, and it can be hard making sure you cover enough ground without exhausting yourself. That’s why Segways are so popular with tour companies. Intuitive to drive, these vehicles are ideal for urban exploration. Portland By Segway will teach you how to drive one of these two-wheeled vehicles and then take you out on a fascinating tour that will show you some of the highlights. The small group tours are a great way to see what the city has to offer and perhaps discover some places to visit more in-depth by yourself. Contact the company at contact@portlandbysegway.com or 1 503-946-3361.

Best wine tour — Willamette Valley Tour

Oregon’s wine industry may not have the same cachet as California, but the state produces some excellent wines that have been getting more attention over the last few decades. Wine connoisseurs won’t want to miss a tour of the Willamette Valley where many of the region's wineries are located. As well as sampling incredible wine and seeing how it’s made at local vineyards, you also get to explore the Columbia Gorge, the majestic Hood River, and the endless forests and valleys of Oregon. If your time is limited but you still want to see some of the countryside outside the city, this is a great way to spend the day seeing as many different aspects of it as possible. Contact them at info@willamettevalleytour.com or 1 503-558-4600.

Best food tour — Eat Adventures

Portland prides itself on doing things a little out of the ordinary, and the city’s culinary culture is no different. Portland is home to some fantastic restaurants that make good use of the excellent food produced in the Oregon countryside. You can explore some of the best food Portland has to offer with a food tour from Eat Adventures. Try a Downtown Brunch Walk or a tour of the city’s many food carts, along with many more experiences. Contact them at info@eatadventures.com or 1 503-506-8756.

Best excursions — Oregon Tour Company

If you want to see more of Portland than just downtown, this is the company to call. They offer both half and full-day tours to take you to areas of the city most tourists never reach. Explore Mississippi Avenue, NW 23rd Ave and its impressive shopping district, or the Alberta Arts District of the city. This family-owned business also offers tours of the surrounding area so you can glimpse the more rural side of Oregon. Contact them at oregontourco@gmail.com or 1 503-995-6516.

Best alternative tour — Throw Snakes Tours

Portland prides itself on being weird, and this unusual tour company fully embraces that reputation. They offer unusual and immersive tours that will take you to places other companies won’t. For instance, one tour is called Explore Local Oddities With An Odd Local. Or you can take part in their Weird Bar Crawl and see some of the most unusual and unique bars this city has to offer. If you think you’ve seen everything in Portland, you haven’t until you have seen it through the eyes of this one-of-a-kind company. Contact them at throwsnakestours@gmail.com or 15038939495.

Best bike tour — Cycle Portland

Biking is how many Portland locals get around their city, and it’s a fun way to explore at your own pace. This company offers guided tours and rentals so you can explore by yourself. Ride through historic Old Town or visit some of the city’s most popular parks. Riding a bike lets you go further and escape the usual tourist attractions to see a more authentic side of the city. Contact Cycle Portland at pdxbikeshop@gmail.com or  1 503-784-3030.

Best nature tours — Infinite Oregon Tours

Part of what makes Portland such a great place to live is the proximity of some stunning natural scenery. If you want to take a break from the city, this company can take you to some of the most scenic and rejuvenating spots in the Pacific Northwest. Recharge your batteries with a half-day tour of spectacular gorges and waterfalls, or take a full day to visit Mount Hood. You can book a tour by contacting them at infiniteoregontours@gmail.com or 15037524744.

Best adventure tours — Sea to Summit Tours & Adventures

If you want to get the adrenaline flowing during your vacation, this is the company for you. They offer a variety of unforgettable experiences in and around Portland, including whitewater rafting, surfing, kite surfing, and hiking. In the winter, they’ll take you to the impressive ski hills surrounding the city, and in the summer, they can help you explore Oregon’s many wineries. Really, they have something to offer just about everyone, and you can take part by contacting them at Info@seatosummit.net  or 1 503-286-9333.

Portland city skyline

A weekend in Portland

A weekend away in Portland is sure to put your mind at ease. There are plenty of relaxing activities dotted across the city, making Portland perfect for escaping your hectic day-to-day life. After dropping your bags off at a Portland luggage storage service, head to a few of these great excursions across the city.

  • Take a tour of the Pittock Museum. An early 20th-century chateau built for publisher Henry Pittock, the Pittock Museum boasts grandiose furnishings and fascinating family heirlooms. Due to its position on West Hill, it's also one of the best spots for birdwatching in the city.
  • Ramble through the serene Portland Japanese Garden. This garden covers over 12 acres and features traditional Japanese architecture, including a cultural village and museum for Japanese art and relics.
  • Dine out at one of the outstanding restaurants located across Portland. Some of the best eateries in the city include Paley's Place Bistro & Bar, Maurice, and Matt's BBQ.
  • Pay a visit to the adorable animals at Oregon Zoo. One of the largest zoos in the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Zoo is home to over 1,500 animals, with endangered critters such as red pandas, African painted dogs, and Amur tigers. 

Portland lockers

Portland is a very modern city with an excellent public transport system. If you plan to take the bus or explore the City of Roses on foot, you might want to find somewhere to stow your cumbersome bags before exploring. Bounce affords the best place to store your luggage in Portland. Safe and easy to use, just download the app, and within minutes you can book a spot at one of our convenient facilities. Then, you'll be free to explore the best of Portland without being burdened by your heavy belongings.

Off the beaten path in Portland

wooded path with bridge

Whether you're looking to get back in touch with nature or fancy doing something most tourists don't know about, Portland's got you covered. With dozens of lesser-known attractions and plenty of greenspace within touching distance of downtown, you won't have any trouble wandering off the beaten path in Portland. 

  • Washington Park is a great place to gain some respite from the noisy city without going far. The park covers over 450 acres and includes the Japanese Gardens, Oregon Zoo, an arboretum, a forestry museum, and much more.
  • Go for a riverside walk at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Perched upon the Willamette River, this 36-acre park is perfect for a picnic or a romantic nighttime stroll.
  • Enjoy sweeping city views from the Portland Aerial Tram. Portland's unique tram system takes you 500 feet above the city for picture-perfect vistas of the cityscape. 

What to do alone in Portland

Traveling on your own can be difficult sometimes, as you may struggle to find suitable excursions to take by yourself. Whether you're in Portland on business or you're on a solo road trip along the West Coast, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained in Portland. Stash your stuff at a Portland bag storage service, and head to one of these local attractions.

  • Peruse the collection at the Oregon Art Museum. With holdings of over 40,000 objects, the Oregon Art Museum features works by dozens of world-famous artists, including Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and George Inness.
  • Go on a shopping spree at Washington Square. One of the largest shopping malls in Portland, Washington Square is home to roughly 170 stores and restaurants. The state of Oregon also has no sales tax, making it perfect for shopaholics.
  • Take to the skies at the Pearson Air Museum. Positioned just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA, the Pearson Air Museum features an array of old school aircraft, including planes from World War I and four that are pre-1930s.

The best souvenirs in Portland

Portland is known for its artistic flair and local produce, making it a great city for picking up a unique memento to treasure once you return home. If you're visiting over the weekend, ensure you swing by the Portland Saturday Market. This market usually attracts dozens of vendors, who sell a range of arts, crafts, and other handmade items that make for excellent souvenirs. Other items that are perfect for remembering your trip to Oregon include Pendleton Wools and locally-produced wines.

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