Chill Portland Activities: Explore One of Oregon’s Best Cities

Portland may be the largest city in Oregon, but it is also one of the best places to live according to U.S. News and World Report. This makes it a great vacation option for those considering relocating or travelers who want to experience a diverse city known for relaxed locals and a ‘weird’ mantra. Sound fun? Keep reading to find some chill Portland activities and things to do.

Chill Portland Activities: Laid-back Attractions for a Local Experience

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Photo: iTrip Vacations Northwest

Visit Oregon’s Wine County

More than 500 wineries sit within 150 miles of this picturesque area. Along the way, visitors may sample the region’s top flavors and eat fresh food. Plus, there are several ways to explore wine country such as via bicycles, hiking trails, guided tours, and even paddling.

Visitors can also learn about individual towns. Each community within Oregon’s Wine Country has its own small-town charm worth experiencing. To see them all, drive one of the state’s scenic byways, which combine to cover more than 3,000 miles. Some destinations include Corvallis, Eugene, Mount Hood and Salem. Read a quick Willamette Valley guide to Wine Country.

Hike Some Trails

Looking for laid-back adventure? Greater Portland has dozens of hiking trails that help visitors connect with nature. No matter the skill level, hikers will find trails suited to their abilities and time constraints.

For shorter hikes, head to Hoyt Arboretum. This attraction has a 1.3-mile trail that meanders through 2,300 species of trees and shrubs.

Mount Hood has dozens of trails ranging from easy to difficult, with some requiring more than a day to complete. Tryon Creel State Natural Area has 8 miles of terrain with shade, and leashed pets are welcome. Those who want more should try one of Oregon’s waterfall hikes near Portland. Multnomah Falls is only a short trail away and ranks among the state’s most popular waterfalls.

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Tour Local Breweries

Craft brewing is a way of life in Portland. The first brewery began in the early 1980s, and the scene has grown to include more than 75 breweries.

Some beer drinkers prefer to tour large brewers. For top-rated options, head to Deschutes Brewery Portland, 10 Barrel Brewing Portland, Ecliptic Brewing, Wayfinder Beer and Von Ebert Brewing.

Not sure where to start? Then schedule a guided Portland beer tour. Several companies host walking tours, bike tours, bus tours and pub crawls, so guests can sample a selection in a short period of time. Each offer an expert local guide who will share history, recommend beers and explain the differences.

Explore Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo measures 64 acres and provides a safe place for animals and people. As one of the top attractions for families, Oregon Zoo welcomes everyone to learn about conservation practices and wildlife.

Exhibits represent animals and environments from around the world. Explore other continents, stroll through gardens, learn about animals from the Pacific Northwest and enjoy up-close encounters.

More than 85 animals live at the zoo. Frogs, fish, snakes, monkeys, large cats and birds greet guests. Or learn about large cats, giraffes, red pandas, sea otters and other species. If visiting Oregon Zoo during the holiday season, get tickets to its ZooLights celebration.

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Stroll Portland’s Gardens

In addition to hiking trails and waterfalls, Portland has scenic gardens. The city is known for roses, Asian gardens and stunning Washington Park. In fact, Washington Park houses natural attractions such as the International Rose Test Garden, Japanese Garden and war memorials.

Visiting Portland’s gardens offers an escape from busy schedules. Winter months may be too cold, so plan a trip in spring, summer or fall for ultimate blooms. Of course, those differ based on seasons.

See Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Learn and play in new ways at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The museum welcomes all ages and encourages interactive activities.

The natural sciences hall showcases human development, fossils, weather, climate change and planets. Other exhibits include submarine life, physics, music, space and experiments. In addition, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has a science playground, discovery lab, planetarium and onsite dining.

Shop Local, Dine at Home

Ordering take-out may be one of the most chill Portland activities. It takes a few minutes to order a meal from a local restaurant and bring back to a vacation home to enjoy. This allows guests to have a safe, intimate dining experience while enjoying their favorite local dishes.

For some upscale ideas, try Andina Restaurant, Mucca Osteria and Jackrabbit. Local favorites include Tin Shed Garden, Tasty N Alder, Jake’s Famous Crawfish and Mother’s Bistro and Bar.

Need a place to call home? Browse these Portland vacation rentals.