We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

We are planning a trip to Oregon in Sept. What are some of the things to do with regards to:

a. Scenic stuff

b. Family activities

c. How far is it to Seattle? Can i drive to Seattle in the morning and come back to Portland the same day?

d. What are some of the things to do like mountains, etc...

e. Any scenic drives?

Thanks for all your help...

Mount Hood
Mountains, Ski & Snowboard Areas, Volcanos
Timberline
Ski & Snowboard Areas, Mountains
oregon city
Level Contributor
790 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

first more questions from us!!! Everyone here is so helpful, so you will be in good hands.

How long will you be planning to stay?

How far away do you want to drive to see 'scenic stuff?'

do you want to stay in one place and do day trips? Or do a loop drive?

I can help awnser 'C' the big portland to seattle question

And mostly dependent on Seattles notorious TRAFFIC. (Ok i am bias here b/c i got stuck in a bad one. 5 hours to go from university of washington to puyallup @ 40 miles away)

I would say about 3 hours to get up to seattle from portland if traffic is good. If you aren't tied to your car one alternative could be to take amtrak. It takes you directly from downtown portland to downtown seattle, and when i have taken it, it has always been about the same time as driving a car -without the possibility of being stuck all day in seattle traffic.

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
18,227 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

a- Coast, Gorge with Scenic Historic Highway, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens,

b- all of the above..plus:

Zoo

Japanese Gardens

Chinese Gardens

Washington Park

OMSI

c- I heard 3-4 hours..

d- See a.

e- see a.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,285 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

Can you shed some more light? How many days do you have and what do you like to do?

As far as Seattle in a day...done that more times than I would like and definitely do NOT recommend it. The only reason we do it is because of family and friends up there. The drive, if you can avoid rush hours, takes about 3 hours from downtown Portland to downtown Seattle. You can make the trip in one day and see some of the great Seattle attractions, but it is much better if you can allot at least one night there. We used to live up there, so if you need help, just ask.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

Hi All,

We are planning to be there over the Labor Day weekend (3 days). i dont mind long drives.

Thx for all ur help

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
18,227 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

www.pova.com

They have a calendar for the year that is a great help in trip planning. There should be a parade or something going on Labor Day weekend :)

Enjoy Oregon, it is such a beautiful state..

oregon city
Level Contributor
790 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

If you really want my opinion...if you are coming over labor day weekend-forget going to seattle unless you want to be stuck in traffic. If this is your first time to the NW I would spend as much time doing 'scenic stuff' as you can.

If you want to do day trips from Portland I'd recommend going

1 day to the beach

1 day doing 'the loop' up the Columbia River Gorge and then down south through Hood River Valley(September should be at the begining stages of apple/pear harvest time) and then going up to Mt Hood/Timberline Lodge and back down to Portland.

1 day Mt. St. Helens would also be a good day trip.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,285 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

Definitely do not attempt Seattle for just a day on on Labor Day Weekend! It is Bumbershoot up there and is busier than usual.

Level Contributor
36,963 posts
946 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

Hi, you must see the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge area and also some of the Oregon Coast. About 90 minutes will put you in Cannon Beach which is very pretty. There is Haystack Rock, Ecola State Park and Indian Beach. About 10 minutes from CB is Seaside where you can walk the prom, feed the seals at the aquarium, souvenir shop and have some great seafood at Norma's or Sam's Seaside Cafe.

You may also want to consider spenidng some time in Oswald West State Park, walk down to Short Sand Beach for some gorgeous scenery. I have a review with photos of the area on this forum.

In Portland we like the Rose Gardens, Washington Park Zoo, Chinese Gardesn, Pittock Mansion and there is also the Portland Saturday Market that is fun. The riverfront area is cool also with Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The aerial tram sounds fun, from what I've been hearing the scenery is gorgeous from this ride.

Have a nice time on your travels! :)

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,285 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

I have mentioned this to syrahgirl and other visitors several times, but will repeat it.

The tram is not designed as a tourist thing to do...it is meant to take people from one area of OHSU (a hospital) to another part of it. Patients, doctors, etc. use it. That said, when it was built it went way over budget so the city is scrambling to find a way to offset the cost, so then it was suggested as something fun to do. My husband has used it several times and said the ride is no big deal, but the bigger issue is that the people riding it for its intended purpose are there for medical care, not for touring. So if anyone rides this for fun, please be very respectful of these people and what they might be going through.

Syrahgirl, if you like, when you visit next time, my husband would be more than happy to show you the tram and explain a bit of it to you.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,856 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Best Places And Things To Do In Portland

That means none of the usual tourist pushing and shoving to photograph those "gorgeous" views, right Mtngrl? ;-)

The only people I know who've ridden it are friends who work at the OHSU. So except for the view, I kinda see the tram as a hospital elevator. And I usually try and avoid those if I can.