Top things to do near Portland Airport
Covering more than 400 acres (162 hectares) of forested hillsides, Washington Park swathes the parkland, gardens and properties located about 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) from Portland International Airport.
Including a zoo, museums, arboretum, Japanese garden, amphitheater, sports fields, picnic areas, public art and a wild forest full of walking trails, you could spend days exploring the site.
The International Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo and Hoyt Arboretum are all incredible attractions in their own rights, but their gathering together in a single expansive park makes this is a must-visit while you're in the Portland area.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Exploring the natural sciences, technology, industry and other subjects through temporary exhibits, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is based in an old power station next to the Willamette River.
Exhibits at the museum are impressive, such as the submarine USS Blueback, which is moored in the river next to the main building for daily tours, the ultra-large-screen theater, the planetarium and the expansive turbine hall housing interactive exhibits on engineering, physics, laser holography and space travel.
It’s a fantastic place to take children and it’s only about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from the terminals at Portland International Airport.
Portland Art Museum
Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest in the USA, dating to 1892. With a collection of over 40,000 works of art spread across 112,000 square feet (10,405 square meters) of floor space, it is also amongst the largest in the country.
Regularly hosting touring exhibitions, the museum includes centers for Native American art, Northwest art and modern and contemporary art, with permanent exhibitions of Asian art, photography, an outdoor sculpture garden and the Northwest Film Center to boot.
At just 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from Portland International Airport, this museum always offers something new and unexpected.
Once a warehousing and industrial neighborhood, the Pearl District was embraced by artists in the mid-1980s, who soon gave it a reputation for art galleries and iconic independent stores.
As its reputation grew, the area went through an urban renewal. Today, high-rise luxury apartment blocks sit amongst the cool bars, clubs, restaurants, galleries and craft breweries.
There are several beautiful park areas that play host to festivals and events throughout the summer months, but this is a great neighborhood to explore at any time of year. It’s just 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from Portland Airport.
BridgePort Brewery and Brewpub
Portland has a thriving independent brewery industry, so it’s no surprise that you can encounter home-grown craft beers in many of the bars and restaurants around the city.
BridgePort is one of Oregon's oldest craft breweries and distributes beers to 18 states nationwide. Famous for their award-winning India Pale Ale and the mouthwatering Blue Heron Pale Ale, there's no better place to sample some of their beers than at the brewery itself, which is about 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) from Portland International Airport.
The Brewpub also has a restaurant to shout about; it serves an eclectic range of foods alongside, of course, a very substantial list of beers.
Valentine’s live music venue
Portland has one of the most vibrant live music scenes in the USA, so no visit to the city is complete without trying to catch a show.
There's some great spots to choose from, like Mississippi Studios, the Aladdin Theater, Holocene, The Know or the Doug Fir Lounge, but if you want something unique, head for Valentine’s.
Hidden away about 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from Portland Airport, it can just about squeeze 40 people into the main room, but it creates a rather special atmosphere. Great staff, a second room upstairs and a cobblestone alleyway facing onto the legendary Voodoo Donuts all make for a very Portland night out.
Portland Saturday Market
At only 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from PDX Airport, the Portland Saturday Market is held every weekend from March to December.
Dedicated to arts and crafts in the region, it attracts 100,000s of people every year, many of whom visit to browse the work by local independent artists and stores.
Live music and often quite unusual street food are strong features of the market. It’s set next to the water, so the market is a top spot to spend a sunny day soaking in the atmosphere, culture and people.
The Grotto – National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother
About four miles (6.4 kilometers) down the road from Portland Airport is the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother. It’s a 62-acre (25.1-hectare) outdoor shrine popularly known to locals as ‘The Grotto’.
Consisting of a large meditation hall and church at the top of a cliff, it’s a memorable place to explore via the extensive trails around the property (there’s an elevator to get up and down the cliff face, too).
Botanical gardens at the top of the cliff have expansive views of Mount Saint Helens, the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River Valley. Originally conceived as a natural cathedral, the end-result is a uniquely peaceful and tranquil place amidst the hip, urban surroundings of Portland.