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Things to Do

thingsToDo-1There are many things to do in Portland! Portland is famous for its food, natural beauty, and good public transportation. It is easy to find things to do when you have a free weekend or even just an afternoon. Explore the many options that we have to offer year-round.

  • Sales Tax-Free Shopping: The Portland Saturday Market is one of the largest outdoor arts and crafts markets in the nation. The Saturday Market is open from March through Christmas Eve. Additionally, the nearby Woodburn Outlets offer great deals on name brands like Columbia, Coach, and Adidas.
  • Nature: Oregonians love to get outside. There are many natural areas near PIA, such as hiking trails in the Gorge and on Mt. Hood. Near downtown Portland is Forest Park, the largest urban park in the US. Forest Park has over 70 miles (112 kilometers) of trails to explore. The wild animals of the Oregon Zoo and the lovely botanical gardens of the Hoyt Arboretum and Japanese Garden are just five minutes from downtown.
  • Food: One of the best things to do in Portland is eat at food carts! Portland’s famous food carts are grouped together in “pods” around the city. Students can get a quick meal from a food cart with Egyptian, Greek, American, Mexican, or Southeast Asian street food. Portland is also a top city for microbrewed beer and fantastic coffee. Be sure to try a crazy Voodoo Doughnut!
  • Festivals: Oregon has a huge variety of festivals throughout the year, such as the Oregon Country Fair, the Rose Festival, the Blues and Jazz Festivals, state fairs, rodeos, and various food, film, and music festivals. In summer, there are many free public events such as art walks, street fairs, and bike parades.
  • Roses: Portland is known as “The City of Roses” because of the grand International Rose Test Garden near downtown. Students who visit from April through October can walk among 7,000 beautiful rose bushes. June is the best time for roses.
  • Museums: Relax and learn at the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Pittock Mansion, or the World Forestry Center.
  • Amusement Parks: To enjoy thrilling rides, students can go to Oaks Amusement Park or Enchanted Forest, or they can get soaked at the Evergreen Wings and Waves Waterpark.
  • thingsToDo-2National Parks: Crater Lake National Park is one of the most amazing places in the US. Crater Lake is a very deep, pure lake surrounded by cliffs that are about 200 feet (60 meters) high.
  • Winter Sports: Mt. Hood offers fun outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, and snowboarding.
  • Beaches: The coast is only an hour away with clean, beautiful beaches along dramatic cliffs covered in greenery and trees. Fun shopping and arcades make for a full day.