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Portland Real Estate Experts

Top Fun Things to Do In Portland for Adults

Visiting Portland? Looking for exciting things to do?

Check out these tips from your Portland Realtor, the McDonald Group!

The first thing to do when you get to Portland is stop into any coffee shop, cafe, or local store and pick up one of our weekly newspapers, the Portland Mercury and the Willamette Week. These are the go-to source - for visitors and locals alike - for local event listings, Portland-area news, concerts, restaurant reviews, and so much more. Best of all, they're both FREE, and don't worry about looking like a tourist by carrying it around - locals read them every week to find events, movie times, and local gossip!

Next, it's a good idea to check in with www.travelportland.com for local deals and city wide events like Dining Month, when Portland's top restaurants present a three course meal for $25 all month long, and make your hotel reservations with Portland Perks, easily the best deal in Portland lodging. This amazing service sets you up in one of Portland's top hotels at amazing prices (including free nights), plus they give you free breakfast, free overnight parking downtown (worth $$$) and a valuable coupon book filled with hundreds of dollars of deals: two-for-one tickets, mall shopping sprees, gift certificates to local restaurants, and free gifts from Portland's top retailers!

If you're interested in checking out some of Portland's major attractions, consider the Portland Attractions Pass which gives you discounted access to top spots like the Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Oregon History Museum, the Oregon Zoo, Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, the Portland Children’s Museum, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the World Forestry Center. It's a really amazing deal, and you'll know you're not missing a thing!

City-Wide Event Internet Resources:

One of my favorite resources for keeping track of Portland Events is the Portland Event Calendar at Travel Portland. They are really up-to-date and list all the museum exhibits, concerts, festivals, and neighborhood events. The Oregonian Event Calendar is also a great resource, and they publish must-do lists for kids, families, and adults every so often so you can prioritize your schedule. The Portland Visitors Association Events Calendar tracks tons of events happening around town, and the Events Northwest Web site details local attractions and happenings in the greater NW region.

Must-Visit Restaurants:

Be sure to grab a meal in several different kind of places to get a full idea of the Portland food scene: stop by the food carts for lunch, get dressed up for a fine dining night, enjoy a glass of wine and small plate appetizers at a tapas bar, grab a beer and a killer burger at a local brewpub, and work off your hangover over brunch at one of our legendary breakfast spots. We've got it all, and I hear again and again that visitors to Portland spend their whole vacation happily eating their way through the city.

Our top picks:

The Screen Door: 2337 E Burnside St Portland, OR 97214 Locally-sourced and southern-fried, everything on this menu from the Cajun eggs Benedict in the AM to the evening’s brined and fried chicken (the best you'll ever have) keeps the locals lining up for up to an hour. Trust us, it's worth the wait.

Pok Pok: 3226 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97202 - This Thai Street food spot is famous for their fish sauce chicken wings and amazing cocktails. There is no pad thai on the menu and you’ll use a fork for your Ca Cha La Vong, boar collar, and minced duck breast, but it’s worth it for never looking at Thai food the same way again.

Toro Bravo: 120 NE Russell St Portland, OR 97212 - Toro Bravo is about as Spanish as the French revolution (have you ever seen a pulled pork sandwich in a restaurant in Madrid?) but regardless of nationality, this is damn good food. Get there right when it opens—at five—and be ready to fight for your spot.

Bunk Sandwiches: 621 SE Morrison St Portland, OR 97214 - Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood have turned this little storefront into a local and then national legend. What you’ll get here aren’t just sandwiches – these are entire meals served between two slices of bread.

Pine State Biscuits: 3640 SE Belmont St Portland, OR 97214 - Pine state Biscuits is proof that the American biscuit can be elevated to levels so sublime that you can build an entire restaurant around it. The hit here is the Reggie Deluxe – a biscuit separated by a whole fried chicken breast, bacon, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy to tie it all together. Woah.

Beaker & Flask: 720 SE Sandy Blvd Portland, OR 97214 - Beaker & Flask elevates the idea of "bar food" past burger-and-fries into territory more likely to offer grilled beef shoulder and maple-braised pork belly. And the cocktail list is one of Portland's deepest and best.

Tabla: 200 NE 28th Ave Portland, OR 97232 - Tabla’s three-course prix fixe meal is one of the best deals in town. A northern Italian menu heavy on the handmade pasta, this northeast 28th corridor restaurant is noisy, busy, and relaxed.

Beast: 5425 NE 30th Ave Portland, OR 97211 - It's a splurge, but Portland's most high-profile chef, James Beard finalist Naomi Pomeroy, wo-mans the kitchen at Beast, where each intimate, prix-fixe seating is like a dinner party gone carnivorously crazy. Charceuterie plates explode with terrine, gelee, tartare, mousse; braised duck, pork shoulder, and beef cheeks make common appearances on the rotating menu.

Le Pigeon: 738 E Burnside St Portland, OR 97214 - Gabe Rucker’s East Burnside hole-in-the-wall has an open kitchen, a short menu, and a firm handle on how to make inventive but mostly accessible food. This is where you’ll find pickled onions on your burger and foie gras in your profiterole, but it’s also where you’ll find some killer fried green tomatoes on your pork belly and a really good namesake chicken-under-a-brick.

Must-Do Activities:

1. Eat. Everything, everywhere. This town was made for foodies. See above. Repeat.

2. Drink. We've got the best coffee, the best cocktails, the best local craft beer, all made from local ingredients and served up by crafty, fun people in creative spaces. Get out there and fill your cup.

3. Visit one of the many farmers' markets in Portland. Here's a complete list, but the largest is downtown on Saturday mornings on the PSU campus downtown. It's worth battling the crowds, there's great music, and the best produce in the world.

4. Go on a Portland Walking Tour. One of their most popular is the Epicurean tour, where you'll sample local chocolate, coffee, tea, wines, bread and all sorts of goodies. Very knowledgeable guides and fun groups make this the tour for people who normally don't like tours (but really like food).

5. Spend a few hours in Portland's City of Books, Powell's Bookstore downtown. Wander this book lover' paradise, which is locally owned and absolutely huge. You'll be glad to get lost in the stacks.

6. Explore the Shanghai Tunnels! Explore what was once Portland's seedy underground network of tunnels that wind under the city by taking a tour through the dark, windy passageways.

7. Catch a game at PGE Park - Currently home to the Portland minor league baseball team, the Beavers, this park is about to become a Major League Soccer destination, home to our very own Portland Timbers. Check out a Beavers game before they're gone or catch a Timbers game, known to have the rowdiest fans in all of sports, the TImbers' Army.

8. Check out one of our great museums - The Portland Art Museum and the Oregon History Center are both downtown, and are home to amazing permanent collections and traveling exhibits. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is located on the east side of the river, and is home to some pretty amazing exhibits of its own.

9. Catch an art walk, either the First Thursday Gallery Walk in the Pearl District or Last Thursday up on NE Alberta. Open galleries, street vendors, and local artists and craftsmen make it a festival atmosphere, a perfect place to see and be seen.

10. Trek Portland's 4T Trail: This 8.5 mile loop takes you from downtown Portland to Council Crest (Portland’s highest point at 1,073 feet) and back to the river, winding through forested parks, past the best restaurants in the country, classic examples of historical Northwest architecture, examples of our scientific, artistic, and environmental ingenuity, and unsurpassed views of the colorful city skyline, sparkling river, and the snow-capped peaks of Mounts Hood, St. Helens, Adams, Jefferson, and Rainier.

11. Catch a summer concert, especially the Summer Zoo Concert Series at the Oregon Zoo and the Music on Main Street series downtown. This summer, the Oregon Zoo’s 32nd Annual Summer Concert Series features music greats Jewel, The B-52s, Jimmy Cliff, Jamie Cullum, Cyndi Lauper, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

12. Enjoy some putt-putt at Glowing Greens Mini-Golf: When the sun gets too much too handle, pop into Downtown Portland’s “premier Black light indoor 3D miniature golf course!” 18 holes of family-friendly fun, in the cool of an underground hideaway. Just look for the Skeleton Pirate on SW Taylor Street!

13. Drink up at a brewpub: The variety of clubs, bars and microbreweries is as diverse as the people who call this portion of the country home. Dubbed "Beervana" and "Beertown," Portland is known to be the microbrewing capital of America, with the most microbreweries in one city this side of the Atlantic. Area microbrew moguls, the McMenamin Brothers, own a number of quality establishments, but there is also a large selection of independent breweries in the competitive, but oh so refreshing, world of Portland's microbrewing.

14.Go Shopping! Spend a day exploring one of the nation's best shopping cities, with shopping malls, unique specialty shops, antique stores, and art galleries you won't get bored. Don't worry about bringing your change purse; Portland is sales tax free! Some of the best Portland shopping is downtown, featuring trendy stores like Nordstrom, Niketown, and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as Pioneer Shopping Mall. The Pearl District shopping is great for boutique and galleries along NW 21st and 23rd Avenues, while the Hawthorne District attracts more book collectors and coffee shop loungers. Looking for a vintage or antique item? Try the Sellwood District or stop by Westmoreland.