The Best Way to Spend 24 Hours in Portland, Oregon
Whether you’re visiting Portland for the food, nature, or music, you won’t be disappointed with these five must-see spots.
Portland is the land of donuts 24/7 and unforgettable live music, where they always keep it weird and there’s a food cart for every kind of craving. So if you only have 24 hours in Portland, here are five activities you can do to build a memorable trip and make you feel like one of the locals.
Sample the Food Carts
Something that sets Portland apart from other places is their huge selection of food carts. Clumped into “pods,” you can find delicious and diverse cuisines all around town. You can find these pods in Northeast Portland, downtown, and in the southeast in several different spaces, with each pod offering something different. If you’re out and about and looking to sample food from several different cuisines, you can’t go wrong at a food cart pod.
Try Voodoo Doughnut
If you’re thinking of visiting Portland, you’ve probably heard of the famous Voodoo Doughnut. The wacky pink donut shop is frequented by locals and visitors alike, and because it’s always open (and conveniently located downtown), it’s a staple of Portland’s unique identity. But there are just two things to keep in mind before you go: They’re cash-only and there will likely be a line. So bring a friend and get ready to enjoy Voodoo’s unconventional sugary sweetness.
The famous rotating display of colorful Voodoo Doughnut pastries
Walk Through the Farmers Market
There are more than 40 farmers markets in the Portland metro area, but we suggest visiting the Portland State University farmers market, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday year-round. During the spring and summer, it opens half an hour earlier. You’ll be able to find local produce from many vendors, local distilleries New Deal and House Spirits, cured meats from Olympia Provisions to take back home with you, and Pine State Biscuits to grab a bite while you tour the market.
Browsing fresh produce at the Portland Farmers Market
Drink Local Coffee
There’s one thing Portland is more serious about than rock music: Coffee. Home to Stumptown Coffee Roasters, one of the most popular coffee brands in the USA, Portland takes huge pride in their coffee. So whether you’re a coffee afficionado or you just want a nice cafe to lounge in for an hour or so, you’re in luck. We recommend stopping by Stumptown Coffee Roasters downtown, Heart Coffee in Southeast Portland, or Sisters Coffee Company in the Pearl District.
A barista preparing a beverage at a local Portland coffee shop
See the Waterfalls
In addition to having great live music, coffee, and food, Portland also has beautiful hiking trails, with some parks and trails even inside the city. But if you have a car during your time there, it’s worth venturing outside the city to hike and explore some of the area’s waterfalls. One of the most popular is Multnomah Falls, located in the Columbia River Gorge, which is Oregon’s tallest waterfall and a sight that shouldn’t be missed. Just make sure to bring a bathing suit— Portland’s greatest summertime activity is taking a dip in the Columbia River!
The cascades of Multnomah Falls, Oregon's tallest waterfall
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