Where is Portland (Oregon) Located on the Map? Is Portland Worth Visiting?

Aerial View of Mt. Hood Above Trillium Lake
Aerial View of Mt. Hood Above Trillium Lake

Portland is the largest city in Oregon located in the northwestern corner of the state right on the border of Washington state and only about an hour’s drive from the Pacific Ocean. Portland has a lot to offer from museums to gardens, unique eateries to art galleries.

Where is Portland (Oregon) Located on the Map
Where is Portland (Oregon) Located on the Map

In this article, we will explore the history of Portland, Oregon, and touch on any weird laws they may have. Most importantly, we’ll tell you the best places to shop, to eat, to meander through beautiful gardens, and so much more. 

What is the History of Portland, Oregon?

Before European settlement, Portland was inhabited by the Chinook tribes for its rich resources lying between the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. When the pioneers arriving on the Oregon Trail began to settle the area in the mid-1800s, it was named Portland after its counterpart on the East Coast of the United States in Maine. 

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In the early 1900s, the city’s population tripled in size. Although Portland, Oregon today does boast a top spot among the biggest cities in the United States, it is the most populous city in the state of Oregon. 

Are There Any Weird Laws in Portland, Oregon?

We know there are some weird laws out there, but some of Portland’s are definitely stranger than most. For example, pay attention to your footwear. It is illegal to have untied shoes when walking down a public street. It is also against the law to be wearing roller skates inside a bathroom. 

There are a few winter activities that are prohibited by law as well. You can’t attach a sled to your car and then ride in it. It is also illegal to get married on an ice rink. 

When it comes to cars, don’t leave your car door open too long or you get fined. You are also not allowed to fix your car outside your house if it takes you longer than two days.

What Are Some Unique Shopping Venues in Portland, Oregon?

If you want a unique shopping experience, Portland, Oregon has got you covered. Portland is home to the biggest arts and crafts fair in America. The Portland Saturday Market is open from March through December every Saturday and features hundreds of vendors so you can find just the right memento of your time on the West Coast. 

Located in the heart of downtown Portland is a reader’s dream store. Powell’s City of Books boasts the title of the world’s biggest new and used bookstore. It encompasses an entire city block and has become a staple in the city’s tourism industry. 

The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is not for the faint of heart and features lots of weird and peculiar exhibits. It is also a gift shop where you can get an exotic souvenir or gift for that friend that you never know what to get. 

Are There Any Gardens in Portland, Oregon Worth Visiting?

If you love gardens and peaceful places that offer lots of greenery and tranquility, Portland, Oregon is the place for you. Portland features the Portland International Rose Test Garden with over 10,000 roses. It is the oldest rose test garden still in operation in the United States. 

The fountain in the International Rose Test Garden located in Portland Oregon.
The fountain in the International Rose Test Garden located in Portland Oregon.

The Portland Japanese Garden is a wonderful place to relax with flowing waterfalls and a stunning view of Mount Hood. It is five and a half acres of pure peace and even offers a Japanese authentic tea house in the center. 

A Lantern and Waterfall in the Portland Japanese Garden
A Lantern and Waterfall in the Portland Japanese Garden

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is also a wonderful place to reacquaint yourself with inner peace. It features luscious gardens, koi ponds, covered walkways, and open pavilions. Enjoy a cup of tea at the Tower of Cosmic Reflections and relax in this Suzhou-style garden in Portland’s Chinatown. 

Pagoda reflecting in a pond at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, in Portland, Oregon.
Pagoda reflecting in a pond at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, in Portland, Oregon.

Are There Any Unique Places to Eat in Portland, Oregon?

Portland, Oregon has some awesome places to eat, and nothing helps illustrate that point better than Voodoo Doughnuts. This delightful bakery is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and features doughnuts with unbelievable toppings and combinations that will leave you bouncing off the walls in a sugar high. 

If you’re looking for something quick to eat, turn down Fifth Avenue for the 5th Avenue Food Cart Pod. Lined with food trucks serving any kind of meal you can think of, you’re sure to find something good to eat here. Whether you’re craving Korean, barbecue, Middle Eastern, or Mexican, lunch is hot and ready. 

Maybe you still want that sugar high, but it’s a hot day. Why not head down to Salt ; Straw, a unique ice cream eatery that is redefining ice cream flavors. Their delicious creations including strawberry honey balsamic and honey lavender are so unique, you’ll wish you could buy it by the pint from the grocery store back home. 

What Are Some Other Good Places to Visit in Portland, Oregon?

Portland, Oregon also offers some other attractions that are great for all ages and interests. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has interactive activities for kids and laboratories where they can explore chemistry, physics, paleontology, and so much more. 

Illuminated building of OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science Industry) at dusk
Illuminated building of OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science Industry) at dusk. Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky / Shutterstock.com

The Hoyt Arboretum is almost 200 acres of trees from over 150 different families. With more than 6,000 trees and 12 miles of walking trails, you can enjoy wonderful species from all over the globe including countries like Afghanistan, India, Germany, Chile, and Algeria. 

Nature landscape during autumn at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon
Nature landscape during autumn at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon

Mount Hood is a popular place for skiers and overlooks the city of Portland. Timberline Lodge is located at an elevation of 6000 feet and is the perfect place to look down for the snowy lofts to take in the view of the beautiful city below. 

Aerial View of Mt. Hood Above Trillium Lake
Aerial View of Mt. Hood Above Trillium Lake

The Oregon Zoo features more than 200 species of animals representing all kinds of critters from mammals to reptiles to insects. New additions to the zoo include primates, rhinos, and polar bears. They have summer concerts and behind the scenes tours of the exhibits. The elephants are the favorite among many visitors. You won’t forget your trip to Portland! 

Oregon Zoo
Oregon Zoo. Editorial credit: ARTYOORAN / Shutterstock.com

See Also

US CITIES MAPS

What is Portland, Oregon Known For?

What is Portland, Oregon Famous for?

Best Places to visit in Portland, Oregon

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!