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Portland, Oregon

Culture & history

Our most recommended Portland, Oregon Culture & History

Portland: 2.5 Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown

1. Portland: 2.5 Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown

Try out the best way to dine in Portland on the Willamette River enhanced by dazzling city sights and lights. You'll enjoy an evening featuring a 2.5 hour cruise, Northwest cuisine (locally sourced and prepared fresh on board), live piano music and narration of the sights on the outer decks. Partake in freshly baked bread, house salad, your choice of entrée (poultry, beef, seafood or vegetarian) and New York cheesecake dessert. After dinner, head out onto the observation deck to admire the city’s skyline lit up at night. Cruise along the scenic Willamette River, then pass by the impressive Steel Bridge. Along the way, learn about the landmarks from the onboard narration. 

Portland: 2 Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown

2. Portland: 2 Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown

Hop onboard the vessel and be escorted to your private table. Start off with some freshly baked bread, followed by your choice of entrée (poultry, beef, seafood, or vegetarian). Salad and dessert options are available for additional purchase on board. After lunch, head out onto the observation deck to admire the city’s impressive skyline. Cruise along the scenic Willamette River to Milwaukie and back through Downtown Portland under several bridges. Along the way, learn about the landmarks from the historical narration on the outer decks.

Portland: Downtown Haunted Walking Tour

3. Portland: Downtown Haunted Walking Tour

Take a historic and memorable look at the haunted past of Portland, Oregon, with a 1-hour walking tour. Set off on an adventure through downtown Portland with a knowledgeable and experienced guide, and discover the most haunted locations in the area. Make your way to the meeting point at Lan Su Chinese Garden and look out for your guide, who will be carrying a lantern. Begin immediately with the obscure history of the City of Roses before embarking on a haunted route to 8 locations in the surrounding downtown area. Head to the waterfront, then walk the dark streets to the Old Town Pizza to hear researched stories and eyewitness accounts of personal hauntings in Portland's morbid and mysterious past. From there, the tour only gets spookier as you visit The Shanghai Tunnels to see the firsthand reminder of Portland's shady past where men were kidnapped or "Shanghaied" and sold to ship's captains in need of sailors, and women were captured and forced into illicit work.  Learn about an entire network of vice and illegal trade that began to use these tunnels for gambling, opium dens, prostitution, and kidnapping. Your guide will take you to some of the other most haunted locations and deliver, in gripping detail, the history and eyewitness accounts of hauntings and paranormal activity.  Finally, make your way back to the final stop at Lan Su Chinese Garden, where your guide can give you a final recap of Portland's strange activity. Answer any ghost questions you might have, and check out and exchange any paranormal pictures and activity caught on camera.

Portland: Heart of Portland Sightseeing Cruise

4. Portland: Heart of Portland Sightseeing Cruise

Board the Portland Spirit and embark on a tour of Portland and the Willamette River from an entirely new perspective. Learn about the area, people and bridges from the historical narration, played on all three levels. You may sit indoors in the climate-controlled areas or outside in the open air. Take in the views of the Portland and Milwaukie waterfronts with a full-service bar and bistro menu available for purchase. The cruise will head south on the Willamette River to Milwaukie and then back to the dock.

Portland: Underground Donut Tour

5. Portland: Underground Donut Tour

Accompany your passionate foodie guide to 4 donut institutions, where you'll enjoy a curated sample of Portland's best donuts. Savor classics like glazed and chocolate, and discover some more adventurous flavors, like lavender.  Your stops may include Sesame Donuts, Blue Star Donuts, NOLA Doughnuts, and Voodoo Doughnuts, all true donut institutions. You'll even be able to skip the line at Voodoo Doughnuts, where some people wait up to 30 minutes. On the way to the donut shops, visit some local sights including Pioneer Square, Chinatown, and the PSU Campus. Your tour guide will entertain you with interesting facts about these sites as you travel between treats.

Portland: 2 Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown

6. Portland: 2 Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown

Hop onboard the vessel and be escorted to your private table. Start off with a refreshing glass of champagne, sparkling cider, or an orange juice. Then enjoy a delicious plated brunch made up of breakfast and lunch favorites, accompanied by a dessert buffet. After brunch, head out onto the observation deck to admire the city’s impressive skyline. Cruise along the scenic Willamette River, then pass by the Steel Bridge. Along the way, learn about the landmarks from the onboard narration while sipping on more champagne.

Portland: Mount Hood Wine and Waterfalls Full-Day Tour

7. Portland: Mount Hood Wine and Waterfalls Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a full-day tour of the beautiful landscapes of the wine-growing regions near Portland. Discover breathtaking sights like the Columbia Gorge and Multnomah Falls. Enjoy a mouth-watering lunch and a winetasting experience at a local winery.  Be picked at your accommodation in Portland and relax in comfort aboard a Mercedes Sprinter van as you travel through the verdant landscape of the Willamette Valley which is known for its hazelnuts, berries, evergreen trees, and Pinot Noir wine. Ride into the foothills of the western Cascades and ascend to the tree line on Mount Hood, the highest peak in Oregon. Spend an hour at the historic Timberline Lodge, built by local artisans during the Great Depression.  Explore the interpretive displays, go hiking, or play in the snow, before heading thorugh the Hood River Valley to a picturesque winery. Eat a farm-to-table lunch while enjoying a wine tasting at a boutique vineyard with a view of Mount Hood.  Learn about wine production in the region and visit 1 other winery in the Columbia Gorge or Columbia Valley areas. Travel through the Columbia Gorge and admire the towering basalt cliffs, before stopping for half and hour at Multnomah Falls. Have time to walk up to the Benson Bridge, visit the interpretive center, or peruse the gift shop. Afterward, head back to Portland to be dropped off at your hotel.

Portland: Haunted History Tour and Pub Crawl

8. Portland: Haunted History Tour and Pub Crawl

Grab a drink and step into the shadows of downtown Portland, where pirates, murderers, bootleggers, and doomed souls are waiting to tell their stories. Join your local guide on a chilling journey to the city's historic haunted sites and pubs, as you listen to their blood-curdling ghost stories. Meet your guide at Independent Bar & Grill for a pint of liquid courage before heading to eight other historic, haunted spots, including iconic pubs like Kells and the Shanghai Tunnel Bar. Stop and listen closely to hear the tortured souls trapped in Portland's intricate system of underground tunnels. Search for the spirit of Timothy Moreau, a young publicity agent who was ruthlessly murdered at the Roseland Theater. Mingle with the dozens of ghosts said to haunt Kells Irish Pub and hear their terrifying stories, all while enjoying your favorite beer, wine, or spirit in the company of your group.

Portland: Afternoon City Highlights Tour

9. Portland: Afternoon City Highlights Tour

More than just a basic Portland city tour, our half-day Portland City Tour will reveal the laid-back small city feel of this fun and thriving downtown. You will experience the best Portland sites including the International Rose Garden, Pioneer Courthouse Square, NW 23rd (the best shopping area in Portland), the Pearl District, the South Park Blocks, and N. Mississippi. Today Portland is known as one of the world’s most environmentally conscious cities: a hub for farm-to-table eateries, alternative lifestyles, a large community of cyclists, and high walkability. Let our informative and entertaining Tour Guides show you the best the City of Portland has to offer. Learn about the modern heart of the city, Portland’s downtown, and the historical importance it has played in the state’s history. Enjoy the sights of Pioneer Courthouse Square, fondly referred to as Portland’s Living Room. This community space opened in 1984, and has become the center of the city’s social activity with over 300-programmed event days. Pioneer Square is the perfect spot for people-watching and observing Portland culture at its best: everything from fresh-food markets to beer festivals to political protests to the city’s largest community sing-along. Let the fragrance of roses embrace your senses with over 600 roses and be delighted with the beautiful Washington Park nature, featuring some of the most amazing city & mountain views around. More than 10,000 individual rose bushes bloom in the International Rose Test Garden from late May through October, representing over 610 different rose varieties. The majority of roses in the Garden are commercially available. About 10 to 20 varieties are replaced each year with some of the best new roses released onto the market. We will visit the rose garden seasonally. You will be taken through NW 23rd Avenue which is the heart of the Nob Hill District and is filled with century-old Victorian and Craftsman-style storefronts housing unique boutiques alongside national retailers, interspersed with coffee shops and on-trend restaurants and bars like Salt & Straw Ice Cream and Matador. In short, it’s a shopper’s and diners paradise. Portland’s Pearl District is the realization of a big dream. What was once a largely abandoned industrial district is now one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the city. Scattered throughout, you will find cobblestone streets, loading docks, and lofty buildings that offer a glimpse into the district’s grittier past. It is an urban renaissance with its own unique blend of artistry, productivity, and public parks like Tanner Springs Park. North Mississippi Avenue features a long stretch of vibrant shops like Paxton Gate, unique bars, music venues and restaurants (and is only a half-mile away from even more acclaimed eateries and bars on up-and-coming North Williams Avenue) and you will have time to walk around and explore this area.

Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Afternoon Tour

10. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Afternoon Tour

Explore the beauty of these unique canyon walls and rock formations, encountering breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Your enthusiastic guides will introduce you to the most amazing places in the gorge, while providing a comprehensive narrative of this spectacular landscape and its transformative history. Your adventure will take place along the Historic Columbia River National Scenic Byway, where some of the locations you may stop include the Portland Women’s Forum, the Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell.

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What people are saying about Portland, Oregon

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 200 reviews

Wonderful evening! The food was excellent! 2 1/2 hours allowed us to enjoy a wonderful relaxed dinner, cocktails, and sitting upon the deck. Tables were spaced far enough apart for privacy and Covid barrier. We had a table by the window which was wonderful.

Jose was an informative and fun guide. Reviewed how to kayak, how to remain safe in the water and had a surprise for us half way thru the paddle. We highly recommend!

Ian was a thoughtful, personable and knowledgeable guide. We appreciated his info on the neighborhoods, sites and the yummy doughnuts! Thank you Ian!

Our tour was great! Our guide, Chris, was very knowledgeable and a wonderful storyteller. I only wish the tour was longer!

We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The food and the view were amazing. I highly recommend it.