Any first-time visitor to Portland has a checklist, the things you definitely have to see — like Powell’s City of Books, Multnomah Falls and Pittock Mansion. But there are also a lot of hidden gems to explore. After living in Portland for a nearly a year, we’ve found a lot of quirky places that ring true to the city’s unofficial slogan, “Keep Portland Weird.” Here’s our guide to 9 things to put on your offbeat Portland tour.
Portland is full of amazing murals! It seems like every corner you turn, there’s a new one to check out, and for locals, new ones seem to be plastered on the walls on weekly basis. Hunt down some of the best murals, including the oldest dating back to 1984! They make for awesome Instagram posts.
Pictured here is a mural by Josh Keyes found on SE 13th & Morrison behind Zell’s Cafe.
The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium
You’ve heard that Portland is weird, but The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum is as weird and freaky as it gets!
This one-of-a-kind museum has displays about urban legends, fully immersive experiences and plenty of odd artwork that will keep you imagination running at full speed.
The Witch’s Castle
Tucked away in the woods of Forest Park is an abandoned stone structure with multiple stories of its history. The Stone House is best known as the Witch’s Castle.
The structure is apparently the remnants of a former restroom built in 1929, but we prefer to imagine stories behind the castle’s origins.
It’s a great marker along the 30-mile Wildwood Trail, easily accessed via Macleay Park in Northwest Portland.
Mill Ends Park
It was initially supposed to be a spot where a light pole was going to be installed, but that never happened. Eventually, a local named Dick Fagan adopted the site and planted flowers there. He also started a column in the paper called Mill Ends dedicated to tall tales about a group of leprechauns that only he could see. Eventually Mill Ends because a city park — and it still hosts St. Patrick’s Day festivities to this day.
Portland is home to some of the best donuts in the world. Most everyone who visits has Voodoo Doughnut on their list — those pink boxes are iconic — but locals have other go-to doughnut spots.
You can never have too many doughnuts, right?
Stark’s Vacuum Museum
There are over 300 vacuums that were all donated, traded in or sent by people who didn’t want to toss out their old machines.
Evergreen Curling Club
If you’ve ever wanted to give a go at curling, check out the Evergreen Curling Club. You can take lessons, join a league, or just stop by the drink and watch all the fun!
They have everything you need there — including a full bar.
Pedicab Distillery Tour
Most people know that Portland has a great beer scene, but did you know that there’s a big distillery scene here too? You can find everything from vodkas and gins, to rums and whiskeys, and even aquavit and flavored liqueurs.