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Five Cheap Activites for 24 Hours in Portland, Oregon

This blog post was updated on October 9, 2018.

Portland, Oregon is somewhat out a ways. Unless you are heading to the Pacific Northwest, chances are you might miss the city swimming in drizzle in winter.


On a recent visit to Portland, I had just one day to explore the major sites and sounds and get a feel for the city.


Fortunately, Portland is one of those cities where you can have a jam-packed day, and spend very little cash.


Stick Your Nose in Powell’s Books—In Portland, you will find the largest independent, new and used bookstore in the world. If you aren’t a believer, just drive around its entire building. It keeps going and going and going. Head inside to flip through pages and take in some of the bookstore’s history.


Rain or Shine, head to the Pittock Mansion—Even though the Pittock Mansion was closed on my visit, just exploring its grounds lends that eerie, misty fog of Portland. Constructed in 1914 by Henry Pittock, the mansion hosts great views of the city, even if you can’t make it out in all of the fog.


Try a Microbrew While in Town—Portland is a micro-brew lover’s paradise. The city is infested with a number of different types of beer and brands. While most will tell you to head to the classic, Deschutes, go adventurous and try a new up and coming trend in Portland beers, sour beer.


Take a Ride on the Portland Aerial Tram—It looks strange to the stranger in town. Portland’s aerial tram travels 3,3300 linear feet between the city’s south waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing and the upper terminal of OHSU’s main campus. Those who ride will have three minutes of views of the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway.


Peruse Parks Aplenty—Portland is home to a number of gardens to meander through including the International Rose Test Gardens, the Classical Chinese Garden, the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Washington Park looking over the city. If you are strapped for cash, no one can put a price on strolling through the city’s mossy-forested parks or waterfront stretches of town.

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