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Portland, Oregon Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Portland, Oregon Outdoor activities

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.

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

3. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

Discover the scenic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge on a small group tour with an expert guide in a luxury passenger van. Explore Columbia River National Scenic Area stopping at several picturesque waterfalls typical of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Depart from downtown Portland and drive towards Troutdale, known as the Gateway to the Gorge. Enjoy the journey along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic roadway in the United States. Arrive at Crown Point Vista House, an overlook that sits high above the Columbia River. From there, continue along the historic highway deep into the Columbia River National Scenic Area. Arrive at the first waterfall of the day, the dramatic Latourell Falls, which plunges 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt.  Proceed next to the grand Multnomah Falls, which plummets to the ground from 620 feet in two major steps. Explore the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge and stand on the easily accessible viewing platform that offers a full view of the Benson Bridge and cascading falls beyond. Next, visit the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and take a short walking tour of an impressive hatchery and sturgeon viewing center. You will also meet the local celebrity: “Herman” the sturgeon. Afterward, relax on the journey back to Portland via the Columbia River scenic route.

Portland: 2 Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown

4. 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: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

5. Portland: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Morning Tour

Millions of years ago, during the formation of the Cascade Mountain Range, lava and other pyroclastic matter flowed west from what would be the Cascades all the way to the Pacific Ocean, creating a thick shell of basalt rock that covered Western Oregon. Then, during the Pleistocene Ice Age, roughly 15,000 years ago, water from the Lake Missoula Flood carved out the Columbia River Gorge as hundreds of cubic miles of water, ice, rock and mud rushed from present-day Montana to the Pacific Ocean. Explore the beauty of the canyon walls and rock formations, breathtaking waterfalls and awe-inspiring visas that make the Columbia River National Scenic Area one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Our 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 we may stop include, Portland Women’s Forum, Crown Point Vista House, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Shepperd’s Dell. Perched atop one of the most panoramic overlooks in the Columbia River Gorge, Vista House provides an unrivaled, majestic view. Often referred to as “The Crown Jewel of the Columbia River Gorge,” Vista House was built between 1916 and 1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers, a scenic viewpoint, and a comfort station for those traveling on the newly constructed Historic Columbia River Highway. Built with expertly carved sandstone and stunning marble, then finished with bronze lining and amber-green opalescent art glass windows, Vista House and the view it offers are sure to amaze and inspire you. Latourell Falls plunges 249 feet (76 m) over a massive wall of basalt and then rushes through the forest into the Columbia River. The falling water of Latourell is framed by some of the most perfect columnar basalt formations in the Pacific Northwest that are adorned with a large florescent patch of yellow lichen and shrouded in brilliant green flora. We’ll venture down to the punch-bowl pool below the falls, where you’ll hear the tremendous rush of water and feel the cool mist that it creates. You’ll easily realize why this special place is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is fed by underground streams that originate miles above on Larch Mountain. This ancient 620 foot (189 m) waterfall is divided into two sections; the upper falls plummets an impressive 542 feet into a pool and again drops 69 feet to form a creek that runs into the Columbia River. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States and the highest in Oregon, and is Oregon’s number one natural attraction, drawing over 2.5 million visitors a year from around the world. At the base of the waterfall sits the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, a full-service day lodge complete with a restaurant, gift shop, snack and espresso bar.

Bike Portland: Bridges, Neighborhoods, Poetry, and Roses

6. Bike Portland: Bridges, Neighborhoods, Poetry, and Roses

Enjoy more time riding, with occasional stops for gardens, one-of-a-kind markets, art collectives, sculptures, bridge viewpoints, and river beaches. This tour begins in the inner Eastside neighborhoods, where you will be fitted for an easy-to-ride bike and helmet, ready for a low-key 7-10 mile ride (12-16 kilometers). Your guide will lead your group into the southeast Portland neighborhood of Ladd's Addition where you’ll visit several of the city's quadrants, ride over two bridges, and along the Willamette River. You will visit semi-secret beaches, examine unique modes of transportation, see public art of every shape, color, and texture. This ride is both like a poem and filled with poetry: you will read poetry written on murals, on sidewalks, and carved into rocks. Along the tour, you will have the opportunity to photograph and explore public art, poetry, parks and beaches; and learn about all of the modes of Portland's transportation up close.

Portland: Mt. Hood Day Tour

7. Portland: Mt. Hood Day Tour

Your 8.5-hour trip begins early with a hotel pickup from downtown Portland. Embark on an exhilarating morning drive through the Columbia River Gorge. Catch spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains that flank the river and glimpse a waterfall or two. Along the forested highway, visit Oregon’s famous waterfall Multnomah Falls. Join your guide and fellow visitors on Benson Bridge and snap a picture of the 611-foot-tall cascade of water as it crashes below. Next, continue to Hood River, a picturesque valley town renowned as a prime destination for wind sports. Watch kiteboarders and windsurfers skate across the water as you learn about Hood River’s rich environmental and cultural history.Then take some free time for lunch, shopping or wine-tasting (if whimsy strikes you!). Then visit Rowena Crest which has spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge. The final stop on your guided tour is the glorious Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest peak at 11,249 feet (3,429 meters) and Timberline Lodge. Take a mountain walk or a self-guided visit through the renovated lodge that was once the setting for the classic film The Shining. Your day concludes back in Portland by early evening.

Portland: Cannon Beach, Trails, & Forests Oregon Coast Tour

8. Portland: Cannon Beach, Trails, & Forests Oregon Coast Tour

Spend the day exploring the Oregon coastline on a dynamic round-trip day tour with a local guide, snacks and drinks, and plenty of free time to explore. With over 300 miles of public coastline, Oregon’s beaches are sure to amaze with their dramatic offshore rock formations and beach towns.  Departing from downtown Portland, start heading west on the Sunset Highway, Oregon’s first automobile route through the Cascade Mountain Range. Leave the city behind and drive through rolling pastures and towering forests of Douglas firs. Drop down from Sunset Highway and meander through a lush Sitka spruce forest to find the first glimpse of the Oregon coastline through Ecola State Park. Momentarily leave the vehicle behind and explore this coastal oasis.  If time allows, travel to Indian Beach, a secluded pocket that hides away from much of the summertime crowd and a favorite spot for local beachcombers. The park connects with the Oregon Coast Trail, a 382-mile hiking trail that spans the entire length of the Oregon coastline. Make a quick jaunt to nearby Cannon Beach next, a piece of coastline punctuated by Haystack Rock claimed to be the third tallest intertidal structure in the world. Spot three adjacent rock formations to its south that are appropriately named the Needles.  Walk along the sandy beach, watch beautiful birds, and, if you’re lucky and the tide is out, view many species of marine wildlife in their natural tide pool habitat. Afterward, stop for lunch (at your own expense) in the town of Cannon Beach and enjoy some free time for about an hour. In the afternoon, head south on the famous Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Highway 101, exploring more beautiful coastal shores. Upon Neahkahnie Overlook, find stunning views along the highest driveable point along the Oregon Coast. Later, journey to Oswald West State Park. Time-dependent, take a short, forested hike following along Short Sand Creek to a driftwood stacked coastline known as Smugglers Cove. A variable from this stop would be a short visit to Hug Point. After finishing up at your last stop, make the trek back to Portland through Highway 26 and be back just in time for dinner.

Portland: Haunted History Tour and Pub Crawl

9. 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: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour

10. Portland: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour

Enjoy a half-day guided tour to discover the breathtaking landscape of the western Columbia Gorge. After pickup at your accommodation, travel down Waterfall Alley, known for having the highest density of hanging waterfalls in the world during the winter and spring. Stop at a viewpoint where you'll get a spectacular vista of the western Gorge, with the Vista House in the foreground.  You'll have 15 minutes to spend inside the Vista House, the fanciest rest stop in the world. It was built in 1918, and provides interpretive displays and sublime views. Be careful⁠⁠—sometimes the wind gusts to 160 km/h (100 mph). Stop and do a short and easy hike at a cathedral waterfall. You'll feel as if you're in a fairy tale as you walk through rainforest and discover a magnificent rock formation harboring an elegant waterfall and fluorescent-yellow lichen. As you walk through the rainforest, your guide will highlight some of the plants and animals you'll see along the way. As you drive the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, inspired by the Axenstrasse in the Swiss Alps, admire the towering basalt cliffs as you make additional waterfall stops. Explore the tallest waterfall in Oregon during a 30-minute stop at Multnomah Falls, where you can walk up to the Benson Bridge, visit the interpretive center, or peruse the gift shop. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Portland to be dropped off at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Portland, Oregon

Absolutely stunning!! Damon was such a great guide. Full of information and so easy to listen to. Personalized our tour and even dropped us off at our hotel. About as close to a must-do as there is for anyone wanting to see the natural beauty of the area. Our kids thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we can’t recommend this enough!!

I went on this tour with my sister as a local, she was visiting from out of town. It was entertaining and I think that it was well worth the experience. Even though I have been to the gorge before, it was nice to learn some facts and background that I did not know.

Amazing waitstaff and crew. Beautiful view and good food. Would absolutely recommend

Very well planned tour with a very knowledgeable driver.

Highly recommend this tour. Well worth the low price!