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Portland, Oregon Small group activities

Our most recommended Portland, Oregon Small group activities

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Tour

1. 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.

Bike Portland: Bridges, Neighborhoods, Poetry, and Roses

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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.

From Portland: Willamette Valley Character Wineries

5. From Portland: Willamette Valley Character Wineries

Meander the wine appellations of the Willamette Valley, and discover vineyards and tasting rooms that stand out, not only for the views and the character of their wine, but the intriguing personalities (both human and non-human) involved. You and your small group will learn background on the history, terroir, and character of Willamette Valley wine from your interpretive guide. This day trip is a customized tour of 3-4 wineries in the Willamette Valley. You’ll travel south and west of Portland, as your guide takes you through the farmland of the Willamette Valley, one of the richest valleys in the world, known for its hazelnuts, berries, Christmas trees, and Pinot Noir. You may stop at a farm stand to get farm-fresh eggs or fruits, nuts, & vegetables.  You'll be served a lunch platter at the second winery, accounting for your dietary needs. You'll wander through the rolling hills of multiple Willamette Valley sub-AVAs, passing through charming little villages, while making stops at some of the most unique boutique wineries. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Portland to be dropped off at your hotel.

Portland: Mount Hood Wine and Waterfalls Full-Day Tour

6. 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: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour

7. Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour

Select this incredible air tour to experience the grandeur and beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. Make new friends on this small group tour as you all embark on a beautiful aerial excursion of one of Portland's most famous tourist areas. Take in the magnificent views of the Columbia River Gorge and the tranquil river flowing within the canyon providing a natural divide between Oregon and Washington. Admire Mount Hood and how it towers in the background over Portland. Fly over the most popular clifftop viewing area, Crown Point and take a peek at Latourell Falls' never-ending cascade. Gorgeous at all times of the day, this tour shines brightest at sunset. Don't miss out on this 20 minute adventure to make a memory that will last a lifetime.

Oregon Coast Day Tour: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

8. Oregon Coast Day Tour: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

Marvel at Oregon's scenic grandeur as you enjoy dramatic views of its coastline which may include: Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock, Short Sand Beach at Oswald West State Park, Neahkahnie Point and Manzanita while enjoying spectacular views of the dramatic Oregon Coastline and of course the majestic Pacific Ocean. This escorted mini-bus tour, with stops at attractions, runs approximately 8 hours from pick-up to return. Neahkahnie Point: From this spot you look south past Nehalem Bay to Cape Meares and Cape Lookout nearly 30 miles away. With a huge expanse of ocean before you, this is one of the coast’s best whale watching locations. Short Sand Beach/Oswald West State Park: Stretching along four miles of coastline in dense, temperate rainforest, Oswald West State Park has a beautifully secluded sandy beach and miles of trails leading to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This vast, scenic treasure is without a doubt one of the most spectacular parks in Oregon. Cannon Beach: This picturesque small-town village by the sea is easily walkable and you will be able to explore meandering pathways, enjoy public art and courtyards spilling over with flowers. Historic Haystack Rock is one of Oregon’s most recognizable landmarks, home to colorful tidepools and diverse bird life. It rises 235 feet from the edge of the shoreline. No visit to Cannon Beach would be complete without visiting Ecola State Park, perched dramatically on the edge of Tillamook Head. From Manzanita to Cannon Beach enjoy the dramatic beauty, fascinating history and diverse ecology featured on this Oregon coastal tour.

Portland: 5-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings

9. Portland: 5-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings

Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world and its wineries are particularly well known for a distinctive Pinot Noir. The heart of the vineyard area is located in the North Willamette Valley on gentle hills that give way to expansive views of the vines and valley below. This 6-hour Oregon wine tour will show you 3 of the Willamette Valley’s finest wineries and vineyards. Enjoy the chance to visit their tasting rooms and sample the wines, too. The wine region in the north Willamette Valley, which was once known for fruit orchards and nurseries, has transformed into one of the country’s premier cool-climate varietal producers. The unique relationship between volcanic soils, elevation, and protective micro-climates has produced top Pinot Noir for decades.

From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls and Mt. Hood Tour

10. From Portland: Columbia Gorge Waterfalls and Mt. Hood Tour

Explore the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood National Forest on board a luxury passenger van. Enjoy picturesque Pacific Northwest scenery on well-maintained trails with an expert guide. 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 here, go deeper into the Columbia River National Scenic Area to the first waterfall for the day, the dramatic Latourell Falls. This waterfall plunges 249 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt. Depending on the season, a short walk will take you closer to the falls. 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 up is Hood River, known as the "Windsurfing Capital of the World", where you can explore and grab some lunch. After, set out heading south, through the Fruit Loop orchards and lavender farms. If time permits, you may even make a brief stop at one of the farm stands. Then, climb about 6,000 feet in elevation to Timberline Lodge. This National Historic Landmark sits proudly against Oregon’s highest peak, Mount Hood. Take a walking tour at the lodge and enjoy the Cascade Mountain Range views from the lodge’s patios, before a relaxing journey back to Portland.

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Frequently asked questions about Portland, Oregon

What top attractions are a must-see in Portland, Oregon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Portland, Oregon?

The best day trips and excursions from Portland, Oregon are:

Cannon Beach

Other Sightseeing Options in Portland, Oregon

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What people are saying about Portland, Oregon

Our guide I think his name was Michael was very informative and knew a lot about the history of the local area. He kept the tour very interesting and was helpful answering questions I had . He even dropped us off at our Hotel instead of the pick up point . I really appreciated that so we didn’t have to do the 20 minute walk back .

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.

it was a very packed day with lots of fun experiences! I really liked the stops we made, and the weather was perfect. our guide, Damon, was also very nice and extremely knowledgeable.

Enjoyable trip in a comfortable van to 4 waterfalls with interesting knowledge from the guide at each stop. Well worth the cost.

Very well planned tour with a very knowledgeable driver.