Is Portland Worth Visiting? Uncovering Top Reasons to Visit

Yes, Portland is worth visiting!

*I do want to note that I typically do not spend much time in the city because I like the outdoors more, so this post is not focused on big-city-type vibes.*

record store in portland oregon

Is Portland Worth Visiting?

Portland is worth visiting for several reasons. To start, Portland has a very unique vibe. From the eclectic shops, craft beer, expressive festivals, and hippy vibes, Portland accepts and celebrates everyone’s uniqueness. In 2003, the slogan “Keep Portland Weird” was adopted to support local businesses and small business owners.

keep portland weird sign on side of building

5 Reasons Why Portland is Worth Visiting

Portland is worth visiting if you like funky cities with a flare of personality. There are many reasons to visit, but I have narrowed it down to the top 5 reasons to visit. This post is meant for travelers who enjoy the outdoors, good food, hazy beers, and enjoy laid-back atmospheres.

1. Dank Food Scene

The fun thing about Portland is it can be a healthier food atmosphere with fresh ingredients and seafood. However, there are plenty of places to splurge on ice cream and other desired foodie options.

If you haven’t been to Portland before, you will likely hear people talk about Voodoo Doughnut where you can get some absurdly funny and unique flavored doughnuts.

The food truck scene – there are HUNDREDS of different food trucks where you can choose from vegetarian, strictly gluten-free, or vegan options. (Check out where to find the food truck for you, here!)

The food scene is a culinary adventure! If you’re craving doughnuts, farm-to-table meals, or food carts… your stomach will leave Portland happy, dancing, and satisfied!

2. Tax-Free Shopping

Oregon is one of five states in the United States with no sales tax. Okay, I know I mentioned that I don’t enjoy spending time in the big-city-type vibes and whatnot… However, I will never turn down the opportunity to check out an outdoor store. Cmon, you can never have too much gear…right?

Stores for the Outdoors:
Oregon Outdoor Warehouse
Mountain Shop
Snow Peak
Foster Outdoor
Next Adventure
Portland Outdoor Store
+ REI and other similar stores!

3. Portland is Near Top Outdoor Adventures

Portland is a short drive to numerous hiking trails, about 1.5 hours from Cannon Beach, 3 hours from Bend, and a little less than 4 hours from Mt. Bachelor.

Top Outdoor Adventures Near Portland:
White Water Rafting
& more!

If you are traveling alone, with friends, or with your partner, the post below has 11 rad and romantic spots in Oregon that you won’t want to miss!

epic couples getaway screenshot of another blog post

Portland is worth the visit for adrenaline junkies, nature lovers, or someone who just wants to spend outside enjoying the ocean or lush forests.

4. Craft Beer

Portland is known as a beer lover’s paradise with 70+ breweries! Is Portland worth visiting and a beer enthusiast, what are you waiting for?

The craft beer in Portland is loved by many for a few different reasons:

  • Diversity: Wide range of beer styles from lagers, and IPAs, to classic ales.
  • Community: Bring people together with new beer releases or beer festivals.
  • Sustainability: Many breweries use locally sourced ingredients and aim to reduce waste.

Not only does Portland have more breweries than you could try in one year, but it also has an entirely gluten-free brewery! Mutantis Cult Brewery has gluten-free beers AND 100% gluten-free food and vegan options!

5. Powell’s City of Books

For my fellow book lovers, the ones that say they will go to sleep at 9 pm and read “one more chapter” and next thing you know it’s 3 am and you finished the book. Well, this is the largest and most famous independent bookstore in the world.

Now if you don’t love books, this bookstore is still a fun place to gather for a coffee at Guilder Cafe (within the bookstore) and chat or maybe pull out your laptop to get a little work done.

Back to my book enthusiasts, this used & new bookstore has about one million books with nine color-coded rooms. Okay, what is a color-coded room? Each of these rooms has sections and subsections of types of books.

*Maps are located at the info desk in the center so you can figure out the “city” of the store.*

sunshine and overalls making portland worth the visit

Is Portland Expensive to Visit?

Portland can be expensive if you decide to do activities that cost money or eat at restaurants for every meal. However, Portland can easily be an affordable city to visit.

If you stay overnight in Portland, there are plenty of fancy boutique hotels or gorgeous Airbnbs. If you opt for a budget-friendly trip, check out some of their hostels, affordable hotels, or Airbnbs.

For meals, find an accommodation that has a kitchen if you are staying overnight so you can cook your meals. If you are only doing a day trip, there are plenty of affordable restaurants that have vibrant flavor profiles.

Traveling around Portland can be chaotic with the traffic, and gas is expensive these days. If you aim to walk or take public transit, this is an easy way to be more eco-friendly and save money on a rental car or driving your car.

Why is Portland NOT Worth the Visit?

Don’t get me wrong, Portland is a fun and unique city. However, it is a city and a lot is going on. If you enjoy small-town vibes, a slow pace, and quiet time soaking up the sun, Portland probably won’t be one of your favorite places. Oregon has SO many other beautiful towns that can fit what you are looking for in terms of where to visit.

  • Weather: It’s rainy or overcast the majority of the year.
  • Homelessness: Big cities unfortunately lead people to struggle financially and sadly live on the streets. This can also affect perceptions of safety and cleanliness.
  • Traffic: It’s a city, it’s congested, and it’s tough to navigate.
  • Cost of Living: The PNW is known to be a more expensive location in the country. With this being said, it is less affordable for residents and visitors. Accommodations, dining, and entertainment have all increased in price over the last few years.
grey skies, is portland worth visiting in regards to the weather?

When is the Best Time to Visit Portland?

The best time to visit the Pacific Northwest is a toss-up for different people. Some like to visit in the winter to shred at the big mountains, others like to hit the trails backpacking in the summer, and some want to see and go to an outdoor concert and drink wine in the fall.

Each of the seasons in Portland has its pros and cons. Some are more rainy, sometimes we get sun (I know it’s wild that the PNW does get sun), and sometimes we have roads closed because of the massive snowfall.


🌞 Highs: 81°F

🌞 Lows: 58°F

🌞 Evenings are longer, the sun shines more often, mostly warm (sometimes even hot temperatures), summer in Oregon is a hidden gem.


🍂 Highs: 68°F

🍂 Lows: 46°F

🍂 Pack warm layers and a rain jacket if you visit in the fall. This time of the year in the PNW can range from sunshine and clear blue skies one day, to more mild weather and rain showers. If you love watching the leaves begin to change colors, especially while hiking…this is a beautiful time.


❄️ Highs: 51°F

❄️ Lows: 35°F

❄️ Frequent rain showers and mostly cloudy skies. If you think about Oregon, this is probably the weather you imagine. Some years we have significant snowfalls, but it’s mainly mild unless you decide to hit Mt. Hood for some solid snow conditions.


☔ Highs: 65°F

☔ Lows: 43°F

☔ Springtime has the most rain. The start of spring is a little cooler, while late spring will have more off-and-on rain showers and warmer weather. Flowers will be blooming and some warmer days with more sunshine will start to peak out.

summertime in the PNW with a van, dog, and dual chair

Conclusion: Is Portland Worth Visiting?

It depends on the person and what they want to take away from the trip. Portland is worth visiting if you plan it out with activities you like, food that makes your mouth water just thinking about it, and weather that makes you smile. I hope that this post gave a little more insight into your travels, cheers!

Happy Trails,
Mindful PNW Travels