Ultimate Portland Oregon Family Vacation Guide

Families looking for the next great vacation have been setting their sights on Portland, Oregon, and for good reason. Considered by Yahoo! to be one of the top 10 boomtowns in the US, Portland is full of quirky charm and no shortage of top-notch eateries, sightseeing spots, and exciting attractions. Here’s a rundown of must-sees for a long weekend in the City of Roses.

Learning About Science

An absolute must for families is a stop at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). It’s a leading science museum where submarine tours are available, the WiMax theater is a blast, and the laser light show complete with choreography complements oodles of scientific experiments available. After experiencing an earthquake simulation and saying hello to OMSI’s resident boa constrictor, it’s time to set off for the rest of what PDX has to offer.

A Doughnut and a Thrill

Featured on favorite shows like Bizarre Foods, VooDoo Doughnuts is open 24/7 in the downtown location and features whimsical, strange, and delicious treats like the Dirt Doughnut and of course the VooDoo Doughnut. This isn’t just a gimmick — these doughnuts are the real deal and there’s almost always a line around the block during the weekend. Go during off-peak hours, which is usually any time during the weekday, for quicker sweets.

Oaks Amusement Park is nestled in the woods of southeast Portland, but don’t expect Six Flags level rides here. The Park is over 100 years old and, while safe and featuring newer rides, the purpose is to hearken back to the good ol’ days. Thrill rides, bumper cars, and plenty of picnic spots pepper the small park. As a bonus, the lines are short and the prices are very affordable.

Bike or Rickshaw It

The city is considered the hub of the biking culture, so no trip to Portland is complete without a family bike outing. There are many places to rent bikes, including the bright yellow ones that are left around the city for anyone to use. Choose a path along the waterfront, stretching from NW Portland to the famous teaching hospital OHSU. Park at OHSU and take the Tram from the waterfront to the top of Marquam Hill, an affordable and great way to get a view of the city.

Rickshaws or peddle cabs are abundant and provide a great way to see the sights. Also known as the City of Bridges, Portland has many scenic waterways where cabbies can drive and provide insider knowledge. A stop at Jamison Square or Rimsky’s Coffee House (where the bathroom is as famous as the coffee) is required for families as well. It’s also a breeze to visit the nation’s smallest park, located in the heart of the city.

Go Up the Hill

The Portland Zoo is a fun place where they might just teach you how to trap a possum and is easy to get to when taking MAX, the city’s above-ground electric train. The zoo is located near the Rose Garden, where hundreds of species of roses blossom each spring. There’s also an incredible playground here, with ice cream and snow cone vendors setting up shop along the sidewalk. From the Japanese Gardens to the stunning views, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. With all these attractions and more, it’s no surprise that Portland is quickly becoming a vacation hot spot.

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