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The Perfect 2 Day Portland Itinerary
With only 2 days in Portland, Oregon, it is important to plan for your trip in advance to make the most of your time. Portland is one of those cities that you could explore ENDLESSLY. There’s so much to see and do that if you only have a weekend in Portland, it can be hard to fit everything into 2 days. This 2 day Portland itinerary has all of my favorite things to do in Portland, with exactly how to plan your days so that you make the most of your weekend in Portland, and see all of the best sights in the city!
- The Perfect 2 Day Portland Itinerary
- Introduction to Portland, Oregon
- WHAT TO DO WITH 2 DAYS IN PORTLAND OREGON
- 2 Days in Portland: Where to Stay
- 2 Day Portland Itinerary: Day One
- 2 Day Itinerary Portland Oregon: Day Two
- Is 2 Days Enough in Portland?
- DAY TRIPS FROM PORTLAND
- PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO PORTLAND
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Introduction to Portland, Oregon
Located in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, Portland is Oregon’s largest city. Portland’s lush greenery, unique culture, thriving food scene, and some of the best coffee shops in the US, make for an unforgettable travel experience.
If you have only two days to explore this vibrant city, don’t worry, we have got you covered. In this blog post, I’m sharing an exciting 2-day itinerary that will take you to some of Portland’s top attractions, from historic landmarks and museums to scenic parks and delicious food spots.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of Portland and discover what makes this city so special. Let’s dive in!
WHAT TO DO WITH 2 DAYS IN PORTLAND OREGON
In this 2 day Portland itinerary, I will walk you through all of the best things to do in Portland Oregon with just 2 days. Whether you’re visiting Portland for just a few days, or spending more time in the area, here’s what to do, where to eat, and where to stay to have an amazing trip!
2 Days in Portland: Where to Stay
With only 2 days in Portland, I recommend staying in a central area so that you can easily visit all of the places in this Portland itinerary.
Here are a few suggestions for hotels in Portland neighborhoods that are great areas to stay for visiting the city for a weekend.
Where to Stay in Downtown Portland: The Pearl District
Portland’s Pearl District is a great area to stay for this Portland weekend itinerary because you’ll be able to walk to a ton of shops and restaurants, and you’ll also be well-located to venture into other parts of the city.
Here’s some of my best hotel recommendations for places to stay in the downtown Portland Pearl District:
- Best Hotel Vibe in Portland: The Portland Ace Hotel perfectly captures Portland’s culture – from its decor to its vibe. Even if you don’t stay here, check it out for a drink!
- Best Central Location in Portland: The super-central Kimpton Hotel Vintage is my favorite choice for a weekend in Portland. This hotel is great for its chic looks, as well as its daily wine hour (see you there!).
- Best Budget Hotel Option in Portland (With Style!): To save a few dollars but not sacrifice style, I recommend either the Society Hotel or The Hoxton. These are both great hotel options for places to stay in Portland that are budget-friendly and centrally-located.
Best Places to Stay Near Alberta Street Portland
Another fantastic neighborhood to stay in is Portland’s Alberta Arts District. In this area of Portland, there are some one-of-a-kind spots to match this funky part of town and it is a great area to stay with only 2 days in Portland because you’ll be able to walk to a ton of restaurants and shops. Here’s a few recommendations:
- Indigo Lane: cute-as-a-button home rental that is absolutely beautifully decorated.
- Alberta Villa: a bungalow for rent with the most gorgeous color kitchen cabinets!
Pro Travel Tip: These days, travel can be more uncertain than ever. Check for any COVID-related restrictions at your destination, and never travel without travel insurance! I recommend SafetyWing, because they have flexible + affordable insurance plans, and also cover COVID-related impacts on your trip (not all companies do)!
2 Day Portland Itinerary: Day One
You can’t go wrong with either Voodoo or Blue Star! Check out this map for some doughnut guidance.
Explore Mount Tabor Park
Doughnut in hand, you’ll be ready for your first day exploring Portland. Head over to Mount Tabor park, where the view of Portland’s skyline makes for a terrific welcome to Portland!
It’s more of a stroll than a hike, but it’s a great way to start your day and orient you to the layout of the city.
Explore Portland with Wheels on the Waterfront
If you didn’t get enough exercise at Mount Tabor, head back downtown and check out BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike rental program. These orange Nike bikes are available throughout the city and are oe of my favorite things to do in Portland.
You can rent them for a single ride, or for the day. Starting at $2.50/ride and $12/day, they’re a very affordable way to get around if you only have 2 days in Portland.
PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET
If it’s a Saturday, make sure to check out the nearby Portland Saturday Market. This is a great addition to your Portland itinerary!
Open on Saturdays from March through December, this market is one of the largest continuously operating open-air markets in the country. It’s known for its handmade crafts, art and foods, and it’s a great place to shop for a souvenir from Portland.
Grab Lunch from a Portland Food Truck
No Portland weekend itinerary would be complete without a pit stop at a food truck. The hardest part will be picking which one! Check out this map (and this one, too) for where to find food trucks in Portland.
Stroll Through Portland’s Pearl District
Spend the afternoon of day one of the Portland 2 day itinerary exploring the Pearl District in the heart of the city. Once home to industrial warehouses and railroad facilities, Portland’s Pearl District has undergone a complete transformation in the past several decades.
Now, you’ll find high-rise condos, upscale shopping and dining, art galleries, and well-manicured townhomes.
The streets of the Pearl District are fun to wander – soak in all of the unique architecture and history of the area. Don’t miss Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore.
There’s a few locations of Powell’s City of Books in Portland, but the one in the Pearl District is huge! It takes up an entire city block.
I truly could’ve spent all day there. Powell’s City of Books sells both new and used books, along with vintage and rare finds, too. If you’re a book-lover, you’ll be in heaven, but even if you’re not – it’s still worth a stop.
Where to Shop in Portland
If you’re looking to do some shopping while you’re spending the weekend in Portland, there are also a ton of cute boutiques in the Pearl District.
You also just might fall in love with Porch Light and everything in it – but I’ll let you decide for yourself.
Finish Your First Day in Portland with Cocktails and City Views
Souvenirs in hand, head over to Departure or Portland City Grill for an evening drink, and to watch the sunset from these rooftop favorites. Once the sun sets, wrap up your first day in Portland with dinner at the Mediterranean Exploration Company for group-friendly eats.
2 Day Itinerary Portland Oregon: Day Two
Hike the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
With only 2 days in Portland Oregon, you will need to get an early start on the second day of your weekend by renting a car to get outside the city limits and and make the quick 40 minute drive to Multnomah Falls to explore the Columbia River Gorge.
Multnomah Falls is a beautiful attraction in the Columbia River Gorge area. The waterfall is the tallest in the state, dropping 620 feet from the top to the base, and is situated in a picturesque forested canyon.
Getting to Multnomah Falls is key since this popular spot (along with its limited parking lot) gets crowded quickly as the day goes on.
Early is key here since this popular spot gets crowded quickly as the day goes on.
Another way to beat the crowds is to hike the ~2 miles up to the top of the falls. The crowds thin quickly as the trail snakes up the hillside, and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views and the opportunity to cool your feet off in the river up at the top.
Visit the Alberta Street Restaurants in Portland
On your drive back into town, park near La Bonita on Alberta Avenue, which is on the east end of the Alberta Arts district.
Fuel up with tacos and margaritas (don’t miss the queso dip….and I admittedly think about the carnitas tacos OFTEN) before exploring westwards on Alberta. Alberta Avenue is full of cool boutiques, independent art galleries, and some of Portland’s very best food.
If you have a sweet tooth, Salt and Straw has incredibly unique ice cream flavors, and it’s mouthwateringly delicious.
Whatever you decide to chow down on, you can’t miss the murals that grace the walls of Alberta St. Checking out street art was one of my favorite things to do in Portland, and on Alberta street there is so much of it to see!
As a bit of an aside, if you happen to find yourself in need of breakfast on Portland’s Alberta street, I would hands-down recommend Petite Provence. Their specialty brunch dishes are unreal, and the croissants are the most delicious ones I have ever had outside of France!
They also have about 15 different flavors of mimosas (yes, please!) including lavender, Hawaiian and Prickly Pear. If you can’t decide, you can order a flight of four mini-mosas in four flavors of your choice. Hands-down, my favorite breakfast restaurant on Alberta.
After getting (more than?) your fill at the Alberta Street restaurants, grab some caffeine to fuel up for the rest of the day at Barista, home of the most incredible Vanilla latte I have ever tasted. I could honestly live on them!
Spend the Afternoon of your Second Day in Portland on NW 23rd Street
Next up on this Portland itinerary? Head to NW 23rd street in Portland’s Northwest district. This street is another fun drag in town.
Home decor shops, clothing boutiques, cafes, and just general Portland charm fill this cute area, and it’s easy to spend a few hours perusing everything there is to offer.
I loved Margaret O’Leary for cozy sweaters! In case you missed Salt and Straw on Alberta, there’s another location here, too.
If you’re in the mood to do something more outdoorsy while you visit Portland, head over to Washington Park instead. Washington Park is an urban oasis that’s over 400 acres, and is located just two miles west of downtown Portland.
Washington Park is home to a number of Portland attractions, including the Oregon Zoo and a few other notable favorite spots:
- International Rose Test Garden: this rose garden is home to over 10,000 roses, typically in bloom from May through October.
- Hoyt Arboretum: Explore over 12 miles of trails and over 2,300 species of trees in Washington Park at the arboretum.
- Portland Japanese Garden: Portland’s Japanese garden includes eight different garden styles, along with a collection of Japanese art, a tea house, performances and demonstrations.
Finish Your Weekend in Portland by Tasting Some Portland Brew
Portland has a HUGE craft beer scene. I’m not a big beer drinker, so I didn’t include any of the local breweries in this itinerary, but check out this post for some great recommendations.
One spot I definitely recommend though, is 10 Barrel Brewing for a taste of some local craft beers, paired with a rooftop seating area that’s perfect for warm summer evenings.
Even if you only have 2 days to spend in Portland, you definitely need to try out some of the city’s craft brews!
Grab some bites to go with your beer, or if you’d prefer another nice dinner, nearby Andina is a great option to wrap up your Portland weekend itinerary!
Is 2 Days Enough in Portland?
I set up this 2 day Portland itinerary to help you make the most of your time there, if you only have a long weekend in Portland Oregon. Personally, I think 2 or 3 days in Portland is the perfect amount of time to spend there.
With 2 days in Portland Oregon, you’ll be able to see many of Portland’s best sights, eat at a sampling of Portland’s best restaurants, and best of all, you’ll have some sights left on your list for your next visit to Portland.
DAY TRIPS FROM PORTLAND
If you are looking for more things to do in Portland, and you have enough time to spend a long weekend exploring, get outside the city limits of Portland and explore further by taking a day trip. There’s so many different things to see that are just a few hours from the city center. Here’s a few of the most popular side trips to take if you’re visiting Portland:
- Cannon Beach: the jewel of the Oregon coast, Cannon Beach is located only 1.5 hours by car from Portland’s city center. Spend a few hours strolling Cannon Beach and taking in the view of the haystacks, the famous rock formations that give this dramatic coastline its natural beauty.
- Hood River: continue to explore the Columbia River Gorge by heading a few hours east of Portland to the city of Hood River. Spend the day hiking, wine tasting, or just taking in the scenic views.
- Willamette River Valley: wine lovers will enjoy visiting the Willamette River Valley, known for its pinot noir varietals, and located just about an hour from Portland.
The best way to explore any of these destinations is to drive yourself, or take a guided tour. My recommended favorites are below.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO PORTLAND
Portland is one of the easiest cities on the West Coast for tourists to visit, thanks to its network of public transportation and moderate climate.
Getting There and Getting Around
Portland International Airport is serviced by major air carriers, and is well-connected by both domestic and international flights.
The Portland MAX light rail connects the PDX airport with downtown. It’s easy to catch the Portland MAX light rail at PDX and take the quick 40 minute trip into the city.
The Portland Streetcar system also services the downtown area. For destinations not serviced by public transportation, it’s easy to take Uber or Lyft.
You can also rent a car to explore the city, although parking in the downtown area can be a challenge. If you decide to rent a car, car rental kiosks are located in the airport.
Best Time to Visit Portland
Late spring, summer and early fall are the best times to visit Portland, because you’ll be able to make the most of the city’s many outdoor events and natural beauty.
Although Portland’s winters are relatively moderate, the winter months are when Portland experiences the most rain and least sunshine, which can put a damper on a weekend trip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
2 or 3 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Portland. In a weekend or a long weekend, you will have enough time to see some of the highlights of the city, enjoy its delicious food, and explore the area’s natural beauty.
Portland makes for the perfect weekend trip! It’s easy to spend 2 or 3 full days exploring the city at a relaxed pace.
The best months to visit Portland are May, June, July, August and September. From the late spring through the early fall, Portland experiences warm, dry weather, so it’s a great time for visitors to experience everything that the city has to offer.