With more art, museums and outdoor fun than almost any other major city – it’s no wonder millions of travelers find themselves basking in the bounty of Portland, Oregon, every year. But what if you’re here on a budget-friendly getaway?
No problem. You’ll still find plenty of comfortable, affordable Portland hotels near some of the city’s top attractions (many of which are free). Some sights to see during your stay include:
Â The International Rose Test Garden. Home to the extraordinary flowers that gave this city its nickname (“Rose City) – the International Rose Test Garden is one of the city’s most-photographed spots. On four acres at Washington Park, this is one of 24 official testing sites for the internationally respected All-America Rose Selection (AARS) – and a great place stop and, well, smell the roses. Admission is free.
Â Hoyt Arboretum. If the International Rose Test Garden wasn’t enough to satisfy your curiosity about Portland’s flora, take a walk over to Hoyt Arboretum. Also located at Washington Park and just minutes from many downtown Portland hotels, the arboretum covers 185 ridge-top acres and features more than 1,100 species of trees from around the world. Plus, with more than 12 miles of trails, it’s also a great way to get in a little exercise while you’re away from home. Admission is free.
Â The Pearl District. With historic industrial buildings that have been transformed into retail shops, restaurants, galleries, spas and homes, the Pearl District offers tourists more than 100 city blocks of open exploration. Once a blight on the face of the city, the Pearl has become a model of mixed-use space where Portlanders and tourists can come together to dine, shop and browse.
Â Oaks Park Amusement Park. At more than 100 years old, this amusement park is one of the oldest, continuously operating theme parks in the country – but its rides are fun, modern and super-affordable. Featuring death-defying roller coasters and thrill rides, carousels and classic (calmer) rides for little ones, plus midway games, go karts and a roller skate rink, it’s really is fun for the whole family. Gate admission is free. Wristbands for rides cost $ 11.75-$ 14.50 (individual ride tickets are also available for purchase).
Â Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Combine fun with a little education on your trip and head over to OMSI. At over 219,000 square feet, you can spend hours exploring one of the country’s leading science museums. From a hands-on physics lab to motion simulators and life science exhibits, with a range of activities for kids and adults, it’s a great place to spend a day. Admission is $ 11 for adults and $ 9 for kids & seniors. (Note: If you’re in town on the first Sunday of the month, you can get in for just $ 2. Check the OMSI website for details.)
Â Oregon Zoo. Take a walk on the wild side at Washington Park’s Oregon Zoo. Just follow the zoo’s long and winding trail and you’ll encounter the Red Ape Reserve, an African Rainforest habitat, an African Savanna and many places where big cats, elephants and a menagerie of other creatures call home. Admission is $ 9.75 for adults, $ 8.25 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $ 6.75 for youths ages 3 to 11.
Â End of the Oregon Trail. Make your way to the end of the Oregon Trail in Historic Oregon City. With presentations by live History Interpreters and hands-on experiences at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, plus exhibits at the nearby Museum of the Oregon Territory and Stevens-Crawford House, you can spend your day steeped in history. Prices for the Spring Historic Oregon City Pass includes admission for all three attractions, and costs $ 7 for adults and $ 5 for youths. Children younger than 4 are free.
Whether you’re traveling with children or without, no matter what your budget is, you’ll find plenty of affordable Portland hotels and activities that offer memories of a lifetime without breaking the bank.