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Go here for a list of staycation ideas from around the United States!
A staycation : period of time in which an individual or family stays and relaxes at home, or vacations in their own country, possibly taking day trips to area attractions.
I love to travel and explore new places. However, with gas prices pushing $4/gallon, many of us are swapping road trips and plane tickets to explore our own areas instead. Actually, I think the whole staycation trend is a happy problem. There are so many things to see and do in the great Northwest that often get overlooked when you live here. This is the perfect time to take advantage of our beautiful “backyard.”
So, if you are having a tough time squeezing extended travel or elaborate plans into your budget, consider planning a staycation in Portland! Here are a handful of ideas to get you started.
If you are in Portland, Oregon…
… with time to browse:
- Pittock Mansion
- Portland Art Museum: includes free times & family-friendly activities
- Powell’s City of Books
- Saturday Market
- Window shopping in the Pearl, on Hawthorne, or 23rd
… with an appetite:
- Food Carts: So many carts, so little time.
- Little Big Burger: NW 10th, close to Powell’s
- Nicholas Restaurant: Lebanese, the best hummus & pita bread
- Portland Farmer’s Market
- Check Yelp or UrbanSpoon for restaurant reviews
… with kids to entertain:
- CHAP Art Factory: messy art fun for a good cause
- Jamison Square: free water fun at NW 11th & Johnson
- OMSI: $2 on the 1st Sunday of the month
- Playdate PDX: reasonable admission for the 3 & under crowd
- Portland Parks & Rec: swimming pools!
- The Children’s Museum: reserve free 3-day passes at the library
… with wheels to cruise:
- Marine Drive Trail: 12+ miles of paved trail along the Columbia River
- Powell Butte Nature Park: mountain biking & hiking trails
- The Springwater Corridor: paved multi-use trail
- Eastbank Esplanade: cross the river to Waterfront Park or wind your way back to The Springwater Corridor
… with a desire to explore:
- 4T Trail: Portland’s Train, Trail, Tram, and Trolley Experience
- Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
- Forest Park: 5,000 acres with jogging, hiking, and biking trails
- Japanese Gardens
- Mt. Tabor Park: free
- The Oregon Zoo: $4 on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 2 & under free
- Washington Park: lots to do, most are free
… with summertime around the corner:
- Bridge Pedal: Sunday, August 14th
- Cathedral Park Jazz Festival: July 15-17, free
- Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts: $14+, some free to zoo members
- Portland Rose Festival: May 27 – June 19
- Symphony Concerts in the Park: free, 5 dates in July & August, pack a picnic dinner
This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gets you excited to explore all the great things Portland has to offer.
What did I miss? Leave a comment with your favorite Portland-area activities! What are your staycation plans this year?
Be sure to stop by tomorrow when we will be linking to over 100 posts focusing on staycations throughout the United States!
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Here’s a link to a pdf download of SW Portland Walking Map. We live in Hillsdale, and there are many hikes up to Coucil Crest, one of the best views of the Willamette Valley.
We take the streetcar to all the toystores. It goes from central library (near finnegans) to green frog (near jamison square and childs play. WE hit laughing planet on the way too (on 21st.)
Question? Can you do a list of farms available to pick fruits/veggies in the 60 mile radius of Portland? We would love to pick some berries but have no idea where we could go. Thank you!
Thanks for posting this! We moved to Portland 3 months ago and are looking forward to all the activities this summer. With a newborn we are really looking forward to our staycation this year!
Great list! I’m moving to Portland this summer, and this will be a fun “get to know our area” list to work from. 🙂
Don’t forget about Shakespeare in the park!
Mary Jane says
We went to the Oregon coast on may 19.20011…To Pacific City ate at the Pelican Pub & Brewery, expensive for what we got, I got very ill about 1/2 hour after food, the combination of sunshine, heat and humidity did me in, we went to Tillamook and got some help for me, water, rest, ended up at the Tillamook Cheese factory, had one tiny vanilla cone, felt better…The commute home was miserable every motor home in the world was in front of us – no more Oregon Coast it is prime vacation time from east coasters and people from the south, the gasoline was over $4.00 a gallon, and mostly rude people from elsewhere..we could have stayed home taken in a free movie, ate in our own home on our own patio for freeeeeee!!!!!! Staycation ony in Washington state where we actually live, better deals, better people and no motor homes coasting at 25 miles per hour and blocking traffic left and right..We waited a long time to dine at the Pelican Pub & Brewery, the food looks good but doesn’t taste that great and costs so much..we will stick to our own home, where I can make great fish dishes and no gasoline prices at over $4.00 a gallon and rude vacationers…no siree bob as the saying goes, better to stay in one’s own backyard as the saying goes…we even appreciate the over 291 days of rain and wet winds to boot..at least we are home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for this! We have opted not to travel out of town this summer and I’m compiling my own list of things to do in town this summer. There are some great ideas here!
mom of four says
Dont forget kids eat free for most of the summer! There are many parks in portland, gresham, troutdale and I am sure on the westside too. Its free lunch for anyone ages 1 – 18. It saves us at least $100 a month in food. Most of the parks serve pretty healthy food. Sandwhich, Veggie, Fruit, Treat and Milk. Adults can eat too if there are meals left for about $3.
There is also the Sandy River in Troutdale that you can take the bus to from Portland. It takes an hour by bus or 15 minutes from the City Center by car. Play in the river. Go fishing.
Rocky Butte also a wonderful place to visit. Kids love it cause they think they are on a castle.
JoAnn Harrison says
Flicks on the Bricks in downtown Portland is fun.
I grew up in the Portland area and this is a great list. I have been to many of these places and love them. There is so much to do in and around the Portland area and it is so pretty.
One of our favorite things to do is u-pick berries! My first time to visit Portland was in July 08 and we found a great blueberry farm on the way to the coast, picked as many berries as we had cash to buy and took them home to Utah in our cooler! 🙂
Also many fruit varieties-strawberries in June, peaches-around July pears & apples later in the summer. For several years in a row we were in Hood River & picked cherries-around 4th of July time. They are great dried.
This is great! Will you be offering any ideas for traveling just in Oregon? We’ve traveled a few times since my son was born 2.5 years ago and once since our newest was born and each time was a series of chaos… so if we go anywhere it will NOT be on a plane and will probably be at a max 2 hours away from home… any events for things happening at the beach or anywhere during the summer???
Yes, this summer we’ll be featuring frugal, fun day trips in Oregon & Washington!
Portland “Movies in the Park: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=52643
Concerts in the Park: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=52644
Thank you for this. We’re headed to Portland next month and was looking for fun activities!
Check out your local Parks and Rec Web pages. Many city’s have concerts in the park Thursday nights, and Movies in the Park Friday or Saturday nights in August. I know Oregon City, and North Clackamas both have these sorts of things planned and are posted on the Parks and Rec Websites.
Also Regal Cinemas have 1 dollar movies during the summer on Tuesday/Wednesday Mornings. Typically 2 movie choices – one for younger kids, and one for a little bit older.
Hillsboro area does also: Shute part for concerts-Thurs nights (in the past anyway) and movies downtown by the civic center. Also the $1 movies.
Also has the Saturday market, and Tues marketplace at New Seasons.
Shute park also has free entertainment and lunch for kids starting end of June and going thru Aug. 19th. It goes Mon-Fri and completely free!
Tiffany S. says
Thank you so much for this. We just bought a condo in Portland as a mini-vacation spot away from our house in Seattle. We’ll be referring to this page often!