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2017 Annual Conference Things-to-Do in Portland
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Things to do in Portland!


Thank you to Candyce Reynolds for putting together this great list of things to do while you visit Portland!

Download this guide as a PDF.



From humble storefront beginnings in 1971, Powell’s has grown into a Portland landmark and one of the world’s great bookstores. Covering an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books contains more than 1 million books in 3,500 different sections. Get a cup of joe at the in-store coffee shop, grab a map to the nine color-coded rooms, and lose yourself in the largest independent used and new bookstore on Earth.

Open 9 a.m.-11 p.m., 365 days a year; free.


A year-round wonder, this is an authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden. Covered walkways, bridges, pavilions and a richly planted landscape frame a picturesque lake in this urban oasis built by artisans from Portland’s sister city of Suzhou. Public and audio tours are available, and the garden’s teahouse serves light snacks and traditional teas.

Open daily; admission charged.


Enjoy a distinctive experience at the nation’s largest outdoor market. Stroll down row upon row of unique creations made by the people who sell them, and enjoy live music and international snacks. Located in Waterfont Park, at the Skidmore Fountain MAX station.

Open rain or shine, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


You can travel around the world in an afternoon, observing more than 2,000 animals from around the world, from agouti (a rainforest rodent) to zebra. The zoo is renowned for its Asian elephant breeding program. The zoo is located in Washington Park, five minutes from downtown on Highway 26 West, or about 10 minutes via MAX light rail (Blue or Red line, Washington Park stop).

Open daily admission charged. Save $1.50 off admission with proof of transit ridership.


Located in Old Town’s popular nightlife district, it is one of the city’s most unusual and delicious culinary destinations. The doughnuts, topped with creative ingredients such as bacon, Captain Crunch and Oreos, are almost as fun to look at as they are to eat. Locals and visitors line up 24 hours a day for what may be the most innovative doughnuts in the world. Be prepared for adorable mustached faces to look up at you from your food (mirroring the many bearded young men you’ll encounter biking around Portland).

Open all day, every day. Two locations.


This is the oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world enjoy the sights and scents of the gardens. The garden’s spectacular views and more than 8,000 roses make it one of the city’s most notable signature landmarks. Located in Washington Park.

Open daily; free.


In the scenic hills above Washington Park, near the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty which has been proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Encompassing 5.5 acres and five separate garden styles, the garden includes an authentic Japanese Tea House, meandering streams, intimate walkways and an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood. Guided tours are included with cost of admission.

Open daily; admission charged.

See Live music

Portland is known for its music scene and there is a lot happening in town this week.  Many venues have free admissions and you could hear some of the best musicians in the world. Grab an Uber and go! Complete listings: Some suggested highlights for this week include:

Monday: Karaoke from Hell (live band), Dante’s, downtown

Tuesday: AC Porter’s Blues Drifters (blues), Blue Diamond, NE Portland

Wednesday and Thursday: Sam Densmore (folk), Al’s Den, downtown

Thursday: The Portland Sacred Harp (sing-a-long), Kennedy Schoool, NE Portland

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