What can I do for Free in Portland, Oregon?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2019
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Portland, Oregon has something for everyone. Whether you're a book lover or a nature lover, you'll find great things to do for free in Portland. Powell's City of Books, Forest Park, Audubon Society of Portland Wildlife Center, Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Devil's Punchbowl can all provide you with many free hours of entertainment while you're visiting Portland.

Exploring Powell's City of Books is a unique activity that's free in Portland and very unique. Powell's is the world's biggest bookstore and it takes up a whole downtown block. The store has over a million books, both new and used. The books are divided into nine color-coded sections and you may want to grab one of the maps available so you don't get lost!

Forest Park is America's biggest forested city park. This is a good place to go to for free in Portland as you can just enjoy the natural setting or walk on the hiking trails. Forest Park has hundreds of species of birds and mammals living it its wooded ecosystem.

Audubon Society of Portland Wildlife Center is another excellent spot for nature lovers to enjoy for free in Portland. This animal rehabilitation care center and nature preserve is known for bird watching and hiking. The Audubon's beautiful natural setting includes ponds and streams and yet the Center is still close to downtown Portland.


The Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park is the namesake of a former Oregon governor and is a fun, free in Portland attraction as it offers a lot to see and do. The Park is known for hiking, boating, jogging and rollerblading and is right beside the Willamette River. You can see the 1956 Battleship Oregon Memorial that remembers and honors "the Bulldog" Navy Ship. A time capsule is secured in the Memorial's stand and on 5 July 2076, it is scheduled to be opened. Salmon Street Springs, in the Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, has changing sprays of water and is a great place for cooling down in the summer.

The Devil's Punchbowl State Nature Area is named for the bowl-shaped rock formation that is full of stirring, foaming, aggressive waters during storms. Exploring tide pools, picnicking and hiking are some of the popular activities here. The Nature Area is also a favorite place for whale watching.


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