Saying Portland’s weather is unpredictable is an understatement. Within a matter of minutes, you can seemingly experience all four seasons, sometimes all at once. However, for the days that Oregon has decided to stick to a steady drizzle, here’s a handy guide of where to go, and what to do. Whether you’re wanting to get cozy and stay inside, or venture out into the lush wonderland that is Portland’s precipitation, we’re confident you’ll find something in here!
Looking for something to do while it’s pouring outside in downtown Portland? Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite things to do in this city when it’s wet outside.
Explore Art and Science
Do you like submarine tours, art exhibits, planetariums, and hands-on exhibits focused on natural sciences, industry, and, technology? That just about covers everything, so spend your rainy Portland day submerging yourself in art, science, and culture! Check out Portland Art Museum and OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)
Fun Fact: Portland Art Museum is just $5 after 5pm on Friday and the first Sundays at OMSI are only $2!
Relax at a Cafe
Portland is a hub of good coffee and tea. One of the most important things to do while in Portland is to take a tour of as many cute cafes as possible. What better time to cozy up with a warm brew and good company than during a rainy day, and because it’s so hard to chose a favorite, we will let you know our top 3 favorite roasters, tea spots, and our top 5 favorite coffee shops!
Walk Through Forest Park
Don’t forget to pack shoes you don’t mind getting muddy because Forest Park in the rain means immersing yourself in the sights and smells of a freshly rained-upon forest. The trailhead at the end of Thurman Street is a great place to hike while barely leaving the city, and Pittock Mansion gives you one of the best views of the city in the middle of the forest.
Catch Dinner and a Movie
Most of the time when it’s raining all we want to do is stay home, eat pizza, and drink a beverage. That can be difficult when you are traveling or just don’t want to be trapped at home. In PDX we can have the best of both worlds, most independent Portland theaters come complete with recliner chairs, couches, tables, food/drink delivery, and some of the most tasteful film selections in town. Here are a few of our favorites: Livingroom Theaters, Laurelhurst Theater, and McMenamins Kennedy School
Roller Skate at Oaks Park
This iconic wooden skate rink has been around since 1905. It’s attached to Oaks Park which is one of the top 10 oldest amusement parks in the country. This skating rink feels like you’re truly traveling back in time as you skate around the world’s-only skate rink-installed Wurlitzer Organ – which happens to hang from the ceiling, and is the size of a semi truck. Lace up and skate away from your rainy day blues! (See Map)
Explore the Chinese Gardens
500 tons of rock, including Chinese scholar’s rocks from Lake Tai (Taihu stone), were brought from China and used in the garden. Lan Su not only has covered walkways to meander around the lush gardens, but a traditional tea house to sip warm, freshly-prepared traditional Chinese tea while you watch the tiny ripples across the surfaces of the water. (See Map)
Game Around the City
Whether it’s old arcade games, bowling, ping pong, or a mix of all three, PDX is a sucker for bringing a little childhood magic back to adulting. Is there anything better to do on a rainy day than harness a world without responsibilities? Nothing in our book! Here’s a list of classics to check out: Ground Kontrol, Punch Bowl Social, Grand Central Bowling, Electric Castle’s Wunderland, and Pips & Bounce.
View the Bridge City Along the Waterfront
Grab an umbrella, headphones, and take a relaxed walk around Portland’s waterfront. Listen to a favorite podcast, audiobook, or song on repeat you just can’t get out of your head (you know we all do it!) Walk leisurely and watch the rain dance across the surface of the Willamette River. Don’t forget to pull out your phone to capture Portland in its truest form.
**Make sure to stop by the Worlds Smallest Park! (See Map)
Drop Into a Yoga or Exercise Class
Need to clear your mind a bit? Traveling can take a lot out of you, but it should’t keep you from experiencing the city. Meditative yoga and good old fashioned calisthenics are the best way to center you on vacation. Portland has several locations that offer drop-in yoga and exercise classes throughout the week. Start your day out right with a few of our favorites: Barre3, Yoga Pearl, CrossFit Pearl District, and BurnCycle!
Go out for Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Probably not the first thing that comes to mind when it’s raining, but turn the drizzle in your day into chocolate, and soon a rainbow will appear made of sprinkles. Don’t let a chilly day keep you from eating some of the PNW’s favorite craft ice cream. Take a tour of: Fifty Licks, 22 Below, Ruby Jewel, Wiz Bang Bar, and Salt & Straw.
Get Lost in Powell’s City of Books
Have you ever casually wandered into a bookstore, only to come out 4 hours later wondering what year it is? Well if that has never happened to you, you’re in luck! Portland is home to the largest independently owned new and used bookstore in the world. It’s a locals favorite spot to wait out the rain while wandering through the endless rows, floors, and sections of books! (See Map)
Grab a Drink for Happy Hour
In a city where food and drinks are highlighted and celebrated, most of our favorite hangouts have amazing happy hour deals. In fact, there are so many great deals that you could make an entire day exploring the city one happy hour at a time. Below we’ve listed our top 3 breweries, bars, and happy hours with a view (rain or shine!)
Cozy Up at The Society Hotel Café
We’ll admit it. We are a little biased! With our surrounding windows for watching the rain, an all-day cafe & bar, leather couches and fireplace, we’re hard-pressed to think of a better place to spend a rainy day. It’s the perfect spot to read a new book by the fire or have a cute rainy day rendezvous. See you soon!