Waiting for that one big vacation that takes you overseas or across the country can be real hard once summer rolls around. Ease the longing by planning out a bunch of smaller staycations that allow you to take in Portland like a tourist. From outdoor excursions to winding wine country experiences to urban adventures, we’ve put together the best Portland staycation experiences for every type of family.
Go To The Mountain
Head to Mt. Hood for a daytrip or staycation at Timberline Lodge and enjoy some summer skiing! That’s right, this spot has snow in the summer. It also offers visiting families epic hikes, including access to the iconic Pacific Crest Trail. If your kids love to travel on two wheels, you’re in luck. There are tons of bike trails to explore that take you through towering trees and offer families epic views.
After being one with nature and getting some solitude from the masses, book it to the lodge where you can hit one of their restaurants or book a room and stay the night. Timberline Lodge offers an array of room options that fit can accommodate families of all sizes while providing a true “deep woods getaway” experience.
If you really worked up an appetite, swing by Hood River to enjoy Italian wines and some nibbles at Marchesi Winery, rock-solid brews at Full Sail Brewery, or a mix of American cuisine at Skamania Lodge.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors.
One of the best hikes in Oregon is located in a rural town close to Salem: Silver Falls. The hikes are rolling and easy, even on little ones with dramatic falls. And there’s a lodge nearby with snacks and bathrooms. While you’re there, check out the Tulip Farm or wander though the Oregon Garden. Bonus: See the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oregon.
Get Your Game On
Do you have a family full of gamers? You don’t have to stay home to get some good gaming time in. Quarter World is and old-school hangout with a variety of arcade games and pinball machines, plus a full bar that serves pizza. It welcomes gamers of all ages on the weekends. Not done playing arcade games? Joystick on over to Ground Kontrol, an arcade in Northwest Portland, where you can play everything from Pacman to pinball. Ground Kontrol also has beverages, including the adult kind, and food.
But that’s not all Portland has to offer both old-school gamers and new. Make sure to check out Grand Central Bowling where you can take your gaming to the alley and when you’re done, you can hit the arcade and grab a bite to eat in the diner!
A Downtown Portland Staycation
For a real staycation experience, head downtown for the day to take in one of Portland’s most beloved spots. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, where the family can stroll and play along the walking path that follows the Willamette River. Stop and let the kids cool off and play in the Salmon Street Springs, and interactive water fountain controlled by and underground computer.
But that’s not all downtown watefront has to offer. Go to the best urban garden in Portland – the Lan Su Chinese Gardens. It’s close to Waterfront Park and blooming cherry blossoms and flowering plums. Take pictures of our bridges and the Willamette River with the kids. Hungry? Old Town Pizza is a favorite pizzeria close by. If it’s the weekend, you can stop at the Saturday Market to get handmade soaps, t-shirts, and bird houses. And why not finish up the day with an art-lover’s experience. The Portland Art Museum and stroll through a variety of exhibits ranging from paintings and photography to sculptures, there’s something for everyone.
Sound like a real vacation? Make it so with an overnight at the Woodlark, a Provenance Hotel, located downtown. It offers families suites with luxurious beds, living-room like sitting areas and there are even amenities for the family pet! You’ll love it so much that when you have the grandparents come visit, you’ll have them book a suite for themselves just so that you can visit!
Wind Your Way to Wine Country
Who doesn’t want to experience a wine country getaway? Head to McMinville where you can spend hours in the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum that has Howard Hughes’ all-wood airplane, the Spruce Goose, and a giant indoor waterpark, too. When you are done, you can also stop by various wineries like Dominio IV and Remy Wines. Not far away is a small town called Mt. Angel where there’s an abbey and some of the best German food you’ll eat. Afterward, go to St. Paul and enjoy two of the best wineries in the area: Lady Hill Winery and Sinnean. (They’re even next door to each other!)
Step back in time; Vancouver is home to a historic site and fur-trading outpost: Fort Vancouver. Established by the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Columbia Department, it boasts housing a number of military elite, including Ulysses S. Grant before he became a U.S. president. A fantastic playground and Pearson Air Museum are a stone’s throw away. While at Pearson, don’t miss the video about the history of Southern Washington, covering everything from the Native Americans who fished the Columbia to the women who built World War II ships. The kids will love the library in Vancouver, and there’s reciprocity if you live in Portland; you can check out books. The children’s section is one the best in the area and definitely worth your time.