Welcome to Portland, a city that not only accepts quirky but celebrates it. What truly sets this city apart and makes it alluring is its collection of delightfully offbeat spots that defy convention. Locals take pride in the pleasantly unexpected, for it is within these whimsical corners that Portland’s true magic lies. So, as you plan your summer vacation, why not start local with these 9 quirky places in Portland and immerse yourself in the city’s enchantment.
1. Voodoo Doughnuts
Are you really a Portlander if you haven’t been to Voodoo Doughnuts? Renowned for its eccentric flavors, like the Maple Bacon Bar and its spicy Ring of Fire Doughnut, this doughnut shop is a quirky staple that has become an icon of the city.
2. World Forestry Center at Miller Hall
Is there anything quirkier than being surrounded by hundreds of candles while classical music plays in the Miller Hall of The World Forestry Center? Designed by architect John Storrs, this state-of-the-art hall is a timeless monument to wood engineering. With its 72-foot open-beamed ceiling, this quirky venue boasts candlelit concerts that transport you to whimsical lands without leaving Portland.
3. Mills End Park
Prepare to be charmed by the world’s smallest park, Mills End Park. Located in the middle of Southwest Naito Parkway, this tiny oasis is home to a single tree and holds a Guinness World Record. It’s a delightful sight that showcases Portland’s penchant for the peculiar.
4. Freakybuttrue Peculiarium
Embrace the weird at Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, a quirky museum that showcases oddities and curiosities from around the world. From a life-size recreation of an alien autopsy to Bigfoot, this offbeat attraction will leave you fascinated and unnerved. And if all the squirms make you hungry, they offer delicious evil chunky chocolate Goth brownies that are to die for!
5. Troll Bridge
Embark on a quest to find the Portland Troll Bridge. Tucked away beneath the bustling city streets, this hidden gem is decorated with captivating troll sculptures that bring a touch of enchantment to an otherwise ordinary bridge.
6. Steeplejack Beer
There are only a few places in the world where you can drink a beer in a church, and it won’t count as a sin. Formerly an early 19th-century church, Steeplejacks Brewery offers a heavenly array of craft beers, spirits, wine, and food to satisfy all your needs seven days a week. So, there’s no excuse to skip mass anymore — and that’s on holy beer!
7. Collins Beach UFO Boat
For an otherworldly experience, head to Collins Beach UFO Boat. Formerly an apocalyptic-proof floating bunker, this fang-shaped vessel now functions as a graffiti gallery, creating an intriguing juxtaposition that will definitely capture your imagination.
8. Portland’s Mystic District
If you want to tap into the unknown, Portland’s Mystic District is a must-visit. Whether you are looking for an enchanting set of divination cards or just sweet-smelling incense, this enchanting block is where it is. Brimming with mystical shops, Tarot readers, and spiritual experiences, you’ll definitely feel the magic in the air here.
9. Witch Castle
Hidden in Forest Park, Witch Castle is a whimsical stone structure built in the late 1800s. With a long and mysterious history, this site has allegedly been the backdrop for countless murders and high school parties alike. Its unique architecture and design make it a quirky outdoor site to embrace Portland’s spooky history.