The city of Portland has developed a long-running reputation for its progressive politics, environmental activists, starving artists, bike enthusiasts, and vegan diners. These liberal and artsy stereotypes were further solidified with the release of the Independent Film Channel’s 2011 satirical sketch comedy series, “Portlandia.”
Whether you’ve been a loyal local for years or if you’re a total Portland newbie, there’s always something new to see and do around town. Now’s the time to shake your preconceived notions about the city and organized tour groups. At FunSherpa, we’re connected to all the hottest tours to help you discover Portland for the first time and continue rediscovering everything you love about the city. Here are a few of the Portland tours that we’re excited about right now:
Bikes are a huge part of Portland’s culture, so it should come as no surprise that biking is one of the best ways to experience the city. Hit the highlights of the city and you breeze past historic Old Town, the Waterfront Esplanade, Green Park Block, the Pearl District, and more. Most bike tours last a couple hours and ride along exquisitely-maintained bike paths with scenic skyline vistas.
Portland is a foodie’s paradise! Sample the city’s finest food and drinks, as you take a leisurely 8 to 10 block stroll around the city. Food tours generally last 3 ½ to 4 hours, and include samples of everything from martinis to chocolate truffles and olive oil. Get the insider’s scoop about local events, cultural traditions, and historical anecdotes from your tour guide along the way.
Uncover the mystery and scandal for yourself inside Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels. Portland Underground tours take you below the streets to walk the unique network of passages that once aided slave trade, prohibition liquor trades, and illegal labor schemes. These 1 ½ hour tours are run by the experienced cascade Geographical Society and provide a unique glimpse into Portland’s dark and checkered history.
Head over to the Horsetail Falls trail head to experience some of Portland’s most scenic natural beauty. Waterfall tours are usually scheduled for 3-4 hours on Monday mornings, and they follow an easy two-mile round-trip hike. You’ll begin your adventure inside the lush, green forest and make your way to the secluded Ponytail Falls, where you can walk behind the waterfall and feel the refreshing mist on your skin.
If you have a little more time, interest, and cash on hand, you should definitely check out our 7-day Porltand Tour Experience as well. Venture outside the city limits and come face-to-face with the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Hood, Multnomah Falls, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Lewis and Clark National Scenic Area. You won’t just veer off the beaten path, you’ll uncover everything you never knew you didn’t know about the Pacific Northwest! So open your mind, try something new, and experience what Portland is truly all about.
Photo credit: Paul Ottaviano, Terry Chay via Flickr