15 Best Things to Do in Hillsboro, OR

Hillsboro, OR
Bandersnatch / shutterstock.com

A visit to Hillsboro, the county seat of Washington County, is an exciting prospect, especially for sports aficionados.

The city boasts many sports arenas, including a state-of-the-art stadium where major sports tournaments are held for visitors and locals to enjoy.

Even more fascinating, Hillsboro, the fifth largest city in Oregon, is situated in the verdant sliver of Tualatin Valley that shines in the elements of nature.

The city thus flaunts several parks celebrating a natural environment and the charming wildlife it retains.

Incorporated in 1876, Hillsboro also has much to tell about its history as preserved in the city’s museum and historic buildings.

The city’s steady growth over the years, moreover, has created exciting local events and festivities that draw visitors annually.

Explore all these points of interest in the following list of things to do in Hillsboro.

Check Out the Barns of Washington County Fair

A Washington County Fair dairy barn
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Set a Hillsboro visit in the last week of July when the Washington County Fair gets underway at Westside Commons on NE 28th Avenue.

Admission is free in this annual event hosted in the Westside Commons’ Wingspan Event and Conference Center.

A colorful ferris wheel at Washington County Fair
Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.com

This county fair offers more besides amusement rides, food concessionaires, and vendors.

It also draws crowds in its barns where animals on display range from Texas longhorns, sheep, and goats to poultry and swine.

In addition to animal exhibits, the country fair also brings fun in its performing dog shows and pig races.

People on a thrilling ride during Washington County Fair
Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.com

Outside of the country fair’s schedule, you can also watch out for other events on tap at the 100-acre Westside Commons.

One is the annual June All-Ford show of the Mustang Wranglers of Oregon that segues in August to the Oregon arms collectors’ gun show, and then the Portland Holiday Food & Gift Festival in November.

A colorful train for children at Washington County Fair
Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.com

Watch a Game at the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex

Name sign of Gordon Faber Recreation Complex
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hillsboro hosts plenty of major sports events in Oregon, particularly at its Gordon Faber Recreation Complex on NE Century Boulevard.

Sprawling at more than 90 acres, this complex features the 7,000-seat Hillsboro Stadium home to the Portland State University Football squad and Women’s Soccer team.

The complex's six premier natural softball/baseball fields are also home to the university’s softball team.

Field four of Gordon Faber Recreation Complex
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The other facilities in this complex include two artificial turf softball/baseball fields.

It also holds the 4,500-seat baseball stadium—Ron Tonkin Field, the home field of the Hillsboro Hops.

The complex also provides a path on its perimeter for walking, running, and biking events.

Tour the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals

Exterior of Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marvel at the complexity of our Mother Earth in this museum on the northern edge of Hillsboro, just north of the Sunset Highway.

This earth museum is housed in a ranch-style home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A Smithsonian affiliate, this museum displays rock and mineral collections gathered since the 1930s.

A fossil on display in Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This museum nestles on a 23-acre woodland, with its main building’s 7,500-square-foot space serving as a repository of more than 20,000 specimens.

The museum’s collections include various fossils, petrified wood, zeolites, fluorescent minerals, meteorites, and a variety of other minerals.

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

An iron meteorite on display inside Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals
M.O. Stevens, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a Beer at Imbrie Farm

Exterior of Imbrie Farm farmhouse
Aboutmovies, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This farm’s centerpiece is an Italian villa-style home built in the mid-1850s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located on Cornelius Pass Road just south of U.S. Route 26, the Imbrie farmhouse is now the site of the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, which operates under the McMenamins brewpub chain.

Interior of Imbrie hall pub
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The modern Imbrie Hall Pub brewpub now in the farmhouse was notably built using timbers from the historic Henry Weinhard’s brewery in Portland.

You can also enjoy a beer at the pub’s Little White Shed, a cozy bar that blends well with the vintage structures within the Imbrie Farm.

The original structures still on the farm, besides its historic home, also include a unique eight-sided barn.

Have a Beer-Tasting at Three Mugs Brewing

Exterior of Three Mugs Brewing CO
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy craft beer with a delicious meal at the Three Mugs Brewing Company on Northeast Aloclek Drive.

Established in 2013, this family and veteran-owned craft brewer makes a wide range of beers.

One of its pride is the limited-release strawberry white chocolate blonde ale made with strawberries.

This brewer also offers a white chocolate ale made with locally sourced coffee.

For its food offerings, Three Mugs Brewing has teamed up with Fresh Thyme Soup Company, offering both meat dishes and vegan meal options.

Join the Fun in Roloff Farms

People touring the Roloff Farms
Bandersnatch / Shutterstock.com

At this farm, you will meet the stars of “Little People, Big World,” the popular, long-running TLC reality series.

A member of the Roloff Family cast in the show will take you to a 30-minute unique tour of their 100-acre farm off Northwest Grossen Drive.

Pumpkins scattered at Roloff Farms
Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.com

This tour will take you to the farm’s points of interest featured in various episodes of the TLC series.

These include several unique play structures, like The Twins’ Swamp Fort, Molly’s Castle, Western Town, Matt’s Bridge, the Secret Forest, and the Tower of Terror.

People standing in line at Roloff Farms' entrance
Bandersnatch / Shutterstock.com

In these places, you may recall many of the adventures and antics of the Roloff family for a fun tour of a unique Hillsboro attraction.

Roloff Farms is especially famous for its October Pumpkin Patch season when it opens to the public every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

A cardboard person holding a slow sign at Roloff Farms
Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the Outdoors at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Blue sky reflecting on Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Yanqiang Dai / Shutterstock.com

This 635-acre wildlife preserve is located off the Southwest Hillsboro Highway.

Open to the public, the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is a great destination for hiking and viewing wildlife in its natural habitat.

The preserve also boasts an Education Center with a rich resource for research and learning.

Wooden trail at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Yanqiang Dai / Shutterstock.com

For an outdoor learning experience, head to the preserve’s 4.5 miles of bark-chipped and gravel trails.

This path will take you to various wildlife habitats for exceptional opportunities to observe the 150 bird species in the preserve, such as the Black-headed Grosbeak, Swainson’s thrush, osprey, swallows, herons, and bald eagles.

The Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve also supports a diversity of native plants like deciduous trees, which are leafing out, and many in bloom during spring.

Tree logs afloat on Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Yanqiang Dai / Shutterstock.com

Pour on a Wine Glass at Helvetia Winery

Located on Northwest Yungen Road, this winery welcomes visitors to its outdoor wine tastings even without a reservation.

The winery’s elevated location in the Tualatin Mountains’ foothills is the northernmost vineyards in the Willamette Valley.

Helvetia Winery produces award-winning Oregon wines from a beautiful estate winery tracing back to the early Swiss settlers of the Hillsboro area.

The original winemaking equipment of one of these pioneers is exhibited at the visitors’ center of Helvetia Winery.

In a visit to this winery, you can sample its Estate Chardonnay, which passed through a nine-month aging process in neutral French oak barrels.

Explore Rood Bridge Park ·

Stone bridge at Rood Bridge Park
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This 58-acre community park is one of the most popular in Hillsboro because of its wide-ranging facilities.

Its features include a paved trail meandering across the developed and natural areas of the park.

The Rock Creek Regional trail ends at this park, while the Tualatin River Regional Water Trail begins here, an inviting prospect for extended explorations of Hillsboro and its neighbors.

A garden pavillon in Rood Bridge Park
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park, which is along Southeast Rood Bridge road, boasts a Rhododendron Garden as well as three beautiful picnic shelters for big gatherings and events.

Rood Bridge Park likewise features tennis courts, a playground, and large lawn areas, plus a launch for non-motorized boats, such as canoes and kayaks, for access to the Tualatin River.

A pond in Rood Bridge Park
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out the Water Geysers at 53rd Avenue Community Park

Children playing at 53rd Avenue Community Park's sprayground
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take your kids to this park with a sprayground as one of the leading attractions in its 13-acre site on 53rdAvenue.

The park’s sprayground flaunts a curved seating wall and exciting spray elements like geysers that children will surely love.

The spray sequences of this park attraction are programmed to elicit a whimsical and delightful experience to children.

Children playing at 53rd Avenue Community Park's sprayground
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This automatic timer is activated during summer’s warmer daylight hours, and the sprayground water is filtered for sanitation and recycling.

Besides its interactive fountain, this community park also provides artificial turf fields, a sand play area, a unique swing, four lighted tennis courts, and a basketball court.

Empty 53rd Avenue Community Park
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Historic Malcolm McDonald House

Front exterior of Historic Malcolm McDonald House
Steve Morgan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Malcolm McDonald House is located in the 42-acre Orenco Woods Nature Park on Northeast Birch Street.

This historic house, nestled amid apple trees, was built in 1912 as the dwelling of Oregon Nursery Company's founder, Malcolm McDonald.

Back exterior of Malcolm McDonald House
Steve Morgan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Its design is a study in the Craftsman-style architecture distinctive in its purlins and the curved brackets of its deep open eaves.

A broad entry porch greets visitors of this vintage building designed with multiple chimneys and a variety of window types.

After a tour of this residence, you can proceed to the Rock Creek Trail, which features a spectacular bridge as a vantage point for watching great blue herons and beavers in the wetlands below.

View of Malcolm McDonald House from afar
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pick an Event at the Walters Cultural Arts Center

Exterior of Walters Cultural Arts Center
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This Hillsboro downtown arts center is located on East Main Street, housed in a charming red-colored stone building built in 1949 as a Lutheran church.

The Walters Cultural Arts Center holds live performances on its 200-seat event venue, where featured shows can include ensembles from the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra and Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater

Exterior of Walters Cultural Arts Center from the street
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Besides its performance state, the arts center also features art galleries and five art classroom studios for lessons like clay art.

Hillsboro Artists’ Regional Theatre, also in the downtown area at Southeast Washington Street, adds to the picks of cultural events in a visit to the city.

Locally known as HART, this thespians’ group boasts more than 25 years of performing drama, romance, comedy, mystery, and musicals.

Snow covering Walters Cultural Arts Center
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Choose a 9-Hole Play at NW Jackson

For a short game of golf, there are two choices in Hillsboro, both of which are on the west side of Hillsboro.

One of these, the McKay Creek Golf Course & Driving Range accessible via NW Jackson Street offers an affordable round on its 2,761-yard layout, which plays at par 36.

Built in 1995, this golf course has a 64.8 USGA rating and a 103 slope rating.

A stretch of McKay Creek meanders across this course, which was built on a former dairy site with its farmhouse retained as the clubhouse.

The driving range of this course has 22 tee stations heated for winter practice.

A short distance west of McKay Creek, the family-owned Killarney West golf course likewise offers par 36 play on its 9-hole layout.

This spread off the Tualatin Valley Highway offers tree-lined fairways, manicured greens, and the mom-and-pop feel of an inexpensive and convenient golf fix.

Play Disc Golf at Dairy Creek Park

Body of water at Dairy Creek Park
M.O. Stevens, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Disc golf aficionados have a good reason to visit Dairy Creek Park on Southwest 17th Avenue with convenient access from the city’s downtown.

The park has provided a challenging but fun disc golf course that utilizes the paths of its natural area closest to Dairy Creek.

Trees surrounding a body of water at Dairy Creek Park
M.O. Stevens, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For non-players of disc golf, the park offers other facilities within its 22 acres, including two picnic shelters.

Dairy Creek Park also features a multipurpose field for soccer and softball, a playground, and a basketball court.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Golf in the Big League Course of Reserve Vineyards

Exterior of Reserve Vineyards and golf club
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Relish the delight of playing in the Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club in Aloha, an unincorporated community about 6 miles east of Hillsboro.

This golfing destination offers two distinct high-caliber courses that already hosted several prestigious tournaments, including the majors of the US PGA Tour.

Exterior of Reserve Vineyards & golf course and its clean cut grass
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The semi-private Reserve Vineyard & Golf Club has two 18-hole layouts offering par 72 play.

A round from the layout’s longest tees goes 6,480 yards on a course rating of 73.3 and a slope rating of 140.

This club also takes pride in its public restaurant, The Vintage Room, offering a premium, casual dining experience.

Large open golf space at Reserve Vineyards and gold club
M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

A complete package of exciting activities awaits visitors of Hillsboro, which has masterfully developed many points of interest.

Just hanging out in any of these destinations may be enough to have a fulfilling visit to this wonderful city in Oregon.