18 Best Things to Do in Multnomah County, OR

Multnomah County, OR
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Multnomah County is one of the most exciting counties in Oregon because of its geography.

It’s surrounded with plenty of rivers, spearheaded by the world-famous Columbia River that it shares with Washington.

Because of this, the county is brimming with all sorts of natural wonders such as the Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls along with Forest Park.

While it has several cities and communities, the brunt of the county’s urban attractions are found in Portland which is also the biggest city in Oregon.

To kickstart your travel plans, take a look at this list of the best things to do in Multnomah County, Oregon.

See All Sorts of Wildlife at Oregon Zoo

Baby elephant at Oregon Zoo
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Oregon Zoo is one of the top attractions in the city of Portland, brimming with tons of wildlife from around the world.

One of the most unique things about Oregon Zoo that makes it famous in the entire country is its presence of polar bears—you’ll be able to see these majestic creatures here up close.

They also have dedicated spaces for giant mammals from Africa, most prominently elephants and lions.

Lioness and its cubs resting on a rock at Oregon Zoo
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Oregon Zoo has a lot more in store for you, such as train rides, interactive exhibits, and even Christmas specials if you visit during December.

A can’t-miss for couples and families, Oregon Zoo is a great way to kickstart your adventure in Multnomah County.

Giraffe at Oregon Zoo
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Explore Forest Park

Tall trees at the Forest Park
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One of the biggest attractions in Multnomah County is Forest Park, found in the western section of Portland.

The park is huge—it spans well beyond 5,000 acres and is home to some of the most diverse ecosystems in the county.

This makes it a prime destination for biking, as you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground and discover the hidden gems that’s inside it.

Hiking trail at Forest Park
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Some of these hidden gems include dense thickets of fern fields along with ruins like the Witch’s Castle.

A haven for adrenaline-pumping adventure, Forest Park is a must-experience for outdoor thrill seekers.

A man hiking through the Forest Park
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Take in the Majestic Views at Vista House at Crown Point

A distant view of the Vista House at Crown Point
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If you drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway, you’ll eventually find Vista House at Crown Point in the community of Corbett.

This is arguably one of the most visually-appealing destinations in Multnomah County, as you’ll get sweeping views of the river along with small waterfalls that surround the highway.

While the views are breathtaking, Vista House at Crown Point’s architecture is a treat on its own.

Front view of the Vista House at Crown Point
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Built during the early 1900s, the historic stone house rests beautifully atop the area, overlooking the waters of Oregon.

It also goes without saying that you’ll learn a lot of history through the house.

Easily one of the best destinations for photo opportunities, you can’t afford to miss Vista House at Crown Point.

Breathtaking view from the Vista House at Crown Point
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Hike the Wahkeena Falls

Water pouring down from the Wahkeena Falls
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If you have a strong love for waterfalls, the Wahkeena Falls in Corbett is a great way to spice up your adventure.

Also found along the Historic Columbia River Highway, Wahkeena Falls is a great extension if you’re visiting Crown Point.

The falls are majestic—it’s brimming with lush greenery and the waterfall itself has powerful gushes of water flowing throughout.

Creek flowing from the Wahkeena Falls
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If you want a more unique adventure, try visiting Wahkeena Falls during winter—the place will be clad in snow.

A haven for adventure, don’t hesitate in adding this to your travel plans.

Scenic views along the hike towards the Wahkeena Falls
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Experience Ancient Japan at Portland Japanese Garden

Japanese styled door at Portland Japanese Garden
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Visited by tens and thousands of people weekly, Portland Japanese Garden is another top attraction in Multnomah County.

Found in Portland, the Japanese garden boasts almost six acres of Zen-inspired aesthetics.

You’ll get mountain top views here that’s perfect for meditation, along with Kyoto-inspired shrines and gardens.

A couple strolling through the Portland Japanese Garden
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Plenty of bonsai and Koi ponds are found throughout as well, incentivizing you to explore the area.

Overall, Portland Japanese Garden is a great all-rounder for intimate solo or couple walks.

Wooden pedestrian bridge at Portland Japanese Garden
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Have a Blast at Oaks Amusement Park

People enjoying a ride at Oaks Amusement Park
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Oaks Amusement Park is another attraction in Portland that can be included in any kind of itinerary for Multnomah County.

A huge amusement park along the Willamette River, Oaks Amusement Park is both fun and scenic at the same time.

Besides its location, this park has a retro feel to it because it was designed and built during the 1900s.

A family enjoying the frog hopper ride at Oaks Amusement Park
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This retro vibe doesn’t take away from its fun—the rides here are all safe and enjoyable much like other modern amusement parks.

Some of the must-experience facilities here are their roller skating rink, bumper cars, roller coasters, and haunted houses.

Rides at Oaks Amusement Park
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Take a Breather at Blue Lake Regional Park

Located in the city of Fairview, Blue Lake Regional Park is a great way to balance your trip to Multnomah County.

It’s the perfect place for respite if you’re exhausted from the hustle and bustle of Portland, providing scenic views with almost no crowds even during peak hours.

The greenery here is beautiful, further accentuated by the Blue Lake.

Ducks swimming in the Blue Lake Regional Park
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There are also plenty of amenities here for the little ones, such as a splash pad and playground.

For the grown ups, disc golf is often played here and boating is allowed on the lake, making Blue Lake Regional Park a great all-rounder for the family.

Experience the Multnomah Falls

Spectacular view of the Multnomah Falls
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Found in the community of Bridal Veil, Multnomah Falls is right up there with Wahkeena Falls as the two best waterfalls in Oregon.

While Wahkeena Falls is more on the rugged experience side, Multnomah Falls is much more tourist-friendly.

Hiking trail towards the Multnomah Falls
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It boasts a viewing platform along with paved trails and a scenic bridge that lets you experience the falls up close without getting muddy.

There’s also a visitor center here where you can learn a lot about the history of the area.

A gift shop is also found here, completing the sightseeing experience in this majestic body of water.

View of the frozen Multnomah Falls
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Do Riverside Photography at Rocky Pointe Marina

Rocky Pointe Marina is a prime destination to take harbor photos during your visit.

Found in Portland, the marina is famous for housing a lot of boats along the narrower portion of the Willamette River.

It’s a relaxing place to also do some light strolling no matter the time of the day.

What’s best about Rocky Pointe Marina is that it’s surrounded with other marinas along the highway.

So if you have a fondness for this kind of aesthetic, this is a great way to diversify your itinerary.

Take Your Dogs to Sandy River Delta

A bird resting on the Sandy River Delta
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Sandy River Delta doubles as a nature preserve and an off-leash dog park in Multnomah County.

It’s located in the city of Troutdale, making this a nice day trip from Portland if you’re bringing your pooch with you.

The trails here are plenty—you’ll see a lot of open grassy fields with an abundance of flowers and other plant life.

Serene water at Sandy River Delta
Bill Reynolds, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are scenic creeks here as well that accentuate its overall aesthetic.

Not to mention, there are a lot of shallow waters in Sandy River Delta that’s perfect for cooling down with your pet.

Be Part of an Exciting Event at Moda Center

Portland is a city with a rich entertainment culture, whether it’s basketball, ice hockey, or music.

Moda Center is the melting pot for all the major entertainment events happening in Oregon.

Exterior view of the Moda Center
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It’s a state-of-the-art facility that’s best known for hosting the biggest concerts and conventions in the state, so be sure to check what’s brewing on the dates of your visit.

If you want to experience the passion of the locals, watch an NBA game of the Portland Trail Blazers or a hockey game of the Portland Winterhawks.

Regardless of your plans, Moda Center is cool to visit during your trip.

Enjoy the Columbia River at Kelley Pointe Park

Beautiful view of the Kelley Pointe Park
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Kelley Pointe Park is one of the best spots in the county to experience the Columbia River.

Situated in Portland, Kelley Point Park rests on a bend where the Willamette and Columbia River merge together.

It’s a popular spot for boating, but you can simply relax on its serene beaches.

View of the Kelley Pointe Park
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Picnics are common here as well because of how relaxed the ambiance is, especially during sunsets.

Plenty of boats are seen throughout here as well, adding to the scenic charm of the park.

Ship at the Kelley Pointe Park
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Hike through Powell Butte Nature Park

Landscape of the Powell Butte Nature Park
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Found within the bustling urban districts of Portland lies an extinct volcano that you can spend a couple of hours exploring: Powell Butte Nature Park.

It’s a gorgeous spot to appreciate the urban beauty of Portland from above, especially at night.

The hike up is also a memorable experience, as it’s both easy and scenic.

A stream flowing through the hiking trail at Powell Butte Nature Park
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There are several trails here depending on how long you want your hike to be, with some trails being more technical than others.

There’s also a visitor center here, so don’t forget to pay it a visit before you leave Powell Butte Nature Park.

House at the Powell Butte Nature Park
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Tour the Pittock Mansion

Facade of the Pittock Mansion
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If you’re a big lover of vintage architecture, Pittock Mansion is a can’t-miss destination found in Portland.

Just a stone’s throw away from the dense woodlands of Forest Park, Pittock Mansion is a historical landmark dating back to 1914.

It’s a French-Renaissance style mansion that showcases the long history of Portland, starting from when it was founded to when it became an industrialized economic hub of Oregon.

Library at Pittock Mansion
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The place is huge to say the least, boasting well beyond 20 rooms for you to explore, each having unique artifacts from the past.

The gardens and trails of Pittock Mansion are just as good, making this one of the finest places for photo opportunities in Multnomah County.

Living room at Pittock Mansion
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Do Recreational Activities at Peninsula Park

Colorful roses and a fountain at Peninsula Park
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Peninsula Park is a great place to do a lot of laid-back activities during your trip to Portland.

It’s the quintessential city park, offering a ton of sports amenities, picnic grounds, and other fun stuff to do with the family.

Walkway at Peninsula Park
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Kids can enjoy the splash park and playgrounds here, while teenagers and adults have access to baseball fields and tennis courts.

Peninsula Park is also famous for its rose garden; it’s a great place for romantic dates.

Lively but elegant, consider adding this if you have spare time in your itinerary.

Gazebo at the Peninsula Park
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Play Disc Golf at Dabney State Recreation Area

Another attraction in Corbett is the Dabney State Recreation Area that rests along the banks of the Sandy River.

It’s a beautiful place that’s popular for disc golfing, mostly because it has an abundance of varying terrains and water hazards.

If you’re traveling with a large group, this is a great way to get to know the sport while enjoying its scenic views.

River at Dabney State Recreation Area
Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dabney State Recreation Area is also great for boating, so consider it if you’re bringing a kayak with you.

Picnic areas and barbecue stations are also found throughout and there are plenty of restrooms as well.

Watch a Race at Portland International Raceway

People watching a car race at Portland International Raceway
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Whether you love NASCAR races or sports racing in general, Portland International Raceway is a must-see during your trip.

It’s home to Oregon’s finest racing competitions, boasting all sorts of cars that’s a treat to the eyes.

While the racing events and NASCAR are the main attractions, Portland International Raceway is also popular during the Christmas season.

Truck race at Portland International Raceway
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During the winter months, the raceway transforms into a Christmas light festival that’s a nice addition to your itinerary.

No matter when you visit, it’s a cool place to check out to enhance your itinerary.

A race celebrating his victory at Portland International Raceway
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Explore the Trails of Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Hiking trail at Tryon Creek State Natural Area
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Portland’s Tryon Creek State Natural Area has all sorts of trails that outdoor lovers can ask for.

What makes the natural area unique is the presence of horse trails—so if you’re looking to do some horseback riding in the wilderness, this is the place to be.

Creek flowing through the Tryon Creek State Natural Area
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Beyond that, Tryon Creek State Natural Area also has biking and hiking trails.

It’s an area brimming with woodlands and creeks, so expect the place to be a bit rugged and muddy.

Still, the austere vibes it gives off is what makes it a haven for exploration.

Direction sign at the Tryon Creek State Natural Area
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Final Thoughts

Very few counties on the West Coast can have as much nature compared to Multnomah County.

There’s a seemingly endless list of nature preserves, rivers, and waterfalls throughout, with each having something unique to offer.

While its nature is world-class, the urban culture of Portland helps balance everything out as it’s brimming with all sorts of tourist attractions as well.

When traveling to the Beaver State, don’t miss out on the best things to do in Multnomah County, Oregon.

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