Tigard, Oregon, is a thriving community dedicated to the history, arts, culture, and recreation, located ten miles south of Portland in Washington County.
It has been in the Tualatin Valley, home to the Atfalati, a northern band of the Kalapuya tribe, for thousands of years.
Previously known as Tigardville, the name drew inspiration from Wilson Tigard, one of the early settlers who arrived in 1852.
Upon the construction of the Oregon Electric Railway in 1907, Tigardville changed its name to Tigard.
The name changed to distinguish the railway’s stop in Wilsonville further.
The railway sparked the town’s development from being a tiny farming community into a growing town, leading to its incorporation as a city in 1961.
Today, Tigard bustles with fun and exciting activities, including shopping and retail, a summer festival, outdoor recreation opportunities, and history, which is still visible all around the city.
Here are the best things to do in Tigard, OR:
Stroll along Cook Park
Cook Park is an easily accessible riverside park in Tigard, on the banks of the Tualatin River.
The 79-acre park offers park shelters, playgrounds, sports and picnic areas, wetland areas, river access, a boat ramp, more than 2.5 miles of trails, and the Tupling Butterfly Garden.
Cook Park is home to various flora such as the black-eyed Susan, lavender, ponderosa pines, oak trees, and fauna such as beavers, great blue heron, mallards, river otters, and wood ducks.
Various bird species are regular park visitors, including green herons, kingfishers, pileated woodpeckers, and western screech owls.
During the summer, Cook Park hosts the annual Festival of Balloons.
Watch a Musical at Broadway Rose Theatre Company
The Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Washington County’s top professional musical theater, brings together national and local talents to produce a fantastic year-round season of live theater.
Sharon Marone founded the Broadway Rose Theatre Company in 1992.
Since then, it has produced professional musical theater in Portland, receiving national recognition for its devotion to artistic excellence.
Throughout the year, the company performs a wide range of mainstage productions, from lavish musicals like Les Misérables and 42nd Street to intimate musical skits and children’s shows.
They also hold educational camps for children and teens, summer children’s musicals, and a technical internship program for those who aspire to be theater professionals.
The theater can seat 270 people in theater seats or 112 people at tables, with an average attendance of 45,000 people annually.
Broadway Rose Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing inexpensive live theaters to everyone in the community.
Cycle along the Fanno Creek Greenway Trail
It provides many opportunities to explore Tualatin Valley.
The Fanno Creek Greenway Trail has many entry points, including Main Street in Tigard’s downtown area.
You will find a map and an interpretive panel of the trail at Grand Avenue and Main Street so you can plan your walk or bicycle route for the day.
Those who want to go through the whole stretch of the trail will see how the path lies alongside the Tualatin River, leading to the Ki-a-Kuts Bridge.
You'll find moss-covered oak trees there, composing a gorgeous view of the Tualatin Community Park, and then you go back to Main Street.
The trail, which runs through marshes, forests, parks, and communities, is home to wildlife.
Take the Tigard Walking Art Tour
Tigard designed an interactive map to take a self-guided walking tour showcasing the city’s growing public art collection.
This mobile-friendly walking tour contains photos and descriptions of at least 15 public art projects with a recommended route that takes about 40 minutes to finish.
To start the tour, go to the Jim Griffith Memorial Skatepark and follow the 1.25-mile route through downtown, looking for these artworks.
Featured art projects include the iconic decorative glass baskets and unique sculptures scattered throughout downtown, and numerous mural paintings, including “A Walk Through Time,” a large-scale mural by Jeremy Nichols, a local artist.
You may search the Downtown Tigard Public Art Walking Guide online.
Play Golf at the Summerfield Golf Course
The Summerfield Golf Course is a beautiful, serene course with perfect greens and lush fairways.
This semi-private nine-hole golf course first opened its doors in 1973.
The course has two sets of tees for different player skill levels.
The Red Tee is a 33-par, 2221-yard course, and the Blue Tee is a 33-par, 2353-yard course.
You can find the golf pro shop on the lower level for golf equipment and accessories.
Shoot Bows at Archers Afield
Archers Afield is a well-established archery facility in Tigard and one of the largest indoor archery ranges in the Pacific Northwest.
It has five indoor archery ranges, including three separate 20-yard fields up to 43 lanes and two ranges for private lessons and groups.
Archers Afield is also a pro-shop for equipment purchases and rentals, and hosts tournaments and leagues, private archery lessons, and recreational archery.
Each month, various events take place there, including Archery Escape Room, Archery Date Nights, Family Archery Nights, Cosmic Archery and Archery Tic-Tac-Toe.
Archers Afield offer something for everyone of all ages and skill levels, from beginner to expert.
Shop Local at Tigard Farmers Market
Tigard Farmers Market delivers fresh produce, arts, crafts, music, and more to the bustling streets of downtown Tigard.
Established in 1993, the Tigard Farmers Market is committed to bringing community, farmers, and non-profit organizations together to benefit everyone.
Located on Southwest Main Street, the Tigard Area Farmers Market is an excellent resource for locally-grown produce, food, plants, and crafts.
Let experts and local vendors answer your questions while enjoying live entertainment and shoppers, locals and visitors alike.
The market is open every Sunday from spring through fall.
Skate at Jim Griffith Memorial Skatepark
Jim Griffith Memorial Skatepark is a 15,000-square foot concrete park on Southwest Hall Boulevard.
Also known as “Tigard Skatepark,” the skate park opened in 2007, named after the late Tigard Mayor Jim Griffith, an advocate and a big supporter of Tigard youth.
The park is the product of a five-year community campaign to bring the skatepark to life.
It has many features, including multiple bowl sections, a rotating volcano top, and street obstacles such as banks, ledges, rails, etc.
Bikes and scooters are also permitted in the park.
Taste Specialty Beer at Cooper Mountain Ale Works
Cooper Mountain Ale Works claims to be the only ten-barrel brewhouse in Tigard.
The journey began in 2012 in a garage, brewing as few as five gallons of beer at a time.
Today, Cooper Mountain Ale Works has grown much through its owners' love and passion for brewing.
Their beers are on tap at many local tap bars and in their own location on Southwest Main Street.
You can try Cooper Mountain's twenty crafted beers made on-site, ciders, wines, cocktails, and house specialties such as ground burgers, pizzas, pasta, and a variety of other pub favorites.
The brewery hosts live music every Thursday from local musicians.
Every first Wednesday is an open mic night for the Oregon Bluegrass Association.
Bands also play there every third Wednesday of the month.
Explore the Trails of Dirksen Nature Park
Dirksen Nature Park is a popular destination in Tigard if you’re looking for a great outdoor adventure.
Its calling point are its many trails, each providing unique experiences as you explore Dirksen Nature Park.
On one hand, you can spot some interesting art sculptures here that’s a fun place to bring the children, but there are also spots that are teeming with nature.
Because of these, Dirksen Nature Park is a popular place for tons of photography, especially once you start venturing to its dense woodlands.
There’s a lot to do here, so make time for this awesome nature park that’s found along Southwest Tiedeman Avenue.
Have a Mexican Feast at Sanchez Taqueria Y Panaderia
Sanchez Taqueria Y Panaderia, which literally translates to Sanchez Taco Restaurant and Bakery, is one of the most well-loved culinary spots in Tigard.
Specializing in meaty tacos and all sorts of Mexican baked goods, this is a can’t miss to any food adventurer visiting Tigard.
The Al Pastor taco is one of their most popular dishes, oozing with delicious meat that’ll make you come back for more.
For their bakery, Sanchez Taqueria Y Panaderia have sweet and savory options that can be overwhelming at first glance.
The best part about this is their service, as they’ll happily explain what the baked goods are so you can better plan out your purchase.
Found along Southwest Pacific Highway, every tourist must try Sanchez Taqueria Y Panaderia.
Test Your Rock Climbing Skills at The Circuit Bouldering Gym
If you have an affinity for rock climbing, The Circuit Bouldering Gym is a great addition to your itinerary.
It’s a modern facility that gets the job done for avid rock climbers while also catering to the more inexperienced ones who want to train in the sport.
Offering spacious facilities with varied rock climbing walls, The Circuit Bouldering Gym has a little bit of something for everyone.
They also have a competent and friendly staff here, well-rated by their patrons.
If you want to add a bit of fun in your trip, you can pay a visit to this bouldering gym along Southwest Upper Boones Ferry Road.
Go on a Picnic at Summerlake City Park
Summerlake City Park is one of the best family-oriented recreational parks in Tigard.
It’s a perfect spot to do picnics thanks to its lively atmosphere that still manages to make it a great place for relaxation.
The park has great amenities too, featuring an off-leash dog park, playgrounds, and various sports amenities as well.
There’s also great foliage here and a bit of wildlife, adding to its already scenic charm.
Whether you have kids or you’re a fur parent, there’s a little bit of something for every type of family at Summerlake City Park.
Get Some Quiet Time at Tigard Public Library
Tigard Public Library is an underrated spot in the city that’s a great place for respite, especially if you’re visiting during the colder months.
While the library is an all-rounder, it particularly does a great job catering to younger children.
They have an abundance of stimulating toys and board games for kids to try out, along with a good collection of children’s books.
Even if you’re visiting by yourself or with adults, there are plenty of nice book titles to check out.
Tigard Public Library is a quaint spot that’s good to visit if you have some spare time—you can find it along Southwest Hall Boulevard.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Shop Tax-Free at Washington Square
Washington Square is a renowned shopping center in Portland, Oregon, 16 minutes away from Tigard.
First opened in 1973, this shopping mall is one of the country’s highest-grossing malls per square foot.
Enjoy tax-free shopping with Washington Square’s unwavering selection of styles, with four major stores: Dick’s Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.
It contains over 200 specialty retailers, restaurants, and a food court, with some of the stores located in an adjacent plaza called Washington Square Too.
Another tax-free shopping center worth checking out is Bridgeport Village, an outdoor lifestyle complex with a blend of high-end national and local merchants.
It is the exclusive Oregon home of several well-known restaurants and retail shops nationwide.
Get Creative at Live Love Laugh Art
Live Laugh Love Art is where the fun begins, and learning never ends.
Live Laugh Love Art is a modern art studio and gallery which offers walk-in activities, workshops and group events for glass fusing, canvas painting, pottery painting, candle making, and wood sign painting.
The workshops are voted as the #1 activity in the Portland area.
Participants of all ages can get their hands dirty and make their own hand-blown glass artworks or acrylic paintings with assistance from one of the instructors.
Open Studio time is self-guided, but there’s always someone to offer help, tips and advice, or answer questions.
You can also buy hand-blown glass art pieces off the rack in the gallery.
See Hot Air Balloons at the Festival of Balloons
The Festival of Balloons is something locals and visitors look forward to during summer!
Held in Portland, the festival features hot air balloons.
Come early in the morning and witness the pre-dawn launches, where about 20 hot air balloons float upward into the sky.
Spend a fun afternoon browsing local craft and food stalls and playing carnival rides and games.
Stay until the evening and see the spectacular Night Glow, where the festival’s featured balloons come back to the field, inflated and burners lit.
Free tethered rides are offered for all ages on the main field in between activities.
Balloon flights are not offered during the festival, and all activities require weather and pilot permits.
Paddle the Tualatin River Water Trail
The Tualatin River Water Trail is one of the only two nationally designated water trails in Oregon and the Willamette River Water Trail.
This designation by the U.S. Interior Department in 2020 has been in the works for years.
The Tualatin River Water Trail is an 11.5-mile trail with 12 access points that begins at the Willamette River in Willamette Park and ends in Rood Bridge Park.
If you are in Tigard, one of the river access points is in Cook Park, where the Tualatin Riverkeepers offer boat rentals during the summer.
The Tualatin River travels from west to east and is a relatively gentle, winding river great for beginners.
It's also a popular spot for wildlife viewing and bird watching.
Try Indoor Skydiving at iFLY
There is no other sensation quite like skydiving.
However, if you’re terrified to do it in the open air, do it indoors instead!
iFLY Indoor Skydiving features a free-falling experience, with state-of-the-art wind tunnels that produce a “cushion of air,” designed to provide a safe flight experience.
More than 10 million people of all ages and abilities have spread their wings over 80 locations worldwide since the first iFLY location opened in Orlando in 1998.
People of all ages, shapes, sizes and skills can take flight with world-class instructors who are experts at making flying fun and safe for everyone who meets their flight guidelines.
iFLY Indoor Skydiving offers basic lessons such as stable flying, flying maneuvers, and three-dimension flying.
You can move on to advanced lessons, including stable back flying, back flying maneuvers, transitions, rolls, flips, and more.
Organize your next birthday party or group event and have the time of your life, with lifelong memories and a one-of-a-kind story to tell.
With a diverse economy, and outstanding parks and recreation, Tigard is considered one of the most livable cities in Oregon.
It’s undoubtedly one of the great places to visit for a trip with family or friends.
With access to miles of trails and open spaces spread throughout the city, great reflection of arts and culture around downtown, and a spectacular festival, Tigard will keep you wanting for more.