Outside of Kennedy School
The Kennedy School features an onsite restaurant, multiple bars, a soaking pool, movie theater and brewery.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

9 Offbeat Attractions to Experience in Portland

Pique Your Interest in Portland

A decidedly hipster vibe permeates Oregon’s largest city. Portland has a thriving art and music scene, which runs the gamut of low brow to high. Home to tons of breweries, coffeehouses and hyped up food trends, it’s the epicenter of cool among foodies in the Pacific Northwest.

Aside from its culture and culinary scene, it’s also known for gorgeous outdoor spaces, which many locals enjoy by foot or bike. There are a seemingly endless number of things to do in Portland and while they’re often slightly off-kilter or unconventional, they’re definitely never boring.

McMenamins Kennedy School

Formerly an elementary school, McMenamins kept the name but updated the space into a sprawling compound full of things to do. Although it’s primarily a hotel (with school and author-themed guest rooms), the Kennedy School also features an onsite restaurant, multiple bars, a soaking pool, movie theater and brewery.

Enjoy a beer in the Detention Bar, live music in the Gymnasium or opera in the Honors Bar. While it’s probably quite an experience to stay there, luckily you don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the facilities.

Exterior of OMSIThe Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is great for families.Photo Credit: OMSI

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

One of the best Portland points of interest for families, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry boasts over 200 interactive exhibits to explore. From biology to space and everything in between, the museum has scientist-led labs and plenty of educational attractions such as a planetarium and a 4K IMAX theater.

Periodically, the museum also hosts events after hours such as the annual Portland Mini Maker Faire or their adults-only Edible Cinema program, which pairs food and beverage tasting with a specific film.

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Exterior of Powell's BooksSee what gems you can find on the selves of Powell's Books.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Powell’s City of Books

Although it’s an independent bookstore, Powell’s Books has been a Portland attraction since 1971. One of four stores in the area, the City of Books location is the largest, housing over one million books. Located in a former car dealership, you could easily lose track of time browsing through the store’s 3,500 different sections.

Aside from selling new and used books, there’s also a special rare book room at this location full of antique books, signed first editions and out of print titles. If you’re visiting in the evening, be sure to check out the daily events that range from children’s story-time to author conversations.

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