Top 12 Romantic Things to Do in Portland

From its eco-conscious coffeehouses to craft cocktail lounges, Portland sets an alluring ambiance for romance. Beyond the city’s famously quirky personality lies a vibrant culinary scene, thriving arts culture and abundance of outdoor recreation primed for enjoying one-on-one or cozily together.

Couples Cooking ClassHands-on cooking with local ingredients
Float Down the Willamette RiverPrivate paddleboat tours
Wander through Forest ParkNature walks in urban forest reserve
Couples Massage ClassLearn massage techniques together
Sip Cocktails at Rooftop BarsEnjoy views and craft cocktails
Horse-Drawn Carriage RideTours through historic districts
Stay at The Nines HotelLuxury hotel with city or river views
Helicopter Tour Over PortlandAerial views of city and landscapes
Show at Portland Center StageLive theater performances
Tour the Columbia River GorgeNatural landscapes and waterfalls
Portland Night MarketShopping, food, and entertainment
Glassblowing WorkshopLearn glassblowing together

Hand-holding comes naturally while crossing vibrant neighborhoods on foot or pedaling through lush parks with your sweetie. And Portland’s unique flair promises date night memories unlike anywhere else. Here are 12 romantic experiences to savor for you and your special someone when visiting Portland.

Take a Couples Cooking Class

**Name and Location:**located throughout Portland neighborhoods, Hands On Gourmet and Seasoned by Cindy Lee offer hands-on recreational cooking classes for couples in intimate settings.

History and Significance: With Portland’s culinary scene booming, recreational cooking workshops have expanded for locals and visitors to gain skills making regional dishes alongside dining partners, facilitated by traveling chef instructors or hosts opening their kitchens.

What to Expect: Guided instruction prepping seasonal Pacific NW plates like Dungeness crab cakes, wild mushroom risotto or hazelnut salmon alongside wine pairings. convivial settings to learn, sample and dine together. Playful cheek-kiss photo ops included.

Visitor Information: Hands On and Seasoned by Cindy Lee offer couples workshops from $150 per couple. Seasoned classes held in instructor’s NE Portland home kitchen. Check sites for availability; Hands On offers gift certificates.

Create mouthwatering meals side-by-side through hands-on cooking classes designed for couples. Seasoned instructors walk you through preparing multi-course menus celebrating Pacific Northwest ingredients from seasonal salads to skillfully seared wild salmon. Sip Oregon wines while putting finishing touches on your collaborative creations. The intimate hands-on experiences culminate with you and your date relishing the fruits of your kitchen labors by candlelight. With menus changing frequently, couples can return to build more culinary memories together.

Float Down the Willamette River

Name and Location: Starting downtown, Portland Kayak Company leads summer Willamette River kayak and SUP tours floating through city centers toward vibrant waterfronts in warmer months.

History and Significance: Paddling enthusiasts at PKC have shared Portland’s urban waterway sights with locals and visitors for over a decade – passing bridges, parks and emerging districts along the Willamette by kayak or stand up paddleboard on relaxing 90 minute summer urban float tours ideal for pairs.

What to Expect: Leisurely river paddling past Portland landmarks like OMSI , Tilikum Crossing and waterfront parks. Splashing and floating fun together away from city bustle, maybe a picnicked riverside stop. Getting on the water without leaving town.

Visitor Information: Tours launch downtown at PKC or sellwood locations, $45-60 per person includes boats and gear. Runs June through September, wetsuit top/water shoes recommended. Some experience suggested. 90 minutes.

Take in Portland’s natural and urban landscapes from the Willamette River aboard a private paddleboat built for two. Snuggle close with your sweetie and relax while your captain gently steers you downriver past downtown bridges, vibrant waterfront parks and quiet natural refuges. Watch herons fishing the shallows and keep eyes peeled for jumping sturgeon. Enjoy views of Mt. Hood in the distance while sipping bubbly and dining on artisan charcuterie grazing boards. As the city’s iconic white bridges glow around you at sunset, floating the Willamette makes for idyllic sightseeing.

Wander through Forest Park

Name and Location: At over 5,100 acres, Forest Park in Portland’s West Hills provides miles of woodland trails through one of America’s largest urban forests, inviting exploration by foot or bike available to rent onsite.

History and Significance: Preserved as a recreation site since the 1800s before opening for public use in 1948, Forest Park draws nature lovers, athletes and creatives into its dense evergreen forests full of interweaving trails revealing new cloistered hideaways encouraging visitors to wander freely under the thick canopy together.

What to Expect: Meandering through fern filled hollows and cedar groves hand-in-hand to secluded ledges overlooking the Willamette River below. Stopping to stolen kisses under the cover of towering firs and maples escaping city life for forested enchantment.

Visitor Information: Over 70 trailheads with bikes/gear rentals available at the Forest Park Conservancy office. Leashed dogs permitted on select trails. Open 5am-10pm daily; arrive early as parking lots fill fast.

Lacing across more than 5,000 acres in Portland’s west hills, Forest Park provides plenty of opportunities for romantic walks surrounded by nature. Couples can leisurely stroll more than 80 miles of trails under towering Douglas firs, the tallest trees in Forest Park. Picnic creekside on seasonal wildflowers before venturing to the stone remnants of historic Pittock Mansion. Or watch the sunset paint vivid colors over the city skyline and Tualatin Mountains from Forest Park’s upper vistas. With the largest urban forest reserve in the U.S. just minutes from downtown, Forest Park promises romantic escapes.

Take a Couples Massage Class

Name and Location: Located in Northeast Portland, Bliss Healing Arts Center offers couples massage courses teaching essential techniques to pamper partners in 90 minutes sessions hosted in a tranquil studio.

History and Significance: Founded in 2006 by licensed instructor Allison Morris NHS LMT, Bliss Healing Arts Center focuses on bodywork modalities like Swedish massage and reiki tailored for couples and friends interested in relaxing one another through safe, effective touch therapy methods.

What to Expect: Guided full body hands-on massage exchanges learning proper pressure points to alleviate stress. Candle lighting sets moods for meaningfully making connections physicallypaired with aromatic oil options in a calming environment.

Visitor Information: $140 per couple. Check site for class schedules; appointments required. Provide own sheets, oils etc. Happy Hour pricing offered weekdays. Located on NE Broadway near breweries and boutiques.

Pamper each other by taking a class in massage techniques designed for couples. Expert massage therapists guide you through soothing strokes, kneading, friction and touch therapy basics within a private studio. Practice the all-important art of clear and gentle communication with your partner about pressure and tempo. Learn techniques focused on relaxing tense spots like the neck, shoulders and feet before mastering full-body massage sequences. You’ll leave not only blissfully relaxed but equipped with stress-relieving skills to care for each other at home between professional massages.

Sip Cocktails at Portland’s Rooftop Bars

Name and Location: Recently opened sky-high watering holes like 8 NW 8th Ave offer panoramic views alongside craft patio cocktails in Portland thanks to city center high-rise launches.

History and Significance: Propelled by a downtown development boom, fresh lofty venues in Portland place pours alongside panoramas from their glimmering open air terraces, combining craft regional libations with sweeping scenery as the sun sets behind neighboring Gothic spires and glass skyscrapers.

What to Expect: Watching the glowing city awaken around Washington Park at a wicker lined aerie bar nursing nightcap old fashioneds. Savoring a vibrant pink sugared rim amid fire pits and skyline visuals from a glitzy 10th floor jewel box vista filled lounge.

Visitor Information: Open seasonally, usually from early spring through late fall depending on weather. Many require cocktail attire with reservations suggested for view points and mixology. Call venues direct for hours.

Watch the city lights sparkle from on high at one of Portland’s swanky rooftop bars. Soak up sweeping views of downtown, the Willamette River and Mt. Hood while clinking glasses filled with Portland’s trendiest craft cocktails. Canoodle closer as the sun sinks behind the Tualatin Mountains from buzz-worthy watering holes like Q Restaurant Bar View and Rooftop Bar. Or savor Pacific Northwest small plates alongside equally Instagrammable city panoramas atop Departure Restaurant + Lounge. Wherever you choose to elevate your evening, Portland’s rooftops set a romantic tone.

Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Name and Location: Portland Carriage Company offers romantic private horse-drawn carriage rides through historic downtown neighborhoods and parks by reservation.

History and Significance: Since 1993 the credible Portland Carriage Company has offered enchanting private carriage tours showcasing the city’s Victorian architecture, gardens and fountains by hoof for couples looking to leisurely take in romantic sights from a regal transportation past surrounded by natural beauty.

What to Expect: Nestling under wool blankets peering up at elaborate cornices and gables. Stopping in Washington Park to feed fluttering squirrels from swaying benches holding hands as Holladay Park’s four leaf clovers pass in a fairy tale framed by feathery hoofbeats.

Visitor Information: Book online or by phone. Options from 30-90 minutes long, $60-$220 total. Gratuity extra. Most popular routes through downtown. Offer gift certificates.

Snuggle under cozy blankets for fairytale-inspired tours of Portland via horse-drawn carriage. Hear the clip-clop of hooves down brick streets in the hip Pearl and Northwest Districts as you admire the charming Victorian homes and storefronts. Stop for photo ops along lush parks or grab a hot toddy from a buzzy bar along your ride. As the sun sets, watch streetlights and marquees blink to life as your driver narrates Portland’s history. For an urban twist on princely transportation fit for modern day romantic explorations, seeing Portland by carriage promises sweetly nostalgic escapism.

Spend a Night at The Nines Hotel

Name and Location: Sophisticated Nines Hotel spans the entire top floor of the posh former Meier & Frank Building, now home to luxury suites, an urbane restaurant and swanky Departure Lounge rooftop bar in downtown Portland.

History and Significance: When Starwood luxury brand Nines took up residence across Meier & Frank’s restored top floors, Portland gained one of its premier accommodations – coupling modern boutique sensibilities with Beaux Arts grace notes throughout an architecturally exalted 1909 grande dame backdrop mere steps from Pioneer Square and Saturday Market.

What to Expect: Sultry evening swirls of famous fashion photos over cocktails in Departure against the glowing cityscape. Awakening amid downtown views from plush beds before slipping on guest robes for award-winning American breakfast in bed from onsite Urban Farmer.

Visitor Information: Rates from $400s/night. Valet parking $50/night. Direct access to downtown shopping, dining, arts and MAX Light Rail on all sides. Reserve online for best rates and packages like romantic champagne add-ons.

Experience the height of luxury at downtown Portland’s glamorous Nines Hotel perched high above the bustling streets. Check into chic accommodations where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase either city or river views. Pamper yourselves at the tranquil spa or get styled at the hotel’s swanky salon. Then indulge in aged steaks and seafood at the urban Departure Restaurant and Lounge. And for nightcaps, ascend to the exclusive 9th floor Writer’s Lounge terrace overlooking downtown’s glittering lights. With its stunning views and sheer glamor, the Nines sets an opulent scene for romantic getaways.

Take a Helicopter Tour Over Portland

Name and Location: Hillsboro-based Orbitz Helicopters operates thrilling private helicopter tours over Portland taking couples on aerial sightseeing adventures covering the metro area’s top sights spanning 30-90 minutes.

History and Significance: FAA certified tour pilots at family owned Orbitz have specialized in creating unforgettable experiences soaring over Portland landmarks for over 25 years – deftly narrating sights like Mount Hood, Forest Park and the Willamette River from climate controlled comfort high above the city.

What to Expect: Zippy zooms hand-in-hand past downtown spires. Spotting sailboats on the river and evergreen canopies in Forest Park between kisses at cloud level glimpsing Portland’s layout from rare airborne angles thanks to floor-to-ceiling copter views.

Visitor Information: Tours leave from Hillsboro Airport. Pricing ranges $249-$899 total. Book minimum 24 hours ahead or custom date. Photo package and champagne service available. FAA requirements prohibit under 2.

Surprise your sweetie by whisking them on an exciting helicopter tour high above Portland for gasp-worthy views together. Soar over downtown’s shimmering bridges and the Willamette River before circling iconic Mt. Hood. Next swoop low over rushing waterfalls near the Columbia River Gorge lined with vibrant autumn trees. Capture stunning Instagrams of Portland’s uique from-the-sky perspective. Whether enjoying 20 minutes or a couple hours touring by chopper, an aerial adventure makes for an unforgettable shared thrill.

Catch a Show at Portland Center Stage

Name and Location: Located downtown, Portland Center Stage at The Armory presents award winning contemporary theater in a majestic renovated 1911 former military facility turned premiere performing arts venue.

History and Significance: Since first taking stage in 1988, Portland Center Stage has won acclaim as the largest regional theater company in Portland – known for showcasing top talent in an array of thought provoking new works and reimagined modern classics inside a creatively adapted historic Pearl District architectural centerpiece.

What to Expect: Groundbreaking performances from visionary theater makers coupled with playful pre-show bites and drinks on the mezzanine. Discussing character motives strolling through the blossoming North Park Blocks after catching stirring shows in an imaginatively preserved landmark.

Visitor Information: Matinees, evening and weekend shows year-round. Ticket prices $25-$85. Easy transit access, garage parking onsite $8. Season memberships granting pre-sales access and dining perks available.

From boldly imaginative to heartrendingly poignant, performances at Portland Center Stage run the gamut. Housed within the Portland Armory’s historic vaulted drill hall, the city’s premiere regional theater company stages contemporary works alongside re-envisioned classics within an architecturally striking and acoustically powerful theater. Intimate plays at The Armory Studios allow audiences closer than ever to thought-provoking drama and comedy. For an inspirational night out together, Portland Center Stage supplies culture, comfort and captivation.

Tour the Columbia River Gorge

Name and Location: Cutting a dramatic 80 mile gorge east from Portland, the Columbia River Scenic Highway reveals thundering waterfalls, stony cliffsides and panoramic vistas easily accessible off I-84 winding through the Columbia River Gorge, inviting road-tripping couples.

History and Significance: Completed in 1915, the engineering marvel Columbia River Highway threads dense green forests clinging to Cascade Mountain slopes above the mighty Columbia River, designed to showcase the sheer basalt cliffs, booming falls and sweeping river bends which continue drawing admirers over a century on.

What to Expect: Pulling over at a little known waterfall viewpoint to steal misty kisses under its veil. Feeling minuscule snapping selfies with towering ridge lines before ducking into a local brewery. Watching kite surfers skim mirror pools from a sunny picnic site perfect for sharing charcuterie.

Visitor Information: The 75 mile stretch between Troutdale and The Dalles offers the most drama. Open year-round, come spring for best water flow. Check drive times and avoid rush hour traffic around Portland.

Journey just beyond Portland to take in breathtaking natural landscapes of the mighty Columbia River Gorge. Stop to see gushing waterfalls like thundering Multnomah Falls and feathery Latourell Falls. Snap selfies capturing peak autumn colors set against the river’s vibrant blue waters. Savor local craft beer and wine on patios overlooking the slopes. Thrill-seekers can book rafting adventures along the river’s surging rapids while casual couples cruise the Historic Columbia Highway. However you choose to experience it, the Columbia River Gorge’s grandeur never fails to inspire awe.

Wander through the Portland Night Market

Name and Location: Taking place summer Saturday nights under the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland, the Portland Night Market celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander cultures through an evening street fair with art, food and entertainment.

History and Significance: Launched in 2016 to support local minority-owned businesses and performers, the Portland Night Market draws thousands downtown to experience Pan-Asian culture through eats like steamed pork buns, dancing dragon parades, henna artists, cultural craftspeople and more celebrating communities.

What to Expect: Wandering stalls strung with glowing bulbs gracing creative AAPI makers. Tasting scallion pancakes then playing carnival games before cheering on a Bhangra dance performance as the lanterns sway overhead in a festive night celebrating diversity downtown.

Visitor Information: Saturdays July-August 5-11pm under the Burnside Bridge at SW Ankeny between 2nd and 3rd Ave. Free entry. All ages event showcasing Asian/Pacific Island cultures and Portland communities through entertainment, food and crafts.

As the sun goes down, follow the glow of twinkling string lights to the Portland Night Market for a one-of-a-kind date night. Wander vendor booths filled with handcrafted clothing, art prints, jewelry, and home goods made locally. Graze the international food carts and restaurants for snacks like bubble tea “bursts” and Filipino-Korean fusion tacos as you shop. Glimpse henna artists at work or get into vacation mode relaxing amidst the tropical plant oasis. With its vibrant energy, the Portland Night Market promises a lively change of pace for couples to wander, nosh and explore together.

Take a Glassblowing Workshop

Name and Location: Glass misBEhavin is an arts studio found in Southeast Portland offering couples introductory glassblowing workshops where students learn molten methods creating decorative items together under an instructor’s guidance.

History and Significance: Founded by glass master Zach Leavy, misBEhavin Glass Studio works to remove barriers of glassblowing – welcoming all to learn basics crafting decorative items and paperweights through 90 minute sessions guided by qualified glass specialists in relaxed group settings.

What to Expect: Progressing from observing demos toward gathering glowing blobs at the bench. Attempting first clear bubble baubles together then personalizing colors and shapes – a heart, globe or flower – before gifting creations commemorating steamy artistic passion pursuits.

Visitor Information: $138 per couple, available Thurs/Fri/Sun by appointment. All safety gear and materials included. Located at 2132 SE 11th Ave #102. Confirm schedule via website or phone; reservations required in advance 24-48 hours. Wear layers; shop onsite.

Trying glassblowing together makes for hot dates (literally) that bond couples in learning this intricate craft. novogratz Contemporary Art center offers beginner-friendly group workshops guiding duos through fundamental techniques using 2,100 °F furnaces, glowing glass rods and essential tools. Learn how to gather molten material into iridescent orbs or decorative paperweights. Finish by personalizing items with engraving or rhinestone embellishments. Beyond taking home unique mementos, the hands-on creative collaboration builds lasting memories.

Beyond breweries and bridges, Portland overflows with hidden romantic gems waiting to be uncovered by wandering couples. From moody mixology dens hosting nationally acclaimed musical acts to curving pathways through 5,000-acre forests, Portland brings its eclectic magic to every experience. Follow the city’s quirky muse down the road less traveled for date nights filled with heart-fluttering thrills, giggles and cozy moments to cherish.

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