Many cities claim to have a vibrant art scene or a quirky vibe, but few of them own it as much as Portland. The city is known as a bastion of counterculture and progressive political views. And while many Portlanders would cringe at the words “Instagrammable” or “popular”, this wonderfully offbeat city has a ton of (let’s whisper it) popular Instagrammable spots. We’ve compiled a small guide of instagrammable places in Portland to help you get started.
1. Pittock Mansion
This French Renaissance inspired mansion was originally built in 1914 as a private residence, but is now owned by Bureau of Parks and Recreation and is open to tours. Its backyard is also one of the best vantage points for some truly gorgeous panoramic shots of downtown Portland.
2. The View from the OHSU Aerial Tram
Speaking of great panoramic shots, the view from the OHSU Aerial Tram is another great spot for grabbing that great cityscape shot. One of only two commuter aerial tramway in the United States, this tramway carries passengers from the city’s South Waterfront district all the way to the Oregon Health and Science University in the Marquam Hill neighborhood.
3. Mount Tabor Reservoirs
The last in out trio of must-see cityscape locations is the Mount Tabor Reservoirs. The view from the road that runs between the two reservoirs captures the city surrounded and interspersed with the lush greenery that has become synonymous with Portland.
4. Ira Keller Fountain Park
Named in honor of the head of the Portland Development Council, the park’s namesake fountain is a breathtaking evocation of the natural waterfalls found in the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland. The incongruity of this slice of wild beauty in the middle of the urban landscape makes for some dramatic shots.
5. The Witch’s Castle
If creepy overgrown ruins are your thing, you can snap some shots at the Witch’s Castle. Despite having no actual connection to witchcraft or the paranormal (or does it? Haha), this ruin has become a fixture of Portlandian urban mythology. Wear comfortable shoes for this one, as The Witch’s House is an easy half-mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society.
6. The White Stag Sign
No list of instagrammable places in Portland would be complete without including the historic White Stag Sign. A local legend, the history of the sign is a study in civic pride and a glimpse of what makes Portland a great community. Pro Tip: Burnside bridge offers one of the best vantage points to snap a pic.
7. Alberta Street
This quirky (there’s that word, again) little street personifies much of what makes Portland such a charming city. Rightfully called the Alberta Arts District, this neighborhood is full of coffee shops, restaurants, food trucks, art galleries, and murals (more on these later). You can spend hours walking this stretch and not run out of interesting spots to shoot.
8. Capax Infiniti
As I mentioned earlier, Portland is home to some amazing street art. While you won’t find too many examples of non-commissioned (aka illegal) street art, the city is full of some truly beautiful murals. One of my favorites is Capax Infinity by Faith47. Located on Southwest Washington Street, on the side of the Carlyle building, this gigantic depiction of a woman in a white dress is a Portland must-see.
9. To Oregon With Love
This mural by Blaine Fontana is another top instagrammable place in Portland. The blocks of color on the wall give it an almost multidimensional surface. Locatedon Albert Street in northeast Portland, this mural is part of the Forest for the Trees project. Grab a shot of yourself here for a great profile pic.
10. We Are Rip City
Another of Portland’s huge murals, We Are Rip City is a product of the Trail Blazers’ 2014 playoff win against the Huston Rockets. Larry Ellifritz, president and CEO of Consolidated Community Credit Union, commissioned local artist Tim O’Toole to create this sprawling mural featuring the interest of many Portlanders: biking, coffee, food carts, soccer, music, donuts and microbrews.
11. The Ace Hotel
After a long day snapping pics all over the city, kick up your heels at the Ace hotel. This chic hotel located in downtown Portland features a very Insta-worthy lobby and art gallery. In a former incarnation, the hotel lobby was featured in a scene from the film Drugstore Cowboy.
While hardly exhaustive, we hope this list gives you a starting point for exploring all that this fun, unique town has to offer. Keep in mind that this dynamic city is constantly changing, and new murals and artworks pop up all the time. Just exploring its neighborhoods can yield hidden gems for your Instagram feed. Keep your eyes and mind open, put on your walking shoes on, and enjoy the adventure!