Day Tours and Guides
Day Tours and Guides
Portland is famously bike-friendly, with miles of dedicated bike lanes and numerous rental shops . There are also a couple of great companies that offer guided rides around the city, covering everything from eating and brewpub-hopping to checking out local parks and historic neighborhoods.
Pedal Bike Tours. This reliable company takes riders into the heart of the city and out to the beauty that surrounds it, from the Columbia Gorge to the Willamette wine country. If one of the many tours offered here doesn't meet your criteria, custom tours are available, too. Bikes and helmets are included with each tour. 133 S.W. 2nd Ave., Downtown, Portland, Oregon, 97204. 503/243–2453; www.pedalbiketours.com. From $49.
Cycle Portland Bike Tours and Rentals. Trust your guide at Cycle Portland to know Portland's popular and lesser-known spots. Tour themes include Essential Portland, Taste of Portland, Breweries by Bike, and several others. A well-stocked bike shop is on-site and serves beer on tap. Bike and helmet are included with tours. 117 N.W. 2nd Ave., Old Town/Chinatown, Portland, Oregon, 97209. 503/902–5035; 844/739–2453; www.portlandbicycletours.com. From $40.
Portland Spirit River Cruises. Two major rivers lined with pleasant scenery make Portland Spirit River Cruises an engaging tour option. There are brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises, as well as those centered on themes like holidays, tea parties, or live music. Some cruises have a sightseeing option that doesn't include the meal and are less expensive. The company also offers high-speed Explorer Cruises from June through September, which take in about 120 miles of sights along both the Willamette and Columbia rivers; these depart and return to downtown Portland. Additionally, departing from the town of Cascade Locks (a one-hour drive east of Portland), the stern-wheeler Columbia Gorge cruises the Columbia Gorge. Foot of S.W. Salmon St., at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, Portland, Oregon, 97204. 503/224–3900; 800/224–3901; www.portlandspirit.com. From $28.
Willamette Jetboat Excursions. For adventurous types, Willamette Jetboat Excursions offers whirling, swirling, one- and two-hour tours along the Willamette River—departing from outside the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)—that include an up-close look at Willamette Falls. Other options include bridge-and-harbor tours, Columbia River lunch trips, and Willamette dinner cruises. 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Hosford-Abernethy, Southeast, Portland, Oregon, 97214. 503/231–1532; 888/538–2628; www.willamettejet.com. From $41.
Gray Line. This venerable tour company operates City of Portland and Pacific Northwest sightseeing tours, including service to Multnomah Falls and the Columbia Gorge. May through October it also operates Big Pink, a pink hop-on, hop-off trolley—with narrated commentary—that makes 12 stops in and around downtown, from Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to the South Park Blocks to Washington Park and the Oregon Zoo. One- and two-day passes are available. 503/241–7373; 855/624–4298; www.graylineofportland.net. From $32.
Walk the Portland beat with guides who share their personal Portland knowledge, including history, food, brews, arts, and sights.
Food Carts Portland. Get to know the city's famed food-cart scene by tagging along with Brett Burmeister, a true expert on the subject. This 90-minute tour is not just a great way to sample bites from some favorite carts, but also an opportunity to learn more about the culture behind the carts. The tour starts at a predetermined downtown food cart. www.foodcartsportland.com/tours. From $37.50.
Forktown Food Tours. The knowledgeable guides at Forktown Food Tours offer three-hour gastro-centered walking tours that focus on four different epicurean areas of town: downtown and the Pearl District, downtown and the PSU Farmers Market, historic Alphabet City, and North Mississippi Avenue. You'll walk a bit on these excursions, which helps to burn off all those calories you're likely to ingest. 503/234–3663; www.forktownfoodtoursportland.com. From $75.
Portland Walking Tours. A slew of tours are offered by this well-established company, but it's the Beyond Bizarre tour that generates the most buzz. Ghost-hunter wannabes and paranormal junkies make this a popular tour that often sells out during the peak season. If it's unavailable, there's also the Underground Portland tour, which highlights the sinister history of Portland, along with a few other options, including tours that focus on the local food scene. Departure points vary depending on the tour. 503/774–4522; www.portlandwalkingtours.com. From $20.