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Portland Bucket List: Fun Things to Do in Oregon’s Weirdest City

Portland Bucket List: 7 Fun Things to See & Do in November


WHAT TO SEE + DO

1. ✦ Make a Quick Stop at Starks Vacuum Museum

In downtown Portland, there is a store called ‘Stark’s Vacuum Cleaner Sales & Service‘ that does a lot more than just sell you vacuum cleaner. Tucked away in a corner of the store is an interesting collection of ancient vacuum cleaners that will highlight the sharp contrast between modern day technology and that of yesteryears.

IMG_7944-copy-768x512If you are a history buff (or just looking for some quick amusement), then you will absolutely love the more than 300 different types of vacuum cleaners lined up on the walls. There is even one that required two people to operate!

2. ✦ Go to a Brewpub Movie Theater

What’s better than a night at the movies with buttery popcorn? A night at the movies with buttery popcorn and BEER. McMenamins Bagdad Theater is a relic of Hollywood’s golden age and a place to enjoy a slice of pizza while drinking a cold, hand-crafted ale. Don’t worry if you are a wine lover like me, they have that too.

3. ✦ See the Smallest Park in the World

At the intersection of two streets in Southwest Portland, located in the center divide, you will find Mill Ends Park. At a whopping 452 square inches it is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the smallest park in the world.

small parkThe spot was actually meant for a light pole, but when that failed to happen it was turned into this minuscule piece of prime real estate. The landscape sporadically changes, but on this day it was a single, teeny tree surrounded by a trio of miniature green bushes.

4. ✧ Partake in a River Float

This, of course is more of a Summer outdoor activity –  You may want to done a drysuit if trying this in November!

river5. ✦ Pose Under the Keep Portland Weird Sign

The “Keep Portland Weird” slogan is meant to embrace the uniqueness of the city and support local businesses. You will see the saying on bumper stickers throughout the town, but no sticker is quite as impressive as the huge painted wall located just South of the Burnside bridge.

Bucket List bonus: Voodoo Doughnuts is right across the street!

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6. ✦ Hike to The Witches Castle at Forest Park

Didn’t I tell you that Portland had some strange, yet interesting things going on? This is one of them. An easy half-mile hike from the Upper Macleay Parking lot near the Portland Audubon Society, or a slightly longer three-quarter mile jaunt starting from the Lower Macleay Parking lot at NW 30th and Upshur will lead you up to the Witches Castle at Forest Park.

Despite its name, the Witches Castle has nothing to do with witches. Although the ruins have a long history of tragedy dating back to the 1800’s, it was dubbed the Witches Castle by High Scholars who started holding kegger parties there in the 1980’s. It still a fun spot to tour and learn about the tragic history that surrounds the place.
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7. ✦ Stroll through Lan Su Chinese Garden

Dubbed by many as ‘the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China, the Lan Su Garden is serenity personified. This walled garden will instantly transport you out of the U.S to China as soon as you walk through the gates.

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Lan Su Garden can be loosely translated to mean the “Garden of the Awakening Orchids.” That is exactly what you will experience as you explore Chinese culture, see their way of thinking and learn a bit about their history.

Portland Offers many, many fun things to do regardless of the time of year – but get out of the house on a cold crisp November day and try one of these!