Are you searching for fun things to do in the PDX area that are also “eco-friendly” at the same time? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we will share with you several things to do in the Portland area that you can enjoy without leaving a carbon footprint.
Go on An Outdoor Adventure
Outdoor adventure awaits, both within city limits and a short drive or bus ride away. The Willamette River separates Portland’s east and west sides. Running, walking and hiking are popular pastimes. On the east side, Mount Tabor, a dormant volcano, offers hiking trails without leaving the city. Forest Park, on the west side, is even bigger, with about 70 miles of recreational trails. For a short but gorgeous Forest Park hike, take the Lower Macleay Trail along Balch Creek up to the Audubon Society, where you can check out the Wildlife Care Center which treats orphaned and injured native animals. If you happen to be in Portland on Thanksgiving, consider walking or running the annual Tofurky Trot 5K, which benefits animal sanctuaries.
Portland is well known as a bike-friendly city. You can rent a bike and explore, or join a guided tour. Pedal Bike Tours offers an intro to Portland tour, plus excursions focused on donuts or beer. Their Columbia River Gorge Tour takes you out to the must-see gorge by van, where you bike and hike to waterfalls.
Since Portland has access to both the Willamette and Columbia rivers, the water possibilities are vast. Join Portland Kayak for a guided full moon paddle on the Willamette. During summer, eNRG Kayaking offers SUP yoga classes. For a special Portland experience, learn about the Northwest’s favorite biped on a narrated Bigfoot Cruise. You’ll even get the chance to smell a simulated Bigfoot pheromone (only people with strong stomachs should take a whiff).
Renew and Refresh Yourself in Portland
It might seem like every other person you meet in Portland is a yoga teacher, and many neighborhoods have multiple yoga studios. Yoga Refuge occupies an attractive upstairs space in an older building, with plenty of light and plants to cheer up the grayest Portland days. Studio PDX even lets you bring your small dog to some of its classes.
Portland is a city where it’s easy to find gong healing. Portland Sound Sanctuary offers various sound healings, some including a cacao ceremony. Awakenings Wellness Center hosts intriguing events almost every day, such as ancestral lineage intensives, shamanic sound healing, and a White Stag meditation.
Common Ground Wellness Center has a communal soaking pool and a dry cedar sauna. This clothing-optional hangout has times set aside for men, women, queer/trans and BIPOC people only, and a nightly silent hour from 10 to 11 pm. If you’re happier when everyone wears a swimsuit, Knot Springs is a newer facility with a delightful water circuit, sauna, eucalyptus-scented steam room, and full foot rub menu. You can book massages at both Common Ground and Knot Springs. Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa is Portland’s only place for halotherapy in a salt cave.
Portland has become a city known for food, especially vegan food. At the high end, Chef Aaron Adams of Farm Spirit creates exquisite tasting menus from the Cascadian bioregion, with all ingredients sourced within 105 miles of the restaurant. There’s also a chef’s table experience, where you can chat with the chefs and watch as they prepare your food.
The Sudra interprets Indian food with a dash of New Mexico. Inventive plates include ingredients like turmeric-roasted Brussels sprouts, kale-infused doses, and coconut yogurt. All of this is served with a side of New Mexico green chilis if desired. Vegetarian Thai Restaurant Kati Portland makes the standard dishes, plus Thai street food and specialty entrees, with nary a drop of fish sauce.
The Kimpton Riverplace puts a yoga mat in every room, has two charging stations for electric cars and is located right on the Willamette River waterfront path. Built-in 1927, the Heathman is both historic and eco-conscious, with low-flow shower-heads, LED lighting, walls made from recycled materials and even a ghost or two.
For more eclectic lodging, check out one of Portland’s three tiny house hotels. Yes, three. Caravan: The Tiny House Hotel has five cramped but cute choices. Tiny Digs has eight themed units, including train car, “gypsy wagon,” barn and Victorian cottage. Slabtown Village bills itself as NW Portland’s luxury tiny home hotel. At Slabtown, you can also choose from three small Victorian houses if a tiny home proves too teeny.