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The 16 Coolest Guided Tours to Take in the Portland Area

  |  Neighborhood Insight, Portland

Header Photo: Helicopter Tours With Oregon Helicopters

One of the best ways to explore a city, including everything from its best dining destinations to its most hidden secrets, is with a guided tour. With an expert as your guide, you can learn some history, fun facts and downright strange information about a place.

Portland is packed with interesting tours, ranging from tourist-friendly overviews of the city to more deep dives into our coffee culture, beer and wine industries, and more.

Whether you just moved here, you’ve lived here for decades, or you’re simply visiting for a few days, these Portland tours are sure to pique your interest. Book one today to learn more about our beloved Stumptown!

 

Third Wave Coffee Tours

Third Wave Coffee Tours Portland, OR

Sip your way through Portland’s artisan coffee scene with Third Wave Coffee Tours. Portland has long been at the heart of the third wave coffee movement and is home to more than 737 coffee shops, 600 of which are independent. Choose from their caffeinate-focused tours, exploring different neighborhoods and aspects of coffee, as you meet with nationally acclaimed baristas as award-winning micro-roasters. The tours are offered at varying times throughout the week, but all are $49 per person! And in the meantime, head to one of our favorite coffee shops in Portland.

 

Portland Food Carts and Neighborhoods Tour

One of the best ways to experience Portland cuisine is with a long hard look at its food cart scene. The Portland Food Carts and Neighborhood Tour takes you on a journey to the city’s best food carts parked throughout historic neighborhoods. This city-wide culinary adventure explores the best foodie destinations and gives you an opportunity to meet the owners, learn their individual stories, and taste authentic and award-winning dishes that represent cultures from around the globe. The three-hour tours take off from the mezzanine level at the Heathman Hotel on Wednesdays through Sundays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $89 per person.

 

Haunted Pub Tour

Although Portland’s historic Old Town District is now bursting with restaurants and nightlife, it was once home to many less savory establishments, including opium dens, brothels and underground speakeasies. Uncover the area’s dark side with the Haunted Pub Tour, which takes you into the Shanghai Tunnels, where unsuspecting sailors were abducted and locked away. During the 2.5-hour tour, sample six 5-ounce beers and visit two historic pubs, all for $45 per person. The Haunted Pub Tour takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.

 

Donuts of Portland Bike Tour

Donuts of Portland Bike Tour Portland, OR

Photo Courtesy of Pedal Bike Tours

Pedal Bike Tours allows you to experience the city in true Portland fashion. Hop on a bike for an easy, fun and safe spin through the city’s history, food and architecture — learning about unique attributes and interesting neighborhoods. An especially “Portland” tour is their Donuts of Portland Bike Tour, a two-hour biking journey to four donut shops in the city, passing through several of Portland’s most lively and iconic neighborhoods along the way. The two-hour tour costs $49 per person.

 

Gold Medal Beer Tour

Did you know there are more gold medal-winning craft breweries in Portland than in any other city in the country? Go behind the scenes of Beer City USA with Oregon Tour Co.’s Gold Medal Beer Tour, as you learn the process of beer making, tour the breweries, meet the makers and taste award-winning brews in a leisurely four-hour guided tour. You’ll visit three Great American Beer Fest gold medal-winning breweries in Portland for $85, which includes tasting fees and snacks.

 

Underground Portland Tour

If you spend your weekends binging true crime shows on Netflix, the Underground Portland Tour is for you! This two-hour tour explores “all the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things from Portland’s past” through Old Town and Chinatown. You’ll explore the remains of the physical underground as well as the city’s underground social past, including the legends of the so-called “Shanghai Tunnels.” The Underground Portland Tour takes off daily at 10 a.m. (with an extra 2 p.m. tour on the weekend) during the winter and spring, and daily at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. during the summer. Tickets are $23 per person.

 

Gorge Waterfalls Tour

Gorge Waterfalls Tour Portland, OR

Wildwood Adventures offers an exclusive look at some rare sights, including species seen nowhere else, dramatic basalt lava flows and world-renowned waterfalls. Experience the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge with a scenic drive along the oldest highway in the U.S., stopping at many noteworthy spots along the way. Highlights include the Crown Point Vista House, the Columbia River Gorge, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls and the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. This half-day tour is $69 per person.

 

Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour

The newly revamped Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour is the real deal and has even been named the #2 Ghost Tour in the Western US by Eventseeker. All are welcome (even skeptics!) to learn more about unexplained mysteries, ghostly adventures and spooky stories on this 2.5-hour tour of the city’s most haunted places. You’ll get a chance to see real ghost hunting equipment used by professionals and on TV, and learn more about the various techniques used. All ages are welcome for the 6 p.m. tour, but their 9 p.m. tour is for those 18 and over. The 6 p.m. tour is $23 for adults, $19 for seniors and youth (11–17), $9 for children (5–10), and free for little ones under 5. The 9 p.m. tour is $29 per person.

 

Downtown Portland Food Tour

Even if you’ve lived in the area for years, it’s easy to feel behind on the city’s latest restaurants and culinary happenings. Get up to speed with the Downtown Portland Food Tour, which includes five delicious stops to eat and drink, such as a food cart pod, a favorite sandwich emporium, a chocolate shop and more — all in the heart of downtown. This foodie tour will highlight major landmarks, historic facts about the city, and of course, quirky details that make Portland unique. The tour costs $89 per person and includes five stops over the course of 2.5–3 hours.

 

Oregon Helicopters

Oregon Helicopters Tours Portland

Photo Courtesy of Oregon Helicopters

See the city from a fresh perspective with an exhilarating helicopter tour of Portland. Oregon Helicopters provides a variety of tours, including a City Parks Helicopter Tour, a Downtown Portland Helicopter Tour, an Exclusive Multnomah Falls and Gorge Tour, a Skyscraper and Bridges Tour, a Willamette Falls Helicopter Tour, and more. Whether you want to see natural scenery or city life, there’s something to pique your interest! Tours range from $59 to $499 and are offered at varying times throughout the year. The Downtown Portland Helicopter Tours depart from a rooftop heliport in the center of downtown, allowing riders to incorporate a helicopter tour easily into a day of sightseeing around the city. This is the only place in America where the public can take a helicopter tour from a rooftop!

 

Brewvana

Hop on board one of Brewvana’s three 14-passenger buses that transport craft beer lovers to various breweries around the city. Choose from a few different tours offered on a weekly basis, including the Pacific Northwest is Best tour, which covers the ingredients, history and culture that makes the craft beer scene in the PNW admired worldwide. Opt for a special beer and whiskey pairing with the Beers & Barrels tour or discover all fermented beverages on the Down to Ferment tour. Each tour includes a souvenir glass, pretzel necklaces, a beer journal and tasting guide, food, and of course, a knowledgeable guide to steer your journey through the local beer scene.

 

Portland Photo Tour

Experience the city through a different lens — quite literally. Portland Photo Tours are hands-on educational experiences focused on different subjects in photography, including F-stops and shutter speeds, night photography and nature photography. Learn the basics if you’re new to photography or up your game if you’re already an experienced photographer. Either way, these tours help you expand your knowledge and explore some of the most beautiful spots in the Portland area, including both urban and natural landscape.

 

Whitewater Rafting & Wine Tour

Evergreen Escapes Portland, OR

Photo Courtesy of Evergreen Escapes

Experience the best of both Washington and Oregon with Evergreen Escapes’ Whitewater Rafting & Wine Tour. You’ll first tackle the famous White Salmon River with professional river guides in Washington before unwinding from the adrenaline rush with lunch and some wine in Hood River. There, you’ll visit two local wineries and learn about the region’s wine production, and of course, sample plenty of wine! The all-inclusive tour for adults is $299 and $249 for youth ages 14–17.

 

Gluten Lovers Tour

The opposite of the gluten-free craze, the Gluten Lovers Tour explores the best gluten-filled bites in Portland, including pizza, pasta, donuts, croissants, bagels and beignets! The two-hour tasting tour will stop at five or six locations throughout downtown and the Pearl District, including a French bakery, an Italian pasta restaurant, an Israeli street food restaurant, a Romanian bakery, and more. If you love gluten, this tour is for you! The all-inclusive tour costs $59 per person.

 

An Oregon Wine Experience Wine Tour

Dipping into the wine world of Willamette Valley can be an overwhelming feat, as you attempt to navigate the 500+ wineries in the region. Alleviate the stress with An Oregon Wine Experience as your guide. Their curated wine tasting experiences offer a personalized day of wine tasting, catering to your individual tastes and interests. Visit boutique wineries, wineries with a view, French-style wineries, and other specific types of experiences — or combine a few of the experiences for a personalized “cuvee” tour. All private tours include an expert guide and door-to-door service with safe, comfortable transportation throughout the Willamette Valley.

 

Oregon Coastal Tour

Oregon Coastal Tour

Get a breath of fresh ocean air with the Oregon Coastal Tour from Oregon Tour Experts. This full-day experience provides transportation to and from the Oregon Coast. Visit a number of unforgettable vistas, where you’ll take in dramatic cliffs, offshore rocks, sea lions, wide sandy beaches, majestic capes, historic lighthouses, enchanted forests and charming beach towns. Stops may include Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock, Short Sand Beach at Oswald West State Park, Neahkahnie Point, and Manzanita. The Oregon Coastal Tour is $100 per person.

 

And Off You Go!

What Portland tour do you recommend? We’d love to know — let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Melissa Peterson, Director of Agent Services and Technology

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