Couples in Portland can find many exciting activities from fine dining and upscale bars to lavish theater performances, amazing parks, and scenic vistas. Here you can walk authentic Asian gardens, visit historic mansions, and take selfies near cascading waterfalls. You can walk a fashionable and trendy shopping district filled with galleries and indie shops that are uniquely Portland in their vibe, or spend time walking among shaded groves of trees and vast green urban parks.

    Portland is something of a hidden gem of romance, and it can be a wonderful place to steal away those intimate moments together. Check out some of the best things to do for couples in Portland.

    1

    Portland Japanese Garden

    Find your sense of zen

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    The Portland Japanese Garden was founded in the early 1960s to raise cultural awareness and educate through stunning gardens, architectural features, events, and activities over 5.5 acres of land. The garden is split into 5 distinct areas: Sand and Stone, Natural, Tea, Strolling Pond, and Flat. At each of these, you will discover authentic Japanese vegetation and examples of Japanese culture, learning how nature plays an important role in Japanese architecture.

    You will experience harmony, serenity, and tranquility as you walk together hand in hand through the gardens, and you might learn a few things at the same time. The gardens are only a 9-minute drive west of downtown.

    Location: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Monday from 10 am to 3.30 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 503-223-1321

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    2

    Lan Su Chinese Garden

    Experience the Tao of Tea ceremony

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    The Lan Su Chinese Garden, or "Garden of Awakening Orchids," offers an authentic Chinese garden experience the size of a city block. The garden seeks to balance the traditional elements of the Chinese garden: plants, water, rock, literature, and architecture. You'll be able to walk elegant paths winding through stunning and serene courtyards, bridges, and pavilions all built in authentic Chinese style in partnership with Portland's Chinese sister city of Suzhou. You can also visit an authentic recreation of a Ming dynasty teahouse to experience the Tao of Tea.

    This gorgeous parkland is considered among the most authentic gardens of its type outside of China. It's only a 4-minute drive north of downtown Portland.

    Location: 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +1 503-228-8131

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    3

    Portland Aerial Tram

    Sail over the city for panoramic views

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    The Portland Aerial Tram will get your pulse pounding, offering stunning views of the city as you sail high over the skies from the South Waterfront to the OHSU campus. The tram takes you on a relaxing, scenic ride from the waterfront area to one of the city's highest points, letting you experience breathtaking panoramic views that are romantic and ideal to highlight on your social media feed.

    The skyline views are only part of the experience, however. If you take the tram at the right time, you can also visit a fun and vibrant farmers market at OHSU where you can grab a bite to eat and possibly some local arts and crafts before heading back down.

    Location: 3303 S Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, USA

    Phone: +1 503-494-8283

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    4

    The Grotto

    Walk 62 acres of gardens, green space, and art

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    The Grotto is a 62-acre stretch of tranquil green space that offers lush gardens and statuary and is a site of spiritual significance for many residents. Its official name is the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, and it's a place to relax, reflect, meditate, and reconnect with the world around. One of the highlights is the grotto itself, a rock-carved area with a replica of Mary holding Jesus. You can take an elevator that lifts you 10 stories in the air up a mountain where you'll see tended gardens, amazing panoramic views, and a meditation chapel.

    Other features include reflecting pools, visual art, a conference center, a gift shop, and refreshments. It's 13 minutes east of downtown.

    Location: 8840 NE Skidmore St, Portland, OR 97220, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 503-254-7371

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    5

    Pittock Mansion

    Explore the history of Portland

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    Pittock Mansion is a historic, colonial-style mansion offering a look into the history of Portland surrounded by rolling green space to relax and enjoy. This mansion was built in 1914 and has been immaculately preserved in its original style. It was originally the home of pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock. It's famed for its rich interior decor, unique architecture, and vast collection of antique family artifacts within. You can explore the house and learn all about life in the early 20th century before heading outside and unpacking a picnic lunch among the landscaped gardens.

    While here, you'll also capture stunning panoramic views of the city below. It's about a 10-minute drive from downtown to the east.

    Location: 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, USA

    Open: Wedensday–Monday from 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday from noon to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 503-823-3623

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    6

    Hoyt Arboretum

    Walk miles of hiking trails lined with colorful plants

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    The Hoyt Arboretum lets you get lost among plants and trees of every size and color while you learn all about botany and ecology. You'll discover the importance of these plants and trees to our environment and how our lives are intertwined with the beautiful plant life around us. The arboretum was founded in 1928 to conserve endangered plant species and raise awareness of the role these plants play. Today it's both an educational space and a wonderfully romantic place to walk. It offers miles of hiking trails over its 189 acres of land.

    You'll see over 6,000 plants, and you can visit a research library of 800 books. It's 8 minutes west of downtown.

    Location: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd, Portland, OR 97221, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 503-865-8733

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    7

    Multnomah Falls

    Visit a cascading natural wonder

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    Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge is among the most popular attractions in Oregon with miles of hiking trails, a scenic bridge, and a tragically romantic story. Legend has it that the falls were created by the spirits to honor a chieftain's daughter who threw herself into the gorge to appease the spirits in hopes that it would relieve a plague that had afflicted her tribe. Regardless of their origin, however, the falls are a breathtakingly romantic site, and you can cross a footbridge that gives you incredible views.

    Afterward, you can visit the nearby lodge for refreshments and to rest. The falls are a bit of a trek, an hour and a half east of downtown.

    Location: Oregon 97014, USA

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    8

    Living Room Theaters

    Experience a unique cinematic presentation

    Living Room Theaters in the heart of downtown is a unique theatrical experience offering indie film exhibitions in a truly intimate setting that feels like a lounge. You'll sink into oversized chairs complete with footstools and surroundings modeled after a European café or cocktail lounge. As you watch the film, you can enjoy craft beers and a full food menu. This is one of the few theaters like it in the United States.

    It's all designed to let you enjoy the film in a sophisticated environment with a relaxed, comfortable, and upscale vibe with good food and good beer. You can also hang out in the theater's café to enjoy the atmosphere, food, and drink without catching a film.

    Location: 341 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA

    Phone: +1 971-222-2010

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    9

    Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

    See a concert in an elegant, historic hall

    The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall lets you get dressed to the nines and experience a classical music concert in elegant, luxurious surroundings for a historically romantic time. Here you can see a wide range of musical styles including orchestral shows, jazz concerts, pop music, and others. The building itself is a historic venue with amazing architecture and gorgeous interior decor.

    It originated as a movie and vaudeville house in 1928 and today is the only remaining historic theater building on Broadway downtown, a stretch once famed for its many performance houses. This theater has seen such diverse acts as Fleetwood Mac, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Vincent Price, Ringo Starr, Phish, and Mariah Carey.

    Location: 1037 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205, USA

    Phone: +1 503-248-4335

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    photo by Cacophony (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Pearl District

    Walk the hippest shopping district in Portland

    The Pearl District is a lively, fashionable, and hip shopping district showcasing the hottest brands, indie boutique shops, and a quirky, gigantic, and unusual book shop, plus plenty of restaurants. Many of the shops and restaurants in this district can be found in reclaimed warehouse spaces. Here you can find everything from fine dining establishments to casual craft brewpubs. You can walk art galleries showcasing glassworks, photography, and other forms of visual arts. In the summer, Jamison Square offers a wading fountain where kids can run and play.

    A highlight is Powell's City of Books, a gigantic bookstore with a café and every kind of literature you can imagine. It's only a 6-minute drive north of downtown.

    Location: Portland, OR, USA

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    photo by Buzzlovestravel (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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