Oregon Historical Society


Along the tree-shaded South Park Blocks sits the state's primary history museum, which in 2019 unveiled a permanent 7000-sq-ft interactive exhibit that delves into Oregon's history, peoples and landscape. Stations include a canoe-building exercise, a walk-through covered-wagon replica and historical role-playing games. There are interesting sections on various immigrant groups, Native American tribes and the travails of the Oregon Trail. Temporary exhibits furnish the downstairs space. Check the website for free admission days.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Portland attractions

1. Portland Art Museum

0.06 MILES

Alongside the South Park Blocks, Portland Art Museum's excellent exhibits include Native American carvings, Asian and American art, photography and…

2. Portland Building

0.17 MILES

This controversial 15-story building (1982) was designed by Michael Graves and catapulted the postmodern architect to celebrity status. But the blocky,…

3. South Park Blocks


The South Park Blocks, a 12-block-long greenway that runs through much of downtown, are a fine, leafy refuge from downtown's bustle. They host a farmers…

4. Pioneer Courthouse Square

0.25 MILES

The heart of downtown Portland, at the heart of Portland’s retail district and the city’s transit system, is a multi-tiered brick plaza nicknamed Portland…

5. Pioneer Courthouse

0.26 MILES

Across 6th Ave from Pioneer Courthouse Square is the Pioneer Courthouse. Built in 1875, this was the legal center of 19th-century Portland. The courthouse…

6. Portland State University

0.31 MILES

This pretty campus is at the southwestern corner of downtown. There's a good farmers market here on Saturday, and several food carts around.

7. Mill Ends Park

0.43 MILES

Having the largest park (Forest Park) within city limits perhaps isn't an oddity, but having the smallest one might be. Mill Ends Park – located on the…

8. Salmon Street Springs Fountain

0.44 MILES

This photo-friendly fountain, on Salmon St near the river, cycles through computer-generated patterns. On hot days kids (and adults) take turns plunging…