Portland's Best Attractions Include Art, History, Science and Children's Museums

Visiting a museum is always a unique experience, as each one has its own distinct characteristics, style, and of course, content. Museum subjects vary greatly from city to city, and can range from train museums to fine art, to sports. The city of Portland, Oregon offers an extremely diverse list of museums. If you need help making a selection, our 10Best museums in Portland list highlights the top spots to visit in Portland. Portland is known for being an artsy city, so it’s no surprise that they are home to an internationally recognized art museum, The Portland Art Museum, the 7th oldest museum in the nation. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about Oregon and more at the Oregon Historical Society Museum. Portland is home to the wildly popular OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) an amazing hands on science center that is perfect for families with children. Also included in our list are two other kid friendly museums with mostly hands on exhibits, the Portland Children’s Museum and the World Forestry Center. Despite not being a traditional museum the Architectural Heritage Center had to be listed because of the unique opportunity to go out into the city and learn the rich historical context of Portland’s local neighborhoods.



Learn about trains and how the railway worked at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. Here visitors can see three historic steam locomotives two of which still operate, the Southern Pacific 4449, the Spokane Portland Seattle 700, and the Oregon...  Read More



Oregon City is an easy drive from Portland, and the Interpretive Center, with its covered-wagon-style buildings, is worth the journey. The Center is especially great for kids since it has costumed interpreters and plenty of things to see and...  Read More

Oregon Maritime Center and Museum


For a real taste of maritime travel and commerce in years past, you'll want to visit this intriguing museum. Its exhibits feature navigation instruments, model ships, photographs, memorabilia and artifacts from actual vessels. Exhibits are...  Read More



The Architectural Heritage Center hosts a variety of programs, educational seminars, tours, and exhibits. Each summer from May to September they host walking tours on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings around the city in historic...  Read More



Built for Henry and Georgiana Pittock (who lived in the house from 1914 to 1918), the Pittock Mansion is a stunning architectural specimen and a repository for elegant furnishings. Pittock Mansion has 22 rooms and the gardens outside having...  Read More



This impressive museum next door to the Oregon Zoo is styled like a contemporary lodge and educates visitors on forests around the world. The role of woodlands in nature and in human life is detailed, and old-growth forests of the Pacific...  Read More

Financial District


This interactive museum seeks to stimulate children's interest in the natural world and in society. Hands on exhibits foster an understanding of such concepts as sound, gravity and medicine by promoting experimentation and fun. Kids can toy with...  Read More

Oregon Historical Society Museum


History buffs and novices alike will enjoy a visit to this informative museum that tells the tale of the Native Americans and hearty pioneers that settled the Oregon Territory in the mid 19th century. The Oregon my Oregon exhibit will walk you...  Read More

Cultural District


Founded in 1892, the Portland Art museum is the seventh oldest museum in the nation and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The Portland Art Museum is renowned for its extensive permanent collection, which showcases everything from rare and...  Read More



Dedicated to technology and science, this museum offers interactive educational exhibits that everyone can enjoy. The museum's six huge halls are filled with hands-on displays related to everything from outer space to computers. Labs throughout...  Read More


Meet Meagan Wristen

Meagan Wristen is an Oregon resident by choice and thinks Portland is a tremendous city that everyone should visit. Originally a Texas girl, she has lived all around the United States,...  More About Meagan