Do it for the gram - seriously
When you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed there are undoubtedly a handful of places that will pop up. After all, there is a reason people flock to these locations to get the perfect ‘grammable shot. And why not? We obviously don’t mind giving them a double-tap, no matter how many times we’ve seen them.
But it’s not just the feed scroll. I would bet my bottom dollar that it’s a pretty common thing before you jet off somewhere new to troll through Instagram looking for the best street art, architectural structures, or locations in general that lend themselves to be that perfect Insta pic.
You may or may not know this, but Portland, Oregon has got some pretty 'grammable locations. And I’m not only talking about the coffee shops, because not everyone in PDX only drinks coffee!
Caveat: If you are coming to Portland without a car, or car rental, I will say things are pretty spread out. Whether you’re going to be traveling via Uber or Lyft, or taking public transportation (what have you), give yourself ample time to get to each of these locations.
Plan that Instaworthy outfit, grab your camera and tripod (or a friend) and strap on your walking shoes! It's time to hit 20 spots around the ‘City of Roses’ that need to be added to your Instagram feed. After all, if there isn’t a photo did it even happen?
TO OREGON WITH LOVE
If you want to get a sense of what the Beaver State is all about this mural perfectly pulls together PNW (Pacific Northwest) elements in a story highlighting a Portlander's love for their state.
FUN FACT: This mural also happens to be right around the corner from the NE location of the famous Salt & Straw creamery. Make sure you stop by before heading out!
PIP'S ORIGINAL DOUGHNUTS
Everyone loves doughnuts - well everyone should love doughnuts. This place does them up right as they come in the cutest bite size rounds in some pretty impressive flavors. Plus, the cloud wall they have inside is so on point.
FLAMINGOS AT THE PIE SPOT
What could be better than a colorful wall of flamingos? The fact that this wall is connected to a pie place. Yes, you heard that right, pies! Pop into this cute bakeshop for a mini-pie post photoshoot.
CATHEDRAL PARK (AND THE ST. JOHNS BRIDGE)
There are numerous spots to take photos in this park. Also, due to its location (being almost in Washington State) it's less crowded in general.
IRA KELLER FOUNTAIN PARK
Right smack in the middle of Downtown Portland, this is a place you will most likely walk by as you're exploring. Located directly across the street from the Keller Auditorium, the fountain is an impressive structure in itself and features an amazing water feature, which is turned off in late September.
When visiting Portland you are most likely going to make a trip to Hawthorne Boulevard. This east side street is most notably known for its hipster scene and for the plethora of great coffee shops and restaurants that dot it. This mural is just one of many that you will find along Hawthorne.
Like a couple other places on this list, Stella Taco has more than one location in Portland. But there is only one location with this cute wall art, so many sure the Division Street location is on your radar!
EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING
Sometimes a piece of art is so big it requires you to cross the street just to take it in. This happens to be the case with this warehouse mural created by Zach Yarrington for the 2014 Forest for the Trees mural event.
NEVER COFFEE LAB
Not only does this coffee shop have the cutest aesthetic (seriously it's meant to be 'grammed), they make some of the best lattes around! Their signature drinks have the most clever names and will take your tastebuds to the next level.
PITTOCK MANSION & THE WILDWOOD TRAIL
Take a step into the wild of the PNW and Portland's history by hiking up the Wildwood Trail to Pittock Mansion. Not only will you get some stellar views of the city below but you'll end at one of Portland's historical jewels. Built in 1914, Pittock Mansion showcases how Portland became to be what it is today.
ART FILLS THE VOID! BANANA
There is no way you could miss this 30 by 50 foot bruised banana mural (personally I prefer them a little brown). Don't confuse this with an Andy Warhol piece, though! A Gorilla Wallflare member (the group responsible for the art) has cleared up the confusion, stating it was originally about the war in Central America, a banana republic. Later they decided to change the wall’s exclamation to “Art Fills the Void,” as a protest to the existence of a boring, blank wall.
THE SOCIETY HOTEL
Yes, you can also go to Portland's famed Ace Hotel for a photo opp, but make sure you also stop by this next hip spot in NW Portland! The Society Hotel has many 'grammable locations throughout the property (including a roof deck), and might make you even consider an overnight stay.
I cannot being to describe how amazing of an escape this place is in Portland. Not only is it simply beautiful there are many places to capture that amazing shot. From the entrance, to the perfectly manicured Flat Garden near the Pavilion Gallery, to the cute little bridges, to the impressive waterfall, you can be assured that you won't be disappointed with your visit.
INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN
Literally right across the street from the Japanese Garden, you would be crazy to not hop on over and take a walk through! Founded in 1917, the International Rose Test Garden is the oldest official rose test garden in the United States, and features more than 10,000 plants. They're doing exactly what the name suggests - trying out various rose varieties.
SEVEN VIRTUES COFFEE
What would an Portland Instagram post be without another coffee shop? Just don't make the mistake of going to any of the other Seven Virtues locations! The one on Hawthorne is the only one that should go on your list. Why you ask? Because of this amazingly fun turquoise wall of course!
STONE HOUSE AKA THE WITCH'S HOUSE
This place is definitely random and definitely a little creepy. It was built in the mid-1930s (probably by witches), but really by the Works Progress Administration as a public restroom. Since the infamous Columbus Day storm on October 12, 1962 it has remained a favorite landmark to rest along the trail.
Either way, whether you stand in front of this wall with your churro, or you just hold it up like I did, 180 Xurros needs to go on your list. This is because they have the best tasting Spanish-style pastries and drinking chocolate outside of Spain.
THE HEATHMAN HOTEL
Literally right around the corner (less than a 10 minute walk) from the Keller Fountain, The Heathman Hotel is a gorgeous, architectural slice of Portland's history. It's also located right next to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (and that famous Portland marquee). I suggest heading to their Tea Court Lounge. Not only will the chandelier wow you, the steps and oversized fireplace are perfect for those Insta shots.
TILIKUM CROSSING (AKA THE BRIDGE OF THE PEOPLE)
Why is this bridge so much cooler than the other bridges in Portland? Because it is the first bridge of its kind in the whole of the United States. Known as the Bridge of the People, it is the only bridge that has banned motor vehicles and gives MAX trains, buses, streetcars, cyclists and pedestrians a new way to cross over the Willamette River.
LAN SU CHINESE GARDEN
After you're done taking your cafe or rooftop pic (or both) at The Society Hotel cross the street and head into the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Not only will you feel as though you have stepped out of Portland and into China, you'll get a sense of giddiness as you look around at all of the bridge photo opps.
As hard as I tried I wasn’t able to get to every, single place on my list – but this happens. That just means I’ll have to go back and continue the photo adventures!
If you want even more Insta worthy spots seek out in Portland, add the below to your list:
- We Are Rip City mural by Tom O'Toole - 1033 NE 6th Avenue
- White Stag Sign - 31 NW Naito Parkway
- Multnomah Falls (not in Portland but worth the 40 minute drive) - 50000 Historic Columbia River Highway, Bridal Veil, OR 97010
- Keep Portland Weird mural - across the street from Voodoo Doughnut
- Portland City Grill rooftop - 111 SW 5th Avenue
- OHSU Aerial Tram - 3303 SW Bond Avenue
- Sip Juice Bar van - 2210 NE Alberta Street
- Voodoo Doughnut (don't get a donut here, trust me) - 22 SW 3rd Avenue
Have you been to Portland and taken a photo in front of some of (or all of, you overachievers) these locations? Did I miss anything good? Let me know in the comments!
PS...Thank you to Travel Portland to providing me with a pass to see a lot of these sights. Although this post has nothing to do with the pass, and is not sponsored by Travel Portland, I thought I should give them a little shoutout :)
Content Creator, Traveler, Foodie, Amateur Photographer (and surprise!) Graphic Designer living in New York City. This website started in 2016 as a space to share my passion to live life to the fullest, make adventures a priority, eat all of the good food, drink all of the wine, and curate the beautiful photos that come along with it.