15+ Romantic & Best Date Ideas in Portland for Couples (2021)

Portland is a great city for dating!

With so much to do both indoors and outdoors, there are lots of options available to connect with your date.

But sometimes planning a date can be incredibly overwhelming with so many options on offer.

Here, we’ve compiled some of the best date ideas in Portland so you and your new beau can have a great time!

Portland

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Peaceful and Romantic Portland Date Ideas

Take a romantic walk around one of Portland’s unique gardens

Portland Rose Garden
Image: Rose Garden Portland oregon. Bill Reynolds. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

When you’re on a date, you want to be able to connect and learn about the other person.

The problem with doing the obvious and going to a movie is that you can’t talk!

How are you meant to find out about a person you are on a date with if you can’t talk to them?

This unique date idea is great if you truly want to be able to talk with your date when you’re exploring Portland.

Portland has some great parks and gardens that you can use as a fun date idea.

1. Washington Park International Rose Test Garden

Rose in Portland
Image: Portland Rose Garden. Alfred Essa. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Inside Washington Park is the International Rose Test Garden.

It is primarily used as a testing ground for new rose varieties.

Boasting over 10,000 individual rose bushes representing over 610 different varieties, this Portland date idea is great if you want something romantic to do.

Roses are thought of as one of the most romantic flowers, so this date idea is sure to put romantic thoughts in to your date.

You can get lost wandering through the rose bushes, get up close taking photos of the roses, or simply use it as a beautiful backdrop as you walk and talk.

Just be sure not to pick the roses!

2. Portland Japanese Garden

Image: Portland Japanese Garden. Rosewoman. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Another, really cool and unique park in Oregon is the Portland Japanese Garden.

This makes a perfect Portland date idea because it is so different to walk around seeing the variety of Japanese trees, plants, and decorative styles.

It’s the perfect place to go if you want some peace and quiet, and a relaxing surrounding to connect with your date.

With lots of individual areas, there is a great deal to see and talk about with your date.

You have the Strolling Pond Garden, The Tea Garden, the Sand and Stone Garden, and the Natural Garden, each with a unique look and feel, as well as the Cultural Village with the Japanese building design.

Portland Japanese Garden
Image: Portland Japanese Garden. Rosewoman. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

It really is a very peaceful place and wonderful to look around. It makes for a really unique and fun Portland date!

3. Lan Su Chinese Garden

Portland Chinese Garden
Image: Chinese Garden. Jonathan Miske. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Jumping from Japan to China, we have the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Lan Su was built as a collaboration between Portland and Suzhou, and is considered one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China.

The unique mixture of botanical and architecture design make this an incredibly tranquil and inspiring place.

This makes it the perfect place for a unique fun date idea in Portland.

By being visually stunning, you will have lots of explore and experience with your date.

Portland Chinese Garden Woman
Photo credit: charlieontravel.com

Lan Su also host a number of talks, which you may find interesting to attend with your date!

Be sure to go to the Tea House while you are there, and taste the unique flavor profiles of their teas whilst looking out to the garden.

Date Ideas in Portland to expand the mind

Visit one of Portland’s World Class Museums

When you’re on a date, you want things to talk about and ways to connect.

With many visual artefacts available to you, museums make great unobvious date locations.

Fortunately, Portland has some great museums you can add to your date ideas list!

Portland Maritime Museum
Image: Portland’s Oregon Maritime Museum. daveyin. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

4. Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry

oregon museum of science and industry exterior
Image: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon. Ken Lund. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Something great about the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is that it is not just for people who are in to science!

It is an interactive museum, which can make it a lot of fun for a date as you explore with your date.

Don’t picture some old, drab museum, here. This museum is a lot of fun!

It has five halls to explore, each with hands-on exhibits, as well as a submarine and an IMAX theatre!

With so much to do, this makes a really great fun date activity in Portland.

5. Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum
Image: Portland Art Museum Free Friday 101. Fotos_PDX. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest museums on the west coast, so if your date is in to history, this could be a great thing to bond over.

They have a mixture of art, from contemporary modern art, to Native American and Asian art.

The eclectic collection of art means you won’t get bored walking around looking at similar styles.

One minute you can be in an open room with modern art of floating stones, the next you can be in front of an impressionist painting or bronze statue.

Portland Art Museum Bicycle
Image: Portland Art Museum: Cyclepedia. loppear. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Heading to the Portland Art Museum will give you and your date lots to bond over!

6. Oregon Historical Society Museum

If you’re looking to bond over the city of Portland itself, why not check out the Oregon Historical Society Museum?

You can learn about the beginnings and history of Oregon, including its 85,000 artefacts and stories of settlers.

But one of the most important artefacts there is the “Portland Penny”, which is the very coin used to decide the name of the city of Portland in a coin toss! (It was a toss-up between “Portland” and “Boston”!)

It also appeals to people who take in information in different ways, with films, books, artefacts, and original documents.

There will be lots for you and your date to talk about!

7. National Hat Museum

Portland Hat Museum
Photo credit: Hat Museum Facebook page

If you’re looking for something completely different, you should definitely check out the National Hat Museum!

Inside the rather unique Ladd-Reingold House, you’ll not only be entertained by all the hats (ranging from vintage to retro to international styles), you’ll also find the house itself to be incredibly intriguing.

Portland Date Ideas for the Shopaholics

Do some unique shopping!

A really fun thing to do with a date is go shopping!

Not only do you find out what kind of things the other person likes, but you can drop in and out of different shops or stalls to get something new to talk about.

8. Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market
Image: Portland Saturday Market, Ankeny Plaza section. GPA Photo Archive. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

The Portland Saturday Market could be a great option for you if you’re heading out on a date in Portland on a Saturday.

Located in Ankeny Plaza and Waterfront Park in Portland’s historic Old Town, it is a really popular place to go to for people seeking local handcrafted goods.

The Portland Saturday Market has art, jewelry, candles, photos, skincare products, pottery, bags and more.

It’s also a lot of fun if you want to get or share food, as there are many different ethnic food or fun dessert stalls to choose from!

9. Portland Farmers Market

Portland Farmers Market
Image: Bowling Greens. Ian Sane. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

In a similar fashion to the Portland Saturday Market, you might like to check out the Portland Farmers Market.

It might sounds a bit weird at first, but walking around a farmers market can actually be a lot of fun for a date idea in Portland!

Visually, there is a lot going on with all the colors and varieties of foods. You can also have a lot of fun with your date trying different foods and seeing what appeals to the other person – a great way to get to know them!

There are also bakeries, drinks stalls, and hot and cold food you can eat whilst there.

So if you are looking for something a little different to do on your Portland date, consider checking the Portland Farmers Market out!

10. Sellwood

Sellwood is a heck of a lot of fun if you like the idea of taking your date shopping to some unique stores.

It is known as the antique district of Portland, and you will find some wonderful eclectic items as you walk around with your date, trying out all the different shops.

But antiques aren’t the only thing you will find in Sellwood.

There are also clothes shops, toy and games shops, arts and crafts shops and specialty food stores.

11. Visit the Oregon Zoo!

Tiger at Portland Zoo
Image: Tiger, Oregon Zoo. brx0. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

For something fun you can do outdoors on your date in Portland, why not head to the Oregon Zoo?

Split into multiple areas, the zoo features many different animals you and your date can bond over, including bears, beavers, seals, otters, polar bears, chimpanzees, lions, sloths, tortoises, and red pandas.

You can have fun with your date talking about your favorite animals, looking at their cutes faces and personalities, and sharing in your love for animals!

Date ideas that help you to experience Portland

12. Take a ride on the Portland Aerial Tram!

Aerial Tram
Image: Station Approach for Docking. Ian Sane. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Although not used an awful lot by Portland locals for practical travel purposes, the Portland Aerial Tram does provide some great views over Willamette River Valley and the city itself.

See what areas of Portland you can pick out from the heights, or be the support system to your height-afraid date as the tram travels 3,300 feet up to 500 feet high!

Just don’t expect it to take the whole date… the ride only lasts 4 minutes or so!

13. See a show or play at the Keller Auditorium

Keller Auditorium
Image: Mythbusters Behind the Myths Tour. Atomic Taco. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Built in 1917, the Keller Auditorium is considered a “workhorse venue” because of the wide variety of performances that are on offer to see.

Whether your date is in to ballet, opera, or Broadway productions, you will be able to find something to see that piques your interest.

Live shows are infinitely better than seeing a movie when considering a date in Portland, because you can chat and connect in the interval.

Talk about what you like about the show, the auditorium itself, or anything else that comes to mind – a theatre location can give great inspiration when you want to connect with your date.

14. Take a Brewery Tour

Brewery Portland
Image: The Commons Brewery, Portland Oregon. Dan K. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Do you and your date share a love for beer?

One fun date activity you can do in Portland is take a brewery tour!

A brewery tour is great if you want to do something fun with your date but don’t want the pressure of choosing where to go.

Brewery tour companies will take you around popular breweries, giving you information on each of the breweries as you go.

You can bond over the beer you try, and loosen up the nerves as the date goes on!

Check out Brewvana or City Brew Tours as a place to start, or if you want something a little different, why not look at BrewCycle, where you pedal a large group bike around as you drink!

15. Take a Food Tour

Portland Oregon Food Tour
Image: Tech Jobs Tour Portland 2017. Tech Jobs Tour. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Food tours are a very fun way to get to know a date and a city.

If you are unsure what they are, essentially they involve making your way around a city (or part of a city) trying food from different establishments that you might not think to go in.

Food tours make for great date ideas, as you can bond over the variety of foods that you try as well as meeting other people if you are on a group tour.

Food tours will often also give you information about the city you are in, so you can get some local knowledge in while you are on your fun date in Portland.

There are a number of different providers.

Start by checking out Forktown Food Tours (where you make 7 steps along the way) and Eat Adventures (who offer a number of different food tours).

Have any other great Portland date ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

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