Portland, Oregon's Most Interesting Museums

Portland, Oregon has some of the most interesting and diverse museums in the country, and many are located near Piedmont Vacation Rental. We've listed a few of our favorites in this article. For more information on Portland's museums, feel free to give us a call. We'll be glad to answer your questions.

Portland Art Museum

  • Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
  • Distance from us: 4.7 miles
  • Main attraction: Northwest art collection
  • Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The Portland Art Museum, founded in 1892, is the largest art museum in Oregon and one of the oldest museums in the country. The museum has over 42,000 works of art in it's permanent collection. Prominent displays and exhibits are related to Native American art, contemporary art, Asian art, Northwest art, and outdoor sculpture. The museum also houses extensive collections of photographs, prints, and drawings. Perhaps, the primary attraction of the Portland Art Museum is its Northwest art collection. It includes a gallery dedicated to the artists who have worked at the museum. Admission is reasonable (around $20 for adults). If you are planning on attending a specific event or exhibition, call ahead to reserve tickets.

Oregon Historical Society Museum

  • Address: 1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
  • Distance from us: 6.6 miles
  • Main attraction: "Oregon My Oregon" exhibit
  • Hours: Typically, 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Opens at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.

As you might expect, the Oregon Historical Society Museum is operated by the Oregon Historical Society. The museum has over 85,000 artifacts related to the Northwest region. Notable artifacts include the Portland Penny, a storage chest owned by Captain Robert Gray, and items from Native American culture. Other items at the museum include a variety of historical photographs and an extensive research library. You can also buy memorabilia at the museum's onsite store. Admission is inexpensive ($10 for adults).

Oregon Maritime Museum

  • Address: 198 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR
  • Distance from us: 5.0 miles
  • Main attraction: Working steam sternwheeler
  • Hours: Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 11:00 a.m until 4:00 p.m.

The Oregon Maritime Museum features the Portland, an actual working steam sternwheeler. Located on the Willamette River in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, The Portland is the only operating steam-powered sternwheel tugboat in the United States. On the Portland, you are surrounded by Pacific Northwest maritime history, as well as the scenic Willamette River. The Oregon Maritime Museum contains an extensive collection of maritime artifacts and displays. It also has a large library, with thousands of books and photographs related to the Northwest region. A Children's Corner is also part of the museum. Kids get a chance to work with a variety of ship parts and nautical objects. Admission to the Oregon Maritime Museum is very inexpensive ($7 for adults).

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

  • Address: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR
  • Distance from us: 4.2 miles
  • Main attraction: USS Blueback
  • Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is dedicated to science and technology. The museum has a planetarium, a theatre, a submarine exhibit, and a number of additional exhibition halls. Exhibition halls of note include the Turbine Hall, which has a large steam turbine, and the Earth Science Hall, which features a watershed laboratory. Two other really interesting exhibits are the Planetarium and the USS Blueback. The Planetarium features laser light shows and computer-aided astronomy. The USS Blueback is the museum's resident submarine. If you've seen "The Hunt for Red October," you've seen the USS Blueback: It was used quite a bit in that movie.

Freakybuttrue Peculiarium

  • Address: 2234 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR
  • Distance from us: 4.0 miles
  • Main attraction: Everything
  • Hours: Vary. Call ahead.

The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is a unique museum, designed to "Keep Portland Weird." The shop pays homage to all things freaky, zany, and strange. Freakybuttrue Peculiarium includes such exhibits as a nightmare dollhouse, an alien autopsy, and a trip through a zombie brain. The works of Portland artists are also featured at the museum. If you wear an interesting (over the top) costume when visiting the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, admission is free.
Hours vary, so be sure to call ahead when planning a visit there.