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Photo of downtown Portland in sunshine
Sunny Day Guide
June 10, 2021
Photo of Portland at dusk with clouds
Cloudy Day Guide to Portland

What are the best things to do on a cloudy day in Portland? Check it out!

When it's not raining... and it's not sunny either... we Pacific Northwesterners are used to a pretty solid cloud cover. But we're not complaining! Sometimes those gray days are a perfect excuse to cozy up in a coffee shop and dive into a good book. Or a good opportunity to stay in bed a few hours longer. Here are a few cloudy day ideas to make your stay in Portland as amazing as you are.

Stroll through Portland’s Japanese Gardens

Considered the most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty in all four seasons. Eight traditional Japanese garden styles are presented with tea houses, galleries, and occasional live performances throughout. If you're looking for a relaxed, beautiful, and meditative stroll, we highly recommend seeing what is in bloom at any time of year.

Cozy up with a tea tasting at Smith Teamaker

On a crisp, cloudy day, nothing is better than cozying up with a cup of tea. Want to one-up yourself on that? Head to Smith Teamaker for a tea tasting! Learn about growing and harvesting tea, where the delicious flavors come from, and taste several variations of Smith's wonderful teas. Then, stop in at their shop, and bring some back for yourself. And don't worry, we'll show you where the hotel's hot water is when you get back.

Enjoy a warm drink and a great dessert at the late-night super-haunted Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House is definitely haunted. How do we know? Well, depending on where you sit in the space, your ghostly guest might move your drink, or perhaps you'll find that your table is in a different place than it was before. Or maybe your glass will begin to rattle a bit... This old Victorian House is full of surpises, quirks, and the most delicious handmade pies and desserts, coffee drinks, and late-night live music. Rimsky's is perfect for those looking for a non-alcoholic late night date spot. Just make you sure you stop in to the bathroom upstairs for a final (and totally worth it) surprise.

Get your mind blown at the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium

The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is an oddities museum, art gallery, ice cream parlor and gift shop all rolled into one awesome destination. There is even a zombie brain simulation that is probably exactly like the real thing. We wouldn't know, but we do agree that you have to see it to believe it. Stop by the gift shop for spooky local art and goods, and make sure you take a photo with Bigfoot on your way out. The cost for entry is $5, but dogs and decent costumes get in free.

Hike to the spooky Witch’s Castle in Forest Park

Not far from the Peculiarium, you'll find several entrances to Forest Park, the 7-mile stretch of land adjacent to Northwest Portland that features 80 miles of hiking trails, fire lanes, and gorgeous views of the ferns and wildlife of the Northwest. The Witch's Castle is a decrepit old stone house that was originally built as a caretaker's cabin in the mid-1800s. The two-story building with a storied history can be accessed by a trail starting at the Audobon Society, or by parking near NW 30th and Upshur.

Play glow-in-the-dark, pirate-themed blacklight mini golf at Glowing Greens

For a final weird-and-wild experience, check out the indoor pirate-themed course for mini-golf played under black lights in a basement location at Portland's Glowing Greens. When we say blacklight... we mean it! The props, sets, and courses are entirely glow-in-the-dark, so you'll get to see all 13 holes in all their glory. In its downtown location, you can also play their escape room or throw a few axes -- whatever floats your blacklight pirate boat!

Take a class at Assembly PDX

Are you a craft lover? A DIY queen? Just ready to try something all together new? Get your crew together or take a solo trip to one of our favorite creator teams at Assembly PDX, where you can learn to make gorgeous ceramic jewelry, learn to pour acrylic paint, or build a lamp out of a wooden cigar box. Bring your creation home with you, or we'll help you figure out how to ship it home! Plus, you'll learn a new skill you can do time and time again, which means you'll have all future birthday presents on lock.

Visit the World’s Smallest Park at Mills End on the SW Waterfront

You've heard the phrase "Keep Portland Weird," right? Mills End Park, the smallest official park in the country, is a whopping 2 feet in diameter, features one tiny tree, and several small plants within its encasement amidst the median strip between Naito Parkway and the west side waterfront esplanade. You'll be able to cross the street, take a gander at the beauty of the tiniest park ever, and be on your way in no time. It's weird and worth it.

Dive into Portland Tub-and-Tan for open-air hot tub rentals by the hour

Need a moment to warm up? Hit up the Portland Tub-and-Tan for suprisingly not that weird hourly rental of a relaxing hot tub hangout for you, your special someone, or whoever you meet on your travels. The tubs are set in open air or indoor rooms, all entirely private, with plasma TVs, fireplaces, music controls, and more. It could be the perfect way to wind down after a day out on the town. Tell them Jupiter sent you!

OR JUST STAY IN BED

Looking for a cloudy day excuse to stay in bed? Lucky for you, we are now offering pick up at Hey Love to guests in the hotel. Simply order from the menu via QR code (all you need is a smart phone), and Hey Love will text you when your food is ready. Spend the day snuggling up in your room, spying on the city from above. You deserve it.

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