Is it just me or is street art on the rise? To me it seems that every major city now offers beautiful Instagram worthy mural backdrops. The city of Portland, Oregon is no exception. Nearly every neighborhood in Portland is now home to multiple eye catching pieces of art. Buildings that once reflected a standard brick exterior now have colorful masterpieces.
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Before I jump into telling you all about Portland’s best spots for snapping photos I thought I would share a little about me incase you haven’t stopped by my blog before.
Hi! I’m Jane and I started Plain Jane Lifestyle as a fun creative outlet to write about food, travel and blogging!
If you are thinking about starting a travel blog, or any type of blog for that matter, here are a few of my most popular past posts that will help you get started: What Every Blogger Needs To Know About Blogging Legally and Start A Blog In Less Than 10 Minutes With Siteground (affiliate).
Okay now back to Portland’s murals…
It turns out that I’m not crazy, Portland street art is on the rise. Since 2012, The Portland Street Art Alliance has been working to bring together communities through art installations and has commissioned over 35 projects. Street art has shown to provide more foot traffic to surrounding area businesses than prior to having an art installation. With that concept in mind, I believe it only indicates we will see more colorful paintings around PDX and other major cities.
Street art picture taking is gaining so much popularity that you can now pay for guided tours. Portland Street Alliance offers tours by foot or bicycle. But if you prefer to take a tour solo, follow along with my list of the top murals to see in downtown Portland.
SE 10th and Division
This is by far the most aesthetically interesting mural in Portland. If you look close enough, there are live plants in her hair. This is just so cool!
On the corner of SE 12th and Division
Art Fills The Void – This cute play on words makes me smile.
SW 11th Avenue and Washington St.
These two murals are located side by side. They offer a darker moody theme to southwest Portland’s 11th Ave. I feel like they are the perfect backdrop to a rainy Portland day.
SW Stark and 12th Avenue
The colors are so pretty on both of these murals. Even though they are situated high above the ground, they can still provide a cool distance backdrop.
NW 4th and Everett St.
This mural is on the edge of Portland’s Chinatown district. I love it’s 3D affect of a face popping out of the side of the building.
If you’re loving all of these mural’s…
Then you might like some other great photo-op spots around Portland.
Here is a list of my favorite spots in PDX for eye catching backdrops in the city of roses (that’s Portland’s nickname).
Top of the Portland Ariel Tram –
For less than $5 you can ride the Portland Ariel Tram from 3303 SW Bond Ave. in southwest Portland to the top of the tram platform for spectacular views.
Picture from the East Side Bank
From any of Portland’s bridges you can easily access the east bank of Portland. There is a bike path that runs along the Willamette river on both the east and west side of Portland which makes this a fun place to stroll and get another vantage point of Portland. I recommend crossing the Hawthorne, Burnside, Morrison or Steel bridges, as those are the closest to the heart of downtown.
Picture from one of Portland’s Bridges
This shot is from the Hawthorne Bridge. One of Portland’s oldest bridges.
Top of Council Crest
The highest point in the city of Portland is Council Crest. The best way to get here is by car. I recommend using GPS if you’re driving as it can be very confusing. But if you are really outdoorsy, you could take the Portland Ariel Tram to the top platform and then hike one of the trails (part of Portland’s 4T Trail System) that takes you to the top of the mountain.
A trip to Portland is not complete without stopping at the largest independent bookstore IN THE WORLD! I love this place and frequently stop in and spend hours strolling through the stacks of new releases and best sellers.
NYC has the cronut, Paris has the macaroon, and Portland has donuts! A trip to Voodoo and snapping a photo of it’s signature voodoo donut neon sign is a must do while in Portland. Plus, it’s an excuse to eat a donut!
Keep Portland Weird
This sign pretty much sums up the motto of Portland. “Keep Portland Weird”. People are quirky here and we like that! You can find this sign in the downtown area on 3rd Street between Burnside and Ankeny.
So yeah…this is kind of a thing, taking a picture of your feet on the PDX Airport carpet. PDX carpet even has it’s own Wikipedia page! If you are visiting Portland by way of flight, than be sure to snap a photo of your latest pair of kicks on the carpet. The above picture is the newest PDX carpet which replaced the well loved turquoise design back in 2015.