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Portland, Oregon, is home to its fair share of weird and wacky activities. ‘Keep Portland Weird’ is the city’s slogan, and you’ll see the words splashed across car bumper stickers, signs, and public buildings. From the world’s strangest museum, through to vegan strip clubs, eerie tunnels, and bizarre food, you certainly won’t be bored. Here are ten weird things to do in Portland:
1. Explore the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium
The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is perhaps one of the strangest museums you’ll ever come across. It’s packed with tons of creepy exhibits that cover themes such as sci-fi, historical oddities, weird urban legends, and there are even displays such as a mock alien autopsy. It’s definitely nightmare-inducing and not a place to bring children. Enter if you dare!
2. Visit Voodoo Doughnut
Keeping in the theme of weird and wacky, head to Voodoo Doughnut (yes, this is the correct spelling), where you can find fresh, daily-made donuts with strange names and toppings. Try donut concoctions such as the Old Dirty Bastard, which is chocolate frosting, Oreo cookies, and peanut butter; the Cock and Balls, which, as you can imagine, is shaped like male anatomy; or the Triple Chocolate Penetration, which is a chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate frosting and cocoa puffs.
3. See the World’s Smallest Park
Mill Ends Park is a tiny park located in the middle of the SW Naito Parkway. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s the world’s smallest park at a tiny two feet in width, with a total area of 452 square inches. Be sure to get a photo while you’re there!
4. Explore the Vacuum Museum
The Vacuum Museum is another bizarre museum in Portland where you can find out about the history of the beloved household vacuum. The museum showcases a vacuum-history timeline, with 25 of the most iconic and loved vacuums in history on display.
5. Have a Coffee at Rimsky Korsakoffee
Rimsky Korsakoffee is one of the best, quirky coffee shops in Portland City. The coffee shop is set inside an old Victorian house, with old furniture, and bizarre detailing. Each table in the cafe has been named after a deceased composer, and if you ask one of the staff for water, there’s a chance they’ll pull out a water gun and squirt you.
6. Explore the Shanghai Tunnels
The Shanghai Tunnels are a set of underground tunnels, or passages, located underneath the Old Chinatown neighborhood. You can go on an underground walking tour and hear some of the creepy, sordid and gory stories that took place in the tunnels. You’ll also find out about the stories of the Shanghai Tunnels, where able-bodied men were held after being kidnapped, and then passed to ship captains who were in need of extra crew. The victims were often drugged or knocked unconscious and dropped into the tunnels through trapdoors that were located in bars and salons.
7. Visit a Vegan Strip Club
If you want to pair veganism with a strip club, look no further than Casa de Diablo, which is the world’s first vegan strip clubs. Portland is known as the ‘strip club capital’ of the US, thanks to its abundance of strip clubs, so why not visit a strip club with a difference while you’re in town? You can kick back and order a plate of vegan chili cheese fries and watch the show.
8. Stay in an Old Elementary School
Kennedy School is a historic elementary school that has since been turned into a unique hotel. The hotel plays up to the school theme, with a ‘detention bar’ serving up drinks.
9. Cuddle a Stranger
If you love being a big or small spoon, you can book a cuddle session through Cuddle Up to Me, which is a fully-clothed cuddle service that lasts from anywhere between 15 minutes to several hours.
10. Eat Bone Marrow Ice Cream
Head to Salt & Straw for some truly unique ice cream flavors. You’ll find flavors such as black olive brittle and goat cheese, roasted bone marrow ice cream with smoked cherries, or avocado and Oaxacan chocolate. Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it!