From Asian elephants to California condors, the Oregon Zoo is full of exhibits dedicated to conservation and education. Just steps from downtown Portland, the zoo takes you a world away as you travel through exhibits resembling Africa, Asia, and other far-flung destinations. Pacific Northwest exhibits ensure the local wildlife isn’t left out.
You can explore the zoo at your own pace—or the pace of your children—on a self-guided tour. Alternatively, join a behind the scenes tour that lets you learn more about the zoo’s dynamic exhibits and conservation work. If you want to get to know the animals better, book an animal encounter or head to the “family farm” where you can pet and feed farm animals. Ride the zoo railway to get a different perspective of the zoo’s expansive exhibits and see the highlights of adjacent Washington Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Oregon Zoo is one of the top family activities in Portland—a carousel and ice cream truck add to the appeal.
- The zoo is fully accessible and wheelchairs, electric scooters, and strollers are available for rent.
- You can buy tickets online to avoid waiting in line at the entrance.
- Bring your own picnic lunch or enjoy a meal at one of the zoo’s many restaurants.
How to Get There
The Oregon Zoo is easily accessible by car, light rail (take the blue or red line to the Washington Park station), bike, or on foot. You can also visit the park on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour.
When to Get There
The zoo holds special seasonal events—such as summer concerts, a holiday Zoolights show, and trick-or-treating—throughout the year. On the second Tuesday of the month, it offers discounted admission, but beware that these days are typically the most crowded. Arrive early in the morning to snag parking and beat the crowds.
Where to Get Food at Oregon Zoo
The Oregon Zoo is home to numerous eateries, making it easy to grab a bite between activities. The Cascade Grill is the zoo’s premier restaurant, offering indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the wildlife—zoo admission not required. Head further into the zoo to enjoy light fare and warm drinks at Portland Roasting Coffee, Coffee Crossing, and AfriCafe. Additional snack stands and food carts offer an array of treats along the way.
- Hoyt Arboretum
- Portland Japanese Garden
- International Rose Test Garden
- Washington Park
- Pittock Mansion
- Portland Art Museum
- South Park Blocks
- Pioneer Square
- Powell’s City of Books
- Portland Steel Bridge
- Portland Pearl District
- Portland Chinatown
- Lan Su Chinese Garden
- Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
- Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC)