Portland Walking Tours

Groups: School Field Trips

Let us take your classroom, home school group, or children program on a tour exploring Portland. Our field trips are designed for students from 3rd grade on up and focus on lessons and activities that will assist in achieving Oregon State Social Science standards while providing a fun and unforgettable experience.

We emphasize guided discovery and actively encourage student participation and interaction. Just ask anyone who has joined our tours - our time together is much more than reciting boring lists of facts about Portland’s history and landmarks. We want everyone (including the chaperones) to depart from our time together having learned something that cannot be easily taught in a classroom. If our offerings are not appropriate for your class, we are always able to adapt to accommodate your group or to better fulfill the needs of your curricula.

Book your tour here to save the date and time you want. Or call us now at 503.774.4522.

For the current tour season we are offering our most popular school tours:

Art, History, & Transit

The “Art, History, & Transit” tour is for elementary school-age groups. It is approximately 2 hours long and 1 mile in distance. It begins at Pioneer Courthouse Square and ends at the waterfront by the Salmon Street Springs. On the way we explores some basic themes:

  • Early Portland History: Who founded Portland? Who lived here before Portland was a city? Who were the Pioneers? And what was the Oregon Trail?
  • Public Art: What is art? What are some of the different types of public art you find downtown? What are some of the materials used?
  • Transportation: How do people get around in a city? In addition to cars, what other options are there for people?

Chinatown Discovery Tour

This tour was designed for middle and high school students. This look back in time takes place in the Old Town-Chinatown and Skidmore neighborhoods. It is about 2 hours and 1 mile in length and explores the following themes:

  • Early Portland History: How the Willamette River and its periodic flooding reshaped Portland. In particular we'll look at the effects of the 1894 and 1948 floods.
  • Flooding: Who was Captain Couch? Why did Portland become the most important port city in Oregon? What happened to all of the old docks and piers?
  • Chinatown: Did you know that Portland's Chinatown was once the second largest in the U.S.? Or that Portland's Chinatown was a refuge for many Chinese-Americans from the violence and persecution in the rest of the country?
  • Shanghaiing: The fascinating and true history of "crimps", the men who were responsible for this barbaric practice.

Best of Portland

This tour is for middle and high school students. The tour takes place in the central city. It is under 2.5 hours long and 1.5 mile in distance. It begins at Pioneer Courthouse Square and ends at the waterfront by the Salmon Street Springs. On the way we explores some basic themes:

  • Sustainability & Livability: How Portland and Portlanders act to become stewards of the earth.
  • Urban Planning & Design: What Portland does to keep downtown feeling like a European city.
  • Alternative forms of transportation: What actions are being done with an eye towards considering how people move around without automobiles.
  • Early Portland: The incredible story of why Portland succeeded without a boring history lesson.