10 Places to Visit in Portland Oregon
Portland, Oregon is a beautiful city. There is a reason it was nicknamed the City of Roses. It is the largest one in the state of Oregon and there is plenty there to see. Depending on what time of year you are there there may be annual events such as the Rose Festival Parade or the Christmas Lights displays. Aside from these special events are the more permanent, year round attractions.
1) Multnomah Falls are a vision of splendor and beauty no matter what time of year you go. The tallest of Oregon's many waterfalls it drops a total of 620 feet (189 meters) in two stages. There is a paved trail up to the top. It has easy access from I-84 and is about 30 minutes east of downtown Portland.
2) If you're going to Multnomah Falls I would advise you to take the scenic route, the Historic Columbia River Highway. This will take you along the top of the gorge for some fantastic views. Be sure to stop at Crown Point and prepare to have your breath taken away at the dazzling majesty of the Columbia River Gorge. It is the last viewpoint before the highway twists and turns its way down into the Gorge. It is about 15 miles (24 km) east of Portland. Be sure and bring a jacket because it is very windy.
3) OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a place everyone in Portland should visit whether they are residents or visitors. From laser displays to dinosaurs to the IMAX theater to a tour through a WW2 submarine it has something for everyone. Follow the signs from I-5 and they will lead you right to the parking lot of this incredible museum on the Willamette River.
4) What stay in any city is complete without visiting their Zoo? It is about 5 minutes from downtown Portland along the MAX light rail line. It has the usual attractions of crocodiles, asian elephants, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, penguins, snakes, turtles, zebras and many more.
5) Waterfront Park provides a venue for a variety of mulit-cultural activities and several memorials. The Battleship Oregon Memorial built in honor of an 1893 ship is located there. Also the Founders Stone in the honor of Portland's founder, William Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy, is there. There is the memorial garden with artwork depicting the Japanese people in the Northwest. It has a boat dock, public restrooms, a fountain and paved biking trails. In the summer it is home to the Blues Festival and the Brewers Festival.
6) Shopping is easy in Portland. If you go to Lloyd Center you'll find it provides everything from pedicure to pants. They have a variety of specialty shops and name brand stores. If you're looking for entertainment make use of their movie theaters or their ice skating rink. If you're closer to I-205 than you are to downtown try the Clackamas Town Center. It's a two story extravaganza which is a shopper's delight. If you're looking for fresh produce try the Farmers Market in the Cultural District's South Park. Other shopping spots are Nob Hill, the Pearl District, Northeast Broadway and Multnomah Village.
7) Keeping a vigil over Portland's skyline is Mount Hood, called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe. The peak rises 11,249 feet and has twelve glaciers. It is about 50 miles (80 km) east-southest of Portland. Even though it is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt it has a ski resort and plenty of hiking trails, picnic spots and campgrounds.
8) If you are a bookworm a trip to Powell's Books is a necessity. Since it takes up an entire city block there are maps of the building at every entrance so no one will get lost. It provides reading materials on a variety of subjects, has a room of rare and antique books and a cafe.
9) The Rose Garden is one of the oldest continually running rose test gardens in the United States. This is where Portland gained the nickname City of Roses. It is the host of the annual Rose Festival. When the garden is in bloom, usually between April and June, the variety of colors make a dazzling display for the eye. It features a reflection pool, several fountains and some sculptures. The Rose Garden Arena has performances of music concerts and plays all year round.
10) And, of course, there is the opera. Performing such famous shows as Rigoletto, LeMiserable and the Phantom of the Opera the Portland Opera is not to be missed. Relax and let the company sweep you into another time and place with a fabulous display of superb acting, detailed sets and excellent costumes.