Portland is seen by many individuals in the United States as one of the most desirable places to live. It is the largest city in the state of Oregon and a place where a creative culture continues to thrive. Every year, it attracts visitors from distant places wanting to explore its natural beauty and cultural events.
The city enjoys proximity to other major destinations in the Pacific Northwest. This has become another big reason for its popularity among tourists. While exploring this majestic city, you’ll get the chance to visit some of its fascinating attractions. Let’s take a look at some of them here:
1. Forest Park
When you’re in the west side of Portland, you’ll get to visit Forest Park. It covers over 5,000 acres of Northwest forest. This is a perfect place to move away from the hustle-bustle of the city. One of the largest urban parks in the United States, it is home to many hiking trails. If you’re visiting this park for the first time, it’s better to have a map.
This will help you explore the hiking and walking trails that extend to about 80 miles. One of the popular places in Forest Park is the Maple Trail Loop. You can also visit the famous Pittock Mansion by starting your hike from Lower Macleay Park.
2. Pittock Mansion
This grand mansion was the home of Henry Pittock. He was the founder of the newspaper, Oregonian. The mansion was marked for demolition in the 1960s, but the local community opposed the demolition. Eventually, it was bought by the City of Portland and completely restored through private fundraising.
As a result, the tourists visiting Portland can visit this impressive mansion. The mansion has been built on a 46-acre land, which has an elevation of 1,000 feet. You can enjoy some fabulous views from this place if you’re visiting on a clear day.
3. Washington Park
You’ll be able to visit the renowned International Rose Test Garden when you’re in Washington Park. This place was once a wild land. It was purchased by the City of Portland in 1871. You can spend your entire day in the park, visiting its charming attractions. In the International Rose Test Garden, you’ll find some new varieties of roses.
As Portland has a mild climate, roses in this garden continue to flower into the fall season. The annual Rose Festival is held here in the months of May and June. Another garden in Washington Park that would fascinate you is the Portland Japanese Garden. It’s one of the largest Japanese gardens outside Japan.
4. Portland Japanese Garden
Spread across 12 acres, the Portland Japanese Garden is located on the grounds of an old zoo in Washington Park. You’ll go through some unique and peaceful experiences while getting around in this garden. It was built to offer Portland’s residents a place to unwind and find some serenity. First opened to the public in 1961, this garden also recognized the growing cultural ties between Japan and Oregon.
The garden spaces here include the Tea Garden, Flat Garden, and Strolling Pond Garden. Cultural demonstrations, mindfulness tours, and lecture series are some of the events held in Portland Japanese Garden. You can also enjoy tea and Japanese finger foods at the Umami Cafe.
5. Oregon Zoo
The Oregon Zoo is home to hundreds of birds, animals, and marine beings. Located in Washington Park, this zoo has animals from around the world. It was established in the late 19th century by Richard Knight. During your visit to this zoo, you can learn more about its conservation programs.
They mainly focus on preserving the Pacific Northwest region’s species. The behind-the-scenes tours conducted in the Oregon Zoo allow you to interact with the animals. They also give you the opportunity to take a look at the daily operations.
6. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
This region is a popular place for sightseeing and going on leisurely drives. It covers the entire length of the Columbia River on the Oregon-Washington state border. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is one of the best destinations for taking a day trip from Portland. It covers a total area of 292,500 acres.
During their day trips, many of the toursits like photographing the waterfalls. These waterfalls include the Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and Oneonta Gorge. Other places worth exploring here are the Angel’s Rest hiking trail and Vista House.
7. Portland Art Museum
The oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum was founded in the late 19th century. Over the years, it has managed to preserve a vast collection of artworks. There are more than 50,000 items in this art museum.
Only a few of them are displayed in the gallery with an area of over 112,000 square feet. Among the museum’s major highlights are the Native American artifacts, Asian art, and English silver art. Vincent Van Gogh’s Cart with Black Ox is one of the most precious pieces of art in Portland Art Museum.
8. Powell’s City of Books
If you’re a book lover, you’ll love your visit to this legendary bookstore. It has more than a million books, including the new titles as well as used books. The bookstore has some excellent displays and a spacious coffee shop. You’ll find plenty of space to read a book while leaning against a corner.
The availability of so much space also makes it easier for you to choose a book. There’s something for book lovers every day in the events calendar at Powell’s City of Books. The events include writing workshops, author readings, and panel discussions.
9. Lan Su Chinese Garden
The tranquil environment in Lan Su Chinese Garden is a beautiful combination of plants, trees, rocks, gardens, and a lake. All these things have been blended well on an area of 40,000 square feet. This garden opened in 2000 after Portland established a relationship with Suzhou, its Chinese sister city.
Artisans of Suzhou had helped construct walkways and traditional buildings here. The native Chinese plants that you see in this garden were imported. Both guided and self-guided tours are available for the visitors of this garden. Special events on Tai Chi, Mahjong, and tea tastings also take place in Lan Su Chinese Garden regularly.