Portland is the largest and most populous city in Oregon being home to almost half of Oregon’s entire population.
It is a major port in Willamette Valley at the confluence of Willamette and Columbia rivers in Northwestern Oregon. This is not the only attraction though, Portland is a desirable destination with so much to see and do. Portland is no longer that grimy port city people used to know some years back. It is now home to a thriving culture, wonderful gardens, fascinating buildings, and generally magical attractions that all make it a popular tourist destination.
When it comes to Portland, there is always something interesting to see thanks to stunning sceneries, different neighborhoods, magical historic attractions and so much more. Read on to learn more about Portland’s tourist attractions and plan your trip depending on what you want to see, do and experience.
For a close-up look of Portland, ensure you have these attractions in your itinerary.
1. Washington Park
Located in the west of the city center, Washington Park was purchased by the city’s authority in 1871. It is at Washington Park in Portland where you’ll find numerous attractions such as the famous International Rose Test Garden, museums, and a zoo. You can spend a day exploring the park’s attractions as you indulge in the quiet environment.
During your visit to the park, explore the International Rose Garden where numerous varieties of roses are grown. The roses flower in autumn but there is also a Rose Festival in May and June. Other popular activities you can do in the park include touring the Hoyt Arboretum which comprises 190 forested acres and 12 miles of hiking trails. There is also the Oregon Zoo which is home to animals such as Asian elephants, African crocodiles, and American beavers.
These adventures make Washington Park a perfect place for couples looking to spend quality time with their significant other or parents who are traveling with children.
Photo source: Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
2. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
The crystal springs rhododendron garden is a gorgeous destination to wander around. You can spend an entire day here exploring numerous colorful flowers, plants, and trees but still see the need to come back the next day. The garden is too beautiful to get enough of it. No matter the number of times you visit, you’ll still get something special to wow your experience.
Since its establishment back in 1950, this picture-perfect destination continues to welcome thousands of both local and international tourists every year. The garden is widely known for its springs and fascinating scenery desirable to look at it every time your visit here. Located about fifteen minutes drive to the southwest of the city center, reaching here is not a problem and it doesn’t take much of your time. You don’t have a reason why you can’t tour this incredible garden and explore more than 2,500 rhododendrons and azaleas among many other unique plants along those pretty paths and ponds.
Photo source: Portland art museum
3. Portland art museum
The Portland art museum was founded in 1892. It is one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, its collection has surpassed more than 42,000 artworks.
Portland art museum is home to amazing scriptures, drawings, and paintings. During your tour here, you will be impressed to see gorgeous Japanese screen prints, contemporary photo displays as well as sparkling silverwork. It is also in the same museum where you’ll come across artwork by renounced artists such as Picasso, Renoir, and Monet among other masterpieces.
4. Portland farmers market
Though it’s a plus to farming-oriented travellers, this is not an attraction suitable to farming travellers only. Any traveller who is out there to explore the world and learn something new will definitely enjoy a visit to one of Portland’s farmers’ markets.
Portland is located in a super fertile agricultural area. Thus, a visit to this side of the country would not be complete if you don’t step your feet on this magnificent Portland’s Farmer’s Market. It’s a busy market operating about six markets within the city. The vendors take off on Tuesdays only. So, it may not be a good day to visit if you want to get the real picture of the market during its normal operations.
5. Oregon Zoo
Another top attraction in Portland is the epic Oregon Zoo which is home to a different array of animals from different parts of the world. It was founded in 1888 and since then, it has continued from both the locals and tourists alike thanks to its spacious enclosures and exhibits.
The zoo contains more than 1,800 animals with animals such as lions, bears, elephants, pandas, and orangutans. A visit here will see you get transported to Africa, the Arctic, and Asia through the educational shows and concerts taking place at the zoo. Some segments of the zoo focus more on animals and the ecosystem from Pacific Northwest. In general, a visit to the Oregon Zoo will see you get entertained as well as learn so much.
6. Willamette Valley wine tasting
There are more than five hundred wineries located in the Willamette Valley alone. Come prepared to test wine, enjoy the stunning scenery, explore the valley and most importantly take a tour around its leafy green vineyards. Dedicate a few days to explore the valley, experience the beautiful vineyards’ views as you test delicious wines coupled with local produce as you learn how the wines are produced.
Photo source: Oregon State Archives
7. Multnomah Falls
The majestic Multnomah Falls are just an hour’s drive to the east of the city. Set in a super scenic spot, the Multnomah Falls is one of the spectacular sites in Portland you cannot afford to miss during your trip here. The falls flow down two craggy cliffs covered with green vegetation. This is one place you can gaze at the glittering waters for hours and never get enough of it. Besides, you can also do a hike to the top to see more phenomenal panoramas.
8. Forest Park
If you are seeking for a wilderness outdoor adventure, ensure the city’s forest park tops your list of things to do in Portland. Though it was envisioned in 1903 it came to reality in 1943. The park is located in Tualatin Mountains overlooking northwest Portland.
It offers numerous outdoor adventures such as horseback riding, biking and even hiking thanks to its more than 80 miles of trails. However, if you want to hike here, then you must strictly stay on your hiking allotted trail in order to protect wildlife and lush vegetation.
Portland awaits you
Portland’s attractions may seem a little unexpected but they are always inspiring. Even with numerous visits, visitors don’t feel like they’ve exhausted their to-do list. Portland’s attractions are always evolving making it an incredible destination for both locals and tourists.
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