Lan Su Chinese Garden
A year-round wonder, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is an authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden. Covered walkways, bridges, open colonnades, pavilions and a richly planted landscape frame Zither Lake, creating views that are never twice the same. This urban oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony, built by Suzhou artisans, will inspire and engage all who visit. Public tours and audio tours are available, and a teahouse serving light snacks and traditional teas is located within the garden.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is affectionately known as the city’s “living room.” Once a grim parking structure, the square is now a thriving urban park and the single most-visited site in Oregon, attracting more than 9.5 million visitors annually. The square’s on-site resources include the Travel Portland Visitor Information Center and TriMet’s bus and light rail ticket office. The square is also one of Portland’s leading outdoor venues, hosting 300 events each year, from large-scale concerts to cultural festivals. The Portland Farmers Market operates in the Square every Monday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., June-October.
Portland Japanese Garden
Tucked into the scenic west hills of Portland, above Washington Park, the Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty which has been proclaimed one the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Encompassing 5.5 acres and five separate garden styles, the Garden includes an authentic Japanese Tea House, meandering streams, intimate walkways, and an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood. Guided tours are included with cost of admission.
International Rose Test Garden
Portland is home to the oldest official continuously operated public rose test gardens in the United States. Located just minutes from downtown Portland in Washington Park, the International Rose Test Gardenfeatures more than 10,000 rose bushes, spectacular views of the city and an on-site gift shop. Local tip: During summer, visit in the early evening when it’s cooler and less crowded. Free tours are offered from June through September on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m.
A peaceful oasis in the midst of the city, The Grotto is set among 62 acres of botanical gardens. As an internationally renowned Catholic sanctuary, The Grotto offers a place of quiet reflection for all people. More than 100 beautiful statues and shrines are nestled among flower-lined pathways winding under towering firs. Peaceful ponds, spectacular cliffside vistas and award-winning architecture offer inspiration for all who visit this natural gallery in the woods. Gardens and gift shop are open daily; group tours and daily Mass are also offered.
Powell’s City of Books
Covering an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books is more than a great bookstore: It’s a microcosm of Portland, packed with smart and eclectic offerings, passionate people and, naturally, its own coffee shop. And, just like Portland, it’s open 365 days a year!
Portland Saturday Market
Open every Saturday and Sunday from March-December, this riverside market is the largest continually operating arts-and-crafts fair in the United States. Combining the vibes of an arts show, a live street concert and an open-air bazaar, the Portland Saturday Market has been a beloved Rose City tradition since 1974. In fact, the market is considered the largest continually operating arts-and-crafts fair in the United States, drawing up to 750,000 visitors during its annual March – December season. Shoppers browse arts and crafts sold by their makers at the Portland Saturday Market.
On any given Saturday or Sunday shoppers can tap their heels to bluegrass pickers and jazz musicians and sample ethnic eats like falafel or kielbasa while browsing wares handcrafted by more than 250 vendors. Top finds include vintage buttons and jewelry from My Favorite Button, silverware art by Spoonman Creations and bike-themed jewelry from Velo Gioielli, as well as locally themed apparel, ceramics, home décor and photography.
One of the best day trips from Portland is going to the Oregon Coast, a perfect place for a winter getaway or a time to enjoy summer weather.
Traveling on Highway 101 through the Oregon Coast is one of the most scenic and beautiful drives in the country. Often people remark that it's even better than the scenic coast drive on the northern part of California.
It's very common for people to stop by Olalla Lake to do backpacking, or pull over along the various beaches along highway 101. Popular spots include Canon Beach and Ecola State Park. If you're patient enough, you'll eventually see some orca whales swimming near the surface or a pockets of wild sea lions resting on the beaches.
Dundee, Oregon is home to some of Oregon's finest wineries, and is one of several great day trips from Portland. Located in the Willamette Valley, there are over 40 different wine yards and wineries to visit. In addition, there are numerous wine shops and bars to buy the local selection and to taste the best that they have to offer. Notable places to try wine include Erath, Eyrie, Sokol Blosser, and Ponzi. Only an hour outside of Oregon, Dundee is known for its Pinot Noir. If you have time, there are also hot air balloon rides.
The Columbia River Gorge
Day trips from Portland don't lack options for great scenery, and the Columbia River Gorge is a great way to spend the day. Merely driving through is an amazing activity in itself. The Columbia River Gorge is the second largest river in North America. Traveling over 1200 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the river eventually ends in Northern Idaho. The Columbia River Gorge is a great place to go hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, and seeing the waterfalls. During the winter, people go to the Columbia River Gorge to ski, snowboard and snow shoe. You can go there and have a picnic, or try out the different restaurants and wine tasting.
Mt Hood is a favorite day trip destination for nature activities, dining and shopping. Year round, people go to Mt Hood for skiingand snowboarding. Some people ski for part of the day, and spend the rest of the day golfing and eating at the nearby restaurants. Other nature activities include rafting, hiking, camping and fishing. Mt Hood is also home to the historic Timberline Lodge, which was built after the Depression and brought the community together. 75 years later, the lodge is still in use and is a great place to stay the night, dine or try wine. There are also numerous places to buy collectibles, art clothing, and all the shops are tax-free.