Portland's Biggest Attractions Reflect City's Literary Reputation, Connection to Nature

With its temperate climate and lush greenery, Portland, Oregon is a great city for outdoor enthusiasts.  The many gardens scattered throughout the city show off the wide array of flora that thrive here, as well as some of the most beautiful garden design in the country.  The Chinese Garden is nationally recognized for their adherence to tradition as well as the creative beauty of their constructions.  The International Rose Test garden is famous for their 400+ varieties of roses.  Then there is Tom McCall Waterfront Park, home of the Portland Saturday Market, that is recognized as one of the best green spaces in a city within the United States.

Beyond gardens Portland is home to a thriving art scene, Portland's Art Museum offers an impressive collection of classic and contemporary exhibits from cultures spanning the globe.  Anyone who enjoys books will marvel at Powell's, one of the world's largest and most comprehensive books stores that over time has become a Portland landmark of sorts. The Oregon Zoo is extremely impressive with thousands of animals.  For a medium-sized city, Portland is bursting with art and culture and offers visitors of all ages a multitude of attractions both entertaining and edifying.   

Majestic and much-photographed, this Columbia River Gorge attraction is one of Oregon's biggest draws. Hiking trails lead up the face of the mountain, and a bridge crossing the waterfall offers an impressive vantage point. Standing in front of...  Read More

West Hills

Forest Park is Portland's own enchanted forest. Forest Park is well known for being the largest urban forest in the country located within a city. Forest park encompasses more than 5000 acres full of dense trees, rivers, waterfalls, and bridges....  Read More

Voodoo Doughnut
Photo courtesy of By Rock-O-Billy for Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnuts serves doughnut creations unlike anywhere else, because where else can you find a bacon maple bar, a chocolate donut covered in coco puffs, an apple fritter "as big as your head", or buy a coffin filled with donuts. You can even...  Read More

Housed in a five-story building that occupies an entire city block, calling Powell's a "City of Books" is hardly hyperbole. By far the largest book store in Portland, Powell's claims to be the largest independent book store in the nation. Ever...  Read More

Lan Su Yuan, the garden's official name, means "Garden of Awakening Orchids," and is considered the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. Having opened in 2000, the garden was a joint project between Portland and its Chinese sister...  Read More

Of all of Portland's public gardens, The Rose Test Gardens are certainly the most grand, though the Peninsula Rose Gardens are probably the most architecturally beautiful. With over 400 species of roses, the Test Gardens are proving grounds for...  Read More

Known by the acronym OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a favorite family day trip for locals and tourists alike. Kid's will find a wide range of interactive exhibits that both educate and fascinate. Younger children have a...  Read More

Cultural District

The Portland Art Museum (PAM) is the seventh oldest museum in the country and the oldest art museum on the West Coast. In addition to a permanent collection that includes pieces from antiquity to Post Modern, PAM also owns one of the nation's...  Read More

Financial District

Among Portlanders with kids, spending a day at the zoo is probably the most favorite of family activities. Located up above the city in Washington Park, the zoo is home to more than 1000 animals. The staff work constantly to improve the living...  Read More

Despite its name, the Portland Saturday Market is open on Sundays too, every weekend from March through December. Located on the West Bank of the Willamette River, the Market is sheltered by the Burnside Bridge and a glass-roofed structure...  Read More


Meet Meagan Wristen

Meagan Wristen is an Oregon resident by choice and thinks Portland is a tremendous city that everyone should visit. Originally a Texas girl, she has lived all around the United States,...  More About Meagan