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 custom made for open-air shopping on rainy days. Scores of vendors sell their art and crafts – all original creations, unavailable anywhere else. All sellers at the Saturday Market only sell that which they fashion themselves. This includes the freshly cooked, international food which shoppers can eat while sitting in front of the stage featuring free, live music every market day. Buskers throughout the area round out the entertainment.
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 the falls can be quite romantic. Legend has it that the falls were created to honor an Indian chieftain's daughter, who threw herself from the precipice to appease the gods and relieve the sickness that plagued her tribe. No matter its origin, visitors are constantly awed by the spectacle. The nearby Multnomah Falls Lodge provides refreshment and a resting place for weary hikers.
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 been to The Strand in New York? Powell's is bigger. Selling both new and used books, shoppers will be able to find pretty much anything in print at a great price. With 1.6 acres of floor space, shoppers may have to use a map (free at the front desk) to navigate through the many color-coded rooms. The Powell's coffee shop is one of the best places in Portland to bring out of town guests for an afternoon snack. Aside from the "City of Books" Powell's has several satellite locations throughout the Portland area, including three at the airport. Online, Powell's Books competes head to head with Amazon.
Built for Henry and Georgiana Pittock (who lived in the house from 1914 to 1918), the Pittock Mansion is a stunning architectural specimen and a repository for elegant furnishings. Pittock Mansion has 22 rooms and the gardens outside having stunning views of Portland and Mt. Hood. It was eventually purchased by the state and opened to the public in 1965. Henry remains a Portland icon, well-known for his involvement with the local paper, The Oregonian. Georgiana was a major player in community projects and initiated the renowned Rose Festival. House tours provide insight into the life of the wealthy in Portland's early days.
One of the many attractions in Washington Park, the Japanese Gardens is a one of Portland's brightest gems. Designed by renowned landscape architect Professor Takuma Tono, the site opened in 1967. Five separate gardens comprise this collective: Strolling Pond, Tea, Natural, Flat and Dry Landscape. Each one offers a unique environment and design comprised of elements such as water, stone and vegetation. The garden's elevated location in Portland's West Hills offers a quiet escape above the city. The Japanese Garden is always a lovely, but it the fall it is stunning. There is an admission fee to get in and be sure to get there early enough to spend at least an hour and a half.
Although Pioneer Courthouse Square and Powell's Books are often referred to as Portland's "living rooms," Tom McCall Park could also be named as such. Even in bad weather, a multitude of people congregate along the riverfront, and on nice days, families, bikers, bladers, and joggers all find a way to coexist peacefully. The park is also the site of many of the city's big events, including the Blues Festival, the Oregon Brewers Festival, and many events associated with the Rose Festival. It was under Governor McCall's leadership that Harbor Drive was demolished and replaced by this park in the mid-1970s.
Not only will you see roses that you've never seen before here, you will also have an incredible view of the city and Mt. Hood from these terraced gardens. Instituted in 1917, the gardens give trial runs to various rose hybrids before they're introduced into the mass market. With over 8000 plants representing more than 400 different species, this garden is sure to have at least one rose type that captivates you. Should you find yourself tempted, however, know that it's illegal to pick any of the blooms. Summer is the best time to visit the displays and is also when you'll find a repertoire of seasonal concerts available in the gardens. The Washington Park Rose Garden Store offers unusual items for both the home and garden.
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 get married at it's sister location in Northeast Portland while chowing down on a sweet, yeasty treat? Voodoo doughnuts are the talk of the town and indeed, the world and thanks to an eclectic blend of flavors and toppings, a selection of vegan doughnuts, and yes, the benefit of legal weddings performed by ordained ministers. They also serve Stumptown coffee.
You can not visit Portland without checking out at least one brewery. Widmer Brothers Brewing opened in 1984 and has grown steadily over the years. They now produce 450,000 barrels a year. The Widmer Brother Brewery offers free tours of their facility on Fridays at 2:00 and 3:00 PM, Saturdays at 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm & 3:00pm and on Sundays at 1:00pm & 2:00pm. At the end of the tour you will enjoy a free beer tasting and occassionally they give you a gift, like a bottle opener. You must wear closed toe shoes for the tour. Afterwards have lunch or dinner at their Gasthous pub and try their famous beer cheese soup.
Built in 1915, this architecturally beautiful structure served generations of students before being closed in 1980. Following a series of renovations by the McMenamin brothers, it reopened as a neighborhood entertainment facility. These days, it houses a 35 room bed and breakfast, restaurant, several bars and a gift shop. Have a bite to eat in the Courtyard Restaurant, sample your favorite vintage in the Cypress Room, or hang out in either the Honors Bar or the Detention Bar, depending on your attitude and inclination. Given the particular venue, you'll find local beers, single-malt scotches, espressos, and character galore. Hallways are filled with unique artwork, and the courtyard gains great appeal when the weather's nice.