Forest Park

Forest Park

One of the largest city-owned wilderness areas in the country: a 5,100-acre, fir-studded blanket that cradles some 80 miles of trails and more than 60 native species of mammals and 100 species of birds, all within yodeling distance of a city of more than 500,000 people. Try entering at the Audubon Sanctuary for walks to a crumbling stone house and a 242-foot fir tree. NW 29th Ave & NW Upshur St, 503-223-5449;

Portland Farmers Market 

Portland Farmers Market has seven locations, but its Saturday flagship market at Portland State University showcases the city at its most bountiful. Buy produce—like a rare Catalan onion almost never seen in the U.S.—and fresh eats, like grilled peaches topped with crumbling cheese and huckleberries. Shop hungry. SW Park Ave & SW Montgomery St, 503-241-0032;

Oregon History Museum

The displays inside the Oregon Historical Society range from a pickup truck to a recreated MAX car, plus artifacts from the Oregon Trail (the famous wagon route, not the game). A temporary exhibit dedicated to the Pendleton Woolen Mills shows how the Oregon-made blankets became hipster icons and collector’s pieces. 1200 SW Park Ave, 503-222-1741;

International Rose Test Garden

They don’t call this Rose City for nothing—the terraces of flowers in this giant garden represent pure, official strains of the flower, strictly controlled but casually beautiful. A giant grassy amphitheater sits among the 10,000 or so roses, and pocket gardens, like one dedicated to flowers mentioned in Shakespeare, wait to be found behind hedges. 400 SW Kingston Ave,



No one actually calls it the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (“OMSI,” pronounced OHM-zee, is much more fun to say), but nearly all visitors fit in a visit to the hands-on science toys in the old turbine hall, the planetarium, the giant theater, or the retired battle submarine out back that once starred in The Hunt for Red October. 1945 SE Water Ave, 800-955-6674;

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion

Henry and Georgiana Pittock went from wagon-train pioneers to Portland city pillars, at one time owning the Weekly Oregonian and organizing local philanthropy. Their grand house overlooking the city from Forest Park has Turkish, English, and French elements, plus a hydraulic shower with horizontal sprays and a temperature tester for the toe. 3229 NW Pittock Dr, 503-823-3623;

Powell's Books

⑦ Powell’s Books

A veritable Portland landmark, Powell’s City of Books is known far and wide as the largest independent store for new and used books in the nation. It takes up a full city block and is three stories tall. It’s less a shop and more of a cathedral to the bound book, with plenty of Portland-branded socks, journals, and doodads. 1005 W Burnside St, 503-228-4651;


Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut

You can do everything at the grungy 24-hour dessert emporium—people-watch, clog your arteries with a doughnut burger, get married (doughnuts included!). And while after-hours lines fill with everyone from innocent-eyed out-of-towners to glassy-eyed truck drivers and wired purple-haired teenagers, there’s always a popular confection like the Dirty Snowball to match your taste. 22 SW Third Ave, 503-241-4704;

Portland Art Museum

Located on the South Park Blocks—a kind of long and skinny pedestrian mall that cuts through downtown—the city’s art museum boasts a century-plus of history and an extensive collection of Northwest and Native American art. Outdoor sculptures surround the grand modernist building. 1219 SW Park Ave, 503-226-2811;

Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo

The oldest zoo in the Northwest hosts 1.6 million visitors a year, but that doesn’t mean it rests on its laurels: A new condor aviary opens this year, the train is getting a new route through the exhibits, and the elephants get a giant new habitat next year. Currently there’s plenty to visit: polar bears, lions, and the Penguinarium, home to one of the most endangered species of penguin. 4001 SW Canyon Rd, 503-226-1561;

PDX Nicknames Explained

There are 11 crossings over the Willamette River near downtown.

It’s the Portland International Airport code.

Rose City (or City of Roses)
The city’s Rose Festival dates back more than a century.

The area’s logging history left a stumpy legacy (and inspired a coffee empire’s name).

The Oregonian uses the moniker; we don’t.

Rip City
Trail Blazers announcer Bill Schonely coined the name in the ’70s.

Filed under
Show Comments