An oasis of greenery in the scenic environs of Northwest Portland, this municipal park's topography is defined by the slopes and opaque old-growth forests that are sustained by the Tualatin Mountains. A large establishment as far as urban parks go, these protected lands are spread over 5,100 acres (2,064 hectares) that are dotted with relatively-even pathways and trails for hiking and bicycling, which make virtually every nook and corner of the park easily-accessible. A landscape of diverse and complex ecosystems, these forests are home to the hairy woodpecker, Pacific jumping mouse, orange-crowned warbler, northern pygmy-owl among many others. A paradise for plant lovers, the park grounds are bejeweled with exotic Hooker's fairy bells, evergreen violets and English ivy.
The Oregon Zoo houses animals from all parts of the world. Spread over 64 acres of land, there's always something to see. Here one can observe animals in their natural habitats, including elephants, bears, penguins and monkeys. Hop aboard the train for a zoo tour or rent a special stroller wagon for the kids. After a busy day of animal watching, enjoy a waffle ice cream cone from the snack bar, dine at the on site cafe or enjoy a picnic lunch on the lawn.
Strictly for those over 21 years of age, Brewvana is an epic journey into the world of beer, tracing its popularity in the city. The tours offer an sight into the various brewing techniques used by the different breweries. The guides know their beer and explain efficiently, the various brews along with providing a few samples for tasting. The buses come well-equipped with mini-bars that can store all the beer that one might decide to buy while sampling. If one is interested in the drink, then Brewvana will prove to be a memorable experience with lots of diverse beer samples for tasting. A few of the breweries that are included in the tour and also come highly recommended are the Alameda Brewhouse, Portland Brewing and Burnside Brewing Company, among a few others.
Embark on a diverse culinary sojourn with Portland's Forktown Food Tours. Offering an epicurean journey across Portland's most distinctive neighborhoods, the Forktwon Food Tours are the finest in the business. Stop by at the flamboyant Mexican food carts in the iconic Pearl District or explore some fine dining treasures along the Alphabet District. Experience Portland's nouveau culinary side on the Southeast Division Street and chug on beers from quaint microbreweries along the way. Through every walk you take and every treat you bite into, a Portlander foodie guide will engage you in a culinary commentary. For our vegetarian friends, this tour also includes vegetarian food stops.
Biking is a great way to get to know a new city. Pedal Bike Tours, the Portland-based tour service offers several, diverse bike tours throughout Portland and Hawaii. In Portland itself, they have daily bike tours that shed light on various facets of the Rose City. One one hand there are historic downtown tours that delve into historic facts of Portland, while on the other, they also have food-centered tours that cover the culinary delights that the city has to offer. For a fun, unique way to see Portland try one of the Pedal Bike Tours.
Formed by a volcano that erupted around 40 million years ago, this gorgeous island is known for its jagged rocks. Explore this natural wildlife habitat and stroll along its hiking trails that wind around the bay, where blue herons feed and sturgeon swim in some of the deepest waters of the Willamette River. The island has seven different habitats, including Emergent Wetland, Riparian Forest, and Willamette Valley Grassland. See if you can spot a bald eagle's nest in one of the trees!
Under various names such as Best of Portland, Underground Portland, Epicurean Excursion and Chocolate Decadence, the Portland Walking Tours give an unforgettable glimpse of the city. Try the Beyond Bizarre tour where one is made to walk through the various haunted locales of Portland in search of ghosts. The Roses Gone Wild is another popular tour that involves a walk around the rose gardens along with plenty of trivia about the area. The tours are organized on weekends and need to be booked in advance. Log on to the website for more details and costs.
Alberta Street is an epicenter of diversity, art and culture. Trendy little art galleries, novelty stores and unique restaurants line the street. Portlanders of all kinds come to Alberta Street for their annual fair: a lively celebration complete with live music and dancing, food, kids' stuff and a free trolley that rolls right through the middle of everything. Come and see why Northeast Portland is quickly becoming the capital for culture in this town.