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Portlandia flows to the sea as you visit this piece of Rip City's past. Step on board the only remaining operational steam sternwheel tug in the country to learn all about boating while admiring all of the artifacts and exhibits. Take the tugboat tour and hear how old seafarers battled the river currents. If you want to learn more visit their library, the cheerful staff will give provide some interesting bits of information. Visit the gift store and check out the books and nautical themed gifts. The view of the city aboard the ship is an added proposition that Oregon Maritime Museum offers.
Created in 1892 primarily to promote visual arts, the museum is set up with several large and open viewing rooms. It is the oldest museum in the area. Do not miss the Native American collection, and the artists' works featured in the European collection will also surprise you. Also check out the North Wing's Jubitz Center, which houses modern and contemporary art. In the spring, the museum's Northwest Film Center hosts the annual Jewish Film Festival.
Walk through the grand plaza and step into Oregon's past. Located in Portland's cultural district, The Oregon Historical Society has bountiful collections of historical artifacts, photographs, moving pictures, maps and more. Many exhibits are interactive, and the atmosphere is friendly. The museum is very well-maintained and curated in a way to provide easy navigation, it appears as though you are living history as you navigate your way through the interior. The center's shop is full of Native American jewelry, baskets and pots. The book collection covers all of the Northwest's history for adults and children.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) offers halls dedicated to earth science, life science, computers, chemistry, traveling exhibits and hands-on exhibits, a planetarium, the Empirical Theater, a submarine to tour, a motion simulator ride and a cafe. Enjoy the palatial digs on the Willamette River. The museum, through its various games and interactive displays, offers an opportunity to exercise the grey cells and leave with more knowledge and information. Buy a full museum package, which includes admission to the exhibits, the theater and a sub tour at a reasonable price.
Deeply embedded in Portland's rich history, Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC) attempts to preserve the essence of the early transportation industry. Large steam rails, vintage passenger cars and other such paraphernalia make up the exhibits. The functional rails are used for various tours and offer a chance to experience some old world glory. Soak up some of the local culture for free at this aptly named the heritage center.
Henry Pittock, founder of Portland's Oregonian newspaper, built this spectacular mansion in 1914 and lived there until his death in 1919. This stately mansion was created in the style of a French Renaissance chateau and boasts three floors plus an incredible view of the city. The mansion is now a museum and showcases local history through artifacts and exhibits. Guests can tour the mansion and even book space for private functions.