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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.
Another testament to Portland's cultural diversity, this museum has quite a collection of interesting historical material relating to Oregon Jews. Exhibits focus on Judaism in the state and around the world. In the Footsteps of Columbus is one of the many must-see permanent exhibits here, it narrates an account of the Jews of Greece. Reading material is also available at the on-site library. Many historians as well as patrons who are fond of cultural experience are sure to admire the collection at this museum.
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.
Portland is called the "Rose City" for a reason. These public gardens were established in 1917 and set above the cityscape of Downtown Portland. They are the oldest official public rose gardens in the United States and the only place in North America that can officially issue recognized awards for hybrid roses grown around the world. The best time of the year for viewing is during the summer, when the fragrant blooms begin to appear and continue until frost.
Portland Japanese Garden includes waterfalls, koi filled ponds, a wisteria arbor and even a tea-house that was built in Japan with ancient construction techniques. It features five unique gardens. The Strolling Pond contains the five-tiered stone pagoda lantern given to Portland in 1963 by Sapporo, Portland's sister city in Japan. Many events are observed in the gardens, including Children's Day, the Tanabata Star Festival and the Obon Spirit Festival. Garden curators also offer classes in Japanese culture and gardening techniques.
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.
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.
This 24.5-mile (39.5 kilometer) trail leads you through the city. Starting at the World Forestry Center, the trail strings together some of Portland's best nature attractions, Hoyt Arboretum, the Audubon Society and Forest Park. The terrain depends on what portion of the trail you tackle, from the very hilly area of Washington Park to the more gradual ten northern-most miles of the trail. Maps are available at the trail head. For outdoor lovers, a hike along these trail comes most recommended, as you are sure to capture scenic vistas along with occasional encounters of exotic plants and birds.