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.
Created in 1892 primarily to promote visual arts, the museum is set up with several large and open viewing rooms. 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.
For more than 75 years, The Grotto has held a special place in the hearts of the locals. The 62-acre (25.09 hectares) site is a Catholic sanctuary that also features beautifully kept botanical gardens. Visit the shrine of "Our Lady's Grotto," which is not only spiritual, but a geological marvel since it's a cave carved into the base of a cliff with a replica of the Pietà sculpture in the center of the rock cave. After admiring the shrine, take the time to tour the grounds and marvel at the beautiful plants then visit the spectacular gift shop. Visitors are also welcome to attend mass. If you want a real treat visit during annual Festival of Lights. While the lower grounds and gift shop are free to visit, there is a small fee to enter the upper levels of The Grotto.
Set amid a scenic location of sloping, forested hills, Washington Park has a number of notable attractions, including the International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Gardens and the Oregon Zoo. Plenty of different spots across the park offer sun, shade, and shelter from the rain, and views of the city. A brimming hive of activities like tennis, hiking and archery, this park is a brilliant, sprawling carpet of eternal and abundant natural beauty. A range of winding trails slice through acres of wild forests at this park, while motley jubilant fountains, plazas and memorials accentuate it further. An evocative canvas of vibrant wilderness, this sprawling park is a breathtaking nexus of nature, botany and recreation, being rather unsurprisingly, one of Portland's most beautiful symbols.
Mild-mannered Portland was once one of the toughest ports of the Pacific. In the 1890s, it was known for being a trafficking hub. Although historians have questioned the veracity of these claims, the tunnels remain a source of intrigue. The Shanghai Tunnels are open for tours every week, so be sure to get the right date and time to explore this nugget of Portland's dark history.
This facelift on the east bank of the Willamette River gives walkers an intimate experience with the waterfront. The 1.5 mile (2 km) walkway- one of the longest floating walkways in the United States- stretches along the river between the Hawthorne and Steel bridges. Along a walk or bicycle ride, you will take in views of downtown and the current events taking place across the river on the west bank at Waterfront Park. There are also old-fashioned lamps, sculptures and scripts describing Portland's great shipping history along the way.
Located in the historic DeSoto building which has many galleries and venues for art, the Froelick Gallery displays bold and individualistic artwork by contemporary artists. Although many local artists are represented at the exhibitions, displays of the works of artists from as far away as Tokyo can also be found here. The gallery organizes more than 15 solo exhibitions and around 4 group exhibitions during the course of a year. Exhibitions include artwork of varying mediums and styles, thereby ensuring that no two exhibitions are the same. Established in 1995, the gallery is one of the most respected institutions to display art in the city.
Opened in 1975, Blue Sky Gallery is one of the few and best photographic galleries in the city. Subjects of the photos range widely, from works by Paul Seawright, whose Irish descent led him to take award-winning photographs of the conflicts in Ireland, to local artists who have taken advantage of the Pacific Northwest greenery to create stunning pictures.
This urban work of art combines cold steel and great timbers of the Pacific Northwest to create the flow in its waterfall. The huge, colorful sculptures stand guard at the doors to the spectacular tower, a worthy piece of modern architecture itself. In addition to viewing the art, you can feel the steel tree for yourself. Inside the building's atrium entrance, you can view interesting paintings and historical photos.