Resembling a community garden you would find in Suzhou, Portland's sister city, Lan Su Chinese Garden is a beautiful green space near the bank of the Willamette River. The garden is complete with winding pathways, gorgeous plants, a lovely tea-house and a gift store. You can take a tour to get insider knowledge of the garden and try to come during one of their many interesting events, including exhibitions and lectures. This place is a must-visit for its unique beauty. You can even hire this garden for private events such as weddings and receptions.
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.
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.
Winding roads flow through this almost prehistoric forest. Old growth trees and other plants make up the thick flora. Many of Oregon's native plants are labeled with both their botanic and common names. While seldom crowded, this peaceful retreat is just minutes from the heart of Portland and is easily accessible via bus and light rail. The on-site visitor's center offers valuable information about the various trees and plants that call this park their home, with all the makings for a fun-filled and educational outing with the kids. It is also located close to other attractions such as Portland's zoo, the International Rose Test Garden and the Japanese Gardens.
World Forestry Center is just a few steps away from the Oregon Zoo and is a fabulous place for families and groups to spend a day. Get to know the importance of forests in the world through their various displays and the various types of forests and trees that inhabit the planet. Check out the tree farms for a hands-on forest experience. Or explore the discovery museum to know forests, art and culture of the world. Interactive and fun, it will not only enthrall kids but adults too.
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.
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.
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.
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.