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.
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.
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.
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.
This spectacular square is one of the best places to find all kinds of people, concerts, festivals, fund-raisers and everything else that goes on in the city. Once an address to Portland's first school, today visitors and locals come here to eat their lunch by the on-site waterfall, tall columns and wrought iron structures. Quite possibly one of the busiest blocks in town, it is a great place to people-watch and get an idea of what a typical Portlander looks like. In the blocks surrounding the square you'll find some of the best upscale shopping in the city. The square is also where you will find the Portland Visitor Information Center.
As Portland's premier sports and entertainment district, the Rose Quarter features the biggest shows and best sports in town. Watch Portland Trailblazers NBA basketball team in action, enjoy concerts with big-name artists, as well as many other exciting events at the Rose Quarter. The area includes the 20,000-seat Moda Center and the 12,000-seat Memorial Coliseum, as well as parking lots, open space, restaurants and bars. You will appreciate its prime location, just across the river from downtown. The ticket office, located in the middle of the commons, is a good place to find last-minute tickets and avoid online booking fees.