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.
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. The museum, through its various games and interactive displays, offers an opportunity to exercise the grey cells and leave with more knowledge and information.
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.
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.
Dating back to 1927, the "Schnitz," as referred to by the locals, is a Portland treasure. Part of Portland'5 Centers for the Arts and home to the Oregon Symphony, it was overhauled in the 1980s and now provides a multitude of amenities. The concert hall seats 2,776 people with an upper and lower balcony for special views. Visit the concession stand for sandwiches, drinks and a selection of beer or wine. Located off the lobby is a gift shop offering a wide selection of Oregon Symphony merchandise that includes recordings.
Anything less than complete entertainment is just not a possibility at Darcelle XV, and no drag club in the country has enjoyed a longer run. Established in 1967, this club has always endeavored to entertain, and the desired effect is achieved every time the troupe of female impersonators walks on to the stage, proceeding thereby to make you laugh until you cry. Fridays and Saturdays bring with them male strippers, and these shows start at 12a.
One of Portland's busiest nightclubs, Dante's is a mid-sized venue that hosts live music events through the week. The menu has a bit of Americana favorites as well as an Italian touch; Dante's pizzas have even won an award! You can even do karaoke with the live band whose performance is slated for that day.
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.
More than a century ago, this was Downtown Portland/City Center Portland, where Chinese and Japanese immigrants traded goods and where an unsuspecting young man might get drunk and shanghaied (kidnapped and taken to work at sea). Sites around the area include a host of restored historic buildings, the Japanese American Historical Plaza and the arch where 64 dragons and two bronze lions welcome you to Chinatown. For a sophisticated evening, take a stroll to the nearby Pearl District.
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.