Portland News

When in Portland: some tourist attractions to visit in the City of Roses

Taking a look into some of Portland's best tourist attractions
Taking a look into some of Portland's best tourist attractions

Image source: Portland.gov

Portland is one of the most beautiful cities in Oregon that has not only become a tourist destination but also a place to settle.

The largest city in Oregon brings together an amalgam of culture and city attractions giving it the name The City of Roses.

Portland offers urban attractions like musical entertainment, cultural events, theater, and more.

Meanwhile, nature lovers have the option to explore the green space of the city’s gardens, rife with a wide variety of flowers.

They also have the opportunity to connect with nature as Portland bridges to other Pacific Northwest destinations.

The following are some of Portland’s best tourist attractions.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Standing at the Oregon-Washington state border, the Columbia River offers a lengthy sightseeing region that is perfect for leisurely drives and the outdoors.

It is regarded as one of the most popular day trip destinations from Portland with locks, viewpoints, and hiking trails.

Visitors get the chance to bask in the waterfalls found along the trail.

Portland Japanese Garden

Situated on the grounds of an old zoo that stretches 12 acres within Washington Park, Portland’s Japanese Garden is a sight to behold in the City of Roses.

The garden first opened to the public in 1961 to give the citizens a place of serenity and clarity.

It was created to recognize the growing cultural ties between the city and Japan.

The Portland Japanese Garden is laid out in various styles to offer visitors a uniquely peaceful experience.

International Rose Test Garden

One of the oldest tourist attractions, the Rose Test Garden was founded in 1917.

Its grounds are divided into diverse sections that offer plenty of spaces to explore with interesting plants scattered throughout.

The Rose Test Garden develops new rose varieties and miniatures.

The Gold Award Garden is home to many past award winners, where they are displayed with a lovely gazebo.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Continuing Portland’s love for culture, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is a testament to the city’s relationship with its sister city of Suzhou, China.

The garden opened 22 years ago, blending elements of nature (rocks, plants, trees, gardens) and a lake in central Portland.

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is roughly the length of a city block, stretching at about 40,000 square feet.

It showcases traditional buildings and walkways with native Chinese plants imported to give a completely unique experience.

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Portland Art Museum

Another long-standing tourist attraction in the city is the Portland Art Museum, which was founded in 1892.

Since its establishment, the museum has been home to a substantial collection with more than 50,000 items.

The museum highlights Native American artifacts, Asian art, graphic arts, photography, and Northwest art.

Portland Art Museum is also home to Vincent Van Gogh’s Cart with Black Ox.

Powell’s City of Books

Powell’s City of Books is a designated spot for bibliophiles who feel at home in the used bookstore that houses more than a million books.

While visitors can find plenty of space to read, the Burnside location also has a coffee shop.

Powell’s Books also hosts events like author readings, writing workshops, and various book clubs.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

The OMSI complex in Portland features a planetarium, educational hands-on displays, a four-story screen, and a US Navy submarine.

Visitors with children are treated to colorful, entertaining, and educational exhibits with hands-on and interactive displays.

The displays include educational pieces about chemistry, energy, engineering, the environment, health, and technology.

Outside the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is the USS Blueback, a non-nuclear submarine that was used for more than 30 years.

Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo is home to hundreds of species, from birds to marine life.

Located in Washington Park, it also features animals from different parts of the world, with exotic creatures from the African savannah, the Amazon, and Arctic.

Visitors are also educated about the zoo’s conservative program and research, which focuses on the preservation of species of the Pacific Northwest.

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Portland Saturday Market

Founded in 1974, the Portland Saturday Market evolved over the years to become the city’s largest open-air artist market.

The market stalls open between early March and Christmas Eve in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown district.

On Saturday mornings, 250 vendors set up their stalls to sell arts and crafts that include woodworks, jewelry, illustrations, souvenirs, and home decor.

The market also offers packaged foods that sell organic tea and artisan caramels.

A food court is also available with coffee and breakfast entrees while live music throughout the entire market plays to give a movie-like experience.


14 top-rated tourist attractions in Portland, Oregon

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.