Microbreweries and bookstores, rose gardens, coffee and music. Portland’s attractions may be diverse, but they’re all done with pride and passion. The city’s collective environmental awareness is lauded around the world. Its scenic beauty ranges from the nearby mountains and coastline to downtown parks and the banks of the Columbia and Willamette River. The Willamette divides Portland into east and west sides, which are connected by a series of bridges.
Portland has an efficient and low-cost public transport system, and one of the finest networks of bikeways in America. Explore the Downtown area on a rented bike, by streetcar or the MAX Light Rail. The MAX service also travels to Washington Park, two miles (3.2 kilometers) from downtown. Here you’ll find major Portland attractions, including the Oregon Zoo, the world-renowned International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.
Outdoor adventures are plentiful, but Portland also turns on the indoor entertainment for those days when the weather reveals its notoriously rainy side. Home of the U.S.’s last non-nuclear submarine, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will intrigue, particularly younger visitors with a range of hands-on activities. Find work from old European masters and early American artists at the Portland Art Museum. See a slice of Portland’s history and architecture at Pittock Mansion.
Portland puts a healthy emphasis on all things locally made and sourced, Connoisseurs of coffee, food and beer will appreciate the city’s range of boutique roasters, organic cafes and hip brew-pubs. With at least 50 in the metropolitan area alone, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world. Among these is one of the oldest breweries in Portland, Widmer Brothers. At Hair of the Dog you’ll find unusual blends, including “Greg”, which is made from several varieties of squash.
Portland is also home to the largest independent new and used bookstore in the U.S. Powell’s City of Books covers an entire block in the downtown area. Live music is a big part of the Portland arts scene as well. Some well-known American acts were formed here, including the Kingsmen of the 1960s and the contemporary indie-rock band The Decemberists.
For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Portland page.