Portland has a reputation for being weird, quirky and a little extreme. The city definitely lives up to it’s reputation of being just that but that’s just scratching the surface as to what the City of Roses has to offer. The city of Portland is known as Beervana by many; There are more breweries in the city (over 70 and counting) than any other city in the world. 25% of the worlds hops production comes from Oregon. If you’re a beer lover this is your paradise. You could literally visit three breweries a day and still not see them all before your honeymoon is over. If you come to Portland the last full weekend in July then you have to experience the biggest outdoor beer festival on the continent called Oregon Brewers Festival. The annual event samples dozens of beer styles from over 80 Oregon breweries and attracts more than 80,000 beer lovers from around the world. What ever you do please don’t drink and drive. Portland public transportation is top notch. Catch a ride on the Max, Tri-Met, Uber, Lyft, or take advantage of the free Hopworks bike corral. A free bike watching service provided by the Hopworks Brewery.
When you are in town you have to take in some of the local music acts. The city consistently churns out some really great bands of all genres. What ever your likes are, Portland is sure to satisfy. Some great local venues to visit are the Crystal Ballroom, the Blackwater Bar, the Aladdin Theater, Holocene and many others. Head downtown on a Saturday from March through Christmas eve and check out the hundreds of local vendors in Portland’s famous Saturday Market. The market is the nations continuously operating open-air arts and crafts market in the country.
If you are looking for a more romantic scene then take a trip up the hill to Portland’s Washington Park and visit the world famous Portland Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens. The Rose Garden is the oldest continually operating public rose test garden the US and home to over 10,000 roses. It was opened in 1917 as a safe-haven for many hybrid varieties of roses in Europe during World War 1. It spans over 4.5 acres and has over 650 different varieties from around the world. The parking is very limited, the best way to get there is to take the Max Light Rail or free shuttle to the gardens.
After the Rose Gardens head across the street to the Portland Japanese Garden. The 12 acre Garden sits on the west hills and overlooks downtown and Mt Hood in the distance. When the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga visited the Portland Japanese Garden, he called it “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan.” There are 5 distinct types of gardens here which is uniquely different then the traditional singular garden styles found in Japan. The park is open year around and is a photographers paradise. The garden changes in the sun, rain, clouds and snow.
About 30 minutes East of Portland is the tallest waterfall in Oregon, Multnomah Falls. As the most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest, the 620 foot waterfall is the highest waterfall in the state. It is extremely popular with both locals and visitors alike not just because of it’s beauty but also because of it’s ease of access. The falls can be seen directly from the interstate and you can walk right up to it within a couple hundred feet from the parking lot. The Multnomah Falls Lodge that was built in 1925 was saved from destruction last year during the Beaver Creek fire that destroyed over 49,000 acres. There are about 9 trails around the falls that provide amazing views of the falls and Columbia River Gorge.
About 90 minute drive west of Portland is Cannon Beach and Seaside Beach. Cannon Beach has been featured in several movies including Point Break, Goonies and Twilight. The beach was named one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world by National Geographic Magazine. The beach’s most famous landmark is Haystack Rock named for it’s iconic shape similar to a stack of hay. You can also enjoy shopping, art galleries and museums while visiting. About 9 miles up the coast is the town of Seaside. You can find a wide range of things to do here including hiking trails, shopping, feeding the seals, surfing, golf, biking and paddle tours.
On the Other side of Portland about 2 hours away sits Oregon’s most famous landmark, Mt Hood. Standing 11,239 feet above sea level, it is the second most hiked mountain in the world after Mt Fuji. Mt Monadnock in New Hampshire claims to be the second most hiked mountain but at just 965 feet that’s hardly a mountain. Visitors can enjoy year-round activities including skiing, snowboarding, snow snowmobiling, hiking, camping, canoeing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, fishing and many more.
From quaint coffee shops and breweries to beautiful gardens and beaches and gorges to towering peaks, you are sure to find a ton of things to enjoy. Ask anyone who has traveled here and they most certainly will tell you how much they loved it and how they wish they had more time to explore all the attractions they missed.