With an inviting leisurely pace, Portland, Oregon views itself as a small, accessible city, vaguely European in character, boasting a rose garden as one of its biggest attractions. Stroll through any of its neighborhoods and a culturally vibrant city unfolds, from art galleries to wine bars housed in historic and modern buildings. Continue the laid-back lifestyle with day trips to a Pacific Ocean beach, waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge or world-class pinot noirs in nearby Willamette Valley.
Things to Do
Portland is a city of quiet charms to seek out and savor -- the tranquillity of the The Japanese Garden and The Grotto, the view from the grounds of Pittock Mansion and the miles of verdant trails in Forest Park. Indulge in the sweet fragrances of the International Rose Test Garden, or ride through downtown on a vintage trolley. Art lovers can spend an afternoon browsing the galleries in the Pearl District or view the latest exhibits at the First Thursday Art Walk.
The well-heeled step out in Nob Hill to browse the hip jewelry and clothing shops that line 21st and 23rd streets. Funky speciality stores set in stylish lofts highlight the Pearl District, home to the world's largest bookstore, Powell's City of Books. You'll find upscale chains like Tiffany and Nordstrom downtown, around Pioneer Square. Head across the river to Hawthorne, and rummage through vintage clothing stores and quirky boutiques. Stay the weekend to sift through homespun crafts at the Portland Saturday Market.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Coffee may get this town going in the morning, but craft beer helps maintain its mellow character. The Pearl District is the place for a pint of hoppy ale or a bold stout. A flight of Willamette Valley selections at wine bars, especially those in Nob Hill and the Pearl District, is a perfect way to begin. In summer, pack a picnic basket and head to Oregon Zoo for one of its many concerts.
Restaurants and Dining
The nearby Pacific Ocean provides Portland with tasty treasures. An icy plate of local oysters and a cold pint at a cozy brewpub is a rite of passage. Treat yourself to a succulent sturgeon filet from a five-star table downtown, or head to stylish Nob Hill for Mediterranean, French, and Vietnamese cuisine. Between meals, find out the local buzz while lingering over a steaming espresso or a creamy latte at stellar Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
Travel page content provided by Zagat © 2013, Google.
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