By: Fiona Moriarty, Hipmunk
Portland, Oregon has a reputation for being unique, hip and a little bit weird. There's enough to see for an exciting day trip or week-long vacation, but no trip is complete without experiencing at least one of these seven must-see places in the City of Roses.
1. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
In the heart of the city's downtown district is the 35-acre Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which stretches along the Willamette River. It's the perfect place to people watch and soak up the city's unique vibe. The park is also home to annual events such as the Portland Rose Festival and the Waterfront Blues Festival. The iconic 4-star
is located within walking distance to the park.
2. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
to the locals, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has five exhibit halls that are ever-changing. At OMSI, visitors are welcome to touch everything and even experiment in one of the museum's eight science labs. After a day at the museum, you can head back to the nearby boutique
for a night of restful slumber in one of their upscale rooms.
3. International Rose Test Garden
During the summer months, no visit to the City of Roses is complete without an evening stroll through the International Rose Test Garden. After exploring, you can retreat to one of the 127 air-conditioned rooms at the nearby
, or dine at one of the hotel's two on-site restaurants.
4. Tour a Brewery
Portland has become known as home to some of the most outstanding micro-breweries in the world. Tour one of the local pubs such as the BridgePort Brew Pub or the Portland Brewing Company to sample some of the finest brews in the city. The concierge at most
have pamphlets that detail the numerous breweries and their hours of operation.
5. Powell Books
Lose yourself in a book at one of the biggest bookstores in the world, Powell Books. You might find yourself lugging an armload of books back to your hotel room, so pick lodging close to the famous store. The historic, pet-friendly
, is also nearby.
6. Food Carts
Explore the city's food cart district. A bevy of food carts line up daily to sell their tasty fare along SW 10th Ave and Alder Street, or SW 5th Ave. Why not grab some mouth-watering grub and walk back to your luxurious room at
7. Lan Su Chinese Garden
The Lan Su Chinese Garden offers a bit of tranquility amid the hustle and bustle of the city. Located in the midst of downtown, the gardens are a great place to walk to from your room at the
dubbed Portland the "West Coast Capital of Urban Cool," because of its many eclectic, progressive charms. Whether you visit one--or all seven--of these must-see locales, there's little doubt that your stay in Portlandia will be memorable.