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Your guide to Portland
All About Portland
Nestled on the Columbia and Willamette rivers in the shadow of Mount Hood, Portland is an outdoorsy city with plenty of indoor attractions to keep you busy year-round. While the city has a tendency to see more rain than the national average, Oregon’s cultural capital makes up for the grey skies with thriving theater, art, and music scenes, and its impressive dining scene has been the subject of multiple national television shows.
Portland has an eclectic mix of neighborhoods: Downtown and the Pearl District offer higher-end shopping and dining options alongside the city’s iconic independent bookstore; art galleries and indie cinemas are dotted along the Northwest, Hollywood, and Alberta areas; historic architecture abounds in Old Town and Chinatown; and the hip Southeast caters to those looking for vintage finds, record shops, casual eateries, and microbreweries.
On clear days — or if you packed the prerequisite waterproof gear — there are 275 public parks for outdoor exploring, plus the nearby mountains, beaches, and gorges for day trips. Whatever you do, be sure to pop into one of Portland’s famous food cart pods, where you can sample the international cuisine, sip microbrews, and dine alfresco throughout the city.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Portland?
With its warm weather and lighter than average rainfall from June to August, the city's vibrant outdoor scene really kicks into high gear in summer. These months offer the opportunity to dine and socialize outdoors and a number of exciting festivals also take place during this time. This lovely weather stretches into the early fall months, making September and October great times to visit Portland and spot the changing leaves. The colder rainy season starts in mid-October and stretches through winter into spring, but take a cue from the locals and pack a pair of rain boots and waterproof layers.
What are the top things to do in Portland?
This stunning French Renaissance-style mansion was built in 1914 by a wealthy couple from England who owned Portland’s largest newspaper. Take a guided tour or wander on your own through the 46 period rooms which contain the beautiful antique artwork and furniture collected by the original owners. Outside the main home, there are 40 acres of grounds and other buildings to explore. If you visit around the winter holidays, you’ll find lovely decorations and special events for the whole family.
Portland International Rose Test Garden
Home to over 610 varieties of roses, this garden is the oldest rose test garden in the country. During World War I, roses from around the world were sent here for safekeeping and testing. Today, you’ll find more than 10,000 rose bushes in bloom at peak season between April and October. Check the calendar for all kinds of events throughout the year like classical music performances and plays.
Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden was created with the purpose of being a symbol of peace between the United States and Japan in the post-World War II realm, and its calming aroma does just that. Spanning 12 acres, you’ll find a cultural village modeled after traditional Japanese architecture that features a waterfall, ponds filled with koi fish, bonsai plants, sand gardens, and a plethora of walking paths. While lovely to visit all year, it’s particularly beautiful in the fall when the leaves change. Stop by the tea house, cafe, and gift shop before you leave.