why to visit Portland   Leave a comment

Things I would advertise to potential visitors of Portland…

1. Waterfalls- a mere 30 minutes from downtown Portland, you can visit the Columbia Valley Gorge area all the way to the Dalles where you can view cliffs 1500 feet above the water, all following the Historic Columbia River Highway. The highway was built with the scenery in mind and echoes classic Italian masonry- you can see 75 waterfalls, includnig Multnomah Falls and a few others that you literally can drive only a dozen yards or so away to park and take a short walk to the thundering water.

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2. Mountains in the horizon- there aren't many places you can visit a volcano… much less be able to really see the before and after of nature since its eruption in 1980. But yet, Mount St Helens is only 2 hours away from Portland. St Helens is not what you see in the many shots of the city looming in the distance though (fair warning, on clear days)- that's Mount Hood, and sometimes we also glimpse Mount Rainier. The shot below is probably taken from the International Test Rose Garden in Portland (which contains more than 10,000 plantings of more than 500 varietals), or the lawn of Pittock Mansion. The Japanese Garden is not far from the Rose Garden so you might want to stop while you are up there, but I actually prefer the Portland Classical Chinese Gardens because you can have tea and Chinese snacks while perhaps listening to classical chinese musicans in the old fashioned teahouse (which is almost like in those old fashioned chinese movies- the buildnig in the background in the photo below is the teahouse!).

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You can also get a great view on a clear day on the Aerial Tram that is only $4 roundtrip from the Oregon Health & Science medical offices at the bottom to the OHSU University campus at the top. You should have at least visited here Dr. Lynn… 

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3. Oregon Coast- sandy beaches with rocky outcroppings catching tide pools of ocean life, and stone bluffs with pounding waves threatening the lighthouses: beautiful, see for yourself by visiting the Oregon Coast Visitor's Assoc' image library of more than 1200 photos.

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4. Touring the country- Napa and Sonoma Valley are not the only areas to enjoy touring wineries. The Oregon Wine Board notes that Oregon Wine Country includes 15 winegrowing regions and more than 300 wineries! Willamette Valley is fairly close at a little over an hour away, and has a lot to offer. For those looking for fruit in another form than liquid, drive an hour the other direction and follow the Fruit Loop for 35 miles or farmlands and orchards – there's still wine, but also fruits, lavendar, and….alpacas.

5. Opposites, all in one state. I've never been, but I've always wanted to go to Crater Lake. It looks beautiful, even though it is a caldera- it is a collapsed volcano that has filled with rain and melted snow, and there is no inlet or outlet to it so its water is pretty pure- and thusfamous for that surreal blue as well as being the deepest lake in the US, and 7th deepest in the world.

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On the other hand, did you know there are deserts in Portland also? Just go to Central and Eastern Oregon deserts, including the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument for the Painted Hills as shown below. Check out this flickr set– why go to the southwest when it's right here?

 

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And of course, there's also my wonderful ability to find good eats and drinks everywhere I go. Maybe that's my superhero power.

 

 

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