What makes Portland so special? Some will tell you it’s all about the trees and proximity to the mountains. Others think the indie music and the art scene define the particular style of the city. While many are partial to the amazing food and drink you will find. How can one place have so much going on? Check out these top seven.
From humble storefront beginnings in 1971, Powell’s has grown into a Portland landmark as one of the world’s great bookstores. Covering an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books contains more than 1 million books in 3,500 different sections. Start at the in-store coffee shop, then grab a map to the nine color-coded rooms, and lose yourself in the largest independent bookstore on Earth.
One of Portland’s greatest treasures, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is an authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden. Its covered walkways, bridges, and a richly planted landscape frame a picturesque lake in this urban oasis. Built by artisans from Suzhou, Portland’s Chinese sister city.
In 1999, Stumptown Coffee took Portland caffeine lovers by the storm. What started as a single roastery on Southeast Division Street quickly expanded to the rest of Portland and, more recently, New York City and Seattle. Stumptown emphasizes direct trade and highlights the different flavor profiles of coffee varietals.
Founded in 1888, the West’s oldest zoo is located just a few minutes from downtown. It is home to 2,697 animals, and has five major exhibit areas. The zoo’s educational services are designed to help raise awareness and funding for the protection of animal species. Recognized for its work in conservation projects and its long history of expertise in care and conservation of Asian elephants.
One of the nation’s leading science museums, OMSI is 219,000 square feet of brain-powered fun. Five enormous halls bring science to life with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. You can experience an earthquake, take part in live lab demonstrations, explore the universe in an excellent planetarium, and even tour a real submarine.
Widely considered one of the world’s finest farmers’ markets, the Portland Farmers Market operates eight weekly markets, spring through fall. In addition to fresh produce, the market is a go-to spot for prepared food items, as well as cheeses, meats, flowers and more. The flagship market is held on Saturdays in the South Park Blocks at Portland State University. On Mondays, the market comes to Pioneer Courthouse Square and Wednesday’s market is held in the South Park Blocks of the Cultural District.
Located in Old Town’s popular nightlife district, Voodoo Doughnut is one of the city’s most unusual and delicious culinary destinations. The doughnuts, topped with creative ingredients such as bacon, Captain Crunch, and Oreos, are almost as fun to look at, as they are to eat. Locals and visitors line up 24 hours a day for what may be the most innovative doughnuts in the world.