What once seemed like a sleepy town, Oregon's largest city is now booming with rich advancements any metropolis would envy. The grubby dive bars have been replaced by coffee roasteries and craft breweries on just about every block. And the food carts--more and better than ever. If it sounds like Portland has become a concrete jungle, fret now. There is an abundance of natural beauty – perfect parks with leafy trees and a view of Mount Hood on the horizon. Download the Portland Travel Guide and Offline Map and go see for yourself!
1. Pittock Mansion
This grand and beautiful 1914 mansion was built by pioneer-entrepreneur Henry Pittock, who revitalized the Oregonian newspaper; his wife, Georgiana, also a pioneer, started the earliest of Portland's annual Rose Festivals. Guided tours are available, but it's also worth visiting the grounds simply to have a picnic while taking in the spectacular views. If you're up for a wander, the mansion lies along the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park, with dozens of miles of connecting trails branching off it.
2. Forest Park
Abutting the more manicured Washington Park to the south is the far wilder 5100-acre Forest Park, a temperate rainforest that harbors plants and animals and hosts an avid hiking fraternity. The Portland Audubon Society maintains a bookstore, a wildlife-rehabilitation center and 4.5 miles of trails within its Forest Park sanctuary. It's worth visiting the grounds just to check out the spectacular views – bring a picnic.
3. Pioneer Courthouse Square
One of Portland's grandest Victorian hotels once stood here, but it fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1951. Later the city decided to build Pioneer Courthouse Sq, and grassroots support resulted in a program that encouraged citizens to buy and personalize the bricks that eventually built the square. Names include Sherlock Holmes, William Shakespeare, and Elvis Presley. Across 6th Ave is the Pioneer Courthouse. Built in 1875, this was the legal center of 19th-century Portland.
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