Portland, Oregon, is one of America’s most unusual cities. Although it is often overlooked by Seattle, to the north of Portland, Portland is still one of America’s most fascinating metropolises. Unsurprisingly, so many people aren’t visiting this diverse city. They have a great food scene, numerous local breweries and beautiful scenery.

Portland has been nicknamed “the City of Roses” after roses were made a staple of many gardens in the late 19th century. It is also known as “Stumptown” because of the large number of stumps left over from the city’s expansion and clearing-cut of the area in the middle of the 20th century.

It was Thanksgiving 2011 that I made my first trip to Spain. While in Spain, I made friends and stopped in Portland to visit them on my way from Asia. My first trip was a “like,” and I fell in love with my second.

Since then, I have been back almost every year. Portland is not on my list of cities that I would live in. The Oregon coast is beautiful too.

Portland’s high quality of living is what I love most. It is compact and easy to move around. There is excellent public transportation, friendly locals, and an outstanding beer and food scene.

Although the city has received a negative rape in the past year, most of it has been exaggerated by the media. Although Portland isn’t perfect, it’s not as dangerous as some belief. It’s a city of more than 600,000 people. However, the problems are limited to a small area downtown. Do not let the media scare you from visiting this amazing city.

These are my top 14 favorite things to do and see in Portland.

Enjoy a Walking Tour

Walking tours are my favorite way to start my trips to new cities. This is the best way to get to know a place, learn the basics of its geography, and see all the main attractions. You can also ask questions of a local expert.

Portland Walking Tours has more than half a dozen tours that take you around the city, including some of the most popular sights and Portland’s underground or alternative culture. The tours last around 2 hours and cost USD 23. These tours are a great way for visitors to start their visit. Their Underground Tour was a great way to start your visit. It focused on the underground tunnels used for all sorts of evil purposes.

Visit Pittock Mansion

This stunning French Renaissance-style mansion was built in 1914 and is located in the west part of town. An English couple originally owned this 46-room estate. It is now part of the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds, which cover over 40 acres, can be explored by you, or you can take a guided tour. Guided tours are not available unless volunteers are available.

Hike Forest Park

Forest Park, located on the northern edge of town, is one of the largest urban parks in the country. It covers a vast 5,000-acre area and is home to more than 70 miles of biking and hiking trails. It is home to more than 100 bird species and 62 mammal species. The Witch’s Castle is also located here, an abandoned stone structure covered in moss. It has nothing to do with witches. Students used the site to host private parties in the 1980s. This is how the name was born.

Explore Powell’s City of Books

It is home to over a million books and is the world’s largest independent bookstore. The store was established in 1971 and covered an entire block with 3,500 sections. The store buys up to 3,000 books daily, so if your love of books is like mine, this is the place for you.

Devour Delicious Donuts

Portland is well-known for its donuts. Donuts are a common search term when you search the city on Google or social media. Voodoo Doughnut helped put the city on the map thanks to its unique and delicious combinations like Cap’n Crunch and maple bacon. You can also make cream-filled phallic doughnuts — which is why it has become a city staple.

Locals may argue that Voodoo should be reserved for tourists. They prefer Blue Star donuts. Both are great choices. Try both to see what you think. After all, you only live once!

The International Rose Test Garden is a great place to start your day.

This garden houses over 10,000 rosebushes and 610 varieties. Many companies use it to test new rose varieties. Some rose varieties are tested here long before they become commercially available. This is the oldest rose garden in the country. Roses around the globe were brought here during World War I to be tested and kept safe. The city hosts an annual competition to find the best rose. Roses bloom from April to October. However, there is a theater that hosts all sorts of events, such as classical music performances or plays. The Shakespeare Garden only features roses that are mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.

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