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House of Travel
Let's start off this article with a number. In 2014, Portland - the largest city in Oregon, US - was awesome enough to encourage over 8 million tourists to come to its historic streets in search of a good time. This means that loads of people already know how fantastic a city this is to experience, a fact that you can find out for yourself by visiting on your next holiday.
But don't just take our word for it, have a read through these five things to do in Portland. No doubt you'll agree with us afterward!
1. EXPLORE THE NATURE OF PORTLAND
We don't mean metaphysically, but literally. Portland is swathed in stunning park attractions and greenery, with plenty of places to go for a serene walk, quiet picnic or unique photo opportunity.
Get a taste of Asia-inspired landscape design at either Portland Japanese or Lan Su Chinese Gardens. The former sits on over 2 hectares of pristine, sculpted space, influenced by a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist and Shinto cultures. That means gorgeous trees, pretty streams and relaxing Zen stone garden areas.
As for the latter, Lan Su is one of the most authentic Chinese gardens you will find outside of the namesake nation. Not only is it beautiful, but it hosts many activities as well, such as calligraphy demonstrations, tea tastings and musical performances.
2. EXPLORE THE NATURE OF NEAR PORTLAND
Not too far east of the city, you'll find the massive 118,300-hectare National Scenic Area, Columbia River Gorge. There are heaps of trails and historical sights amid the luminous foliage and rocky outcroppings of this region, such as throughout the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness area, adjacent to Highway 84. Around the eponymous gorge itself (which is over 80 miles long), you will find upward of 30 different trails to hike, so you best pack those walking shoes!
3. BECOME A BOOK LOVER
Portland is home to the world's largest independent chain of bookstores, including its truly massive original store, Powell's City of Books. Bookshops don't normally feature on tourism 'things to do' lists, so the fact that we absolutely have to place it in this one should show you how great Powell's is. Mixing both used books with new ones, City of Books is so large you get given a map by the staff to find your way around!
4. FILL YOUR BRAIN WITH KNOWLEDGE
After all that reading, your brain will be tenderised and ready to learn! So it's great that Portland has a raft of fantastic museums.
First try the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, one of the country's leading science attractions. There are more than 200 interactive exhibits located in its halls, with numerous more that visit for a limited time. Plus, a real-life submarine - which was featured in 'The Hunt for Red October (1990)' - is parked just outside, and offers guests a chance to touch a torpedo, tour the many decks and even sleep overnight.
5. NOW FILL YOUR BELLY WITH HAPPINESS
Seen as how you are in Portland already, be sure you visit one of the world's most famous donut stores: Voodoo Donut. This isn't some standard multi-national chain with your basic flavours, oh no. Here you can try donuts with bacon, breakfast cereal, Oreos and all manner of other, colourful toppings. The list of flavours is vast, so there will likely be something for everyone to enjoy.
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