All this take place against the backdrop of some stunning scenery, and the dazzling snow-capped cone of Mount Hood looms large over the city. West of Downtown, Forest Park has over 80 miles of walking and bike trails through tranquil evergreens, making it the biggest urban forest in the States. And you mustn't miss the fabulous gardens which thrive in Portland's mild climate: take your pick from roses, formal Japanese style, or Chinese.
Outside Portland, there's a wealth of other sights to see, with the rugged Oregon coast only 90 minutes away, including Cannon Beach with iconic Haystack Rock rising 72 metres from its wide stretch of sand. Closer still is wine country, with the rolling landscapes of the Willamette Valley waiting to be explored; also the stunning chasms and waterfalls of the Colombia River Gorge, where watersports and river cruises are part of the fun.
Back in the city, there's museums you'll want to discover, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMNI) will keep the kids fascinated for hours, while art fans will lap up the impressive collection at the Museum of Art. There's lovely neighbourhoods to discover too, complete with trendy galleries and boutiques, and great farm-to-fork cuisine in the local eateries. Then you can round off the day with a cool craft beer or a local wine. What could be nicer?.
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Portland Holiday Highlights
Portland Holiday Highlights
Portland Holiday Highlights
Over 550 rose varieties and 7,000 bushes flourish at the Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. With sweeping views across the city too, it makes for a spectacular sight. Equally stunning is the formal Japanese Garden, said to be the most beautiful outside that country, with a tea house and carp ponds. And the Chinese Garden is a tranquil oasis of courtyards, pavilions and bridges.
Portland has taken craft beers to its heart. The first started up in the 1980s and now there are over 50 of them, serving up everything from organic to sour and fruit- brews. At the HUB Bike Bar, you can even tune in to the city's green vibe by cycling while you sup - and electricity!
Just 30 miles from Downtown, Oregon's tallest waterfall plunges 189 down the rockface of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in two magnificent drops. It cascades with water all year round and you can make the quarter-mile hike up to Benson Bridge, which spans the second drop - or all the way to the top for even more breathtaking views.
There's plenty of places to shop, and the beauty of it all is that it's tax free. Downtown has all the major brands and department stores; Pearl District has art galleries, funky boutiques and the largest independent bookshop in America, Powell's City of Books; and don't miss the week-end Saturday Market for artisan arts, crafts and clothes.
There's a swathe of festivals on Portland holidays. 2014 is as crowded as ever. The ever-popular Beerfest happens 8-10 August; the Jazz Festival is 20 February-2 March; May's Rose Festival culminates in the Grand Floral Parade on 7 June; the Waterfront Blues Festival fills the summer nights from 3-6 July, with fireworks on the Fourth; and there are many more.
Portland City Tour
On this full-day tour, you'll see the best of Portland, including Pioneer Square, Washington Park, eclectic , Crown Point Vista House and the Columbia Gorge Waterfalls. The lunch stop will be the famous Food Cart district, home to Portland’s best street food! During the tour you will also learn about Portland's interesting history and modern-day culture from your £64pp
NW 23rd Avenue and Alphabet District Food Tour
This tour covers the culinary gem that is Northwest Portland's historic Alphabet District. The district is known for its farm-to-table restaurants and bakeries. Your expert guide will give you the insider perspective this tasty part of Portland! This food tour is limited to 12 people, ensuring you enjoy a small-group experience.
Bike and Hike: Columbia River Gorge Adventure
Head to the Columbia River Gorge for a fun biking and hiking adventure to soak in Oregon’s stunning scenery. This fully guided, easy bike ride stops at beautiful waterfalls for nature hikes. Round-trip hotel transport is included.
Willamette Valley Wine-Tasting Tour
This half day tour will take you to Willamette wine country to go behind the scenes of four award-winning wineries. Sample everything from floral pinot to smoky zinfandel as you meet the winemakers and learn about local winemaking from your expert guide. Also enjoy a Cascadian safari lunch, as well as seasonal snacks and water throughout your tour.
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