Portland: City of Roses, City of Surprises | My Family Travels

As you step off the plane landed at PDX airport in the month of July, you at first may be surprised at the lack of Portland's common trademark- rain. Unknown to most, there is minimal rain and maximum sunshine in P-Town during the summer months.  This beautiful weather allows tourists and natives alike to explore every corner of the city, from the stunning waterfront to the depths of Washington Park.

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Once a rich territory occupied by the Upper Chinook Indians, the city of Portland was formally established by Francis Pettygrove in 1845. Due to it’s location next to the Willamette and Columbia river, the town quickly flourished during the 19th century. In the common day, Portland has developed a unique culture that continuously attracts tourists to discover it’s many different features and facets.

Upon arriving in Portland, prepare to enter one of the country’s greenest cities. Portland prides itself on their use of bikes, public transportation, solar use, and preservation of parks. There are various natural areas that can be found in Portland. The Oregon Zoo is located in Washington Park, a park that also includes the Portland Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden. For a change of scenery, one can walk along the Willamette river in Waterfront Park. Several different festivals and events are held in the park, including the Portland Blues Festival in July.  The various park areas ensure that there is always a place for people to walk, jog, or simply stop to enjoy the beauty of the city.

That said, Portland should not be labeled off as a city designed for vegans and hippies. It truly is an urban metropolis that caters to people with a wide range of interests and hobbies. Those more involved in the nightlife scene will enjoy the restaurants and entertainment centers the city has to offer. The Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, and the Oregon Ballet are just a few of the spectacular performing arts that can be seen. After a night of such brilliant entertainment, it is time to eat. Choosing where to dine in Portland may only be difficult due to the overwhelming amount of delectable options. There are breweries and restaurants for all budgets and tastes. Known specialty shops in Portland include Voodoo Doughnuts and Salt and Straw Ice Cream. These shops have become famous nationwide for their unique creation of homemade sweets.

Just like dining, one can easily find their own niche in the shopping areas around Portland. Major department and high end stores can be found in Pioneer Place. For vintage apparel, one can shop downtown, on Hawthorne Avenue, or on 21st and 23rd streets. The casual shopper would enjoy the Portland Saturday Market that is open most weekends in Waterfront Park. Hundreds of stands are set up that sell handcrafted materials including clothing, jewelry, bags, and much more. 

Portland clearly is a urban and innovative city. While an adventurous bunch would love to peruse the various parks and natural areas, those in tune with the night life scene would enjoy the dining and shopping options .When stepping into the city of roses, one enters a diverse area in which any interests can be accommodated for. 

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