Portland Alternative Attraction

This is the plan B list of what to see in Portland. Some of these really should be on the plan A list. These actually are more the Real Portland or lead to the real Portland

Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve
This place would make list of top places to visit in Portland if it was in Portland. Locate just over the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA. This was the first major settlement in all of the Northwest.  There are five main section of this National park to see – Hudson Bay Co. Fort Vancouver, Officers Row, Vancouver Barracks, Pearson Air Museum and the Visitor Center. There are also scattered through the park other buildings, recreational areas and memorial that might be of interest.

Vancouver Waterfront Park
The newest place to see in the Portland Metro area is in Vancouver, WA. It is easy to tie it in with Fort Vancouver.

Audubon Society of Portland
Locally the Audubon Society is known for their bird rescue center or for bird watching. Many locals don’t know of their Sanctuaries. They have a 150 acres in the city of wild area with trails. There is a part of that close to their campus that has been built up to be a lovely place to visit.

Oregon Rail Heritage Center
The new center started operation just five year ago. They normally have two fully restored steam locomotive on display along with a collection of other historic train cars. One of the steam engines, the 4449, was used in 1976 to pull the Bicentennial Freedom Train across USA as part of the bicentennial cerebration.

Union Station
It is a grand old building from the days when going by train was the main means of moving people across the USA and could be quit luxurious. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time and can remind one of all of great train stations scenes from old Hollywood movies.

Oregon Maritime Museum
The Oregon Maritime Museum is located on the Willamette River at Water Front Park on board the historic sternwheeler Portland. They have ship models, maritime artifacts and memorabilia on display but a big part of your visit is a tour of the Portland.

World Forestry Center – Discovery Museum
Ride the raft, save some trees, take a world tour, enjoy some artwork then head out to our Tree Farm or explore the hiking trails around Washington Park. There is so much to see and learn at the World Forestry Center!

Oregon Historical Society Museum
This museum shows the history of Oregon. It has both permanent and temporary exhibits. The entire third floor has a new permanent exhibit that runs a timeline of the history of Oregon. If you are interested in Oregon and Portland history this is where you should start.

The Grotto
Very Catholic – Combination of garden, sanctuary, shrine, sacred ground, worship and tourist trap.

Parks and Gardens

The reason the Oregon Trail went here is because plants grow like crazy here. So it is only natural we have lots of parks and gardens. Also as tax  payers we pay on average more then 400 percent more then that average tax payer in the rest of the nation for our parks. You don’t want to see what my property tax bill looks like. So please enjoy our parks and gardens. Most are free and they are a city treasure. Now if they could just keep the bathrooms open.

Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden
Rhododendrons and azaleas grow real good around here and this place showcase that. In this almost nine and half acre Garden there are over 2500 rhododendrons, azaleas and companion plants. Blooms are best in Spring.

Hoyt Arboretum
Trees – there is like trees everywhere. 189 acres, 12 miles of trail and 2000 different species of trees. A place for quiet stroll on a hot day or to let the kids run wild. Located next to Washington Park.

Eastbank Esplanade
A water front trail and park on the east side of the Willamette river across from Waterfront Park. With the floating walk way this trail puts you right down on the water.

South Park Blocks
The South Park Blocks are a nice green way through the middle of downtown. It is also surround by the Art Museum, The Oregon History Museum, different Theaters, several historic churches and Portland State University. Farmer markets are held here during the summer.

Washington Park
This place has a lot – The Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, World Forestry Center, Children’s Museum, Holocaust Memorial, Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial, walking trails, statues, fountains, picnic tables, a playground, amphitheater, tennis courts, archery range, soccer field, maybe a parking space and some times even an open bathroom.

Portlandia and why do they want to Keep Portland Weird?

I have heard thing. Maybe it was someone whispering in a doorway or maybe it was a strange TV show that went on for three seasons to many. But now I want to know where do I find this mythical land. This is the funky stuff of Portland. Some might say the weird part of Portland. This can be the stuff that pisses off city hall but we love it.

Street Art – Murals
After year of the city fighting the graffiti artist who really were artist, they final created a program to accommodate this style of expression. Some of the pieces that have been produced are wonderful and other works are just fun. They are now showing up all over town.

Burnside Skate Park – The creation, growth and maintenance shows the rebel side of Portland. Redevelopment, as with most of Portland, may end it.


A different shopping Experience. These are long ways from big box, chain, or malls. Local and different.

Portland Outdoor Store
Western ware and saddle shop. Family owned since 1919. Back then you would tie you horse and buggy up out front. This was Portlandia before there was a Portlandia.

Hippo Hardware
You just have to and experience this place. This is old Portlandia.

Salvage Works
One of the principles of sustainability if reuse (it’s very Portlandia). This place does it in a beautiful way.

Marketplace selling offbeat & unique goods sourced from around the world in a huge, colorful space. Important stores go way back thanks to our Portland’s Japanese and Chinese communities.

Bamboo Craftsman
This place is everything bamboo. From fountains, to pavilions, to planters, to a tree house this place has it. It is just fun walking around the place to see how many ways bamboo can be used. Taking something old and find new uses is very Portlandia.