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Portland may be known as the City of Weird. But it’s also an epicenter for craft beer, coffeehouses, theater, arts and music. Here are the must-visit attractions when in the city.
You can’t say you’ve been to Portland without visiting the city’s famed food carts (locally known as pods). There are over 500 pods in the city dishing out everything from Texas-style barbecue to Hainanese-style poached chicken and rice. In the mood for Guam-style shrimp fritters? What about Nyonya-style curry soup? If you can dream it, Portland has it.
As one of three programs run by the World Forestry Center, the Discovery Museum is a must for anyone interested in learning about the importance of forests and woodlands to our ecosystems. With a particular focus on sustainability, visitors are treated to two floors highlighting both forests in the Pacific Northwest, as well as forests from around the world. Founded in 1966, the museum has expanded into the 21st century by including virtual tours and interactive exhibits. This 20,000sq ft (1,858sq m) educational facility is unsurprisingly popular with the little ones, and under 18s have a reduced admission.
A stone’s throw from downtown Portland, naturalists with a particular fascination in botany have enjoyed this 190-acre (77ha) oasis for nearly 90 years. Opened in 1928, Hoyt Arboretum has 12mi (19km) of trails, two miles (3.2km) of which can be enjoyed by wheelchair-users. Features of the arboretum include a notable bamboo garden billed as the largest bamboo collection in the Northwest, a research library housing over 800 books available to the public and over 6,000 trees comprising about 2,300 species. Be one of the 350,000 annual visitors and spot distinguished species such as redwoods, sequoias and magnolias.
Retail therapy in Portland doesn’t come much more stylish than a trip to Bridgeport Village. Located off Highway 5 about a 15-minute drive south of the city center, the Village encompasses world-class shopping with global cuisine and jam-packed events, meaning visitors can immerse themselves in an assault on the senses. Bridgeport Village is a landmark shopping destination, its architecture and design inspired by European characteristics. Special features include Italian gazebos, outdoor sound systems and dining, together with kiosks and plenty of bike racks. Get pampered at one of the Village’s many beauty salons, or grab a substantial meal at legendary Joe’s Burgers – the choices are endless.
Fed up with the usual, characterless clothes on offer in the high streets? Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique (XVCB) is the answer to the search for your sumptuous retro clothing needs. Opened in 2001 by Liz Gross, there’s an emphasis on bridal wear, although there’s plenty more on offer for those with off-the-wall tastes. A fan with several high-profile names, Liz has built a superb client list and continues to wow customers at what has been described as Portland’s premier place for ladies’ retro fashion. Also on offer are collectibles, toys and crafts. What’s not to like?
Additional reporting by Jo Varley