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Located adjacent to the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park, Portland Japanese Garden is a larger, slightly wilder cousin to Lan Su Chinese Garden. Spread along nearly 160 acres of heavily forested West Hills habitat, just above (and north of) the Oregon Zoo and World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum is a nonprofit-run celebration of all things arboreal.Instead of a self-contained block, this space is an irregularly shaped collection of thematic settings: a bonsai display, a meticulously arranged riverine landscape, and a perfectly pruned shrub garden. It contains a host of native and nonnative species – more than 2,000 in all, many of which are marked with helpful Latin and English placards.There’s also evidence it’s emerging as a startup hub in its own right, as increasingly aggressive angel investors and venture capitalists seek opportunities outside larger West Coast markets. Like Seattle, Portland’s population is swelling with transplants from other parts of the country and world – notably California, which has been sending economic refugees north for years.
Oregon’s largest city has seen plenty in its relatively short lifespan.
If you’re interested in learning more about Portland’s historical and cultural journey, check out some of these tourist-friendly sights and attractions.
Occupying an entire block in the heart of Portland’s Old Town Chinatown neighborhood, Lan Su Chinese Garden is a formal Chinese garden with mesmerizing water features, delightfully detailed landscaping, engaging architecture, and a cozy (but busy) tea house.
If you’re a bookworm, you could easily spend your whole trip here.
The Portland Underground, also known as the Shanghai Tunnels, is definitely among the weirdest and most depressing of Portland’s historical attractions: an underground tunnel system, not unlike a smaller version of the Paris Catacombs, that human smugglers used to transport unsuspecting victims in the late 19th century.
The best, and only completely legal, way to access the tunnels beneath Old Town Chinatown is to take a 90-minute guided tour operated by Cascade Geographic Society (CGS), a local nonprofit that donates a portion of its proceeds to the fight against modern human trafficking.