Looking for outdoor fun? Go visit one of these cool places in and around Portland
SELLWOOD-MORELAND – If you’re new to Portland, check out one of Portland’s hip neighborhoods where you can shop for your antique cravings. The area attracts many visitors to the antique malls and independent stores. According to www.travelportland.com, “Vintage vendors stock both mid-century treasures and flea market finds.” Plan a visit to the Stars Antiques Mall, home to nearly 200 dealers and open 7 days a week. R. Spencer Antiques offers furniture and fine antiques. For more information, go online (www.travelportland.com).
TOM MCCALL WATERFRONT PARK – The perfect place to read a book or have lunch on a hot summer day is this 36.59-acre attraction located in downtown Portland. Visit the Battleship Oregon Memorial and admire the Founder’s Stone, which honors the city’s founders, William Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy. For those new to Portland, these two men tossed a coin back to determine if this Portland would be called Portland or Boston. The park also contains Salmon Street Springs, a fountain where young people frequently gather to escape Portland’s sometimes scorching heat. Go online for more information (www.portland.gov).
OAKS BOTTOM – For nature viewing, try the nature area of Oaks Bottom Nature Preserve. It is located just north of the Sellwood Bridge at SE Seventh Ave. and Sellwood Boulevard, on the east bank of the Willamette River. Portland Parks and Recreation’s Oaks Bottom Refuge is a 163-acre complex containing grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands. Bike paths and hiking trails are available in the natural area. You may be lucky enough to spot a falcon, mallard or woodpecker. Find more information online (www.portland.gov/parks/oaks-bottom-wildlife-refuge).
PITTOCK MANSION — Tour this historic mansion in Portland’s West Hills. The house is operated by the Pittock Mansion Society in conjunction with Portland Parks and Recreation. According to the society, “The mission of the Pittock Mansion Society is to inspire understanding and stewardship through Pittock Mansion, its collections, and its programs.” If you want to see sweeping views of the city skyline and surrounding neighborhoods from nearly a thousand feet above Portland, bring your cameras or recorders to the back of the house. Go online for more information (www.pittockmansion.org).
BLUE LAKE – A summer day wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a lake. And Fairview, Oregon has just the ticket, Blue Lake Regional Park. It is a natural lake fed by underground springs. Relax on a sunny day or take advantage of the spray field, discovery gardens, sports facilities and a wetland area with viewing platform and trail. The park also offers a gold-level disc golf course. Blue Lake Regional Park is open seven days a week. Hours from May 1 through September 14 are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. From September 15 to October 31, the hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on this park, go online (www.oregonmetro.gov/metro-parks-et-espaces-naturels).
BEAVERTON FARMERS MARKET – If you’re hungry for fresh produce and more, stop by this market, open every Saturday, April through November 19, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The market is located at 12375 SW Fifth Street. It offers community events, cooking demonstrations and food drives. On September 10, there will be a chef demo with core culinary mentor Sam Maggi. Music is played throughout the summer months, with performances by the Beaverton Community Band, Sandy Saunders, Mae Day, Barrio Mestizo and many more. For a full list of musical events, visit this summer online (www.beavertonfarmersmarket.com/).
LANGER’S — Once in Sherwood, visit Langer’s Entertainment Center, located at 21650 SW Langer Farms Parkway. Kids of all ages will enjoy the resort’s many attractions, including a purpose-built rock face after Smith Rock in central Oregon. Langer’s offers an arcade for kids of all ages, with over 50 racing, redemption and video games. Try your hand at basketball or play a fun game of Skee-Ball. Laser Tag comes with an overhead ropes course. Call 503-625-1800 or go online (www.langersfun.com/).
EASTBANK ESPLANADE – Newcomers to the area will get a taste of Portland’s beauty by visiting the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, a bike and pedestrian path along the east bank of the Willamette River. The 1.5 mile stretch runs north from the Hawthorne Bridge, past the Morrison and Burnside Bridges, to the Steel Bridge. Named after a former mayor of Portland, the Esplanade offers stunning views of downtown Portland and provides a great location to soak up the summer sun. For more information, go online (www.portland.gov/parks).
OMSI – Science and technology enthusiasts will love the Museum of Science and Industry of Oregon. Located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, this famous museum features three auditoriums, a large screen, a planetarium, and exhibit halls. Take your family through the Natural Science Hall. A life laboratory, a paleontology laboratory and an earth laboratory are ready. Visit Turbine Hall, Space Science Hall and the Kendall Planetarium. Venture outside the museum to visit the USS Blueback, where you can learn to live underwater in a real submarine. OMSI was founded in 1955 and was once located next to the Washington Park Zoo. Find information online (www.omsi.edu/).
HOYT ARBORETUM – In scenic Washington Park, bring the family to the Hoyt Arboretum, known as a museum of living trees. According to their website, “Hoyt Arboretum is a living museum, historic landscape, outdoor laboratory, and organized forest – all in one park.” The arboretum is home to more than 2,300 species of trees from six continents. 20 km of hiking trails are available for those who want to enjoy nature on a beautiful summer day. The attraction is free and open all year round. Find more information online (www.hoytarboretum.org).
THE CAVE – If you want to relax, meditate, or simply enjoy the beauty of a sanctuary, visit the National Shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother, also known as The Grotto. It is an outdoor Catholic shrine located in northeast Portland. The Grotto has a gift shop and over 62 acres of beautiful gardens. The non-profit center welcomes 300,000 visitors of all faiths each year, including the Festival of Christmas Lights in December. The main entrance is located northeast of 85th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. For more information, go online (www.thegrotto.org/).
WILDWOOD TRAIL – Whether you’re new to hiking or a seasoned hiker, you’ll instantly fall in love with this trail in Portland Forest Park. It will be hard to believe that you are in a wooded environment in a metropolitan area that approximates 3 million people. Wildwood Trail is a 29.5 mile point-to-point hike and takes an average of 12 hours and 7 minutes. But no worries, you can also hike portions of the popular attraction. The trail is popular for bird watching, hiking, and trail running. Wildwood Trail is open year round. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a leash. Go online for more information (www.alltrails.com/).