Unique Places in Portland

  • Sunset Falls on the East Fork Lewis River
    Sunset Falls on the East Fork Lewis...
    by mtncorg
  • Watching the waters of Sunset Falls
    Watching the waters of Sunset Falls
    by mtncorg
  • Waters roil over Sunset Falls
    Waters roil over Sunset Falls
    by mtncorg

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Portland

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    Sauvies Island

    by mtncorg Updated May 12, 2015

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will find plenty of locals out here on a warm weekend. Lots of beaches along the Colunbia River, including nude beaches for those so inclined. The island is a favorite area for bicyclists and in season, bird hunters, as it is a huge area for waterfowl. It is also a great area to do some flatwater kayaking with an intricate group of lakes and interconnecting (most of the time!) waterways. Birding is excellent and there are even a couple nice hikes. One of the best is to Warrior Rock, a small lighthouse that is placed on a rock across from the Lewis River outlet, near the northern end of the island. There are lots of farms on the southern end of the island and lots of places for the so-inclined to buy farm produce fresh. You do have to buy a parking permit from the small store as you come onto the island.

    Lighthouse on Warrior Rock on the Columbia River Mtncorg enjoys herself at the Warrior Rock Light Keeping the corgis happy on the Columbia Walking along the mighty Columbia Lunchtime at Warrior Rock
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Kayaking
    • Fishing

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    LUCIA AND MOULTON FALLS

    by mtncorg Updated May 12, 2015

    Some 325 acres of old growth forest have been set aside along the East Fork of the Lewis River in eastern Clark County. The area is well known to locals, so much that parking on warm summer weekends - or any sunny weekend - can be very difficult. While the park is almost contiguous, there are some 2.5 miles separating the two falls, with Lucia being the lower and Moulton being the upper. Throw in Big Tree Creek Falls which is just above Moulton Falls and you have a very nice waterfall collection.

    Lucia Falls is a drop of some 15 feet with a nice-sized pool below. You reach the falls from a short trail off a parking lot along NE Lucia Falls Road.

    You drive further upstream and try to find parking in the small lot off the south side of the road or keep going a short distance to a road leading to a larger parking lot just before you reach Sunset Falls Road. Or you can take a 2.6 mile trail from the Hantwick Road trailhead - Hantwick Road is the next road leading off Lucia Falls Road upstream from Lucia Falls. The trail follows an abandoned rail line up along the south side of the river past Moulton Falls.

    Moulton Falls is a small ten foot drop that becomes a big rapid during times of high water. From the small parking lot along Lucia Falls Road, there are steps leading to the lava rock atop the falls. Big Tree Creek Falls is the most impressive of the trio plunging 58 feet. You can either park in the east parking lot for Moulton Falls or along the road just north of the intersection with Sunset Falls Road. Walk on the paths leading off the west side of Lucia Falls Road for a close-up look at the falls. During the summer, a bridge crosses the creek below the falls and you can gain another perspective from the other side. In winter, the bridge is pulled up so it doesn't wash away.

    From Battleground, drive north on WA 503 5.5 miles to NE Rock Creek Road turning right. The road becomes Lucia Falls Road and you reach Lucia Falls at about 5 miles from WA 503.

    Lucia Falls in the summer Churning Lucia Falls Waters over Lucia Falls Photographer at Big Tree Creek Falls Big Tree Creek Falls
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    SUNSET FALLS

    by mtncorg Updated May 12, 2015

    If you make it all the way to Moulton Falls, you can drive 7.5 miles further east up Sunset Falls Road which intersects with the Lucia Falls Road just after it turns north towards Yacolt after passing by Moulton Falls. You have left Clark County by the time you reach the falls, just getting into western Skamania County. The falls is about 18 feet tall and there is a nice summertime swimming hole below the falls. There is a USFS park here with a day use of $5 or the $30/year Discover Pass. The area is popular with kayakers in the wet season.

    From Battleground, drive north on WA 503 5.5 miles to NE Rock Creek Road turning right. The road becomes Lucia Falls Road and you reach Lucia Falls at about 5 miles from WA 503.

    Sunset Falls on the East Fork Lewis River Watching the waters of Sunset Falls Waters roil over Sunset Falls East Fork Lewis River cascades over Sunset Falls
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography
    • Kayaking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    OREGON CITY – END OF THE TRAIL

    by mtncorg Written May 12, 2015

    Oregon City was one of the first towns in the Oregon Territory. John McLoughlin platted the town in 1842, realizing the power potential offered by the volume of water roaring over the impressive Willamette Falls. The town has developed and expanded over the years. Early on, it was the main town of the Territory, but political power was stripped away south to Salem and then economic power, north to Portland.

    There are three main regions of development to the city. The first is along the river towards the base of the falls. This area has changed the most over time. Floods have helped in those changes. Most residences moved up to the upper terrace during the late 19th and early 20th centuries trying to escape those floods leaving the lower town an area of business, industry and government. The upper terrace boasts big homes and many historic buildings from the time period. There is the Carnegie Library, typical of the era. Up here is where the house of John McLoughlin was moved in 1909 – both to save it for posterity and to make more room for industry below. The third period – which is ongoing – is a large expanse of the city on the plains above to the south and east.

    Oregon City has fallen into Portland’s orbit and is a southern suburb today. Its history and the falls make it worth a separate visit.

    Waters spill over Willamette Falls Remains of West Coast's first hydroelectric works Largest waterfall in the Pacific Northwest
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Min Zidell Healing Garden

    by glabah Written Feb 2, 2015

    Located on the campus of the National College of Natural Medicine in southwest Portland, this little garden is set aside as an urban oasis. Many of the plants growing here are herbs used in healing. There is also a labyrinth and a statue of a 6th century Chinese physician. A few other artworks are in the garden as well. Sadly, nearby roads can be very busy and loud, which somewhat detract from the oasis feeling of the garden.

    The official address is: 049 Southwest Porter Street, Portland, Oregon 97201

    This is not an easy location to get to if you are not used to Portland, as it is completely surrounded by busy roads that obstruct the access from most locations. Bus routes 9, 17, 19, 38, 45, 54, 55, and 56 stop at a bus stop at Hooker and Natio Parkway, and this is probably the easiest access. The pedestrian overpass has ramps, but the one on the west side is fairly steep. Also, the access from the bus stop to the ramp is by stairs so you would have to go around if you are in a wheelchair. Driving, it is necessary to access the location from northbound Natio Parkway at Porter Street or by turning south just east of the Natio Parkway overpass from Highway 26. Southbound on highway 26 is the easiest driving access, as you can turn right onto the unnamed road just east of Natio Parkway or onto Porter.

    Hours:
    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
    Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Closed on Sundays, major holidays and for special events

    Plants and Sculpture in Min Zidell Healing Garden Plants in Min Zidell Healing Garden Entrance to Min Zidell Healing Garden Dedication Plaque for Min Zidell Healing Garden
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Steam Locomotives SP 4449, SP&S 700, ORN 197

    by glabah Updated Dec 1, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The city of Portland owns several steam locomotives, and two of those are currently in operating condition with a third in the process of being restored. They may be viewed at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and from time to time they operate special trips. The annual Holiday Express is the most regular annual event where it is possible to ride behind the locomotives or see them in action, but every year there are usually other trips that are offered.

    In the 1950s, the city of Portland had a plan to create a transportation museum near The Oaks amusement park in southeast Portland. To that end, a number of odd items of railroad equipment were donated to the city. Only four of those items remain inside the city of Portland. In order of their restoration, they are:

    "Peggy": a Shay type steam locomotive that is now on display at the World Forestry Center

    Southern Pacific 4449: during the 1970s, this locomotive toured the country as part of the "American Freedom Train", having been painted in a special red white and blue color scheme. While the locomotive is owned by the city of Portland, the non-profit group that is dedicated to its restoration is the Friends of the 4449.

    Spokane Portland and Seattle 700: this locomotive once powered fast pasenger trains between Portland and Spokane, where they connected to trains going east to Chicago. The group responsible for its restoration is the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association.

    Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company 197 (which later became the Oregon Washington Railroad & Navigation Company, which later became part of the Union Pacific railroad. The locomotive was last known as Union Pacific 3203): This locomotive is the oldest in the city's collection, having been built in 1905. Restoration work continues on the locomotive by the Friends of the OR&N 197.

    Except for the "Peggy" these locomotives were in storage in an inaccessible location up until early 2013, and unable to be viewed by the general public except when they are doing special public displays or excursions. Today they are available for public viewing at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. See the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation web site, below.

    The photo of SP&S #700 was from a trip to Salem on May 14, 2005, and the photo of SP # 4449 is from the 2007 "Holiday Express III" trains operated in southeast Portland.

    The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (web site below) is an umbrella group working to find a more permanent home for the locomotives. Their web site is probably the best one for finding out about various events these locomotives may be attending.

    Photo number 5 was contributed by Carol M.

    I have a video of 4449 running along the Springwater Trail in Sellwood.

    Spokane Portland & Seattle 700 display, 2005 Southern Pacific 4449 races bicycles, SE Portland SP&S 700 on 1998 freight train to St. Helens, Oreg SP&S 700 at 1998 Tigard Train Days event SP 4449 south of Canby around 1981
    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • staindesign's Profile Photo

    Creepy Bathroom

    by staindesign Written Mar 8, 2012

    They are pretty serious at trying to keep Portland weird! I had the pleasure to visit the Rimsky-KorsaKoffee House in South East Portland. The location is a house, which is really fun! It has a very eclectic style, I loved the wall paper. And most days they have live music. I love the playfulness of the menu, you can get a coffee and portland's best banana split!

    After drink many coffees one might have the opportunity to venture to the second floor to use the facilities. As you walk down the hallway in search of the bathroom door, you will read messages on the other random doors such as "Don't enter" or "Not this one either" or "don't think about it". Then you open the bathroom door to a dim light and a creepy creepy mannequin sitting in a kayak. He has a creepy chucky movie feeling as he smiles at you as you do your business. I hated him. He didn't have thumbs so I was sure he couldn't grab me.

    I heard from Portlanders that mannequins are very popular in bathrooms around town. Ugh.

    Who wants to pee next to that guy?!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Columbia Gorge

    by Roadquill Updated Jan 23, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    By heading out 30 miles East of Portland on Highway 84 or Scenic Highway 30 you can explore the mighty Columbia River Gorge. There are great views and small towns by taking the much slower Hwy 30, where you can enjoy numerous waterfalls and scenic view points. The tallest waterfall (2nd in the US) is the Multnomah Falls. Latourell Falls is one of the first major falls on Hwy 30. Most have nice hiking trails where you can walk to the top of most of them.

    Multnomah Falls
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Lone Fir Cemetery

    by glabah Updated Nov 1, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A recent (October 26, 2011) paragraph in the Willamette Week newspaper notes that the Lone Fir Cemetery has been named #9 on the list of Top 10 Cemeteries to Visit by National Geographic. Among other things, they were apparently impressed with the program that allows for planting a tree or garden as part of memorializing a person. Also, they apparently liked the mishmash of diversity found here: modern, pioneer, wealthy, immigrant, patients of Portland's first mental hospital, and unknown and unreadable are all found here.

    This cemetary was founded about the same time as the city of Portland. It is located on the east side of the river between SE Yamhill and SE Stark. There are still new graves being added. When Lone Fir was founded in 1855, transportation within the city was difficult at best. Later cemetaries were built at the top of hills, but getting up to the top of hills before the days of the streetcar lines and other railways that came later was a huge problem. Thus, Portland's oldest cemetary today has a very humble location.

    Tours are offered, and the Friends of Lone Fir web site has more information (see below).

    Modern grave stones for eastern European persons (see photo #2) almost always seem to be the most intricate stones in the cemetary, and in many cases very well decorated.

    Lovejoy, credited with founding the city of Portland on his tombstone, remains here. Many other famous and not so famous people lie here: freemasons, Christians, Asians, modern stones and those over 100 years old, and many others side by side in death.

    Some of the older graves are being taken over by the trees (see photo 3) planted to decorate the graveyard, and unfortunately the old graveyard chapel (see photo 4) is in a sad state of disrepair.

    The graveyard includes a Monument to the Army of the Republic, including Civil War veterans, American Indian War veterans, and Spanish-American War veterans.

    There is also a garden, created in 1956, of "Roses of Old Oregon" which is a tribute to the pioneer women of Oregon who brought roses with them on their way west.

    Lone Fir Cemetary: Portland Intricate grave stones for Eastern Europeans Old tree planted to shade graves takes them over Lone Fir Cemetary Chapel: state of disrepair 1844: one of the older graves in the cemetary
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Powell Butte Park

    by glabah Updated Apr 26, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    UPDATE!: Powell Butte Park has returned to accessibility after a huge construction project closed the main parking area. From time to time during the spring of 2011 it may still be closed during weekdays, but for the most part it is open regularly now.

    This park is located on a rise in the far eastern part of Portland - east of Interstate 205 and almost to Gresham. It is bordered on the north by Powell Blvd. and on the south by the old Portland Traction Company railroad line (now made into the Springwater Trail). To get there by driving, turn south at 162nd Avenue & Powell Blvd. To get there by bus, it is possible to get to various entrances on buses #17 and #9. #10 is a little further away, but still possible to get there by using a bike trail from SE 138th Avenue.

    There is a view point with a number of points of interest to the east, north and south visible. On a clear day one can see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and a number of lesser peaks in the Cascade Range. Looking north from the viewpoint at the top of the hill it is possible to see across the Columbia River to Camas, Washington. Looking northeast you can see the start of the Columbia Gorge.

    Sometimes, you can find interesting birds here, including kestrel and hawks, and occasionally ducks will take refuge in some of the large puddles that form after rain.

    Various trails here may be used for horse riding, mountain bike riding, and hiking.

    Areas of the park are forested. Much of the park used to be a dairy farm, and the open fields attract various animals. There are also trees that date back to early orchard plantings.

    Snow Capped Peaks may be Visible from Powell Butte View east to Mt. Hood from Powell Butte Park Small bird of pray - likely Kestrel - Powell Butte View looking southwest from Powell Butte Park Hiking trail at Powell Butte Park
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Horse Riding

    Was this review helpful?

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Monk Made Fudge at Brigittine Monastery

    by Roadquill Updated Apr 4, 2011

    About 40 miles South of Portland, just outside the community of Amity is the Brigittine Monastery. The Brigittine order was founded in 1370 by St. Birgitta of Sweden. While performing a full monastic horarium, the Order helps funds itself by selling fudge. You can buy the packages in nearby towns, we decided to make the pilgrimage and visit the Monastery. As we parked we were welcomed by several gregarious cats. They were extremely happy to see us. The grounds are very tranquil. There is also a warm chapel.

    Brigittine Monastery near Amity Brigittine Monastery Stained Glass Windows Welcoming Committee
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Da Tung and Xi'an Bao Bao Elephant Sculpture

    by glabah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Da Tung may be translated as "universal peace" or "large bronze" and large it is! This elephant sculpture was a gift to the city of Portland by a resident of Xi'an, China as a gesture of goodwill and evidence of his belief in the importance of cultural exchanges. Owning a foundary helps: Mr. Huo Baozhu, owner of Five Rings Bronze Foundry in Xi’an.

    The young elephant standing peacefully on his father's back symbolizes safe and prosperous offspring. It is a replica of a wine pitcher from the Shang Dynasty (cira 1200 - 1100 BC) but is about sixteen time larger than the original. Xi'an Bao Bao means "baby elephant".

    This gift to the city of Portland had its origins in Portland having a Chinese sister city.

    There has been some thought about the sculpture being moved to a new location.

    The web site below is a link to the Regional Arts and Cultural Council information on the sculpture.

    The sculpture is located in the southernmost or the North Park Blocks, at West Burnside Street and NW Park Avenue.

    Da Tung and Xi'an Bao Bao: bronze gift from China Da Tung and Xi'an Bao Bao: sculpture in park block Da Tung and Xi'an Bao Bao: sculpture in park block Da Tung and Xi'an Bao Bao: bronze gift from China up close look at small elephant on sculpture top
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Friendship Circle

    by glabah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This little sculpture is at the very far end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and is a monument to the friendship that has existed between Portland and Sapporo, Japan for 30 years (at the time of its installation in 1990).

    Unfortunately, in recent years, the sculpture is showing its years. The music that is supposed to play from the sculpture sometimes doesn't work. The one-time plaque that describes the sculpture in English has apparently been stolen, leaving only the Japanese version.

    Of course, like most things in Portland, it tends to look a little worn around the edges in winter but come spring it will look much better.

    Portland - Sapporo Friendship Circle at Sunset Friendship Circle: 30 years of Portland - Sapporo Friendship Circle: a view towards the river Friendship Circle: plaque in Japanese describes
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Smith and Bybee Lakes Park

    by glabah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While it is reasonably well known among Portland locals, particulary those familiar with Portland bird watching, Smith and Bybee Lakes Park is definitely not on the normal tourist agenda.

    These two lakes are in the far north end of Portland, near interstate 5. to get there exit I-5 at the Marine Drive exit and go west on Marine Drive. Immediately after going over a bridge over a railroad line the entrance to the park is on the left side of the road. Bus route #16 goes by here, but only on regular weekdays - there is no transit service here Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

    This park features several paved trails that lead to areas that are good to observe birds. The lakes are a popular locaion for various migrating birds to stop during their journey, or for those from colder climates to spend the winter.

    There are currently two bird watching shelters and a place to launch canoes, kayaks, or other small non-engine water craft for exploring the lakes with a paddle.

    The web site below is for the Friends of Smith and Bybee Lakes.

    At one point in time, it appeared that this valuable wildlife area would be turned into a garbage dump, and in fact part of the area served as the Portland garbage dump into the 1980s. Wiser heads prevailed and the area was preserved as the valuable area we see today.

    Watch for sign at Entrance to Smith & Bybee Lakes Overview of Smith and Bybee Lakes Park and parking Bird watching blind at Smith & Bybee Lakes Park Bird Watching Platform at Smith & Bybee Lakes Park Paved bird watching trail at Smith & Bybee Lakes
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Rafting

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Chapman School Chimney and Vaux Swifts

    by glabah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before the "civilization" of Oregon, Vaux swifts (tiny birds that feed mostly on insects) mostly inhabited hollow trees or other such natural cavities. With the coming of civilization, they soon discovered brick chimneys as a nice substitute for the nearly disappeared old growth forest trees.

    Old industrial and commercial brick chimneys were particularly good, and so as time went on some 35,000 Vaux swifts came to call Chapman School's heating plant chimney home. It is thought this is the world's largest colony.

    In 2001, a fund raising effort resulted in Chapman school getting a new heating plant, and thus they no longer had to worry about becoming frozen during the months that the swifts are here, and the Chapman chimney became a permanent wildlife preserve of sorts.

    After swifts are done nesting and raising their juveniles, they congregate in large migratory flocks. This generally happens in September, and thus the best month to try to see the swifts is September. By mid-October or so, the swifts are gone.

    I have put a video taken on the evening of September 19, 2008 on virtualtourist so that you can get a small impression of the sight. The stream going into the chimney lasts about 30 minutes, and there is a huge crowd gathered to watch, with some of the children passing the time by sliding down the hill on cardboard "sleds". (see photo 3 for a picture of the crowd on hand on Sept 19)

    Bring a telephoto lens if you want to get good photos of the birds! The reason there are no photos of the birds going into the chimney is that they don't show up very well on the camera unless you have some way to zoom in on them.

    Chapman School and impressive swift bird chimney sign describing swifts and huge colony at Chapman Chapman School and its impressive bird chimney Sign describing swifts for crowds (photo on sign) crowd gathered to watch swifts, Sept 19, 2008
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

Portland Hotels

See all 149 Hotels in Portland

Latest Portland Hotel Reviews

Doubletree Hotels Portland - Lloyd Center
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Red Lion - Jantzen Beach
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
The Heathman Hotel
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
The Nines, Portland
Terrible (1.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Jupiter Hotel
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 7 Reviews
Hotel Modera
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Benson Hotel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 9 Reviews
Hotel Deluxe
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Residence Inn Portland Airport at Cascade Station
1 Review
Mark Spencer Hotel
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Hotel Lucia
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews

Instant Answers: Portland

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

12 travelers online now

Comments

Portland Off The Beaten Path

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Portland locals.
Map of Portland
Other Off The Beaten Path in Portland