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Portland, Oregoncity of roses

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Essential Activities Portland

Jeremy Woodhouse/Age

The beautiful Portland skyline and Willamette River.

Vocal contingents of bicyclists, environmentalists, activists and vegetarians have given Portland a reputation for youthful energy, open-mindedness and clean living. But clean living doesn’t mean no fun. After months of rain, Portland’s emerald summers bring out the sun-worshippers and fill the sidewalk tables. And although this West Coast city isn’t on the ocean, it makes up for it with a visual feast of gardens, museums and panoramic views. Four essential activities while visiting Portland include visiting Washington Park via the eco-friendly MAX Light Rail, Hiking up an extinct volcano in Mount Tabor Park, treating the taste buds to Oregon wines at Bishop Creek Cellars tasting room and sampling delectable desserts at Pix Pâtisserie.

RIDE THE RAILS: Catch a Portland streetcar and ride it (in the downtown free zone) to hook up with the MAX Light Rail for a jaunt to Washington Park. The park is part of a 5,000-acre green space on a ridge above the city. The Japanese Garden, the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center, the Children’s Museum and some 30 miles of trails offer several ways to spend the afternoon. A bonus in the International Rose Test Garden is the postcard panorama of Portland crowned by snowy Mount Hood 50 miles distant. HIKE A

VOLCANO: Only two cities in the United States have an extinct volcano within their boundaries. Portland is one, and Bend, Ore., is the other. The view from the top of Mount Tabor Park spans from the Cascades to the Coast Range.

WINERY: Set a day aside and venture to Oregon’s wine country—considered the next Napa by some—just 30 miles outside Portland. Take the scenic 45-minute drive to Newberg, and stop in at Bishop Creek Cellars’ tasting room. Open on Fridays and Saturdays, the tasting room offers premium Bishop Creek Pinot Gris, Pinot Noirs and the featured red wine blend. Don’t get too comfortable, as there are several other tasting rooms located on the same street and throughout the entire town.

SWEET DREAMS: Cosmopolitan Portlanders think of their city as a little bit Parisian. Perhaps that explains the popularity of Pix Pâtisserie, a desserts and small savory tasting menu (plus dessert wines and Belgian beers) café with north and southeast Portland locations. The delectable desserts—from chocolate caramel almond truffle to pear rosemary tart—are as exquisite to look at as to eat.

This article has been adapted from the original, which was originally published by MSP Communications.

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