Located in Southwest Portland, the park provides a convenient escape into nature. The Portland Japanese Garden meanders beneath vine-draped arbors and over curving bridges, past waterfalls, stone sculptures and five styles of garden design. The International Rose Test Garden, the most famous landscape in the park, was originally formed as a safe haven for European rose hybrids during World War I; these days, it's one of the largest rose gardens in America, with more than 9,500 bushes of over 600 rose varieties.
The Hoyt Arboretum contains acres of meadows and one of America's most varied collection of tree species, including conifers native to the Pacific Northwest. The World Forestry Center also focuses on trees, providing a dry, indoor raft ride through forest exhibits from four continents, as well as important messages about environmental sustainability.
The Portland Children's Museum, the sixth largest in the world, features a 12-foot waterfall, a room dedicated to clay sculpting and a two-story play home. Also a hit with little ones, the 64-acre Oregon Zoo is home to over 2,200 animals from North America, Asia and Africa; the zoo's beloved female elephant, Rose-Tu, is due to deliver a baby pachyderm by the end of 2012.
Our guide, Jeff, was great - he was from Portland and knew the city and the general area very well and could answer all questions articulately. Jeff offered coffee and pastry - I suggest he take his guests to one of Portland's many great cafe's (and charge another $5 if necessary).
A fantastic insight into the heartbeat of what Portland is all about. Our guide Jeff could not possibly be improved upon...with any other company, anywhere. I am recommending it to everyone! Portlanders need to take this trip, no matter how well they think they know the area. A+++
Very well organized small group trip. Would recommend it to my friends. Will use it again when I visit the pacific northwest.