Here are popular places to check out in Oregon’s largest city.

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Portland has all the right ingredients for a weekend getaway. It’s easy to get there; the downtown is compact and walkable; and there are enough sights to keep visitors happy but not overwhelmed.

Here are five popular places.


Sort of like Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, but with a submarine moored in the river out front. Have fun and use your brain at OMSI’s science- and logic-themed exhibits. Then clamber through the former Navy submarine USS Blueback or go for the stars at the planetarium. OMSI is a sure hit if you’re traveling with kids. Adults $13 (extra for planetarium, submarine); discounts for children, seniors.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

For a complete change of pace, amble through this peaceful, classical-style Chinese walled garden. Lattice-windowed pavilions, plants and decorative rocks are set around a pond. Wander the pathways; have tea in the peaceful, pagoda-roofed Tower of Cosmic Reflections. Adult admission, $9.50, discounts for children, seniors.

Portland Saturday Market

An outdoor market of arts, crafts and food stalls stretched along a downtown riverfront plaza. Shop, eat, people-watch. The market reopens for the year on Feb. 28 after a winter break. Despite the name, it’s open Saturdays (10.a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sundays (11 a.m.- 4 p.m.).

Powell’s City of Books

So many books, so little time. Powell’s is packed with more than 1 million books, new and used, in this flagship downtown store. Wander the aisles, sit and read. Get a coffee, people-watch, read some more.

Washington Park

Four hundred acres of woodland, 15 miles of trails and all sorts of attractions in this park just minutes from downtown. See the creatures at the Oregon Zoo, smell the flowers in the International Rose Test Garden, slow down in the tranquil Japanese garden. Learn about trees at the World Forestry Center, see and learn about live trees at Hoyt Arboretum. Got kids and it’s raining? Let them frolic at the Portland Children’s Museum in the park.