-- "City of Roses" is Home to Numerous Rarks and Gardens --
Portland, Oregon's 'City of Roses', is home to numerous parks and gardens, including Portland's spreading Washington Park, containing the famous Japanese Garden. Divided into east and west regions by the Willamette River, Portland is a relaxed city with many diverse and historic areas. Major districts in Portland include Chinatown, Old Town and the trendy Lloyd District, containing America's first major shopping mall.
Portland has many major tourist attractions, including Oregon Zoo - an award-winning zoo full of animal attractions, which has become the largest in Oregon; the Tom McCall Waterfront Park - one of the most popular recreational areas in Portland, on the banks of Willamette River; the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) - offering a host of historic and cultural information about Portland and Oregon; the World Forestry Discovery Center - recently revamped at a cost of seven million dollars, with many exciting rides and exhibits; and Washington Park - one of the largest and most impressive parks in Portland, containing the famous Japanese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum and rose gardens.
Other popular attractions and landmarks in Portland include the Japanese American Historical Plaza - a unique and quite beautiful sculpture garden, on the northern side of Portland's Waterfront; the Pioneer Courthouse Square - a popular bricked plaza standing in the very heart of downtown Portland, containing an amphitheater; Pittock Mansion - housing an extensive collection of antiquities and glorious landscaped gardens; and the Portland Building and Portlandia - famed for being the first major postmodern architectural building in the whole world, including the enormous Portlandia statue.
Portland is also home to a number of excellent museums and art galleries in Portland city center, providing interesting information on the history of Portland and many other exhibitions. Some of the most popular museums and art galleries in Portland include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) - one of the top ten science museums in the USA, with an IMAX theater and Planetarium; the Portland Children's Museum - an exciting blend of family fun and educational exhibits; the Oregon Jewish Museum - celebrating Portland's Jewish art and history; the Oregon Maritime Center and Museum - located on an authentic sternwheeler tugboat; the Portland Art Museum - a truly spectacular museum, full of information about art from throughout the ages; and the Shaffer Fine Art - one of the finest art galleries in Portland, housed in the George Lawrence building.