Ever wonder what makes Portland so unique? Is it the food? The amazing landscape? The history? As a matter of fact, it’s all these things, and more. There are several things that can only be found in Portland, Oregon. Growing up near Portland, I learned to enjoy the quirks and qualities of the “City of Roses”. Here are a few of the famous and not-so-famous things that make Portland the city it is.
1. Made in Oregon Sign
What’s so special: Originally the White Satin Sugar sign, this sign, featuring the White Stag silhouette, has been an icon of Portland for over 50 years. To see it in rare form, come during the holidays (Nov-Dec) when the deer is displayed with a red Rudolph nose.
Where to find it: White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch Street
More Info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Stag_sign
What’s so special: Portlandia is a statue in front of the Portland building. She’s supposed to be the goddess of commerce. The Oregonian once had a special on people doing their own personalized poses of the famous statue-trident and all. She’s also the second largest copper repousse statue in the United States, the Statue of Liberty being the first. It has stayed unique to Portland because it is not able to be reproduced for commercial purposes.
Where to find it: 1120 SW 5th Avenue
More Info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portlandia
3. Portland Spirit
What’s so special: Where else can you go have uptown Northwest fare, live music (including singing waiters), a marble dance floor, and cruise along the Columbia River? Only on the classic Portland Spirit.
Where to find it: SW Naito Parkway at SW Salmon Street
More Info: www.portlandspirit.com
4. Mills End Park
What’s so special: It’s the world’s smallest park, a little less than two feet across. Since it was planted by an Irishman, and dedicated on St. Patrick’s Day in 1948, it’s said that snails and leprechauns race here.
Where to find it: SW Naito Pkwy & Taylor St
More Info: www.portlandonline.com
5. International Rose Test Garden
What’s so special: Portland’s beautiful and glorious tribute to the flower rosa. European hybridists trusted with their roses during WWI, and the garden is now the oldest public garden of its kind in the United States. There are over 500 varieties of roses, from tiny hybrid tea roses to the huge blooms of the grandiflora.
Where to find it: 850 SW Rose Garden Way
More Info: www.rosegardenstore.org
6. USS Blueback
What’s so special: It’s the only submarine that’s also an interactive part of a museum, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). It was also the last non-nuclear submarine to join the Navy, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Climb aboard!
Where to find it: 1945 SE Water Ave.
More Info: www.omsi.edu/submarine
7. Wildwood Restaurant
What’s so special: The only place to wine and dine on high-class cuisine by award winning chef Corey Screiber, featuring fare straight from the Oregon soil. Support local farms and tantalize your taste buds with such dishes as Grilled Pacific Ahi Tuna, Mesquite Roasted Sweet Briar Farms Pork Chops, or Stumptown Espresso Crème Caramel.
Where to find it: 1221 NW 21st Avenue
More Info: wildwoodrestaurant.com
8. Portland Rose Festival
What’s so special: The annual celebration of the “City of Roses” gets underway and doesn’t stop for rain! With ClownTown shows, floats full of flowers, and dragon boat races, everyone will have something to look forward to and enjoy. The lively day ends with a magnificent show of fireworks, culminating the over 100-year-old celebration. Don’t miss it!
When to see it: Saturday, June 11, 2011
More Info: www.rosefestival.org
9. Pioneer Courthouse and Pioneer Courthouse Square
What’s so special: Called the “living room of Portland”, Pioneer Courthouse Square boast several intriguing pieces of art, historical markers, live theatres, Saturday Markets, and more. The Courthouse itself proudly stands as it has been sine 1869, the oldest federal builing in the Northwest. Come for a taste of Portland past, present, and future.
Where to find it: 700 S.W. Sixth Avenue
More Info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Courthouse
10. Japanese Gardens
What’s so special: Pronounced “the best Japanese Garden outside of Japan” by the ambassador of Japan. It was founded shortly after Portland became a sister city to Sapporo, Japan in 1958. Including a ceremonial tea house, a dry landscape area, and lush gardens, this garden is truly a horticultural and multicultural treat.
Where to find it: 611 SW Kingston Avenue
More Info: japanesegarden.com
So are you surprised? Come join us for some Stumptown Coffee, live music, and great atmosphere in the very exclusive, very unique, Portland, Oregon.