Portland Marathon & Half Marathon
Portland, OR USA
Sunday October 6, 2013

Portland Attractions

This west coast city has a feel uniquely its own. Here are some of Portland's most engaging attractions:

Museum of Contemporary Craft
This museum was founded in 1937, which makes it one of Portland's oldest cultural treasures. The museum is located in Portland's Pearl District. Its collection is dedicated to contemporary crafts from pottery to wood and metal works. The museum also has an extensive collection of exhibition posters and modern graphic art.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts special exhibitions honoring the craftsmanship of a specific medium or period. Visitors can also attend lectures and classes.

Portland Taiko
Portland is already well known for its music scene, but there is more here than grunge rock. Portland Taiko is a highly regarded drumming ensemble that primarily performs the Japanese drumming art called "taiko." Taiko has its origins in Japanese festivals and religious ceremonies. The art is an explosive mixture of drumming and dance.

However, Portland Taiko doesn't just perform taiko as a means of artistic expression, but as a means of promoting Asian American pride. In addition to performances, the group also conducts taiko classes and offers lectures on Japanese culture.

Some Common Spaces
There are more than 200 public parks in Portland, from the tiny Mills End Park to the wildlife filled Forest Park. Every Portland neighborhood has its own favorite parks, but here are two of the city's most interesting.

Pioneer Courthouse Square
This is right in the center of Portland's downtown area. Pioneer Courthouse Square is an urban meeting place, known locally as the city's "living room." It's a beautiful, multilevel red brick expanse that hosts a range of events each year. You can enjoy a farmers' market, music performances, and outdoor movie showings.

Due to its central location, all public transportation comes into the square. There is also a Travel Portland Visitor Information Center, which makes it a perfect first stop.

Lan Su Chinese Garden
This Chinese garden is in the Chinatown/Old Town area. Open all year, the garden is done in the style of the Ming Dynasty. You can walk through its colonnades, bridges, and pavilions with an audio tour or take a guided tour. It also has a tea house and small performance area, which hosts twilight concerts during warmer months.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
If you've never experienced an earthquake, this museum gives you the chance to do so safely. OMSI is considered one of the United States' best science museums and has a multitude of educational and interactive exhibits. You can visit a real submarine, the USS Blueback. The museum also has a planetarium and Omnimax theater.

If you're traveling with kids, OMSI has events, camps, and exhibits designed specifically to entrance kids so they're learning without even knowing it. The museum is also easily reached by public transportation, including by Portland's network of public bikes.