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If you spend any time in downtown or Northwest Portland, take 15 to 30 minutes to browse the flagship location, just to get a sense of the place’s scale.
If you’re a bookworm, you could easily spend your whole trip here.
Instead of a self-contained block, this space is an irregularly shaped collection of thematic settings: a bonsai display, a meticulously arranged riverine landscape, and a perfectly pruned shrub garden. It contains a host of native and nonnative species – more than 2,000 in all, many of which are marked with helpful Latin and English placards.
Highlights include a towering redwood grove – my personal favorite – and a recently installed bamboo forest that seeks to dispel myths about this invasive-yet-sustainable species.
Just don’t confuse it with Portland, Maine, its older and much smaller East Coast namesake.
The attractions and points of interest that I didn’t have time to visit have been thoroughly researched (again, thanks in part to Travel Portland) and won’t blow a hole through your travel budget.
Portland won’t celebrate its 200th birthday until 2045, but that doesn’t mean it’s a historical blank slate.
I spent four late spring nights in Portland, hitting as many attractions, neighborhoods, and locally owned businesses (definitely not difficult in this part of the world) as I could.
Thanks in part to the generosity of the kind folks at Travel Portland, the city’s excellent travel bureau, I was able to check out many of the budget-friendly spots listed below.