Choice overload is a technical term that describes the cognitive process of becoming overwhelmed when faced with too many options. Since this isn’t an etymology article, we won’t be exploring the history of choice overload, but gut instinct says the term originated in Portland. When a city is as weird and wonderful as Rose City, it can be quite overwhelming at first. There’s so much to do! So much to see! Where do you start, and how do you get to everything you want to see and do? In truth, it will probably take more than one vacation to adequately explore Portland. But you may as well experience the best of the best in round one! Now, Portland has plenty of non-weird attractions, but since this is a city that actively promotes its slogan of “Keep Portland Weird,” it only seems fair to take a look at some of the stranger Rose City vacation destinations. If you plan on taking a vacation in Portland, these are the four must-see destinations for you and yours.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
See? We’re already off to a weird start. I mean, who decided that Rose City was the right place for the single best Chinese Garden in America? We don’t know either, but you can be assured that Lan Su absolutely is the best Chinese Garden you’ve ever seen outside of China. Lan Su is a tranquil paradise, the absolute perfect places for couples to take a stroll or just sit and chat. Botany has been taken to the next level at Lan Su, as evidenced by the garden’s having been ranked as the most authentic and complete Chinese Garden in the U.S.A. Be sure to swing by the Lan Su gift shop for some fun souvenirs on your way to the next perfectly Portland spot!
Cuddle Up to Me
Speaking of being perfectly Portland, Cuddle Up to Me is a business that probably couldn’t have survived a week in any other city on the planet. Cuddle Up to Me is a lesser known Rose City destination, but one that is perfect for couples who like unusual experiences or acquiring stories worth telling. At Cuddle Up to Me, you get taught how to…wait for it…snuggle! Learn new snuggling positions from a professional cuddler, then try them out with your partner. Or if you’re on vacation alone and feeling a little lonely, just sign up for a one-on-one cuddle session with a professional snuggler! The knowledgeable staff are there to provide information, support, and soothing physical touch for those who want it. If you want to help keep Portland weird, here are some more odd attractions you can check out!
Washington Park holds so much entertainment that you would do well to book out a full day of your vacation just for this one destination. For those traveling in large groups, this is one park that should be a priority. At 410 acres, Washington Park holds entertainment of all kinds. Historians, athletes, ornithologists, architects, and kids each have a spot in this magical park. We’re talking sports equipment, fields, hiking trails, picnicking, wildlife, and much much more. Oh, did we mention the children’s museum? Yikes, and we almost forgot about the 46-room Pittock Mansion, with each room more architecturally intriguing than the last! Geesh, we even almost forgot about the Oregon Zoo. The Oregon Zoo deserves its own spot on this list, but we’ll just give you the highlights to save space. Sixty acres. 230 unique species. 2,000 animals. Yes, that’s right, Washington Park has a full-fledged zoo, mansion, and museum all just waiting for you. Have fun!
Powell’s City of Books
At long last, we’re going to talk about Portland’s most famous attraction. Powell’s City of Books is the most visited attraction in Rose City, and it’s not even close. You only have to go their once to understand why. As the largest bookstore in the world, Powell’s takes its role as a “city of books” quite seriously. If you’re a fan of reading, walking into Powell’s will feel akin to how Charlie felt when he walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Every piece of fiction, nonfiction, and everything in between is available for your consumption at Powell’s. Graphic novels, autobiographies, historical novels, and more abound. Powell’s is likely the only bookstore in the world that can make a grumpy teenager get excited about reading. Even if you hate reading, Powell’s Cafe has a selection of baked goods and coffee flavors that can satisfy anyone looking to take a load off. Note: Powell’s is probably the loudest and busiest bookstore in the world, so don’t go there expecting a quiet mom and pop shop.
Rose City is so much more than these four destinations. They’re just the starting mile in a marathon of fun. But Portland makes for better exploration than just about any city out there, so we’re going to leave the rest up to you. Even if you just pick a direction and start walking, it’s a guarantee you’ll find something weird and wonderful to check out. Don’t get so busy you forget to stop and smell the roses!