What's so special about Portland? Let us tell you.

Last week, I focused on the recreational highlights of our beautiful state, but there’s so much more to experience here. The Troutdale Campus is located about 16 miles from downtown Portland. Most people know Portland for its incredible food, craft beers, or its vibrant live music scene. I could write a whole post on just the food scene in Portland from five-star dining to food carts, but I thought I would focus on a few of the attractions in Portland that make this city truly unique. Here's a list of 10 attractions, but trust me there are many more, that will give you a feel for this city that’s in your backyard when you start your helicopter flight lessons at Hillsboro Heli.

  1. Portland International Rose Test Garden – This garden located in Washington Park features more than 10,000 individual rose bushes that bloom from May through October. There are more than 610 different rose varieties represented. The garden’s primary purpose was to serve as a test area for new rose varieties, and during World War I people from all around the world sent rose varieties to the garden for testing.
  2. Portland Japanese Garden – This garden is also located in Washington Park and covers 12 acres with eight separate garden styles and includes an authentic Japanese Tea House. Designed in 1963, this tranquil oasis in the city helps visitors honor their connection to nature.
  3. Powell’s City of Books – This Portland landmark located in the Pearl District is the largest new and used bookstore in the world covering an entire city block and offering approximately one million books. Powell’s features 3,500 different sections to appeal to every interest and also offers rare and hard-to-find titles.
  4. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) – Founded in 1944, OMSI has a strong reputation for science education. Featuring three large auditoriums, including a planetarium and exhibition halls with many hands-on exhibits, it’s the perfect attraction for adults and kids alike.
  5. Portland Art Museum – The museum was established pre-1900 which makes it one of the oldest art museums on the West Coast and 7th oldest in the US. It’s current collection features 42,000 objects, and three of the current exhibitions are Ansel Adams In Our Time, Joryū Hanga Kyōkai, 1956–1965: Japan’s Women Printmakers, and Though There Be Fury on the Waves: Victor Jorgensen at Sea.
  6. Oregon Zoo – Situated on 64 acres in Washington Park, not far from the International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Zoo is the top paid attraction in the Pacific Northwest with more than 1.5 million guests each year. The Oregon Zoo features 2,585 individual animals representing 215 species. The zoo is also home to 15 endangered species and 7 threatened species and recently unveiled its new polar bear exhibit, Polar Passage, allowing the zoo to bring back Nora the polar bear, a zoo visitor favorite.
  7. Shanghai Tunnels – Beneath Portland’s original downtown are the Shanghai Tunnels. This connection of basements and tunnels ran all along the waterfront making it easy to sneak illegal goods from ship to shore. In these secret passageways, legends abound about what other nefarious purposes these tunnels served. If you are ready to learn more, check out the Shanghai Tunnel walking tour.
  8. VooDoo Doughnut – Portlanders have mixed reactions when it comes to this this place offering some pretty wild and incredible doughnuts such as the maple bacon bar. But they also offer VooDoo Doughnut weddings for those looking to make a lifetime commitment while they enjoy some fried dough. It’s definitely a unique place worth checking out.
  9. MadeHere PDX – If you want to get a feel for the goods created by artists from Portland and across the Pacific Northwest, check out MadeHere. Featuring a community of over 200 vendors, MadeHere brings together a wide range of products from local artists.
  10. Brewery Tours – Portland is home to nearly 70 breweries which means that our beer is something you should not miss. There are numerous tour options so just search for a brewery tour and you can find everything from bike brewery tours to walking tours.

We would love to have you visit us and experience more of Portland. Contact our admissions team at 503.726.3000 or info@flyhaa.com to arrange a tour of our Troutdale Campus and learn more about our helicopter flight lessons while you explore Portland.