9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. departure, 3 hours, $65
We’ll pick you up in central downtown Portland at Director Park in one of our roomy vans. We’ll then drive up Portland’s north/south dividing line, pointing out important sites — we’ll pass Powell’s Books, and tell the story behind the biggest independent book store in the world, as well as some of the city’s bike art, and historical buildings. Once we reach the summit of King’s Heights, we’ll walk around the grounds of the mansion built by a newspaper baron to the view that was once available only to the city’s elite. It’s one of the best places to develop the context by which to experience this city.
We’ll walk through the mansion’s grounds and back to the van, where we will drive into the SW Portland neighborhood of Arlington Heights, on the edge of Washington Park. Here we’ll take a walk through our favorite secret garden, and into the International Rose Test Garden, introducing you to the story of the rose city. After photos and (in season) inhaling the scent of the roses, we’ll get into the van for our next stop. (When roses aren’t in season, we may make an alternative stop at the Hoyt Arboretum.)
From here, we’ll head back into the city center, driving through what Portland calls the cultural district — once the literal heart of the city, the center line along which once the merchants and lumber barons lived, and now institutions like the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Society and Portland State University dominate. It wouldn’t be Portland without a stop for doughnuts, so we’ll discuss the history of the city’s foundation and the design of these blocks after we duck into one of our favorite shops and grab a treat.
After this, it’s a drive along Portland’s South Waterfront and the waterfront park, telling the story of the shining Swiss Alps-style engineering of the Aerial Tram and the development of this brand-new neighborhood and its beautiful, one-of-a-kind Tilikum Crossing bridge. Time and interest allowing, we’ll jaunt across one of the oldest bridges in the city to the inner Eastside neighborhood of Ladd’s Addition, a jewel box of sorts where we can introduce you to some of the best coffee, food carts, restaurants and breweries the city of foodies has to offer.
Our late afternoon departure during the late spring and summer months may highlight a brewery or ice cream stop if participants so choose.