The City of Roses lies between the Cascade Mountain Range, Columbia River Gorge, and the Pacific Ocean. It's tough to find any place in Portland that isn't picture perfect. Visitors will find plenty of 'Instagrammable' opportunities that are gorgeous and unique.
International Rose Test Garden
One look at the parks and gardens, and you'll realize how the city got its nickname. The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park features many varieties of roses that bloom in early summer. No surprise, these gardens won The Garden of Excellence Award in 2006 or that so many weddings are held here. Join a free tour, or just pop on by in the morning, when the sunlight is at its best for that Instagram shot.
Powell’s City of Books
This family-owned bookstore takes up an entire city block in the Pearl District. Make room for everyone else grabbing a selfie. It's one of the most popular spots to visit in Portland. This independent bookstore has also been a favorite of locals since it opened in 1971. The store hosts more than 500 author events and book signings each year. A tip for you shutterbugs: step across the street to get the entire store in the frame. Then go inside and pose in front of one of the thousands of shelves. Prepare to spend several hours inside. You'll have a hard time tearing yourself away.
What's now a cult phenomenon among donut lovers, started as a little bakery here in Downtown Portland. The original Voodoo Doughnuts has become a trendy spot for tourists to visit while in the city. This donut shop has been featured on the Travel Channel as well as other foody savvy programs and blogs. Snap a photo next to the iconic Voodoo sign or wait till you get inside and grab a selfie with their famous Bacon Maple Bar. Other Insta-worthy creations? The cereal topped doughnuts or vegan choices.
This gorgeous home, built in 1912, features impressive views of Portland and the surrounding Willamette Valley. The mansion was sold to the city of Portland and is now open to the public for tours and events. Your Instagram followers will be awed by the architecture of the mansion. You'll want to take another photo of the grounds and local native plants, fluttering wildlife. Keep the camera ready as you hike the trails of the forested park. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see five mountains located in the Cascade Mountain Range, and that's sure to be a hit on your Insta-feed.
“Keep Portland Weird' Signs
Portland's unique culture has led to its unofficial city motto: "Keep Portland Weird." You'll find a few 'Keep Portland Weird' signs with the most popular ones on the side of Dante’s on Burnside. There's also a smaller sign on 3rd street between Burnside and Ankeny. If you miss those, don't worry, the motto is printed on posters and painted on buildings throughout the city.
From parks to food to iconic signs, there are plenty of things to see while in the Portland area. Keep your phone and camera charged. You'll find several more beautiful, and yes, weird photos to load up your page.
About the author:
Emilio Rodriguez began photographing his native Southwest with his parents’ Polaroid OneStep in the 1980s. He’s gone digital and roams far and wide now, but still stops for every good sunset. He and his wife bought an RV in 2003, and have been circling the country ever since.