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IDAA 2008

Area Attractions

GREATER PORTLAND AREA
The Greater Portland area offers a wide variety of attractions for all ages in a beautiful, natural setting: symmetrical, snow-capped Mount Hood looms over the city to the east, while the Willamette River, a tributary of the Columbia, flows through the heart of the city. The downtown area offers a wide range of shopping, dining, and historical experiences. Numerous parks, gardens and museums dot the large metropolitan area. Transportation options include a modern light-rail system, including a terminus one mile from the Red Lion, served by a shuttle service.

Portland Oregon Information Center
This center offers regional brochures, maps and knowledgeable travel consultants who can provide directions, recommendations and itinerary suggestions. Sharing space with the center is the TriMet ticket office, selling light rail, bus and streetcar passes. Gray Line Tour's Ticket Central is also located on-site, making it easy for visitors to make all of their local touring and attraction ticketing arrangements. Open Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 5:50 PM; Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 S.W. Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204. Call 503-275-8355. www.travelportland.com

Pearl District
Historic industrial buildings have been transformed into hip retail storefronts, restaurants, galleries, lofts and spas in Portland's premier shopping district. The Pearl District is a nationally renowned destination for fine dining, more than 60 home furnishings stores, art and one-of-a-kind boutiques. After shopping, relax at a sidewalk caf or enjoy the fountains in Jamison Square Park. Comprising more than 100 city blocks, The Pearl is open seven days a week, year-round and is a short walk north from downtown Portland. The justly famous Powell's City of Books, the world's largest independent bookseller, is located on the southern boundary of the Pearl. www.explorethepearl.com

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OSMI)
At this wonderful museum you can imagine a journey to the outer reaches of the galaxy, feel the power of an earthquake, climb aboard a real submarine, uncover a fossil, enter the world of virtual reality, or travel the globe in a five-story high IMAX domed theater. You can also enjoy a view of the city across the river while dining at the OMSI Market Caf or find the perfect gift in the Science Store. With more than 200 hands-on exhibits, there is something for everyone in the family. Open year-round; hours vary. 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland, OR 97214. Call 503-797-4000. www.omsi.edu

Portland Saturday Market
This open-air crafts market - the nation's largest - is open Saturdays AND Sundays. You can stroll through rows and rows of local hand-crafted items and homemade foods. Talk directly to the artists and learn about their creative styles and products. Open rain rain or shine Saturday (10 AM to 5 PM) and Sunday (11 AM to 4:30 PM). Located on the riverfront near the west end of the Burnside Bridge. Take the MAX light rail to the Skidmore Fountain stop. Call 503-222-6072. www.PortlandSaturdayMarket.com

Oregon Zoo
Here you can trek through the tropics amid the sounds of birds, monkeys and other creatures at the zoo's African Rain Forest exhibit. Then you can dry of in the savanna where giraffes, rhinos and hippos graze. From the tundras of Alaska to the coastal waters of Peru, travel around the world in an afternoon. Open at 9 AM with seasonal closing hours. Located in Washington Park 5 minutes from downtown Portland on Hwy. 26 West or take MAX light rail. Call 503-226-1561. www.oregonzoo.org

River Cruises on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers
A very popular and exciting summer attraction, the Willamette Jetboats offer both 1- and 2-hour trips in open air fashion (you MAY get splashed!) along scenic and inner-city portions of the Willamette at reasonable prices, departing from the OMSI dock. Reservations are recommended. Call 503-231-1532 or 888-JETBOAT.www.willamettejet.com. A more sedate alternative is the Portland Spirit and its sister ships which offer a variety of lunch and dinner cruises as well as shorter sightseeing trips from several locations. Call 503-224-3900 for more info. www.portlandspirit.com

Washington Park Gardens
This 129-acre park, immediately west of the downtown area is home to several beautiful gardens. The International Rose Test Garden occupies 4 acres and has stunning views of Portland and Mount Hood. It is home to 8,000 plants with over 400 rose varieties; the adjacent Rose Garden Store is well worth a look. Call 503-823- 3636. Further up the hill to the west is the Japanese Garden, considered one of the most beautiful of its type outside of Japan. This tranquil oasis actually consists of five separate gardens. Guided morning and afternoon tours are offered, and the garden store also has regular tea ceremonies. Call 503-223-1321. The Hoyt Arboretum comprises over 180 acres of trees and plants with over 12 miles of trails. Some guided tours are available. Call 503-228-8733. Info on all of Washington Parks attractions is available at www.portlandparks.org and www.japanesegarden.com

Portland Art Museum
This oldest of Pacific Northwest art museums dates from 1892 and is situated in the heart Portland's cultural district (just south of the main shopping section). With more 32,000 pieces of art it ranks as one of the 25 largest in the nation. It features several permanent collections, including some of Monet's Water Lilies and contemp-orary European and American groupings. There are several Asian collections. Major world tours appear regularly. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. Call 503-26-2811.www.portlandartmuseum.org

Oregon Historical Society
Occupying newly renovated quarters in the heart of downtown, this multi-floored facility tells the Oregon story through videos, hands-on exhibits, photographs and other media. A favorite with children, it also features a store with books, games, native art, and other gifts. 1200 S.W. Park Ave. Call 503-222-1741. www.ohs.org

ELSEWHERE IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON STATE
Oregon offers a wide variety of natural & man-made attractions for those wishing to explore before or after the convention. Mount Hood is visible from Portland & is the site of several resorts and thrilling rail & tram rides. The Oregon coast is a fairly short drive away with beautiful, rugged beaches and cliffs to explore in areas such as Cannon Beach, Seaside, Lincoln City, Newport & Astoria (at the mouth of the Columbia River). Further south in the Willamette Valley are the capital city of Salem & the university town of Eugene. Central Oregon is well known for the high country resort towns of Bend and Black Butte with mountains, rushing rivers & numerous outdoor activities. For detailed information, visit www.traveloregon.com.

Washington State also beckons across the river. Mount St. Helens National Monument is perhaps the most famous of nearby attractions with three different visitor centers and the opportunity for hikes into heart of the 1980 eruption. The Washington coast is justly famous for windswept beaches, sportfishing & quaint seaside towns, such as Long Beach, Ocean Shores, Westport & Moclips. Up the I-5 corridor is the charming capitol city of Olympia at the southern end of Puget Sound. Seattle, of course, is another sixty miles north & offers numerous cultural, historic, & scenic opportunities, including Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the waterfront, ferry rides & excursion trips on Puget Sound, and the Seattle Mariners. To the west across the sound are the scenic wonders of the Olympic peninsula, including rain forests, the Olympic Mountains, and a variety of coastal & mountain resorts. Central Washington offers the Cascade range, the Grand Coulee Dam, and beckoning towns such as Bavarian-inspired Leavenworth & OId West Winthrop. More information on Washington is available at www.experiencewa.com.

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