Signature City Portland

Learn about the “City of Roses” from acclaimed speakers and discover local history and culture as you explore the Portland Art Museum, Lan Su Chinese Garden and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 18533RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Lauded as one of America’s best big cities, Portland’s small town charm welcomes you with open arms, enveloping you in its beautiful setting between the sparkling waters of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Explore this “City of Roses,” with experts unveiling its early history, its political savvy and its boundless beauty. Walk its historic streets to examine architecture and bridges and stop to savor locally inspired food and drink.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles on uneven surfaces, climbing a few flights of stairs, some public transportation.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore bridges, enjoy blooms and learn about some of Portland's iconic landmarks.
  • View the city skyline from above the trees at Pittock Mansion and from the water during a river cruise.
  • Discover city treasures: the historic Portland Art Museum, International Rose Test Garden and the astounding Lan Su Chinese Gardens.

General Notes

For a similar program with an environmental focus, please see, "Our Changing Planet: Sustainability & Urban Planning in Portland" (#23853), part of the Our Changing Planet series. If you would like to experience more of the Pacific Northwest, please see "Signature City Seattle" (#2832).
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark
by Barbara Fifer and Vicky Soderberg
Willamette Landings: Ghost Towns of the River
by Howard McKinley Cornin
Oregon's Promise: An Interpretive History
by David Peterson Del Mar
In Search of Ancient Oregon: A Geological and Natural History
by Ellen Morris Bishop
The Portland Bridge Book
by Sharon Wood Wortman
This detailed guide to the bridges of Portland and Vancouver blends engineering, poetry, history, and more to provide a complete picture of these striking landmarks.
Coyote Was Going There: Indian Literature of the Oregon Country
by Jarold Ramsey, Editor
An Architectural Guidebook to Portland
by Bart King
Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman's March to the Governorship
by Barbara Roberts
Oregon Trail Stories: True Accounts of Life in a Covered Wagon
by David Klausmeyer
Read through the exhilarating narratives from real letters, diaries and more. These first-hand tales of death, love, adversity and exploration offer insight into the lives of the early Western Pioneers.
Insiders' Guide to Portland, Oregon
by Rachel Dresbeck
Portland: A Food Biography
by Heather Arndt Anderson
Portland in Three Centuries: The Place and the People
by Carl Abbott
Abbott's history of Portland spans from the first European contact to contemporary times, highlighting the well-known Portland leaders as well as Portland's everyday movers and shakers. It makes an excellent primer on Portland's history and character.
Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods
by Laura O. Foster
A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest
by Robert Ruby, John Brown and Cary Collins
Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon, 1850-1950 (The Classic Houses Series)
by William J. Hawkins, William F. Willingham

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