Activity note: Hotel check in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods labeled as "Free time" and "At Leisure" offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions.
Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a 3-course plated dinner with salad, entreé and dessert, plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: We will begin exploring Portland with an Oregon Trail history lecture by a local expert. Our speaker will bring to life the events that led to the formation of the Oregon Territory as we learn about this pivotal time in our nation's development.
Activity note: Downtown walk is approximately one mile at a leisurely pace, with some periods of standing.
Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a breakfast buffet with choices such as eggs, breakfast meats, cereals, fresh fruits, juices, milk, coffee and tea.
Morning: We will hear from a local historian how Portland first competed with Seattle and San Francisco to become a significant industrial port on the Pacific Coast and then developed a name for itself as one of the "greenest" cities in the world. We will then stretch our legs with an expert-lead walking excursion through Portland's historic downtown. We will discover delightful public art, intriguing architecture and experience the history of the City of Roses "on the street."
Lunch: Dine at one of the city's most popular restaurants while you soak in spectacular views from the 30th floor of one of Portland's tallest buildings.
Afternoon: In the afternoon we will stroll through the authentically built, awe-inspiring Suzhou-style Lan Su Chinese Gardens. The Gardens were created as a collaboration between the cities of Portland and Suzhou, Portland's sister city in China's Jiangsu province that's famous for its beautiful Ming Dynasty gardens. A docent will guide us through this experience, which is based on a 2,000-year-old Chinese tradition that melds art, architecture, design, and nature in perfect harmony. The remainder of the afternoon is is available for free time on your own. You may return to the hotel by Max light rail, or stay downtown for further adventures. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Evening: We will wrap up the day with an expert-lead slide show presentation on Portland architecture that will focus on Portland's Gilded Age, Portland's rise to wealth, and the prominent families of Portland.
Activity note: This day involves extended periods of standing in museums and walking on unpaved paths at the Gardens. Use of public transportation during the day.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will start our day with an award winning producer of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s "Oregon Field Guide" who will share video and stories of the state’s scenic wonders. We will then ride the MAX train to the cultural district and visit the Portland Art Museum, the oldest art museum on the West Coast. It features Native American, Northwest, modern, contemporary and Asian art as well as an outdoor public sculpture garden. A docent will be available to narrate a portion of the museum.
Lunch: Enjoy lunch in the cultural district at an award winning restaurant.
Afternoon: After lunch you'll discover an expansive collection of artifacts and exhibits at the Oregon History Museum, whose mission is to preserve and interpret Oregon's past in thoughtful, illuminating, and provocative ways. Later, experience the tranquil beauty of the Japanese Garden. Stroll the lovely gardens in one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan and learn about the five distinctive garden types from an expert. Spend the remaining afternoon learning about the significance of the longest continually operated International Rose Test Garden, as you meander through the garden and take in the multitude of colors and pleasant aromas of the roses.
Dinner: Dinner at a favorite neighborhood restaurant.
Evening: Dinner will go into the evening, but we will have some free time after we return to the hotel.
Activity note: Walking up to two miles on the bridge field trip with limited breaks. There may be opportunities to sit on public transit, if seats are available. Closed-toe shoes are required for the bridge walk.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Native American culture is central to the Oregon experience and can be seen in the naming of mountains, rivers, cities and streets to the Maya Lin Confluence Project documenting the journey of Lewis and Clark. We will listen to modern and historic stories of Native experience as told by a local storyteller and history keeper of Kalapuya/Coos heritage. Following this talk we will hear from a local political expert about the policies in the 70s, 80s and 90s that shaped Oregon and has distinguished it from other states.
Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
Afternoon: After lunch we will explore the bridges of Portland with one of the city's outstanding bridge experts, including an opportunity to speak with a bridge tender who will come down from their tower to meet the group and answer questions. We will then get a bird's eye view of seven of the bridges that span the Willamette River from 500 feet above the city in the aerial tram. This field trip will help us learn how Portland became "Bridge Town" and how engineers have kept the spans functioning for a century.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Evening: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal exploration to see and do what interests you most, or relax at the hotel. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Explore the neighborhood food scene in the up and coming Pearl District. A local "foodie" will guide us through a variety of culinary experiences and there will be samples!
Lunch: Enjoy a delightful lunch at a neighborhood restaurant in the Pearl.
Afternoon: Later, we will explore the Pittock Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which was the magnificent home of Oregon pioneers and owners of Portland's newspaper, "The Oregonian." Located on a cliff overlooking the valley, we'll have another opportunity for fabulous views.
Dinner: Because Portland is situated at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, river culture plays a big role in the community from Rose Festival dragon boat races and Fourth of July festivities to biking and art along the Esplanade. Enjoy the sights of the city from our vantage point aboard the Portland Spirit as we cruise on the Willamette River. We will savor our dinner as the beautiful waterfront slowly passes by and the site
Evening: Our dinner cruise extends into the evening.
Activity note: Hotel check out is by 12:00 p.m.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: The Group Leader will lead a wrap-up session to review program highlights, share favorite experiences, and say farewell to Road Scholar friends. This concludes our program. Have a safe journey home!