Portland is a picturesque city that is often photographed by tourists and locals alike. Some of the most iconic shots are hiding in plain sight around town, and we have compiled a list of the most recognizable sights around. If you are a Portlander, you will surely recognize these, some of our greatest attractions around the city.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. International Rose Test Garden
The rose garden has been a part of Portland for 100 years. Not only are we called the City of Roses, but we have the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States and every true Portlander can recognize this beauty.
The largest independent bookstore in the world, Powell's is an iconic sight in Portland. Taking up an entire city block, it is hard to miss this behemoth of a bookstore.
3. White Stag Sign
Located atop the White Stag Building, this sign is one of the most recognizable features in the city's skyline. During Christmastime, the stag's nose is lit red and creates holiday joy across all the kids (and adults) who see it.
4. St John's Bridge
One of the most photographed bridges of the Portland area, the St. Johns Bridge is the only suspension bridge over the Willamette. However, it is most notable for its Gothic towers which make it so picturesque.
5. Pittock Mansion
High in the West Hills, this house has been standing since 1909 when it was built for the powerful Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana. Now open to the public, this historic house is instantly recognizable.
6. Portland Japanese Garden
Also located in the West Hills, the Japanese Garden has been in operation since the 1960s, and is one of the most photographed places in the city. Said to be the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, it is a symbol of our city.
7. The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, or the Grotto as it is commonly known, is a Catholic shrine and sanctuary located in NE Portland. Its natural cathedral is a big draw, especially around the holidays when caroling and a large light display bring thousands of visitors in.
8. Waterfront Park
The views along the waterfront are spectacular, making it no wonder that this is an iconic spot of Portland. Whether you are out for a stroll, shopping at the Saturday market, or splashing in a fountain, this picturesque location is memorable.
9. Tilikum Crossing
The newest of our city's bridges, Tilikum Crossing has only been open 2 years, but has already cemented itself as a force on our city's waterfront. This pedestrian and public transportation bridge is a first of its kind in the country, and an iconic feature on our waterfront.
10. Union Station
In operation since 1896, Union Station is a part of our city's history and early growth. Today it serves over a half million people annually as a transportation hub for Amtrak, and is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city.
11. Keller Fountain Park
Our city is known for its fountains, and not many are more spectacular that Keller Fountain. In operation since 1970, this downtown fountain represents our city's dedication to its great urban plazas and parks.
12. Benson Bubblers
Philanthropist Simon Benson funded the installation of the first 20 bubblers in the city and therefore had the honors of these iconic fountains bearing his name. Today, 52 original Benson Bubblers with four bowls can be found throughout the downtown area.
While Portlandia may be a show that the rest of the country associates with Portland, here in Portland, we have the statue Portlandia. Known as the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, just after the Statue of Liberty, this magnificent 34-foot statue has loomed over the Portland building since 1985.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.