A gorgeous city with ample parks and gardens, Portland benefits from its closeness to some of Oregon's most beautiful wilderness areas and offers its citizens much in the way of recreational pursuits.
Some of the nicest spots in the city include the International Rose Test Garden in west Portland's Washington Park, which has over 400 varieties of roses. Another favorite is the Japanese Garden, which is recognized to be the most authentic ceremonial garden outside of Japan. For a time of restoration, within the Chinatown area of Portland lies the Garden of Awakening Orchid Chinese Garden, which is a refreshing retreat for the soul; rain or shine, it is lovely. The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden at the Reed College campus covers seven acres and includes a beautiful lake, and The Grotto's upper and lower level gardens offer peaceful walkways and structures for contemplation.
Nearby parks and wilderness areas include the stunning 240-acre Oregon Garden, which is about forty miles south of Portland and features a range of lovely gardens as well as the only house in Oregon designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The ocean is about 80 miles west of Portland, and the Willamette and Columbia rivers meet at the city, so boating and a wide range of water sports are easily enjoyed here. The Hood River, about an hour east of the city, is a popular place to windsurf and kiteboard, and Mt Hood is just 90 minutes away by car, making year-round snow sports part of the Portland lifestyle.
Oregon is known country-wide for its beauty and many of its 230 state parks are within a day of Portland, bringing camping, hiking, fishing and hunting to your doorstep.
Voted America's "Most Bicycle Friendly City" by the League of American Bicyclists, Portland has miles of jogging and bike trails, greatly benefiting the outdoor-orientated local culture. Golf is another beloved pastime here, and there are 41 18-hole courses in the metropolitan area alone. Renowned tournaments like the Jeld-Wen Tradition and the Safeway Classic draw professional competitors from around the globe.