Lan Su Chinese Garden#4 in Best Things To Do in Portland, OR
Occupying an entire city block, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is among some of the only authentic Chinese gardens in the country. Modeled after China's Ming dynasty gardens, the Lan Su Chinese Garden aims at being a place where people can escape the hustle of everyday life and connect with nature. In addition to featuring plants and trees native to China as well as an 8,000 square feet lake, the garden also hosts a variety of Chinese cultural events, ranging from tai chi to tea tastings.
Many recent visitors said that despite the long lines, the gardens were a highlight of their trip to Portland, describing the space as "tranquil," "stunning" and an "urban oasis." They also highly recommended taking the guided tour, saying it added context to the beautiful and serene setting. Tours are included in the admission price and offered daily at noon and 1 p.m.
Nestled in Portland's Old Town/Chinatown district – just north of the downtown area – the Lan Su Chinese Gardens opens its doors to the public every day at 10 a.m. From mid-October to mid-March it closes at 4 p.m.; from mid-March to mid-October it remains open until 7 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $7 for kids ages 6 to 18 and is free for kids 5 and younger. Family passes for two adults and two children are available for $28. Two MAX stations are within walking distance of the garden and several bus lines, including 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 16, 33, 40 and 77 stop near the garden. For more information, visit the garden's website.
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#1 Washington Park
Many critics, travelers and locals agree that of all of Portland's parks (and they are numerous), Washington Park is perhaps the best. Home to such notable landscaping feats as the Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden, as well as the World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum and several memorials dedicated to pivotal points in Oregon's history.
There are also family-friendly attractions like the Oregon Zoo and Portland Children's Museum along with a large playground, soccer fields, tennis courts and an archery range. Just make sure you save plenty of time for a leisurely stroll down one of the many shady paths, which are often decorated with flower displays and fountains.
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