Tourist weekend in Portland area

Herman the Sturgeon at Bonneville Fish Hatchery

I have never been to the Statue of Liberty.  I’ve seen it many times – my favorite view is from the Staten Island Ferry – but I’ve never actually visited Lady Liberty.  I lived in the NY area for most of the first 27 years of my life and during that time always thought either a) it was something only tourists do or b) I’d get there sometime or another and have plenty of time to see it.  Well, 20 or so years later I still haven’t gone on any of my visits back.

So what does this have to do with a tourist weekend in Portland?

We had guests visiting from out of town this weekend, and like my Statue of Liberty situation there are plenty of things to do in Portland that are either offbeat, touristy, or straight out of the NY Times – many of which Joni and/or me have never done.  So it was the perfect time to check out some local attractions that fit this theme.

Evergreen Aviation Museum: McMinnville
We knew that the Spruce Goose was on display here and that there would be some planes, but we were totally impressed with both the array and quality of the planes at the museum.  It’s a top-notch venue, well lit, great displays, and with very helpful volunteers – some who are Veterans.  Very impressive and worth the drive – afterwards you can go to the water park (if with kids) or wine tasting.
Details: http://www.evergreenmuseum.org/the-museum/

Willamette Jet Boat tour: Pier next to OMSI
Part river tour and part amusement park ride, this was such a fun time.  I see these boats all the time as we live near the river but still had not been on one.  Joni had done the 2-hour tour before so we opted for the one-hour tour at 2:45PM – which was perfect for the 90 degree day.  When they say “you will get wet and you might get soaked,” they mean it.

Details: http://www.willamettejet.com/

Bonneville Lock and Dam / Bonneville Fish Hatchery: near Cascade Locks
We’ve been here a few times but not in many years.  The coolest thing about visiting the Lock and Dam is to check out the fish ladders.  The fish hatchery was built more than 100 years ago. Make sure you see Herman the Sturgeon, who is located in the Sturgeon Viewing Center.  He is approximately 10’ long, 425 pounds and over 60 years old. And he seems to know when people are at the viewing window, per above picture.

Details: Lock and Dam / Fish Hatchery

Allure of the Automobile: Portland Art Museum
(hurry: this ends September 11)
The collection of automobiles in this exhibit is one of a kind.  Just check out the web page below for an example.  We were planning on seeing this earlier in the summer, but decided to wait until our guests were here.  We are going to try to see it again before it leaves town in a couple of weeks.  This is a must-see event in Portland.

Details: http://specialexhibitions.portlandartmuseum.org/allure/

All in all a fun weekend, including some great meals as well. Come and visit us in Soccer City USA!

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