Our American river cruises can show you a different side of a country that so many of us Brits love to visit. By travelling along the Snake, Ohio, Tennessee, Columbia and Mississippi rivers, you get to see the history and culture of the United States, away from the major tourist hubs. Some would say that this is the real America, but either way, it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Portland, Oregon can be visited on our Columbia River Cruises. It is the starting and finishing point for cruises with Un-Cruise and can also be the first or last port of call when sailing with the American Queen Steamboat Company. During your trip, you will encounter nature at its most breathtaking and also learn about Lewis and Clark’s historic expeditions. But when you reach Portland, here are some things you shouldn’t miss.
Become One With Nature
If you have green fingers or love nature, you are going to love Portland. The city has become famous for its passion for all things horticultural and once you see all the different places that celebrate natural beauty you’ll know why. The locals like nothing better than starting their day with a brisk walk or jog in the Forest Park. As the largest urban wooded area in the United States, there are 70 miles of trails to explore and excellent views to be found.
Elsewhere, there’s the International Rose Test Garden, which was established during World War I to protect European species; the Lan Shu Chinese Garden, which was created using authentic materials brought all the way from Portland’s sister city in China; and the relaxing Japanese Garden, which features many spots where you can sit and take in your stunning surroundings. Also, if you visit in the summer, free concerts are often put on in the city’s parks.
Go Nuts For Doughnuts
It’s unusual, in a large city like Portland, that one business would make such a big name for itself but that’s exactly what Voodoo Doughnut has done. Featured in various TV shows and many other forms of media, the people of Portland have taken this hip joint under their collective wing and championed it as a symbol of their home town.
The extensive, mouth-watering menu features highlights such as the Marshall Mathers Doughnut (topped with M&Ms), the classic Voodoo Doll Doughnut (shaped like a Voodoo doll and oozing with red jam), the Portland Cream Doughnut (which represents the great city), and the mighty Tex-Ass Challenge Doughnut. If you eat the latter, which is the size of six normal doughnuts, in eighty seconds or less you get your money back.
Explore On Two Wheels
As well as the City of Roses, Portland’s nickname is Bridgetown. This is, unsurprisingly, in reference to the abundance of bridges that join both halves of the city either side of the Willamette River. There are eight in total that can be found in the centre of town; each of which offers a unique panoramic view of the city. Perhaps the most famous bridge is the only one of its kind in the world. The double-decker Steel Bridge lifts vertically and is used by cars, pedestrians and rail traffic.
The best way to explore the bridges (and the city) is on two wheels, just like Portlanders do. You can rent a bike from Pedal Bike Tours or various other places in the city and then join a guided tour or head off on your own to discover what else lies within the city limits.
You will get the chance to see some of Portland during your river cruise, but if you wish to spend more time here you can. Speak to our helpful team about adding a land-based stay to the beginning or end of your trip along the Snake and Columbia waterways.