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Oregon Historical Society, Portland

Oregon Historical Society, Portland: Our most recommended tours and activities

Portland, Oregon: Soul of the City Walking Tour

1. Portland, Oregon: Soul of the City Walking Tour

Discover some of Portland's most influential architecture, from cast iron-fronted structures to the grandly disastrous post-modern Portland Building, on this walking tour. Discuss the modern rise of radical activists, and how it is connected to the city’s history going back more than a century. Meet your guide in the center of the city, at Director Park, only a block from the city's Cultural District. Walk through the South Park Blocks, visiting the plazas connected to museums and concert halls, including the Portland Art Museum and the Oregon Historical Society. Explore how Portland got its nicknames and city layout, how its cultural identity was forged, and where its commitment to racial justice and social progressivism comes from. Be surprised as you find out how the state of Oregon was founded and why. Next, meet Portlandia, the image personifying the city. Learn how much of the city as you see it today has hippies to thank for its richness. End the tour at Pioneer Courthouse Square. On days when attractions are open, you can briefly enter 1 or 2 buildings. Along the way, discover what led to the prioritization of parks throughout the city center, how the city’s early urban planners decided on their layouts, how modern designers look at the past and plan for the future, and who the streets are named after.

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What people are saying about Oregon Historical Society, Portland

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

This guide has excellent knowledge of the city and did a great job adjusting for the weather. Her personal bias on political and social matters was very clear. I would have preferred both sides of each story. For example: there was clear criticism of the loggers and 1st developers but without them Portland would not have been the city she obviously loves.

I had a wonderful tour! Our guide did an excellent job of making the history of Portland come alive for me. It’s such a complex and interesting city. Although the weather did not cooperate, she was gracious enough to lead the tour for our group without hesitation.

The walking tour with Rachel was fantastic she has a wealth of knowledge and she was so very personable and just very throuogh in how she communicated the history of Portland. If I were to return I would definitely do this tour again loved it.

Rachel was such an informative and great tour guide. I learned a ton and really enjoyed my time. She answered all my questions so well