I admit it. I’ve been slacking. Maybe that’s too harsh – I’ve been too busy promoting Portland and Oregon to really enjoy it myself. If I were the kind of person to make a resolution, it would be to get out and see more of the city I love. I’ve gathered so many great ideas from our Twisitor Center on Twitter and there are some things that I’ve simply never tried.
So, in no particular order, here’s my Top 10 for 2010:
10. Visit Mill Ends Park. I work in downtown Portland and I’ve never been! But this is the year that I check out the world’s smallest park (and only leprechaun colony west of Ireland), located at S.W. Naito and Taylor.
9. See the Portland Urban Iditarod. As a former Alaskan, I feel it’s my duty to watch the Portland twist on this classic race. No dogs here, just teams of humans dressed in costume along with their mushers and shopping carts — I mean “sleds”. The event is on March 13 and spectator information will be published on March 12. Something tells me this is going to be fun.
8. Go to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.I have been once, but I’ve got to get back to the acres and acres of blooming tulips in Woodburn, Ore., about 30 miles south of Portland. Flower fan or not, it’s truly a sight to see. This year’s festival is March 25-April 25.
6. Take a walking tour. There’s so much to learn about this city and Portland Walking Tours has a great selection: Best of Portland, Underground Portland, Beyond Bizarre or Epicurean Excursion. I think I’ll start with the Epicurean Excursion … hey, you burn calories as you go.
5. Tour the Fruit Loop. One way or another, I want to experience the 35-mile Hood River Fruit Loop. The website lists info about events, where to eat, stay and play, so perhaps I’ll make a weekend of it and see it all in one shot.
4. Experience the UFO Festival.I don’t claim to be a big UFO fan and this happens in McMinnville (40 miles south of Portland), but it feels like a quirky Portland event to me. The festival is May 14-15 and, hold on — there’s a costume parade. Did someone say photo op?
3. Watch the Adult Soap Box Derby. Speaking of quirky Portland events … Each August, teams construct unique soap box racers and zoom down southeast Portland’s Mt. Tabor (an extinct volcanic cinder cone) to find out who’s fastest. I found some pics on Flickr, too.
2. Hear more live music this summer. Last summer I didn’t take full advantage of all of Portland’s musical offerings (even after blogging about them). So in 2010, I’ll be checking out Music on Main Street (conveniently held right across the street from our office), Pickin’ on Sundays at the Doug Fir, perhaps an Oregon Zoo Summer Concert, Tuesday by Twilight at Lan Su Chinese Garden or a SakéOne concert.
1. Visit SakéOne.Speaking of the world’s only American-owned and operated sakéry, although I have enjoyed their wonderful saké, I have never been to the tasting room. I’ve heard it’s a great experience, so this is the year that I make the trek to their headquarters in Hillsboro, 25 miles west of Portland.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress with posts, pictures and maybe even a video or two. If you decide to tackle some of these goals yourself, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Remember, you can share photos on our Facebook fan page, too. Have fun!