Portland may not be known for its white winters, but come December, temperatures drop and rainy days roll in. Don’t let the weather dampen your clients’ time in America’s weirdest city, though. From cozy coffee shops to outdoor activities that will make its visitors forget the chill, Portland still has plenty to offer its winter guests.
Sip pinot noir
Crisp temperatures and rainy afternoons make winter the perfect season to get cozy in one of the Willamette Valley’s many tasting rooms, located roughly an hour south of Portland by road. Have your clients taste the region’s signature pinot noir on a wine tour, some of which feature bonus excursions such as a Willamette River cruise or a trip to nearby Silver Falls State Park.
Find the off-season blooms
Though the peak season for rose blossoms is long past, Portland’s 4.5-acre (1.8-hectare) International Rose Test Garden is still worth a visit. Your clients may see a few off-season blooms as they walk along the garden’s paved walkways en route to an ornate fountain, pagoda, and other public artworks. Plus, a winter visit promises fewer crowds, with plenty of space to play, roam, or picnic. Your clients can see the Rose Garden, plus the popular Lan Su Chinese Garden, on a guided city tour.
Take a hike
For a taste of nature, try recommending a guided hike in Portland’s Forest Park—one of the largest urban forests in the US. The park stretches along the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains, overlooking Northwest Portland. Its 5,157 acres (2,087 hectares) contain over 80 miles (129 kilometers) of trails and forest roads, allowing visitors to experience Pacific Northwest wilderness without leaving Portland’s city limits. For even more adventure, suggest your clients to take a hike on the 4T Trail, have them explore the nearby Columbia River Gorge, or suggest taking a day trip to Mount Hood.
Hop on a bike
Your clients will enjoy to be like a local and combine two of Portland’s most popular activities into a single afternoon of revelry on a joint bike and brewery tour. They can take an easy ride through the Pearl District, downtown Portland, and Northwest Portland, stopping to chat about popular attractions and sample craft brews along the way. Between the pints and the pedaling, any winter chill will quickly disappear.
Dining “en pleine aire” on a tour of Portland’s hippest new eateries: food pods, a collection of food carts gathered in a single lot. Your clients can sample food from five carts, including farm-to-table cuisine, and visit historic attractions and scenic neighborhoods between bites.
As tempting as it may be to curl up and binge-watch Netflix on a chilly afternoon, those with the right attitude (and the right coat) will be rewarded with artisanal coffee and colorful commentary on a tour of the real filming locations behind the hit show “Portlandia.” Your clients will see locations that inspired some of the show’s most popular moments, such as the “Dream of the ‘90s” music video and the “put a bird on it” catchphrase, all while learning about Portland’s real hipster attractions.
See the city illuminated
Every December, the Oregon Zoo, the Grotto, and the Columbia and Willamette rivers glow with over 2 million holiday lights wound about tree trunks, emblazoned on a fleet of ships, and sculpted into life-like depictions of animals, trees, and archangels. Catch ZooLights daily from 5pm to 9pm until Jan. 7, 2018.