Portland, Oregon—how shall we name you? City of Roses (after your beautiful gardens and annual festival)? Beervana (for having more brewpubs than any city in the world)? Bridgetown (for the eight bridges spanning your downtown)? Or Greenest City in the World (as named by Popular Science magazine)? Well, in June of 2017, we’ll just call you home to the Historical Novel Society’s biennial conference—and let the conference goers decide what they like best about you!
Portland has much to offer its guests, including some great spots for history buffs. The Pittock Mansion, a short drive from downtown, was the home of Portland pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock from 1914 to 1919. Now open to visitors, its eclectic architectural design and richly decorated interior offer a history of the family’s contributions to the blooming city. Nestled high in Portland’s West Hills, the grounds offer stunning views of the city and five mountains in the Cascade Range.
The Oregon Historical Society is a few short blocks from the conference hotel. Open seven days a week, it features original and traveling exhibitions that tell stories of the people, places, and events that shaped Oregon and American history. Its world-class research library is open Tuesday-Saturday and is the perfect place to research a historic home or find a long-lost pioneer relative.
Train enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. At this family-friendly stop you can view historic steam locomotives and learn about rail history from experienced guides.
Writers and readers alike can lose themselves in Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independent used and new bookstore. It takes up a full city block, has nine color-coded rooms, and holds about a million books. Its one-of-a-kind Rare Book Room draws bibliophiles from near and far to browse an impressive collection of autographed first editions and collectible volumes. Powell’s Books is about a mile from the conference hotel and easy to reach by streetcar.
For conference attendees who wish to make a vacation of their trip, there’s plenty to do. Plan on coming early or staying late to spend a few days touring the nearby wine country, home to some of the world’s best pinot noir. Or head out to the Oregon Coast where you can enjoy mile upon mile of public access beach, browse boutique shops, and enjoy fine and family-style dining. Or drive up Mt. Hood and take in the splendors of this statuesque mountain. The Timberline Lodge, built and furnished in 1937 by local artisans under the Works Progress Administration, is well worth a look-see.
Want to learn more about Portland’s offerings? Visit Travel Oregon’s website at http://traveloregon.com/cities-regions/greater-portland/portland/.
Here’s to a grand time at HNS 2017 in Portland, Oregon!