Growing up just an hour from Disneyland, my husband never went to the magical theme park as a kid. Why? It was so close to home, his family didn't see it as anything special. Likewise, if you've lived in a city your whole life, it's easy to overlook the hidden treasures in your own backyard.
From Chocolate to Architecture
Grab some sneakers and join a guided walking tour to discover the little known stories of your city.
In Portland, you've got plenty of choices. Portland Walking Tours offers five popular tours every weekend from December through March. Learn about the city's scandalous past in "Underground Portland" or its chocolate obsession in the indulgent "Chocolate Decadence" tour. Join their award-winning "Best of Portland", the creepy "Beyond Bizarre" or the scrumptious "Epicurean Excursion" tours too.
Interested in architecture and the stories behind the buildings we see everyday? Check out Portland's Architectural Heritage Center for classes and walking tours.
I recently produced a video for About.com with the HeritageCenter’s architectural historian, Eric Wheeler. Before interviewing Wheeler, all I knew about Beaux-Arts architecture was that it sounded French. Architectural history never exactly made my heart go pitter patter, but as Wheeler talked, his enthusiasm and passion for Portland's history was contagious.
I also discovered my daughter's little children’s theater connects us to our Greco-Roman roots. Who knew? Now, I'm looking forward to Wheeler's next walking tour, knowing I'll leave it with a new appreciation for Portland's past and present.
If you want to brush up on a little Beaux-Arts history, here's the link to the video Wheeler so graciously hosted.
Run Brain Run
Walking tours on local architecture a little too mild for you? Check out Run Brain Run, the sister company of Portland Walking Tours. It will send you and your teammates on a mission in Portland to unravel clues, analyze cryptic e-mails and decipher word puzzles.
I would tell you more, but that sounds like a good subject for another blog.