Seniors Enjoy the Willamette Valley


Growing up in Iowa, the only Portland I ever knew was cement. Then I learned some geography. I discovered that Portland is the largest city in the state of Oregon (600,000+) and located near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Senior travelers will find Portland 70 miles east of the Pacific Ocean and at the northern end of Oregon’s most most populated region, the Willamette Valley.  

Downtown Portland straddles the banks of the Willamette River which flows north through the city center and consequently separates the east and west portions of the city. Less than 10 miles from downtown, the Willamette River flows into the Columbia River, the fourth-largest river in the US, which divides Oregon from Washington state.


Travel Portland is a website featuring Things to Do, Places to Visit and Plans for your Trip. Fodor’s Travel finds that what distinguishes Portland from the rest of America’s cityscapes or from the rest of the world’s urban destinations is that in a Northwest nutshell: everything.

For some, it’s the wealth of cultural offerings and never-ending culinary choices; for others, it’s Portland’s proximity to the ocean and mountains, or simply the beauty of having all these attributes in one place. Seniors, it is just one neat place for a visit. 

Seniors Like Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area


I always like to know how towns got their name. Portland is no different. It was initially referred to as “Stumptown” and later “The Clearing” because of the many trees being cut down to allow for its growth.

Later after a coin toss, the name Portland became its namesake. That coin is now known as the “Portland Penny” and you can see it at the Oregon Historical Society.

The famed Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area ranks high with senior visitors, then the International Rose Test Garden. Couple these with some great parks and gardens and gardeners like myself could spend days in Portland. Google adds more suggestions and now you will have to pick and choose as there are so many possibilities for fun and excitement in Portland.


Like Seattle, 178 miles to the north, Portland lies in an area of exceptional and easily accessible natural beauty, and this proximity to so many remarkable and varied landscapes adds to Portland’s allure. On a clear day, Mount Hood—the city’s alpine mascot—glows on the eastern horizon, about 90 minutes away.

In the heart of downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square, senior visitors will find the Visitor Information and Services Center. A great place to begin your visit to the city.  You will discover that Portland has a mix of open scenic spaces and parks combined with a busting city life and diverse neighborhoods. Come, see it all for yourself and enjoy the city. -jeb

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