|Subject: Re: Portland, Oregon|
I'm so sorry to be slow in recommendations for your time in the Emerald Corner. Forest Grove is a sweet little town, but a bustling tourist destination, it is not. Won't you be accommodated in dorms at PU? I can't imagine they'd have you commuting from Portland down to Forest Grove every day for your conference! We out here would think of that as pretty extreme: a 45 mile commute! We tend to have rush minutes, as opposed to rush hours, but Portland does have some traffic.
Just southeast of Forest Grove are two places you might enjoy: Silver Creek Falls and The Oregon Gardens. http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php http://www.oregongarden.org/main.htm The Falls is a lovely state park with walking trails & cool picnic places. The Oregon Garden is a new project: a botanical garden for all of Oregon. It's about 4 years old now, a very ambitious garden, but it is fine. The info booth is a rescued Frank Lloyd Wright house moved to the site. Access to both of these is just off our major north-south highway, so if you have a car, it's dead simple.
In Portland proper, the Japanese Garden & the Rose Garden (not the sports/events venue, but the REAL garden) are must-sees. They are atop one of the gentle hills surrounding the city & are world famous for the botanical specimens as well as the design. http://www.japanesegarden.com/ http://www.parks.ci.portland.or.us/Parks/RoseGardens.htm
The Portland Art Museum is a little gem of a museum in the city. http://www.pam.org/index.asp
If you'd be in Portland on a Saturday, you might visit the Saturday Market, a fun outdoor food & crafts market that is patterned after the venerable market of the same name down here in Eugene (also known as America's Living Theme Park of the Sixties) but not nearly as tie-dye oriented as our original. http://www.saturdaymarket.org/
With more details on where you indeed will stay, I can come up with accoms recommendations.
Regards, Gail In Eugene always for the summer