Find Inner Peace at Portland's Japanese Garden
Portland is not lacking for parks and gardens—I've heard the Chinese garden in the Pearl district is a stunner—but I highly recommend the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. Portland
's a relaxed place anyway, but the Japanese gardens, said to be the best example outside Japan itself, are a change of pace entirely, a shaded haven of trickling streams and artful horticulture. The day we visited there were a number of other visitors, some of them a little boisterous, and I was worried that we weren't going to get the full calming effect, but there are enough paths and Zen sculpture gardens that you can find your own spot to sit and contemplate. Don't forget to take a warm jacket.