See & Do

Portland Attractions | Willamette River Rides | Nearby Restaurants

Portland Attractions

Perl District

The Pearl District
Historic industrial buildings have been transformed into unique retail storefronts, restaurants, galleries, lofts and townhouses in Portland's premier shopping district. The Pearl District is the destination for creative cuisine, home furnishings, art and one-of-a-kind boutiques. Take a break from touring and shopping to relax at one of our picturesque sidewalk cafes. Or enjoy the fountains in Jamison Square. More than 100 shops, restaurants and galleries are open seven days a week, year-round. Easily accessible, The Pearl District is only a short walk or streetcar ride from downtown Portland; adjacent to I-405.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
At OMSI, there's no shortage of fun activities the whole family will enjoy. Explore more than 200 hands-on exhibits and feel the power of an earthquake, uncover a fossil, create a chemical reaction, or enter the world of virtual reality. You can also climb aboard a genuine submarine, travel the globe in the five-story OMINIMAX Dome Theater, journey to the outer reaches of the galaxy at the Kendall Planetarium, dine at the riverside cafe, or shop in the Science Store. Where will your adventure begin? Located downtown on the east bank of the Willamette River (beside the Marquam Bridge).

Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market
It's no wonder Portland Saturday Market is one ot the city's top attractions. Filled with the colors and flavors of more than 300 artisans, you'll find an array of quality arts and crafts being sold by the artists themselves. The Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from March through Christmas Eve. The Market is located in the heart of Portland's Historic Old Town under the west end of the Burnside Bridge.

Portland Classical Chinese Garden
Created to nurture and inspire all who visit this Chinese Garden is little changed from what might have greetd you during the Ming Dynasty in China. This walled Garden encloses a full city block. Serpentine walkways, a bridged lake, and open colonnades set off a meticulously arranged landscape of plants, water, stone, poetry and buildings. It is home to hundreds of rare and unusual plants, nearly 100 specimen trees, water plants, bamboo and orchids.

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest and, since its founding in 1892, has amassed a diverse collection numbering over 35,000 objects and works of art. This "collection of collections" comprises primarily gifts from generous donors and smaller collections purchased in their entirety. The Museum's collection includes works of European painting and sculpture, American painting and sculpture, silver, Asian art, Native American art, Pre-Columbian art, Cameroon and other African art, contemporary art, sculpture, prints and drawings, and photography.

The Grotto
No visit to Portland is complete without a trip to The Grotto - the internationally renowned Catholic sanctuary that welcomes more than 150,000 guests of all faiths each year. This peaceful 62-acre sanctuary is close to the city center area and would be a delight to visit any time of year. The Grotto is maintained solely through generous public support of its gardens, art works and facilities.

Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo
How many O'Reilly animals can you spot at the Oregon Zoo? The Oregon Zoo highlights animals and their habitat and features nine major exhibits, representing various geographic areas of the world. The Zoo is located along the MAX light rail line, five minutes from downtown Portland. The MAX stops at the zoo approximately every ten minutes.

CM2 - Children's Museum 2nd Generation
Known for its hands-on exhibits, Children's Museum 2nd Generation - (CM2) is perfect for kids aged 12 and younger. The museum features a magical forest for babies and toddlers; a huge "Water Works," where kids can send gallons of water splashing through a series of contraptions; drop-in studios for art explorations; and the "Vroom Room," where things really move. Located in Washington Park, CM2 is a rich family-oriented element in one of Portland's richest groupings of attractions. Washington Park is home to the Oregon Zoo, the World Forest Center Discovery Museum, the International Rose Test Garden, the Japanese Garden and Hoyt Arboretum. Open year-round.

International Rose Test Garden
The largest of three Portland public rose gardens, the International Rose Test Garden was established in 1917, making it the oldest test garden in the United States. The 4.5-acre site features 9,000 rose plantings representing some 590 varieties, including Savoy Hotel, Livin' Easy, New Zealand, Climbing Ophelia, and Sweet Juliet. From its vantage point in Washington Park, this terraced garden offers a spectacular view of downtown Portland, majestic Mount Hood and volatile Mount St. Helens. Best viewing months are May through September. Open year-round. Free.

World Forestry Center Discovery Museum
Located in Portland's beautiful Washington Park, the exhibits in the newly renovated Discovery Museum engage visitors to learn that forests are truly amazing and beautiful places. Come explore the fascinating, complex and dynamic world of trees and forests at the Discovery Museum.

Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden
Acclaimed as the most authentic Japanese Garden outside Japan. Step into Japan without having to leave the country. Portland's Japanese Garden offers five, formal garden styles nestled onto 5.5 pristine acres. The Tea Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Natural Garden, Sand and Stone Garden and Flat Garden combine to provide the visitor breathtaking examples of the ancient art of Japanese gardening. Each garden blends flawlessly into one another providing surprise vistas, restful repose and meditative symbology. Come and experience unsurpassed beauty.

Pittock Mansion
Experience the charm of a romantic time which will never come again, and marvel at the beauty and history of one of the region's great mansions - Pittock Mansion. Learn about Henry and Georgiana Pittock and the estate which symbolizes their contributions to the growth of Portland.

Mount Hood Railroad

Mount Hood Railroad
Travel though the Hood River Valley to the foothills of Mt. Hood. The fun begins the moment you step aboard the century-old Mt. Hood Railroad. Dating from 1906, the Exursion Train is comprised of enclosed Pullman coaches, a concession car, a red caboose and an open air car. Sit back, enjoy the great views and visit with friends and family as you travel along the river, through forests, meadows and numberous orchards to the town of Parkdale. A live narration along the way covers local history and key points of interest. During the one hour layover, have a picnic in the park, sample local cafes, browse the gift shops, visit the Hutson Museum and take in stunning views of Mt. Hood.

Mount St. Helens National Monument
At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown down or buried beneath volcanic deposits. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments. In 1982, the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance. Lessons learned by scientists have improved our understanding of volcanic processes, extended our ability to forecast future eruptions, and provided insight into how ecosystems respond to catastrophic disturbances. Each year thousands of studentss visit Mount St. Helens and are enriched by discoveries from research. State-of-the-art Visitor Centers and engaging ranger programs extend these lessons to millions more visitors. Roads, trails, and viewpoints offer visitors world class opportunities to explore this fascinating living laboratory.

Map of Area Attractions
The Portland Oregon Visitors Association highlights an Attraction Map. This map provides an aerial view of Portland with links and information on major attractions.

Willamette River Rides

Willamette River

The Sternwheeler Rose
For relaxation and stunning views of the Portland area, enjoy a scenic cruise aboard the Sternwheeler Rose, a working paddle-wheeler that runs exclusively on the Willamette River. Cruises depart from the submarine dock at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Sternwheeler Rose offers dinner cruises, brunch cruises and popular one-hour harbor tours. Phone: (503)286-7673.

The Portland Spirit
The Portland Spirit offers luxurious lunch, brunch and dinner cruises while featuring a talented wait staff to entertain guests. Saturday moonlight dance cruises are also available. Phone: (503)224-3900, or (800)224-3901.

Willamette Jetboat Excursions
Promising the "ultimate river adventure," Willamette Jetboats depart from the submarine dock at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and travel upriver past beautiful waterfront homes, a wildlife sanctuary and magnificent Willamette Falls. The return trip includes a close-up look at Portland's skyline and a shipbuilding/repair facility. Scenic tours (morning, afternoon and early evening departures) run either one or two hours; private charters, including meals, are also available. All tours are narrated by Coast Guard-certified pilots. Operates May through mid-October. Phone: (503)231-1532, or (888)538-2628

Nearby Restaurants

A list of restaurants close to the OCC is available on the conference wiki.


O'Reilly Media, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for the facilities or services provided by the vendors and suppliers. Anyone attending this convention releases O'Reilly from any and all claims that may arise out of attending at this convention.

News and Coverage
co-presented by Ruby Central, Inc. O'Reilly
  • Engine Yard
  • Sun Microsystems
  • FiveRuns
  • GotThingsDone
  • Heroku
  • ThoughtWorks
  • Atlantic Dominion Solutions
  • Blue Box Group
  • CodeGear
  • E-xact
  • ELC Technologies
  • EnterpriseDB
  • GemStone Systems
  • Intridea
  • Morph Labs
  • RightScale
  • TechRepublic

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at RailsConf, contact Yvonne Romaine.

Download the RailsConf Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media and Promotional Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for more information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences, or contact mediapartners@ oreilly.com.

Program Ideas

Post your suggestions for speakers, topics, and activities on the RailsConf wiki or send an email to rails-idea@oreilly.com.

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact confpr@oreilly.com.

Contact Us

View a complete list of RailsConf 2008 contacts.