Coming up Roses in Portland

Study Photography at the Portland Rose Festival

For over 100 years, the Portland Rose Festival has inspired the public to gather and celebrate diversity and unity. However, Portland is also a booming, desirable city that is home to thousands of at-risk youths. Add an impact to your trip by volunteering at a homeless shelter or with an NGO that serves LGBTQ youth.

The Worldwide Navigators Difference


Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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As you tour the states, you’ll arrive at the airport in Portland, where you’ll be transferred to your hotel and invited to a welcome meal with your local guide.

Your Portland guide will be with you for the duration of your stay and will help you quickly become familiar with the area. Spend the afternoon exploring downtown Portland at your leisure, including the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and gearing up for one of the best festivals of your life!

Tonight you will join thousands of other spectators along the streets of downtown for a local favorite, the Portland General Electric/SOLVE Starlight Parade — which is not your traditional parade. Yes, there are marching bands and floats, but there are also unique hand-built and illuminated entries, eclectic group entries, and overall fun displays. Entries in this parade are from Portland and the surrounding Northwest region. A Fun Run precedes the parade, featuring contestants wearing a wild assortment of costumes to entertain and engage the crowd. 

This morning you will enjoy a tour of the city including the downtown area, the Pearl District, northeast historical district and more.

In the afternoon, you may elect to visit the Chinese Gardens, Washington Park, or the Japanese Gardens.

This morning following breakfast, you will depart for an enjoyable day along the Oregon Coast. You will head to Tillamook to explore the local estuaries and coastline. You will also visit the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory (and take home some delicious cheese, too!). As you continue north to Astoria, you will have many opportunities to shoot some epic photos of the powerful Pacific Ocean and shoreline.

In Astoria, you will visit the Fort Stevens State Park and learn about the early explorers, Lewis and Clark. You will also visit the Astoria Column for a panoramic view of the Columbia River basin as it meets the Pacific Ocean.

You will return to Portland late in the day.

Following breakfast this morning, you will head in the opposite direction toward Timberline Lodge and the Mount Hood National Forest. Here you will have the opportunity to hike local trails or relax in the lodge following a scrumptious lunch prepared by the world-renowned chefs of the lodge.

You will return through Hood River and the Columbia Gorge. If time allows, be sure to stop at the Multnomah Falls area for a visit to this popular and inspiring waterfalls.

Today is a free day for you to explore Portland or the surrounding area. Your guide will provide you with several recommendations and options.

Today you will witness an integral part of the annual festival, the arrival of visiting ships and submarines. Every year, five to ten vessels make their way up the Columbia River to the Portland Waterfront, where they dock and open up for public tours. Frequent guests include the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Navy.

One of the central purposes of Fleet Week is to celebrate and thank the active and reserve military personnel and all veterans. 

Today you are invited to enjoy the City Fair along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. This event includes rides, games, and musical entertainment. The day ends with a fireworks display over the river.

Today you will join thousands of local and international visitors to watch the highlight of the Portland Rose Festival, the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade.

This annual tradition features local, regional, and international entries, including bands, floats, equestrian units, drill teams, vintage vehicles, flags, and more. All the floats in the parade are covered with natural materials (volunteers spend hundreds of hours the week before this parade attaching these materials).

The parade begins at 10 a.m. and lasts about 2.5 hours.

Following the parade, you are invited to join us at the riverfront for the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races. These races are held on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge and feature four-team heats held every nine minutes. Over 60 local, national, and international teams compete in boats graciously provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.

Today you will return to your home with fond memories of this cherished international event. Be sure to mark your calendars to return in early June in the coming years.

The magnificent Portland Rose Festival features community involvement at its finest. It truly is a community event gone global. Participants in the event come from around the region and around the globe. You can even get involved in the parade through the fun runs/walks or decorating the beautiful floats.

But this trip takes you beyond Portland to tour the state and nearby attractions including the grand Oregon Coast and the Mount Hood National Forest. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest and the USA.


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7-14 Day
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Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!

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