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You'll find lots to keep you busy and entertained on your Portland area museum tour. A good first stop for history lovers is the Oregon History Center, 1200 SW Park Ave, 503-222-1741. In addition to the museum, they have a bookshop and regional research library.
To learn more about the importance of shipping in Portland's history, visit the Oregon Maritime Center and Museum, 133 SW Naito Pkwy, 503-224-7724. Here you'll be treated to exhibits of early ship models and navigational instruments plus tour the historic steam Sternwheeler Portland. Also on Front Avenue is the Jeff Morris Fire Museum, which has displays of vintage firefighting equipment used in Portland throughout the years.
Nearby Portland, you'll find more neat history museums, including the Clackamas County Historical Society-Trails End Heritage Center; the Museum of Warm Springs; the Pacific Northwest Museum of Natural History; and the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum.
The Clackamas County Historical Society--Trials End Heritage Center, 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City, OR, 503-655-5574, consist of 18,000 square feet of displays on Oregon history and the 1907 Stevens Crawford House. A visit to the Museum of Warm Springs, 2189 Highway 26, Warm Springs, OR, 541-553-3331, will give you a chance to learn more about the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute Tribes. You can then head on over to the Juniper Room at Warm Springs, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, 100 Main St, 541-553-1112, for a Native American meal.
At the Pacific Northwest Museum of Natural History, 1500 E Main, Ashland, OR, 541-488-1084, you'll experience multi-sensory exhibits, live animal programs, and get to participate in interactive hands-on experiments. As you tour the three floors of exhibits at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum 2106 Second St., Tillamook, OR, 503-842-4553, you'll gain a greater appreciation for the trials, tribulations, and joys of the hearty pioneer stock that headed West. Also in Tillamook is the Tillamook Naval Air Station Museum, 6030 Hanger Road, 503-842-1130, where you can tour the world's largest wooden building and see some fine classic aircraft.
If you're an art lover, you'll want to spend some time exploring the galleries of the Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave, 503-226-2811; and the Maryhill Museum of Art, 35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale, WA, 509-773-3733, where you'll find Rodin sculptures, Russian icons, the Queen Marie Gallery, a chess collection, and Native American artifacts.
If kids are part of your party, take them for a fun afternoon to the Portland Children's Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Rd, 503-823-2227. They specialize in exhibits that will entertain and educate children from one to 10 years old but don't let that stop you from joining in the fun!
A great next stop is OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), 1945 SE Water Ave, 503-797-4000. Here you'll find hundreds of interactive exhibits about computer, space, and earth sciences, experience the force of tornadoes and earthquakes, visit the OMNIMAX Theater, planetarium shows, and submarine tours. Heck you can even beam a message into outer space.
Other interesting museums in the Portland area are the American Advertising Museum and the Pearson Air Museum. At the American Advertising Museum, 211 NW 5th Ave, 503-226-0000, call for hours, you'll find exhibits on the history of advertising and how it has influence, entertained, and informed us through the years.
A trip to the Pearson Air Museum, 1105 E Fifth, Vancouver, WA, 360-694-7026, will give you a chance to see the last intact Army Air Corps facility complete with vintage aircraft, displays, a children's hands-on area, and gift shop. After you finish visiting here, head on over to the National Historic Site of Fort Vancouver,1501 E Evergreen Blvd, 360-696-7655; Officer's Row, 1301 Officers Row, 360-693-3103; and the Pomeroy House/Living History Farm, 20902 NE Lucia Falls Rd., 360- 686-3537.
If your visit to the Person Air Museum just made you long to see more planes, head on over to McMinnville, OR and the Evergreen Aviation Museum, 3850 NE Three Mile Lane, 503-472-9361. Here you'll find a neat variety of planes to admire including Howard Hughes' amazing Spruce Goose.
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