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Portland: Naked rides and bacon doughnuts

By Marnie Hunter and Ashley Strickland, CNN
  • The city's parks are home to a nice collection of gorgeous gardens and views
  • Food carts and Voodoo Doughnuts get high marks from iReporters
  • Neighborhoods from the Pearl to Sellwood and the Hawthorne District offer unique shopping

Have you visited or lived in Portland? Share your tips in the comments section below.

(CNN) -- Portland's stunning setting, rich food culture and unique neighborhoods are just some of what's earned this Oregon city legions of fans, despite the notorious drizzle.

Visitors who want to see the sun should start planning summer trips to the City of Roses now. We asked iReporters to share their photos and tips for making the most of a stay in Portland.

Naked biking, anyone? "If you are here in early summer, try to catch the Pedalpalooza Naked Ride where hundreds of naked cyclists take to the street," suggests iReporter Michele Thompson.

Nature in the city

Snow-capped mountains, lush forests, waterfalls, wine country and the coast are within easy driving distance, and the long Pacific Northwest growing season means a wealth of natural beauty in town, too.

Washington Park is home to a renowned Japanese garden, the International Rose Test Garden, a zoo, an arboretum, a children's museum and more.

"The Rose Garden overlooks the city and on a clear day one will have great views of Mt. Hood and other surrounding mountains," says iReporter Michelle Katz.

Washington Park, Mount Tabor and Tryon Creek parks all offer nice trails in the city, Katz says.

Indulge your senses

An iReporter with the handle Manzaniter calls the food in Portland "almost uniformly exquisite."

Voodoo Doughnuts and the open-air food carts set up all over the city receive multiple endorsements from iReporters.

Thompson touts the "fresh hot maple bacon donuts and other wild varieties" at Voodoo Doughnuts downtown. It's also a great place to start a walking culinary tour, she says.

"[Food carts] have attracted people from all over the world and some have been featured on food television programs," Katz says. And you won't want to miss the city's bounty of breweries and coffee shops.

And don't forget live music. iReporter Kristina Marshall recommends the Doug Fir Lounge for great shows. The July Waterfront Blues Festival gets a nod from another iReporter.

Shop, dine and shop some more

Neighborhoods in all corners of the city offer an eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries and restaurants, and the Portland Saturday Market, an open-air arts and crafts market in historic Old Town, is a don't-miss, according to several iReporters.

The Pearl, a trendy revitalized warehouse district downtown, is home to top restaurants, galleries and shops, including Portland's landmark bookstore.

"At the South end of the Pearl District is Powell's Books, a big attraction for locals and visitors alike. One of the world's great bookstores, selling new and used books," Katz says.

She also recommends 23rd Avenue, just west of the Pearl, for unique shopping.

The Hawthorne and Sellwood districts, both in Southeast Portland, are fun for shopping and eateries, says iReporter Romulo Hortaleza. Hortaleza also recommends "any store that has what you want because there's no sales tax in Oregon."

The great outdoors out of town

"You can do just about anything from surfing to snow skiing to off-roading in a couple of hours. And when you are done, the dining options in Portland are absolutely fantastic!" writes iReporter Gene Ellsworth.

Drive east through the Columbia River Gorge to Multnomah Falls and Mount Hood, south through pinot noir wine country in the Willamette Valley and east through Tillamook State Forest to the rugged Pacific coast.

"MUST go wine tasting in Willamette Valley!," Marshall insists.

Getting ready

Expect casual dress and friendly locals, says iReporter Kari Jensen.

Light rail from the airport and the street cars downtown are a clean and fast way to get around, and learning to pronounce a few key words will help you, she says.

"We say OR ee gun, with the accent on the OR. And the major valley where Portland is located: 'It's Willamette, dammit!!' It rhymes with damn it. And the accent is on the a (like a in cat) sound."