Nestled in the Tualatin Valley, Hillsboro is a county seat on the western outskirts of Portland. It was once a hunting, fishing and food gathering ground for the Kalapuya people before settlers established a village in 1842, which was named in honour of the Oregon politician, David Hill.
Things to do in Hillsboro
Several Hillsboro properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 1878 Old Scotch Church with its eight-sided steeple. Be sure to stop by the one-room Historic Washington County Jail, which was used to house prisoners until 1870. While exploring the downtown area, keep an eye out for the Mediterranean-style Zula Linklater House and the Craftsman Bungalow residence of Edward Schulmerich.
On the southern edge of Hillsboro is the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, which sprawls across more than 250 hectares of reclaimed cattle ranching land. Begin your visit at the Wetlands Nature Center to learn about the natural history of the site and see the only authentic bald eagle next exhibit in the United States. Nature trails wind through the wetlands, which provide habitat for river otters, beavers and coyotes.
On the northern edge of Hillsboro is the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, which occupies a ranch-style building that dates back to the 1930s. It boasts an exceptional 20,000-specimen collection that includes fossils, meteorites and gemstones. See minerals that glow in the dark in the Rainbow Gallery and get up close to the famous “Alma Rose” from Colorado’s Sweet Home Mine.
Getting around Hillsboro
Hillsboro is around 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Portland and 40 minutes from Portland International Airport, which has flights to destinations across North America and Europe. Light rail services connect along the MAX Blue Line to Hillsboro Central Station and buses travel throughout the city.