Learn more about Portland’s history by walking through and near Portland State University.

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A visit to the Museum of Flight, south of Seattle, is not unlike a shopping excursion to Ikea — the facility is vast, sprawling, and packed with tempting tidbits offering a plethora of distractions.

The Willamette Shore Trolley may be one of Oregon’s best-kept secrets, and a real gem for those who make the time for a ride. It’s only a mile and a half, but there’s so much to see and hear, it can take up to an hour and a half.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan, the post-World War II effort to revitalize a devastated Western Europe. In 1947, from London to Moscow, cities were flattened, economies destroyed, homes left in rubble, and millions of people displaced. In the midst of this destitution existed, as President Harry S. Truman observed, a breeding ground for the spread of communism throughout Europe.

Thousands of families flock to Seaside every summer to enjoy wide sandy beaches, rolling ocean waves and an ice cream cone, but autumn offers just as much fun for the over-50 population.

For the past four years, Neal Ballard has helped install cameras that capture images of animals in southwest Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest. He has always loved to hike, but this volunteer work setting up wildlife cameras in remote areas for a nonprofit organization allows him to venture off established trails to “see places I never would have seen before.”

Jean Blaske and Nadia Cieslak are like most people who enjoy going out to eat. They aren’t beholden to food critics and those deft use of adjectives to describe dishes. Instead, they are co-workers at AAA who like exploring restaurants on their own.

“The eclipse is coming, the eclipse is coming.” In China, 715 years ago, that statement would’ve been met with fear and worry over what disaster the darkening of the skies would foretell to fall upon the leader.

After 15 years of planning, carving and assembling, the Albany Historic Carousel and Museum opens Aug. 15. There will be a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for “kids of all ages,” to celebrate the long-awaited, 22,000 square foot, state of the art facility, located at the corner of 1st Avenue SW and Washington Street SW in Albany.

In the early 1900s, as pioneers struggled to tame the wild Oregon Coast into permanent settlements, one of the most visible signs of the changing of seasons would have been the wild rhododendrons. Only a few examples still exist, but we know they were huge and pervasive, says Sandy Zinn, a librarian at Siuslaw Pioneer Museum in Florence.

It’s not easy being an old house. Not only are there the usual aches and pains of age — dry rot, outdated plumbing, foundation troubles — but, for houses in urban areas, there is the increasing threat of economic pressures to demolish and replace. When these older houses disappear, we destroy a bit of history and lose a part of our cultural heritage. Here is a tale of two historical houses sharing a family connection and similar past, but far different futures.

Looking for unusual holiday decorations, the perfect gift for the person with everything, or a one-of-a-kind toy for a grandchild? Instead of heading to the crowded mall, consider a trip to an antiques shop. Buying collectibles and antiques is a way of “green’ shopping, or recycling and reusing goods from yesteryear. It’s great fun to poke around in a shop as you never know what hidden treasure you’ll discover: a piece of jewelry, wacky knick-knack, vintage wooden toy, or a pretty crystal bowl. And, there is always the remote possibility of having an Antiques Roadshow experience when that $5 vase turns out to be worth $5,000.

According to USA Today, Portland is among the top 10 haunted cities in America. However, it would appear that some of the ghosts have escaped the confines of the city and taken up residence in the Columbia River Gorge. October, the month of Halloween hauntings and fall foliage, creates a good excuse for a visit.

Living in Mount Angel made it impossible for a retired U.S. Army colonel to ignore Oktoberfest. “I was impressed, and I wanted to be a part of it,” says Jerry Lauzon, who began his military service in 1955 and retired in December 1990. “When we moved to Mount Angel in 1989, I got actively involved as a festival volunteer and stayed involved for the next 25 years. As a retired board member and citizen of Mount Angel, I am still involved.”

When it comes to the typical home, most Americans embrace the idea that bigger is better. Yet, there’s a countermovement for the “small house” or “tiny house,” where buyers are opting for homes between 400 and 1,000 square feet.

Silver Falls State Park is known as the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you’ll know why. The 9,200-acre park lies about 20 miles east of Salem on Highway 214, a wonder-land that must be added to your bucket list. Where else can you take in 10 waterfalls, and even walk behind four of them?

Just when you feel saturated with presidential campaign stories, here’s another one. In the 1928 presidential election, Frank T. Johns was the nominee on the Socialist Labor Party ticket in a race dominated by major party leaders Herbert Hoover and Al Smith. Johns kicked off his campaign on May 20 with a speech in the central Oregon town of Bend at a downtown park along the Deschutes River. At the end of the speech, during a Q and A session, cries rang out from the crowd when a small boy fell from a foot-bridge into the river. The candidate leaped into the water to save the boy but, alas, both were swept away in the river’s swift current.