From theater to music to outdoor sports, Portland offers many activities that are sure to please any visitor throughout the year. Water has always been a major influence on Portland, from the beauty of the nearby Willamette and Columbia rivers to the temperate yet rainy winters. Average rainfall here is more than 30 inches annually, and about half the days in a year have measurable precipitation, typically from November to April. But Oregon's most populous city has made the most of its climate, using it to turn the city into a haven for growing and celebrating roses. Portlanders have built upon its nickname -- City of Roses – that was given to it way back in the late 1800s because of the favorable weather for producing these beloved flowers. Among the rose-centered things to do while in Portland are visiting the International Rose Test Garden and attending the annual Portland Rose Festival, which has been a major event since the early 1900s. You'll find plenty of other things to do when you visit Portland, whether on business or vacation. Among the popular sites here are the Oregon Zoo, Portland Center for Performing Arts, and Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center. Other favorites include the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society Museum, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland Japanese Garden, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You'll also find many hiking trails in and around Portland, as well as parks that help you enjoy the beauty of the great Pacific Northwest. Make sure you visit Mt. Tabor Park, Forest Park, and Mill Ends Park. This city also has its own Chinatown, which includes the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. You'll also appreciate the architecture in Portland, where an area known as the Alphabet Historic District includes large, centurey-old Victorian and Craftsman homes.