The most utilitarian of Portland's quadrants, the Southwest neighborhood, bounded by the West Hills to the west, the Willamette River to the east, and Burnside Avenue to the north, houses city government buildings, Portland State University, and the Oregon Health and Science University hospital. Though it offers fewer restaurants, bars and shops than other parts of town, the Southwest does have a few worthwhile attractions, including the Japanese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, Portland Children's Museum, and Oregon Zoo, all within Washington Park.
The best way to get to Washington Park in Southwest is via MAX light rail, which travels through a tunnel deep beneath the city's West Hills. Be sure to check out the Washington Park station, the deepest (260 feet) transit station in North America. Graphics on the walls depict life in the Portland area during the past 16.5 million years. There's also a core sample of the bedrock taken from the mountain displayed along the walls. Elevators to the surface put visitors in the parking lot for the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center, and the Portland Children's Museum.