Driving down Tigard’s SW Pacific Highway, it’s easy to zoom along, not realizing there’s an astounding array of snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, tarantulas, scorpions, and centipedes mere feet away from the busy street. Pull into the House of Reptiles and Venomous Reptile Museum for a dose of reptile education (11507 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard; open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.).
There’s a certain beauty walking into the door, feeling the buzz of the aquariums in the low-lit space. The House of Reptiles is so much more than a pet store and its employees are so much more than pet sellers. Any sense of intimidation is immediately melted by the warm, smart, and welcoming staff.
The $3 entry price into the store’s attached Venomous Reptile Museum is a must. The museum is simply a snug nook, but it provides an opportunity to see dozens of venomous creatures at once—and for those creatures to see you, too. Walking calmly by the black mamba, king cobra, diamondback rattlesnake, and deathstalker scorpion—with only glass walls as separation—is a rare and exhilarating treat. You’ll be wowed by each reptiles majestic scales, inquisitive stare, and graceful movements.
True reptile enthusiasts can make a weekend of scaled adventures, attending the Pacific NW Reptile & Exotic Animal Expo (March 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Complex, $7 admission). Here, exotic animals from around the world will be showcased and celebrated.
If reptiles make you nervous, visit an inanimate one first. Beaverton’s new Pietro’s Pizza includes a glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course, peppered with pirate-themed obstacles. You’ll know you’re toward the end when you have to swing your golf ball past the fluorescent—and totally not real—alligator.
Past Quirky Roadside Attractions:
World’s Tallest Barber Pole
Breezy the Triceratops
Bomb Crater at Rock Creek Tavern
What’s Up, Harvey
A&W Burger Family
Dress like a Quirky Roadside Attraction