Portland, "The City of Roses", is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest city in the Pacific Northwest. It is noted for its scenic beauty, a lively music scene, a large number of microbreweries, and its eco-friendly urban planning policies.
Portland lies about 70 mi (124 km) from the Pacific Coast on the northern border of the state of Oregon, straddling the Willamette River just south of its confluence with the Columbia River at Vancouver, Washington. About 50 mi (80 km) to the east lies majestic Mount Hood, which forms the perfect backdrop for Portland's skyline.
Portland is a very urban city, with an exciting blend of historic and modern architecture, but it isn't as overwhelming as some larger cities. Despite being an urban city, there are many lush parks to poke your toes into. Forest Park and Washington Park in the hills west of Downtown offer a variety of plants, trails, and wildlife near the city. Vistas of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River, stately Douglas Fir trees, and roses and trees at every turn give the city stunning seasonal color.
As the largest city between San Francisco and Seattle, Portland vies with those cities as the spiritual capital of the laid-back northern Pacific coast. However, it does so in a way that mixes big-city dynamics with small-town friendliness. Until recently Portland avoided the problems that come with fast growth, and although Portland is now experiencing rapid growth, similar to Seattle, it has been able to keep its unique character. You can find great art, waterfront festivals, and a friendly atmosphere here. Portland is also the microbrewery capital of the world, and much like Seattle's reputation for its coffee houses, Portland's numerous microbreweries have won it nationwide and international acclaim.
Environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling and an extensive public transportation system, are part of the culture. Portland is also known for taking creative and unconventional ideas to solve its problems - for example, it tore up a downtown freeway and transformed it into a park. Progressive city planning practices, such as an urban growth boundary, have made Portland a very compact and user-friendly city. Unlike other metropolitan areas, you can drive 15 mi (24 km) from downtown and be out in the country. However, like other metro areas, driving 15 mi (24 km) during rush hour will take you well over an hour or two, as Portland has some of the worst traffic congestion in the West.
As it turns out, the City of Portland was named over a simple coin toss. As of the early 19th century, the area was a small stopping point between Oregon City and Vancouver, WA and was referred to as "The Clearing". In the 1840s, the land was jointly owned by A. Lovejoy, a lawyer from Boston, and F. W. Pettygrove, from Portland, Maine. As they developed a small town, both men wanted to name it after their respective hometowns; so they decided to leave it up to a coin toss and Pettygrove won two times out of three.
As in other places in the Pacific Northwest, there is abundant rainfall in the fall, winter, and spring. The rain is often a menacing drizzle or mist, meaning you'll often be wet; total precipitation in Seattle and Portland is technically less than many east coast and southeastern cities because there are fewer downpours, instead the rain opts for a near constant drizzle. A sunny day in the rainy season can seem to be very rare, and Portlanders have the unusual habit of wearing shorts and flip-flops the minute the sun comes out, even if the temperature is barely above freezing. Portland has very little snow, instead the winters are very rainy. Bring or buy an umbrella if you're in Portland between October and June. It should be noted that a large portion of "Portlanders" don't use, or even believe in, umbrellas, instead preferring hoods and raincoats. Some more "hardcore" residents are even known to travel with no more cover than a baseball cap.
It's worth mentioning that there are really only two seasons in Oregon west of the Cascade mountain range - rain and summer. The rain and clouds typically last 9 months, from late September often until late June, then suddenly the clouds clear and it is hot and sunny. There is not really a gradual increase in temperatures, it's basically either 48°F (9°C) degrees and raining, or 85°F (29°C) and sunny. Prospective visitors who don't care for rain should be aware that Portland summers, although short, are quite pleasant - July through September have only a 10% chance of rain on any given day, temperatures rarely exceed 85°F (29°C) degrees or so, and local produce (including fresh sweet cherries and some of the world's best berries) is available at farmers' markets and fruit stands in and around the city. July and August are typically the hottest months, temperatures occasionally hit 100°F (38°C) or more.
Portland is divided into five sectors, sometimes referred to oxymoronically as the "five quadrants". Burnside Street is the north/south divider. The Willamette (pronounced will-LAM-et) River splits Southeast and Southwest, and the area bounded by Burnside to the south and the Willamette to the east is called Northwest (as one would expect). But the river takes a turn north of Burnside, since Mother Nature doesn't care much about straight lines. Thus the city decided to split what would be a large Northeast sector into North and Northeast at Williams Avenue (which continues roughly from where the River had previously run directly north/south). If you hear Portlanders talking about Southwest or Northeast, they're probably talking about a sector of the town rather than Arizona or Massachusetts.
SW - South of Burnside (west of Willamette), this sector includes the downtown core west of the Willamette. The Downtown core & PSU Campus, South Waterfront, OHSU, and surrounding areas are in this area.
SE - South of Burnside (east of Willamette)
NE - North of Burnside (east of Williams Ave)
N - North of Burnside (east of Willamette and west of Williams Ave)
NW - North of Burnside (west of Willamette), this sector is immediately north of the downtown (SW). It includes the popular Pearl District, the Old Town, and the Northwest district. North of that is light industrial.
Portland International Airport (IATA : PDX) is located 9 mi (15 km) northeast of downtown on the Columbia River. (This is also a dual-use air force base, which can cause confusion on some maps.) Most major airlines serve Portland from nearly all major airports in the United States. Non-stop air service is also available from Vancouver, BC, Canada; Tokyo, Japan; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico ; Frankfurt, Germany; and Amsterdam. Daily direct service is also available to Mexico City, Mexico; and Pusan, Korea. The airport also has free wi-fi.
A taxi from the airport to downtown is around $30.00. The MAX light rail, which has a stop right at the airport terminal, will cost only $2.30 and will take you directly downtown in about 40 min. That same $2.30 will let you on any of the buses to get you to your final destination. All light rail connects with the city wide bus system.
If you're renting a car, the best way to get to downtown Portland from the airport is to take I-205 south to I-84 west, then follow the signs to the City Center at I-84's terminus and interchange with I-5. This will take you over the Morrison Bridge into downtown. Renting a car for a downtown destination is not recommended: inconvenient, spendy and hard-to-find parking combined with active parking meter enforcement (8AM-7PM) and non-intuitive street closures, transit malls and restrictions make it frustrating--even for locals. Within downtown, MAX and the streetcar are free. Most people can walk from one end of downtown to the other in 15 min—-faster than driving at times.
When returning a rental car to the airport, follow the signs to stay in the left lane. However, it is very easy to make the mistake of exiting too soon at the control tower/shuttle bus exit. You need to curve to the right (with the rest of the highway) and not go straight. Even in light traffic, it is dangerous and illegal to immediately turn around. For an overhead view of the airport entrance, see The incorrect road appears as the left fork of a sideways 'Y'. (Traffic is moving in the direction of the upper left corner.)
Amtrak provides service to Portland from all along the west coast. The Amtrak Cascades service runs two trains per day between Portland and Eugene to the south. Additionally, there are three Cascades trains between Portland and Seattle to the north, a few of them even go further north to Vancouver. These trains are more reliable schedule-wise than the long distance trains.
For long distance service, Portland is served daily by the Coast Starlight, running the length of the West Coast (Seattle-Portland-San Francisco Bay Area-Los Angeles). The Starlight has earned the nickname the "Starlate", since it is usually delayed for hours running north from California. The Empire Builder (Portland-Spokane-Glacier Nat'l Park-Minneapolis/St Paul-Milwaukee-Chicago) also provides daily service eastward, and tends not to be as delayed as the Starlight.
Portland's Union Station, 800 NW Sixth Ave., is located north of downtown, about a 15-min walk from Pioneer Square. It is adjacent to the Greyhound bus station. The bus mall ends at Union Station, so local TriMet Buses run by Union Station very frequently.
From Washington to the north and California as well as most of the rest of Oregon to the south, the easiest way to get to Portland is on Interstate 5. You can enter the south part of downtown from I-5 before it goes over the Willamette River, or you can take I-405 which runs directly through downtown Portland with a number of exits.
From Boise and other points east, Interstate 84 leads along the Columbia into Portland. From the Oregon Coast Highway and other points along the Pacific coast to the west, the easiest approach is U.S. 26. It cuts east towards Portland between Cannon Beach and Seaside.
As with all of Oregon, there are no self-serve gas stations in Portland; an attendant will do the pumping for you.
No useful boat lines exist, although you can take cruises up and down the Willamette River.
Portland is an easy city to bike, walk or use public transport. However there are topographical features that affect how streets and roads flow, so planning and maps are important for any journey of more than a few blocks. The verdant West Hills slope up from downtown and divide it from the suburbs of Beaverton, Hillsboro and others.
Much of Portland is a grid, and fairly easy to navigate. The city is divided North and South by Burnside Street, East and West by the Willamette River. But the river takes a turn north of Burnside, since Mother Nature doesn't care much about straight lines. Thus, the city decided to split what would be a large Northeast sector into North and Northeast at Williams Avenue (which continues roughly from where the river had previously run directly north/south). All Portland addresses contain their designating sector inserted between house number and street name (i.e. 3719 SE Hawthorne Blvd.) The house address numbers increase 100 per block starting from Burnside Street or the Willamette River. This should make it easier to figure out where things are.
In general, East/West streets are named while North/South avenues are numbered. An exception is North Portland where North/South avenues are also named. On the West side, some streets and arterial roads follow a North/South grid, others follow the topography and curve a great deal. There are major arterials that cross town in NE/SW or NW/SE orientation including Sandy Boulevard, and Foster Road on the East side, and Barbur Blvd on the SW. The streets of inner Northwest Portland are arranged alphabetically starting with Burnside, followed by Couch, then Davis, etc. through NW Vaughn Street making directions easy to follow here.
Portland is a great city for walking. Many intersections are designed with pedestrians in mind, and Portland has a lot of street life for an American city. Good mass transit also makes walking more feasible in Portland. In the Alphabet District in NW Portland, the streets are named alphabetically as they go north starting with Ankeny. The City of Portland Office of Transportation offers free, highly detailed walking maps that may be ordered online. The Eastside Esplanade along the Willamette River across from downtown offers a scenic walk. Parts of the esplanade actually float on the water.
Portland is an excellent city for cycling. It has been rated by Bicycling Magazine as the best city in the U.S. for cycling. It has a network of streets designed to be predominantly used by bicyclists. These streets, such as SE Ankeny, SE Salmon, SE Lincoln, and SE Clinton, are usually spaced about halfway between the main car thoroughfares in the grid of East Portland. The bike streets are generally signed with green "Bike Route" signs. Additionally, many major streets have striped bike lanes.
The Blue Line, which runs from Hillsboro east through Beaverton and downtown to Gresham.
The Red Line, which runs from the Portland International Airport to downtown and west on to Beaverton.
The Yellow Line, which runs from the Expo Center, to downtown, and south to Portland State University.
The Green Line, which runs from Clackamas Town Center, to downtown, and south to Portland State University.
All of the lines go through the city's downtown and Lloyd District, so the lines don't matter there.
Fares will depend on how much you travel, but a two hour ticket that covers all fare zones costs $2.30, and all-day tickets are $4.75. You can purchase a ticket at any MAX station. Bus tickets are purchasable on board for $2 or $2.30, depending on the number of zones, exact change cash only. Keep the ticket to show to fare inspectors, and as a transfer to other lines.
In addition, TriMet maintains the Portland Streetcar line , which runs through the downtown area, connecting the Northwest Portland, Pearl District, Downtown, Riverplace (with connection to the Arial Tram), and South Waterfront neighborhoods, plus Portland State University.
Most of downtown is covered by the Free Rail Zone, formerly Fareless Square, where rides on the MAX Light Rail and Portland Streetcar fares are free as long as you board and leave within the Square. The MAX Light Rail fareless ride extends across the River to the Rose Quarter and the Lloyd Business District.
C-Tran runs buses in Clark County, Washington. Fares for TriMet, C-Tran, and the Portland Streetcar are all interchangeable. Also available is a extensive system map available for a small cost from the TriMet store in Pioneer Square
Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, SW 3rd Ave, Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox in collaboration with Portland architecture firm BOORA, is visible as visitors approach downtown Portland via Washington Street. A canopy conceals a small grove of trees that grow on the roof, making the building one of Portland's most iconic buildings. It was designed with sustainability in mind; it exceeded Oregon's building energy codes by approximately 30% at the time of construction.
Public Services Building (The Portland Building), 1120 SW 5th Ave, Considered an architectural icon. Designed by Michael Graves and built in 1982, its coloring and embellishment marked the arrival of postmodern architecture and the end of stark glass and steel edifices. The statue in front,
Salmon Street Springs, SW Naito Pkwy and Salmon St, In Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, A central computer controls 185 jets of water which produce regularly changing water patterns. A popular attraction for kids, especially during the warm summer months.
Saturday Market , Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4:30PM, 1st weekend in Mar-24 Dec, SW 1st Avenue, Under the Burnside Bridge, This market and craft fair, where everything sold is handmade, is the largest open-air crafts market in continuous operation in the U.S.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) , +1 503 797-6674, Tu-Su 9:30AM-5:30PM (after Labor Day to mid-Jun), 1945 SE Water Ave, OMSI is great for kids. It has hundreds of hands on activities and you can spend a full rainy day there and not get bored. But if all you want to do is see an awesome movie check out the IMAX theater that gives you a 360° view of space travel, scuba diving, race car driving, or an Africa safari. Note that Museum admission does not include admission to the IMAX theatre, which requires an additional ticket, charged at the same rate as the general admission. However, with general museum admission, this is one of the very few places in the world where you can actually view the IMAX projector in operation (located at the end of hallway).
First Thursday , First Thursday of each month, First Thursday of every month all art galleries in the Pearl district are free, and many serve wine and cheese. *The Pearl* as the locals call it is a newly remodeled and redeveloped area across from downtown P-town. It was old warehouses just fifteen years ago and now it is posh high rises and condos that have trendy shops and galleries at street level. A modern new city park sits in the middle that includes a boardwalk, grass, trees, waterfall which fills a pool every half hour or so. Little kids love the water on a hot day.
Last Thursday, Alberta St between Martin Luther King and 30th, Last Thursday is said by many locals to be the alternative to First Thursday. It includes everything from wine tasting and gallery openings to street vending and performance artist walking the streets and sidewalks.
Kvinneakt (The 'Expose Yourself to Art' Statue), 5th & Washington, The bronze statue of a woman, officially titled
Portlandia , 1120 SW 5th Ave, W side of Portland Bldg, The second-largest hammered-copper statue in the U.S. (after the Statue of Liberty). Portland's public art is managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.
Laurelhurst Park , SE 39th Ave & Stark St, A beautiful park located near inner SE. This park was designed by a horticultural expert from the same team that designed Central Park in New York City. This park has a great atmosphere in good weather, with lots of locals and visitors enjoying the duck pond, the bike paths, and the off-leash dog area.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden , +1 503 771-8386, SE 28th Ave & Woodstock Blvd, The development of a display and test garden was initiated in 1950 by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. The more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the Garden have all been donated by volunteers and interested individuals, or purchased with specially donated funds. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, they provide a magnificent display of color, giving visitors the opportunity to view many varieties rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest. During the fall, many companion trees add dramatic coloring. Spring-fed Crystal Springs Lake surrounds much of the garden, attracting many species of birds and waterfowl.
Chinese Classical Garden , NW 3rd & Everett, In Old Town/Chinatown, Tour recommended (noon & 1PM) however an audio tour looks to be in the works. Beautiful urban retreat in the heart of Chinatown with pond, teahouse, pavilions and lots of gardens. If you are on a budget (time or financial) you can peek in through the ornate open windows and see much of the gardens content without paying admission. Students receive concessions. Guides can be recycled on leaving. Within blocks of the Old Town/Chinatown stop on the MAX Light Rail.
Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Naito Pkwy, Between the Steel and Marquam bridges, This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront was once a four-lane freeway. Growing environmental awareness led to the city replacing the freeway with this park. In Waterfront Park are several features: the Salmon Street Springs (see Do below), the Japanese American Memorial Garden, and the U.S.S. Oregon Memorial. Home to many festivals including the Waterfront Blues Fest every summer and the Rose Festival which is carnival-like.
The Grotto Gardens , +1 503 254-7371, Located on the city's Northeast side the tranquil and spiritual sanctuary hosts reflection ponds, secluded gardens, and shrines on the top of a basalt cliff. The best time to visit is during the Holiday season when the grotto is illuminated with lights. This is a very romantic destination for a special night out.
Mill Ends Park, The smallest park in the world. It was originally created satirically for the purpose of being
Oregon Zoo , +1 503 226-1561, 16 Sep-14 Apr 9AM-4PM daily, 15 Apr-15 Sep 9AM-6PM daily, 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Located on the western side of town off of Hwy 26, Famous for its Asian Elephant breeding program.
Pioneer Courthouse Square (Portland's Living Room) , +1 503 223-1613, 24 hours, SW Broadway and Yamhill, This is the central courtyard of downtown Portland. Notable sights in the square is the Weather Machine, a machine that predicts the weather every day at noon. Many other sculptures and art elements surround the square.
Washington Park , +1 503 823-PLAY, Daily sunrise-sunset., SW Park Pl, Directly W of downtown, Washington Park is a classic urban park, sprawling over about 140 acres. The park encompasses the beautiful and relaxing Japanese Gardens, the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, the Portland Children's Museum, the International Rose Test Gardens, as well as the Hoyt Arboretum which offers miles of hiking trails. It also contains memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, a Holocaust memorial and a Lewis and Clark memorial. Beautiful vistas of Portland and Mount Hood. TriMet RedLine and BlueLine can take you to the park.
Portland Japanese Garden , +1 503 223-1321, 1 Oct-31 Mar 10AM-4PM, (M noon-4PM), 1 Apr-30 Sep 10AM-7PM (M noon-7PM), 611 SW Kingston Dr, A haven of tranquil beauty which has been proclaimed one the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. The Garden was conceived in the early 1960s by a group of Portland citizens interested in promoting a more intimate relationship between the peoples of Japan and our city and state. TriMet RedLine and BlueLine can take you to the Washington Park and just outside the train station you can take the TriMet Bus to the Japanese Garden.
The city is commonly divided into five sections, each with many distinct neighborhoods in their own right, with unique characters and different attractions.
The Southwest section is home to Downtown Portland, the heart of the city and home to modern commercial towers, under construction condominiums, converted lofts, beautiful greenspace, luxurious hotels, and amazing architecture. In the center of it all is Pioneer Square, where festivals, shopping, restaurants, and people meet to hang out. South of Downtown is the University Park Area, home to Portland State University. This mostly residential neighborhood benefits from a very distinct "college-town" feel. Further south is South Waterfront, an urban revitalization area at the southern end of the streetcar line, near the Ross Island Bridge and with newly built glass residential towers, an aerial tram and the campus of Oregon Health & Science University. Burnside Triangle, a micro-neighborhood within Downtown, is the center of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/transsexual community in Portland, although much of the infamous gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans nightlife which existed throughout the 80's and early 90's has disappeared or moved to other areas of town. Goose Hollow lies west across I-405 from downtown and is sort of a quieter, more residential extension of Downtown, and is primarily of interest to travelers as the home of PGE Park, home of Portland's baseball and soccer teams. Lair Hill is another quiet but attractive neighborhood south across I-405 from downtown. Look for the Great Northwest Bookstore in an old church in this neighborhood, the Lair Hill Cafe, and the National College of Natural Medicine. Multnomah Village and Hillsdale are also nice little neighborhoods in this hilly part of town.
The Northwest section of town, just north of Downtown, is home to the Old Town/Chinatown area, which despite containing a fair amount of social services for homeless and mentally ill is where Portland was first settled and is home to some fabulous historic buildings, interesting shops, arcades, clubs, and bars, and is arguably the nightlife center of Portland. The neighborhood also holds remnants of Portland's once vibrant Chinatown including a detailed Asian inspired designed archway entry from Burnside Street. Just to the west is the Pearl District, a very hip and trendy neighborhood on the streetcar line which was not long ago derelict warehouses and empty industrial space. The economic success of the Pearl has made it a frequently cited urban planning model, and it is an excellent place to hang out and people watch, eat in fine restaurants, and visit Portland's famous Powell's Bookstore. To the north of the Pearl, at the northern end of the streetcar line is the Northwest District (Nob Hill), also on the trendy side and with a variety of retail shops, bars, restaurants, and even a couple of grocery stores. West of this is the West Hills, where the well-to-do of Portland have traditionally lived. You can see pretty large mansions suspended on stilts above the hillside. Because of the geography, the streets in the West Hills are a bit of a maze. If you think you won't get lost, though, the West Hills might be an interesting trek; you'll find lavish mansions, ornate public staircases from several different time periods, and a few good views of Downtown.
The Northeast section, west of I-5, is home to Hollywood, a neighborhood centered around the ornate Hollywood Theater on Sandy Blvd. Ironically, the Hollywood Theater kind of goes against the Hollywood grain, and frequently shows great movies that you might not get a chance to see at more Hollywood oriented theaters. During warm months, a Saturday farmer's market offers fresh produce. Just north is Beaumont Village, a nice little neighborhood along Fremont Street (in the 40s blocks). Alberta Street between Martin Luther King and 30th has a thriving arts district, with the "Last Thursday" event; a free street fair full of amazing art and performers held on the last Thursday of every month. The area is very off beat and due to the Last Thursday, it is home to a great selection of art galleries. Irvington is a beautiful residential neighborhood north of NE Broadway, known for its historic homes and a number of restaurants, coffeehouses, and interesting shops along Broadway between approximately 13th Ave. and 24th Ave. Kerns straddles E Burnside Street and is most notable for a thriving restaurant row along 28th Avenue between Glisan and Stark Streets. Laurelhurst, an older residential neighborhood sitting on the borders of NE Portland, is known for its mansions, the expansive Laurelhurst Park, elegant old houses, and a yearly Greek Festival which takes place at the Greek Orthodox Church on Glisan St., between 32nd and 31st.
In North Portland, Albina and Mississippi Avenues host a lively neighborhood that has thus far managed to stay one step ahead of gentrification. The lead singer of Modest Mouse lives just off of the renewed Mississippi Avenue commercial district as does James Mercer of The Shins. The neighborhood has a couple great brunch spots (Gravy, Equinox), counter-culture shops, restaurants, comic book stores, and smaller boutique shopping options. Every summer Mississippi Street hosts a wonderful street fair. St. Johns, near the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia, is more like a small town than a neighborhood, and is home to the beautiful St. Johns' Bridge, with its copper-green colored Gothic arches, and Cathedral Park, which runs along the Willamette River.
Southeast Portland is home to Sellwood, once an independent working class suburb of Portland that was later annexed and is now known for its collection of antique shops and a laid back neighborhood feel. The tree lined streets and grand architectural homes of Westmoreland are nearby. Hawthorne Blvd, which runs east-west across the river from Downtown, has a broad selection of shops including a branch of Powell's Bookstore and the ornate Bagdad Theater Pub, and is a center of the counter-culture/bohemian community which is dissipating to make way for a variety of upscale businesses. Belmont Street, while not as major as Hawthorne, also has a decent collection of shops, restaurants and entertainment, with the greatest concentration of businesses around 34th Avenue. Also running parallel to Hawthorne is Division Street, home to several of Portland's most original and popular yet off the beaten path restaurants and the original location for the amazing local small chain of grocery stores named New Season's Market . Nearby is the Clinton District, a nice little neighborhood along Clinton Street home to a small assortment of shops, wonderful restaurants ranging from inventive Thai cuisine to upscale Swedish, and the infamous Clinton St Theater Pub which shows a great assortment of esoteric films and the world's longest running Rocky Horror Picture Show. Just north of Clinton is Ladd's Addition, an early planned subdivision and a deviation in the grid pattern, with mostly elm-lined residential streets and a nice place to walk around and enjoy old homes. Further south is the neighborhood along Woodstock Blvd, centered around 45th, which is more oriented towards residents but is home to Reed College, a private university with a quiet, green, medieval styled campus. To the east is 82nd Avenue, which used to be one of the seedier parts of Portland but is changing as new homeowners move in and new businesses open. Home to this area's largest collection of Asian Restaurants, grocers and related businesses, which dot the landscape in a variety of spots along the avenue. This is also the place to find some big box stores like Wal-Mart and The Home Depot.
Portland International Rose Test Gardens, best to come in May-Jul, largest rose test garden in U.S.
Portland Rose Festival, . This award-winning festival, held in early June, is Portland's largest event. The Portland waterfront is turned into a carnival for a week as military ships moor alongside Waterfront Park. The world-famous Grand Floral Parade is on the 11th. This festival has decreased in size in recent years and now consists of a few naval vessels and a large fairground with the usual assortment of rides.
Audio Walking Tours, Mp3 Travel Guides offers 5 different themed audio walking tours within the downtown area of Portland. They offer the following tours: Bridges of Portland, Portland Fountains, Parks and Open Spaces, Buildings of Portland, and a Highlight of Portland Tour. These tours can be downloaded to any Mp3 player and listened to as one explores through the city of Portland.
Sadly, the well known Church of Elvis closed in 2001. If you still need to get married, head over toVoodoo Doughnut at 22 SW 3rd Ave. near Berbati's Pan. Voodoo Doughnut offers not only the standard cake and old-fashioned doughnuts, but also doughnuts topped with cereal, candy bars, strawberry Quik powder, and even a maple bar with bacon on it (menu here: )! Voodoo is also known to locals as the place to get vegan doughnuts. If you want a sugar rush and possibly a free huge doughnut, take the Tex-Ass Challenge. Eat one (yes, only one - but it's a biggie) of their oversized glazed doughnuts in under a minute and a half and it's free! (Must be purchased in advance.)
The NBA's Portland Trail Blazers basketball team plays at the Rose Garden Arena. They are well know for having one of the most loayal crowds in all of sports. Make sure to get tickets before the game as it is very rare to have a game that is not sold out.
Portland Timbers Soccer is also played at PGE Park . The Timbers Army is the unofficial supporters' group. They're known worldwide as being one of the best supporters' groups in the country. After the game, hit the Bitter End Pub across the street from the stadium; it's a popular place to unwind for sports fans. Note that the Timbers currently play in the second-level USL First Division, but will join Major League Soccer in 2011.
Living Room Theaters, at SW10th and Stark, just south of the Pearl district. Six small theaters, all equipped with digital projection, seat just 40-50 people in comfortable lounge chairs to watch the best in independent and cutting-edge cinema. It has a full service bar and kitchen that will serve you drinks and treats right in the theater and the lounge and coffee bar is open all day and includes free Wi-Fi internet access.
PDX Soapbox Derby , Mt. Tabor Park, The PDX Soapbox Derby takes place annually in mid-August and is a great event for spectators. Some soapbox cars strive for speed and slick design while others are incredibly imaginative and hilarious creations. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy watching the races at Mt. Tabor Park.
Portland has a pretty good music scene throughout town. Music venues hold huge national acts to small underground music groups. Many local pubs and bars offer great local bands usually on weekends. The city is developing a national notoriety as the United States' "indie rock capital", with many high (and low) profile independent rock music acts calling the city home. Despite its reputation for all that is hip, Portland maintains a fairly diverse range of live music options. There are over 50 bars and pubs large and small throughout Portland that have live music. Check out one of the two weekly alternative newspapers for comprehensive listings; Portland Mercury and Willamette Week.
The 2410, 2410 N Mississippi. A warehouse that has been converted to a semi-legit club that draws the biggest names in electronic music to Portland. Starting in recent years as a spot for "underground" raves, the spot has evolved and now hosts a variety of 16+, 18+, and 21+ events. The crowd is usually diverse, with 16-year-old ravers with pupils like saucers, aging wallflowers, and neo-hippies all in attendance. Check flyers at record stores for information on upcoming events.
Doug Fir Lounge, E Burnside, . Doug Fir Lounge is Portland's slickest, upscale music venue featuring live shows almost every night of the week in the basement, a restaurant on street level and a bar in both. A decidedly hip variety of traveling and local music.
Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukee Ave, . A great venue revamped from an old theater hall that offers shows almost nightly, featuring local favorites as well as Northwest and National acts. Food and alcohol available.
Roseland Theater, Located on NW 6TH and Burnside Ave, . Roseland Theater is a great place to go see a rock show or catch a hip hop concert. It is a good size venue but still gives you that crowded rock show feel. This venue is very fun to watch a show because the crowd always gets really into the music. It gets very crowded in some parts of the theater. This theater is standing room only. However there are seats in the upstairs to view the show from there.
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, . Crystal Ballroom often referred to as "The Crystal" is one of the nicest venues in town. The Ballroom is great size and has great art and period light fixtures. This is a clean, well maintained venue. The Crystal has a bar inside with upstairs balcony seating for 21+. The main floor is standing room only which makes the show much more intense. The floor gives under the weight of the crowd and can "bounce" if the crowd decides to jump in unison (to bring on an encore, for example). According the Crystal's website, at the time of its construction, the Crystal's mechanical dance floor (now fully restored to proper working order) was said to be unique on the Pacific Coast. Today, it may be the only one left in the United States.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, . Home to the Oregon Symphony and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. Contains very immaculate Italian architecture in the hall. The concert hall seats 2,776 people and hosts lectures, symphonies, comedians and big name musical acts.
Rose Quarter, One Center Court, . The Rose Quarter hosts the Rose Garden and The Memorial Coliseum which are two major arenas. Hosting large, international level touring artists. The Rose Garden is home to the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Ticket Prices are usually higher for Rose Quarter Events.
The downtown core is home to a small army of Food Carts. With less overhead than the traditional indoor restaurant, you can pick up a delicious meal on the cheap. Choose from a wide variety of ethnic foods including Indian, Mexican, Sweet Bakery Treats and Hot Dogs.
Cascades Food Court at lower level of the upscale Pioneer Place in Downtown. Enter directly at SW 5th and Taylor or wind through Pioneer Place. Has 14 express eateries surrounding a large dining area with a cascading waterfall at its center.
Golden Dragon, SW 3rd at Stark above Cameron's Books, has pretty good food for a cheap, dive-y Chinese Buffet. The decor is well-worn, but it still has a lot of classic Chinese kitsch character. Pick a window seat so you can enjoy the people watching while you eat.
Taco Del Mar, Various locations around the downtown area. Serves up a 2-lb burrito. The ingredients are fresh and the staff are mostly laid-back hipsters. Try the fish taco (their namesake). Better, more authentic Mexican can be found scattered about the city. In the $5 range.
Burgerville, 1135 NE Martin Luther King Blvd. The NW's own fast food chain with a decidedly NW flavor promoting sustainable practices, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Great burgers and traditional fast food fare. Amazing seasonal items including sweet potato fries, asparagus, strawberries, blackberries, onion rings and more. Multiple locations around the Portland area.
Grand Central Bakery, . Has 5 bakery cafes in metropolitan Portland area: Sellwood, Multnomah Village, on Fremont in Mississippi district, Hawthorne at 22nd, and on NE Weidler at 15th (Irvington district). Famous for artisan breads, pastries, soups, sandwiches and salads.
New Seasons Supermarket . They make the best sandwiches and have an awesome deli counter. You choose your bread, meat/tofu pate, veggies, and spreads. Quality that you've never seen before. Everyone will love it. Five locations and more on the way, Concordia, Orenco Station, Raleigh Hills, Sellwood, and Seven Corners on SE division.
Taqueria Los Gorditos, SE 50th and SE Division St. Vegan and non-vegan food, not just cheap but delicious with a very expansive menu for a taco cart, always fresh and friendly staff, quite large burritos.
Cha! Cha! Cha!, Several Portland Locations, good quality Mexican food at a middling price.
The Delta, 46th & SE Woodstock Street. Southern food (chicken fried steak, jambalaya, grits, etc.) on the cheap. The food is excellent and in large portions.
Olé Olé, 2137 E Burnside St, has great burritos and is a good budget option.
Riyadh's, on SE 14th and Hawthorne is an excellent source of affordable Lebanese food.
Laughing Planet, NW 21st & Lovejoy, is another great budget option. They have a number of vegetarian & vegan dishes available. Also they have a small outside dining area when the weather is nice.
Byways Cafe, 1212 NW Glisan St. A very '50s-style diner in the middle of the trendy Pearl District, with spectacular breakfast eating and enormous portions. Get a serious blast from the past, and enjoy the food too.
Chinese Delicacy, 6411 SE 82nd Ave., serves delicious Chinese food and is open fairly late.
Flying Pie Pizzeria, has been voted one Portland's favorite pizza restaurants for the past decade by hungry locals and media critics alike. They have stores located in SE Portland, Gresham and Lake Oswego.
Great brunch at Henry's on SE 26th and Clinton.
Huber’s, 411 SW 3rd Avenue, Inside the Historic Oregon Pioneer Building, 503.228.5686, . Portland’s oldest restaurant since 1879, dinner is priced between $11.95 to 23.95; lunch menu is similar with prices between $6.95 and $12.95. Known for its turkey dinners and Spanish coffees, pour right at your table.
Kornblatt's Delicatessen at 628 NW 23rd Av. Serves up a mean corned beef sandwich, better than most of what you'll get on the West Coast, not to mention their famous bagels. Outside tables in the summertime add to the pleasure.
Pizzicato or Hot Lips Pizza, Pizzicato is throughout the metro area; Hot Lips 1909 SW 6th Ave. (downtown near Portland State University) and 710 NW 10th Ave (in the Pearl District**). Excellent thin-crust pizza at both. At Pizzicato, try the faux-Italian options, and at Hot Lips get any of the surprisingly good veggie pizza toppings, like artichoke.
Marrakesh For a truly unique dining experience, try this restaurant. Great food and the atmosphere is truly one-of-a-kind, with the guests sitting on long, ornately decorated couches or on huge pillows on the floor and Moroccan tapestries hanging on the walls. They also make sure you get your money's worth as $17.50 buys a five-course meal.
Mio Sushi, near NW 23rd St., is a great and constantly crowded place to eat sushi. It's also pretty reasonably priced. The sushi is fresh and even when crowded the service is pretty quick. 2271 NW Johnson St.
For New York-style pizza, it's hard to beat Escape from New York at 622 NW 23rd., and New York, NY, 7737 SW Barbur Blvd. uptown. The restaurants are shrines to New York, unlike their chain-restaurant counterpart, Pizza Schmizza, (also quite good and spread throughout Portland). Also worth checking out are Bella Faccia, 2934 NE Alberta St. and Pizza A Go-Go, 3420 N Williams Av.
Portland is famous for its bread, and the bakery that started it all, Pearl Bakery, anchors the Pearl District. The bread is rightly acclaimed as the best in town, and you can eat in and get a variety of sandwiches or even excellent breakfast pastries. 102 NW 9th Ave., in the Pearl District.
Salvador Molly's, , 1523 SW Sunset Bld, 503.293.1790, 503.234.0896. Pirate Cookin'! Caribbean and South American cuisine with a pirate twist. Try the Great Balls of Fire (a habanero cheese fritter), eat 5 and get your photo on the wall of fame. These were featured on the Food Network as a Top 5 Spicy Treat.
Vegetarian House, 22 NW 4th Ave., . A great oasis of Chinese food for vegetarians. Most dishes are vegan (all are vegetarian) but feature American-Chinese staples such as Veggie kung pao chicken, Orange flavored veggie chicken, fried rice (ham-, pork-, chicken-flavored**), and crab rangoons. Although a little on the pricey side ($9.45 for a chicken dish), the food is delicious!
East India Company
Andina, at 1314 NW Glisan St. . A Peruvian restaurant with a good selection of platas (like Spanish tapas) as well as contemporary and traditional Peruvian entrees. Live music is performed most evenings in the lounge, a popular date destination.
Basta's Trattoria, at 410 NW 21st Av., serves excellent Italian food in a rustic-style decor. The wine list is extensive, and the menu is long but not overwhelming.
El Gaucho, 319 SW Broadway Ave., (downtown) . A chain with other restaurants in Seattle and Tacoma. The steak and ambiance don't come cheaply, however, so be prepared.
McCormick and Schmick's, Downtown at 235 SW First Ave. (McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant), 0309 SW Montgomery St. (McCormick and Schmick's Harborside at the Marina), 401 SW 12th Ave. (Jake's Famous Crawfish), 611 SW 10th Av. (Jake's Grill), 9945 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. in Beaverton (McCormick's Fish House and Bar). Has now expanded across the US, but "way back when" it was just four (now five) Portland fresh seafood restaurants. They still serve fresh seafood, too, and it's excellent almost any way they prepare it.
Papa Haydn 701 NW 23rd Av., near downtown, or 5829 SE Milwaukie Ave., in Sellwood. If you like dessert, this is the place to go. Although the entrees aren't all that impressive, sometimes there are four different lemon desserts, not to mention a wide selection of chocolates of every kind.
Park Kitchen, 422 NW Eighth St. Pearl District. Wonderfully inventive, delicious cuisine served in a lovely setting, with a view of the park blocks.
Pazzo Ristorante, 621 SW Washington St. Downtown. Both an excellent location near several movie theaters and the shopping district and solid Italian-Pacific Northwest fusion cuisine. It gets quite crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, however, so be forewarned.
Portland City Grill, 111 SW Fifth Av. (30th floor of the Unico/US Bancorp Tower), . This expensive, lavish restaurant has been made into one of the most romantic spots in Portland. If you are lucky enough to get a table or smart to reserve a table next to a window, you can enjoy your meal overlooking the great city of Portland. The menu offers only the finest selection of steak and seafood and you get as good as you pay. Lunch, however, is not expensive (moderate range; 11am to 4pm) and offers the same wonderful view and good food. Happy Hour is even cheaper (budget range; 4:30pm to 6:30pm) for the same good food, but much more crowded than lunchtime.
Portofino Caffè Italiano, 8075 SE 13th Av., in Sellwood. A very small restaurant with attentive service and solid northern Italian and French Riviera cuisine.
Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar, 901 SW Salmon St. Located in the southwest corner of the shopping district and near a few movie theaters and the main Portland Center for the Performing Arts facilities. The food is excellent Mediterranean-Italian fare with a regional seafood twist.
Portland is a breakfast city. There are great breakfast/brunch restaurants in every neighborhood. Here is a small sample of the many offerings which can/should be further explored.
Fat City Cafe, Multnomah Village. Local favorite, serves excellent breakfasts. I recommend the french toast.
Gravy, 3957 N Mississippi Ave. Great egg scrambles and other hearty breakfast fare. Can be a long wait on weekends.
Original Hotcake House, 1002 SE Powell Blvd. Famous for excellent food, great prices, quirky after-hours clientèle (after 1 a.m. the place gets a bit rough). A real Portland landmark and open 24/7.
Take advantage of the Northwest's famous microbrews - small breweries that serve their own (and other's) craft beers. A world away from the generic beers that are the mainstay of America. Portland also has more traditional nightlife drinking establishments mainly located downtown and in 'The Pearl' - you will find everything from dance clubs, gay bars, an assortment of karaoke bars and much more. Portland likes its alcohol.
Bagdad Theater and Pub, 3702 SE Hawthorne, +1 503 228-4651. 2:30PM-midnight daily (depending on feature). The Bagdad is one of the great things about Portland: a 700-seat second-run movie theater serving a selection of regional craft brews you can drink while you watch.
Mission Theater 1624 NW Glisan, and Kennedy School Theater 5736 NE 33rd, are part of the McMenamins Empire. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave, A non-chain, non-McMenamins owned cinema brew pub showing more foreign, documentary and experimental film. Laurelhurst Theater and Clinton St Theater are other cinemas serving beer, wine and food.
Bartini 2108 NW Glisan. A cocktail bar with an extensive and interesting drink list, it has excellent atmosphere and good Happy Hour prices. As for food, they have a wide variety of fondues (including a scrumptious chocolate fondue) and other great dishes.
Belmont Station 4520 SE Stark, Belmont Station is both a store and bar/cafe. The store side hosts over 1000 bottled beers from around the world, and the cafe offers a solid lineup of sandwiches, soups, and light pub fare, as well as interesting beers on draft. The friendly and knowledgeable staff make this the place to go to explore Portland's beer scene.
Bailey's Taproom , +1 503 295-1004, 4PM-midnight, 213 SW Broadway, Offers 20 constantly rotating taps, plus one beer engine, encompassing the entire range of beer styles with emphasis on Oregon breweries. Located in downtown Portland, convenient to most hotels, mass transit, events, nightlife, restaurants and welcome to both microbrew fanatics and the uninitiated. One of the most eclectic selections of beer around and encourages enthusiasm for the unfamiliar. (Closed Sundays)
Coffee People, . Now available only at a small handful of locations inside Portland International Airport, it used to be Portland's answer to Starbucks' empire, except with real milkshakes, and better coffee. Try a Velvet Hammer if you need caffeine.
The Delta Cafe on SE Woodstock, serves messy Barbecue Pork sandwiches, lemonade in a jar, mixed drinks and 40 oz Mickey's.
Dots, SE Clinton and 26th. A funky night spot.
Hair of the Dog Brewing, 4509 SE 23rd Ave, +1 503 232-6585, . A microbrewery that achieved a weird sort of notoriety for high-alcohol-content beers, including "Dave," which had an astonishing 29% alcohol by volume. (It's no longer produced.) Not a brewpub but its beers can be found around town at such places as Higgin's and Horse Brass.
Horse Brass Pub, 4534 SE Belmont, . Another English-style pub that also serves a range of English-style food. An "old-world" atmosphere, reasonable prices, an huge beer list, free darts, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff make this a great place to relax with a pint and catch up with old friends. The smoke in here used to reach epic levels on weekend nights before Oregon's smoking ban took effect.
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, 1728 NE 40th Ave (also a NW location at 2327 NW Kearney St). For the quintessential Portland brewpub experience. Enjoy beer crafted by award-winning Brewmaster Christian Ettinger along with excellent food in a family-friendly setting. The garlic fries are not to be missed, desserts are huge and appealing, and the Laurelwood Spinach Salad is the best salad in Portland. Very child-friendly, so be aware of unsupervised toddlers darting around between the tables. Entrees are creative and of high quality.
McMenamins,. Opening with its original location in 1983, The Barley Mill Pub, McMenamins now boasts over 50 locations in Oregon and Washington, which include the Bagdad Theater and Pub, Mission Theater and Pub, and the Kennedy School. Not all locations have theaters.
Pied Cow, 3244 SE Belmont St, Phone: +1 503 230-4866. A great coffee house in Portland. No other place like it. If you visit for the summer, you must come to this place. It's a great experience.
Red and Black Cafe, 400 SE 12th, . A Worker owned collective in SE. Usually carries at least one craft beer from Captured by Porches, a local microbrew which is prevalent around the punk rock community. Everything, including the beers are vegan. If you are not in the mood for alcohol try their daily brewed iced teas in flavors like lemon ginger mate, and nettle peppermint, or their cold pressed coffee. Cheap eats too host to Portland's best Vegan Reuben.
Ristretto Roasters, 3520 NE 42nd Ave (note that the shop is on the side street across from the school even though the address is on 42nd), . Great, hard-core coffee roaster where craft is more important than flash. This small coffee shop roasts its own coffee in a visible back room. Be sure to take some home as there are not many places that do such a good job with their roasting. Free Wi-Fi on site. In 2008, Ristretto Roasters opened its second, larger location and coffee lab, 3808 N Williams Ave, +1 503 288-8667.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters, three locations; SW 3rd and Pine, SE 35th and Belmont, and SE 45th and Division. One of the most celebrated and appreciated local coffee roasters in a city known for good coffee, Stumptown is credited for having beans that taste as fresh as a good home roast. Frequent customers include a quirky assortment of hipsters, yuppies, artists and the like. Many other coffee shops around town sell exclusively Stumptown coffee, and beans can be purchased whole at any of the three locations, as well as more gourmet grocery stores such as Wild Oats and Whole Foods.
World Cup Coffee and Tea, on 18th and NW Glisan, in Powell's City of Books downtown and the Ecotrust building in the Pearl District. Great locally owned company who's on-site coffee roasting has won awards. Serves organic, sustainable coffees in a great and comfortable atmosphere. One of the best coffee shops in Portland.
Fulton House Bed & Breakfast , 503-892-5781, 7006 SW Virginia Avenue Portland, Oregon, South Portland/One block west of Willamette Park, Located in the southwest part of the city, one block from beautiful Willamette Park on the Willamette River and just minutes from downtown Portland.
The Jupiter Hotel , +1 503 230 9200, +1 877-800-0004, 800 E. Burnside, Crisp, modern guest rooms, cutting edge entertainment, food 21/7 fashion, spa style rub-downs, make up Portland’s only cultural boutique hotel. While there, The Doug Fir is not to be missed. All day eats and drinks. Seem to have loaner bicycles.
The Kennedy School , 5736 NE 33rd, A decommissioned elementary school converted into a hotel by the McMenamins's group who also have several other converted buildings in the Portland area. Each room was made from one-half of an old classroom with items like blackboards, coatrooms, and so on still in place. The hotel has a full restaurant with its own bar and large outdoor patio. Be sure to try the Cajun Tater Tots! There's also a second-run movie theater (free with hotel stay) with a bar/cafe and table service. Also on site are the Concordia Microbrewery, Detention Bar (smoking allowed), Honor's Bar (non-smoking), Cypress Room (smoking allowed), and an outdoor soaking pool. Free Wi-Fi and great artwork throughout.
Marriott Portland City Center , +1 503 226-6300, 520 SW Broadway, Located in the heart of downtown Portland. Just steps from the best shopping, museums, dining, and nightlife. Two blocks from MAX Light Rail, for convenient metro-area access. 10 mi from Portland International Airport.
McMenamins Edgefield , +1 503 669-8610 tollfree=, 2126 SW Halsey St, Troutdale, Housed in the former county poor farm, 15 mi east of downtown Portland. The hotel rooms ranging from suites and family rooms to hostel dorms.
The Park Lane Suites , +1 503 226-6288, +1 800-532-9543, 809 SW King near NW 21st and Burnside, Boasts apartment-like suites with kitchens (stove, refrigerator, coffee-maker, and dishwasher). Rooms also include a living room and comfortable beds. The hotel is located near the
Le Pensione Guesthouse Style Bed and Breakfast , +1 503 351-4831, 1039 SE 37th Ave, Stay in fun Hawthorne area close to great shopping, restaurants, entertainment in a beautifully detailed 1892 Victorian. Huge king room, single room and very large bath. Amenities include gourmet coffee, fluffy robes, private entrance, microwave, mini-fridge, Dr. Hauscka bath products, luxury spa across the street.
Whispering Woods Resort , +1 503 622-3171, 67800 E Nicklaus Way, Welches, Each fully-furnished and tastefully-appointed one-or-two bedroom condominium includes everything you’ll need to enjoy the serenity of your Oregon vacation. Spacious living rooms invite you to relax and share the adventures of the day, while full kitchens and dining rooms host family and friends for a special meal or quick snack between the morning round of golf and an afternoon of fly-fishing.
As in the rest of Oregon, there is no sales tax in Portland; the price you see on the tag is the price you pay. Portland is, by far, the largest metro area in the U.S. without a sales tax. (Of course, this does not apply to Vancouver, which is part of the metro area, but is in Washington State.)
Powell's City of Books, 1005 West Burnside, +1 503 228-4651, . Daily 9AM-11PM. Powell's is a landmark in Portland, and most residents are proud to let you know that this is the biggest independent new and used bookstore in the entire world. Covering an entire city block, the store stocks over a million books in 3500 sections. And that's not counting the 5 other branches in Portland (Technical Books in the North Park Blocks, Portland Airport, Hawthorne--including the Home and Garden bookstore, and Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton)! The store can be imposing (get a map from the front desk), but it's a don't-miss for anyone who loves to read.
Columbia Sportswear Company, 911 SW Broadway (or 1323 SE Tacoma St.'s outlet store), . Columbia produces outdoor sports wear with an emphasis on cold and rainy weather clothing. You may need some sort of rain protection if visiting during the fall, winter or spring. Portlanders look upon umbrellas with mild disdain.
Artful Goods, 1233 SW 10th Ave. (behind the Portland Art Museum, next to Boyds Coffee), +1 503 295-3022, . Open Wed - Sat, 11AM to 6PM. Artful Goods is a contemporary gallery and gift shop located in the heart of the Cultural District of downtown Portland. They have a wide selection of colorful and modern merchandise from around the world along with artwork by local and nationally known artists such as Guy Burwell, Daniel Ng, and Tim Biskup -- all of which is displayed in a uniquely bright and spacious setting.
Compound , 107 NW 5th Ave, In the Old Town district, this Asian inspired version of Urban Outfitters is truly a funky place to get some t-shirts, bags, sneakers, comic books, vinyl toys, artwork, and more. Friendly staff. Upstairs is an amazing free gallery, with works available for purchase from cutting edge artists. Prints available too since the originals are quite pricey.
Washington Square Located in the suburb of Tigard south of Portland. Largest shopping mall in the state of Oregon and has just about everything.
Sellwood One word: "antique". If you love vintage furnishings then you need to head towards Sellwood. Plus there are some great new restaurants that serve fancy Thai or Indian food without breaking the bank.
NW 23rd, north of Burnside. Part of the Nob Hill District that host funky and eclectic shopping and restaurants and bars; a hotspot on a Thursday and Friday night. One of the most densely populated shopping/eating districts in Portland. It is a perfect mix of funky indie businesses and well known chain businesses.
Hawthorne District, east side of the Willamette. Most popular section between 34th and 39th ave. Head shops, microbreweries, vintage clothing, used books and magazines, local clothing designers and craft stores.
Lloyd Center, for those who love to shop. Dozens of stores to visit and you're bound to find something you'd like. Was once one of the largest malls in the world when it was built.
Pioneer Place, located downtown on SW 5th & Yamhill. Similar though more upscale than Lloyd Center.
Also, anywhere random in Downtown Portland is really full of shops, every street has some neat shops. Be sure to get out and explore that. Around Pioneer Sq and Broadway are where the shops center though.
Pearl District. No particular area in this trendy district but just meander through the area which is home to many boutiques, giftshops, and furniture stores. The areas around Jamison Square, Lovejoy St and 10th (&11th) Avenue have the highest concentration of these fabulous shops.
While traveling in Portland, exercise the same caution you would in any other urban area. Portland is a fairly safe city, especially for its size in the United States. There are areas to be wary of, mostly at night, which include Downtown, Old Town, The Pearl, 82nd Avenue and Sandy Blvd. If you're just going past it in a car, cab, or by train, you should usually be fine, but be aware of the crime on the train at night as well.
"We want you to visit our State of Excitement often. Come again and again. But for heaven's sake, don't move here to live. Or if you do have to move in to live, don't tell any of your neighbors where you are going." -Former Governor Tom McCall, 1971 interview
In the last couple of years, Portland has been one of the harder cities in the State of Oregon in which to find work. The official unemployment rate in the city is over 14% as of March 2009, underemployment is a rampant problem, and wages tend to be artificially low compared to the cost of living as well, these forces combine to make Portland a tough job market to navigate.
Two area codes cover the Portland metropolitan area: 503 and 971. All ten digits must be dialed when dialing local numbers in the Portland area.
Portland is the home of two Pulitzer-Prize-winning publications and a number of smaller tabloid-format newspapers of note. Due to some heated local politics the town has become a rather thorny place for journalism. Portlanders identify their politics by what paper they read (Oregonian vs Tribune, Willamette Week vs Mercury).
The Oregonian , Nationally-recognized, Pulitzer-winning broadsheet newspaper known for cutting-edge design (which has declined in recent years) and local-oriented coverage (the paper is distributed throughout the state and into Vancouver, WA). The paper suffers as a city guide for the out-of-towner as its arts coverage is limited, but for those interested in longer stays it is a good primer on state politics. Movie times are up-to-date and the city's only printed television schedule is included daily, with an expanded form on Sundays.
Portland Tribune , This broadsheet-sized upstart has struggled since its start to find a spot between the Willamette Week and the Oregonian, the city's mainstays and the paper's main competitors. Many Portlanders will sneer at references to the Oregonian made in conversation, suburbanites who work in the city tend to favor the Tribune.
Most other publications would be of only passing interest to travellers but to read what locals think and feel, some of the better neighborhood papers: Northwest Examiner, Portland Observer, Skanner, St. John's Sentinel, and Portland State University Vanguard.
Located just 50 mi (80 km) from the Cascade Range and 90 mi (145 km) from the Pacific Ocean, Portland is the perfect home base for day trips to Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, the Columbia River Gorge, the northern part of the Oregon Coast, or the wineries in the Willamette Valley. If you intend on staying longer in the Pacific Northwest, Portland is fairly centrally located in the region, making for nice extended trips to Seattle, Vancouver, Eugene, and many state and national parks.
Multnomah Falls, 25 miles East of Portland on Interstate 84, The falls is 620 ft (189 m) high and features a paved trail to the top for those willing to make the trek. The view is worth it. For a scenic drive travel East 15 miles on Interstate 84 to exit 18, take the Historic Columbia River Highway 9 mi (15 km) to the turnoff for Larch Mountain, go 14 mi (23 km) up East Larch Mountain Road to parking lot, short walk to Sherrard Point for viewpoint, drive back to the highway, then continue about a mile to Crown Point, then 9 miles to Multnomah Falls. There are a number of smaller falls along the way, which freeze in the winter. To get back to Interstate 84 continue East to the next freeway entrance.
Oregon Wine Country, 25 mi (40 km) or so southeast of Portland lies some of the most scenic vineyards on the west coast. There are over 100 wineries in this area, from small mom and pop operations with tiny one room tasting areas all the way up to tasting rooms that rival some of Napa's finest. Oregon is particularly famous for it's Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris varietals, the climate is considered perfect for these grapes and the area has gained world wide note as one of the premier wine regions on the planet. There are a number of Wine Tour Companies operating in the area, including: - *Sunshine Limo Service and Wine Tours* . Experienced, knowledgeable drivers and office staff they can assist you in having a great experience in Oregon's beautiful wine country. - *A Nose For Wine Tours* . The first in the state to feature
Officers Row Vancouver WA, Across the Columbia river via I-5 or I205 about 15 min from the PDX airport, Pearson Field, oldest continuous operating Air Field in the U.S. museum and beautifully restored southern houses used by many well known people such as General George Marshall. Monument to the first flight over the north pole. Monument (small) to the first Japanese immigrants (ship wrecked on the Olympic Peninsula early 1800s). Fort Vancouver (Hudson Bay Fort). You can walk for hours from the Officers Row to Pearson Airfield to Fort Vancouver and down to the Columbia River passing the oldest Apple tree in Washington State.
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