Portland (Oregon)

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For other places with the same name, see Portland (disambiguation).

Few American cities can match the youthful spirit of Portland, "The City of Roses". The largest city in the state of Oregon, Portland's residents are proud of their city nearly to a fault, which continues to draw people due to its scenic beauty, great outdoors environment, excellent microbreweries, and eco-friendly urban planning policies, as well as a reputation for colorful characters and a proudly liberal outlook, with an attitude to match.

Lying about 70 mi (124 km) from the Pacific Coast on Oregon's northern border, the city straddles the Willamette (pronounced will-LAM-ett) River south of its confluence with the Columbia River. To the east, the majestic Mount Hood forms the perfect backdrop for Portland's skyline. The mild, wet climate makes this a very green city, and Portland has taken full advantage of this with a wealth of parks and gardens that make the city one of the most beautiful in the country.


The Willamette River runs by Downtown Portland

Portland is the largest city lying between San Francisco and Seattle, but when compared to those cities, Portland's environment is not as fast-paced. It hasn't yet developed to the point of being overwhelming. Instead, it has a more laid-back, small-city feel.

That being said, nearly 600,000 people live in Portland proper, and many more live in the suburbs. As such, Portland has its fair share of amenities, including an impressive music and arts scene and one of the largest collections of zine and independent publishers of any city in the nation. Its relatively large population also means it has some of the worst traffic congestion in the American West, a fairly high cost of living relative to wages, and chronic underemployment.

The city has a lovely blend of historic and modern architecture and 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 Mount Hood and the Willamette River, stately Douglas-fir trees (Oregon's official state tree), and roses and trees at every turn give the city stunning seasonal color.

Environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling and an extensive public transportation system, are part of the culture and fuel many progressive city planning practices. Portland metro, like all Oregon urban centers, is surrounded by an urban growth boundary. This keeps sprawl in check and helps to make Portland a relatively compact city. Unlike most similarly sized metropolitan areas in the country, you can drive about 15 mi (24 km) from Downtown in just about any direction and be out in the countryside.

Portland is a very fun and welcoming city for LGBT travelers. It has one of the largest and most integrated gay and lesbian communities in the United States, supported by two major LGBT publications and other queer-friendly media.


The first European contact in the area came from none other than Lewis and Clark, who sailed along the Columbia River just north of where Portland lies today in 1805; after a year of exploration they finally reached the Pacific Ocean just to the west. The reports from their expedition fueled interest in the area, and settlers came to stake their claim. Two of those settlers were William Overton and his friend Asa Lovejoy, a lawyer from Boston, who came across the spot where Portland now sits and jointly began to build a settlement. Later, Overton sold his share to F. W. Pettygrove, a man from Portland, Maine. As of this point, the area was being transformed from a small stopping point between Oregon City and Vancouver, Washington to a formal settlement, and the owners now needed to give it a name. Both Lovejoy and Pettygrove wanted to name the new town after their respective hometowns; so in 1845 they decided to leave it up to a coin toss and Pettygrove won two times out of three.

In 1851, Portland was formally incorporated and was growing rapidly; its proximity to the rivers, which funneled a trade with San Francisco to the south, combined by the local fishing, lumber, and agriculture industries fueled Portland's early growth. The railroad arrived in the 1880s, and for a time Portland was the largest city on the west coast north of San Francisco; however the Klondike Gold Rush and the arrival of the railroad to Washington state meant Seattle quickly eclipsed Portland's growth.

Portland persisted as a booming railroad, lumber and steel town for several decades. During the 1970s, however, Portland began to gain a reputation for progressive urban planning practices, adopting policies such as an urban growth boundary and constructing new parks in a push to maintain the central neighborhoods as active places in light of suburban development. Through the 70s and into the 80s, Portland became a center for "counter-culture," growing into a hub for punk and indie rock music, zine publishing, and activist movements. The dot-com boom of the 90s brought an influx of modern tech companies along with the so-called "creative class", who remained even after the economic bubble burst. By this point, the city's progressive policies and politics had won the city a special status among urban designers, environmentalists, and political activists as a very forward-thinking city, which has only fueled further growth and development of the metropolitan area.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 45 50 56 61 68 73 79 80 74 64 52 46
Nightly lows (°F) 34 36 39 42 48 53 57 57 52 46 40 36
Precipitation (in) 5.4 4.1 3.7 2.5 2.0 1.6 0.5 0.9 1.6 3.1 5.5 6.5

See Portland's 7 day forecast

It's said that there are only two seasons in the Portland area: rain and summer. When the summer comes, the clouds suddenly clear and it's hot and sunny, and often quite pleasant. Any given day in July through September has only a 10% chance of rain, and temperatures rarely exceed 85°F (29°C) degrees or so, although it does occasionally hit 100°F (38°C) in July and August.

Despite the nice summers, Portland is really known for its rain, which comes between late September and late June. It is more often a menacing drizzle or mist than a downpour, though. There's a myth that most Portlanders don't use, or even believe in, umbrellas, and instead prefer hoods and raincoats. This has a grain of truth to it, but any stroll through Portland on a rainy day will prove to you that people are not shy about using umbrellas. You shouldn't be shy, either — if it's not summer and you don't want to get wet, pack your umbrella.

Snow is very uncommon because Portland's elevation is fairly low. A sunny day in the rainy season is not typical, but the sun does come out occasionally. The moment it does, some Portlanders have the unusual habit of wearing summer clothing, even if it's still somewhat chilly.

Tourist information[edit]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Portland International Airport

  Portland International Airport (IATA: PDX) is 9 mi (15 km) northeast of downtown, near the Columbia River. It is a dual-use air force base, which may cause confusion on some maps. Most major airlines serve Portland, though Alaska Airlines carries the most traffic through PDX, using Portland as a hub. Non-stop service is available to most major U.S. airport hubs, a lot of smaller cities in the Pacific Northwest (served by Alaska Airlines and United Express), and a limited number of international flights to Canada (Air Canada and Alaska Airlines), Tokyo and Amsterdam (Delta). The airport has free wifi.

A taxi from the airport to downtown is around $35, but the Portland airport is well connected by public transit, which allows you to save quite a bit of money. The most convenient option is the MAX, Trimet's light-rail system. Just catch the MAX Red Line in the airport terminal, near the baggage claim area. The ride downtown takes about 30 minutes and costs $2.50, which includes a transfer good for two hours with unlimited transfers to any Trimet bus or train, or even to a C-TRAN bus (except the express buses), which serves Vancouver, Washington.

To get downtown from the airport by car, take Interstate 205 south to Interstate 84, then go west and follow the signs to City Center.

Two important notes about returning a rental car at the airport:

  • When returning to the airport, follow the signs to stay in the left lane. 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 highway) and not go straight.
  • If you need to fill up the gas tank before returning the car, be aware that there are no gas stations in the commercial area between the airport and I-205 (Cascade Station). If you are driving north on I-205, take the Sandy/Killingsworth exit (Exit 23-A) to get to the airport's closest and most accessible gas stations.

By train[edit]

Union Station; "Go By Train"
  •   Portland Union Station800 NW 6th Avenue. Amtrak serves Portland Union Station, which is about a 15-minute walk from most places downtown. Union Station is well connected by public transit. It sits on the northern end of the transit mall, so many Trimet buses as well as the MAX Yellow and Green Lines stop nearby. Union Station is also across the street from the Greyhound depot.

Three Amtrak routes serve Union Station:

By car[edit]

The easiest road connection to Portland is the Interstate Highway System, especially Interstate 5, which runs through Washington, Oregon, and California. Driving from the south, you can take exits to the southern part of downtown before I-5 crosses the Willamette River, or you can take the Interstate 405 bypass to access the rest of downtown. From the north, you have to take I-405 to cross the Willamette River and reach downtown. Interstate 205 is a bypass route that splits from I-5 and serves the eastern side of the Portland metro area.

From northeastern Oregon, Boise, and other points east, take Interstate 84. It follows the Columbia River on the Oregon side and terminates in the center of Portland, where it meets Interstate 5. U.S. Route 26 comes to Portland from the Pacific coast (near Seaside and Cannon Beach) in the west, as well as from central Oregon.

As with all of Oregon, there are no self-serve gas stations in Portland. Just stay in your car and wait as an attendant does the pumping for you.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound provides bus service along the West Coast, as well as from points inland. The depot is at 550 NW 6th Avenue, next to Union Station.

BoltBus comes to Portland from Vancouver, BC; Bellingham and Seattle, WA; and Albany and Eugene. Tickets range from about $20 to as little as $1 (plus a $1.50 processing fee and, in some cases, a $3 booking fee), depending on how early you book—or how lucky you are to get one of the "Bolt for a Buck" seats. The bus stops on SW Salmon at 6th, downtown, dropping off on the west side of the intersection and picking up on the east side.

NorthWest Point operates from Portland to Astoria, Manning, Cannon Beach and Seaside. Service operates from the Greyhound depot and from Union Station.

By boat[edit]

No useful boat lines exist, although you can take cruises up and down the Willamette River and multi-day tourist cruises from Portand to Clarkston, Washington.

Get around[edit]

Basic road map of Portland; click to enlarge
Downtown Portland map

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. Portland is divided into five sectors, sometimes referred to oxymoronically as the "five quadrants". These quadrants are roughly divided by Burnside Street between north/south and the Willamette River between east/west, with a fifth sector (North) between the Willamette River and Williams Avenue. 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 and west of the Willamette River, this sector includes the downtown core.
  • SE - South of Burnside and east of the Willamette River.
  • NE - North of Burnside and east of Williams Avenue.
  • N - North of Burnside, east of the Willamette River and west of Williams Avenue.
  • NW - North of Burnside and west of the Willamette River, this sector is immediately north of downtown and includes the Pearl District, Old Town, and the Northwest district.

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. On named streets, the address numbers correspond to the nearest numbered cross-street, so 1501 NE Davis St. [1] is on NE Davis near 15th Avenue. 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 Ankeny, Burnside, followed by Couch, then Davis, etc. through NW Vaughn Street making directions easy to follow here.

Driving around downtown is not recommended: inconvenient, expensive 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. Most people can walk from one end of downtown to the other in 15 minutes—-faster than driving at times (or bike even faster). In fact, many of the traffic lights, both downtown and inner-Portland, seem to be timed, expecting bicycle-like speeds.

Be aware that most of the city (and everything near downtown) is along the northerly flowing Willamette River, and not the much larger Columbia which flows west. However, the airport and Portland's northern neighbor, Vancouver, Washington, are next to the Columbia. If you confuse the two rivers, you can easily mix up your bearings. As the Willamette River can be hard to spot on a map of Oregon, many newcomers mistakenly think Portland is along the nearby Columbia.

On foot[edit]

Portland is a great city for walking. Many intersections are designed with pedestrians in mind, and Portland has a lot of street life. Good mass transit also makes walking more feasible in Portland. The City of Portland Office of Transportation offers free, highly detailed walking maps that may be ordered online. For a scenic walk, the Eastside Esplanade along the Willamette River across from downtown offers lovely views of the skyline. Parts of the esplanade actually float on the water.

By bike[edit]

Portland — the self-proclaimed "Bicycle Capital" of the nation — is an excellent city for cycling, with a network of streets designed to be predominantly used by bicyclists. These streets, such as SE Ankeny, SE Salmon, SE Lincoln, and NE Tillamook, 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, such as Broadway (in NE, SE & SW), have striped bike lanes. Maps of bike trails can be obtained from Metro's Bike There! section. Bikes can also be taken on all buses, MAX lines and the Portland Streetcars. The City of Portland Office of Transportation has a bicycle rental webpage.

By public transit[edit]

MAX Light Rail train
Portland Streetcar

TriMet maintains bus, streetcars, and light-rail trains throughout the Portland area.

There are four MAX Light Rail lines:

  • The Blue Line, which runs from Hillsboro east through Beaverton and Downtown Portland east to the Gateway Transit Center and to Gresham.
  • The Red Line, which runs from the Portland International Airport south to the Gateway Transit Center, west to Downtown and west on to Beaverton.
  • The Yellow Line, which runs from the Expo Center south to Downtown and Portland State University.
  • The Green Line, which runs from Clackamas Town Center north to the Gateway Transit Center and west to Downtown and Portland State University.

All the lines go through the city's downtown (referred to as "Portland City Center" on TriMet), with the Red and Blue lines running east-west and overlapping on Morrison/Yamhill Streets, while the Yellow and Green lines run north-south and overlap on the Portland Transit Mall, along 5th and 6th Avenues downtown. MAX runs every 15 minutes at most stops for most of the day, with service every 30 minutes in the wee hours of the night.

In addition, TriMet maintains two Portland Streetcar lines:

  • The NS (North South) Line, which runs every 14-21 minutes through the downtown area along 10th and 11th Avenues, connecting the Northwest Portland, Pearl District, Downtown, Riverplace, and South Waterfront neighborhoods, plus Portland State University.
  • The CL (Central Loop) Line, which runs every 18-22 minutes from SW Market along 10th and 11th to the Pearl District, across the Broadway Bridge, along Broadway, Weidler, 7th, MLK and Grand to the Rose Quarter, Lloyd District, Convention Center, Central Eastside and OMSI.

It also maintains the Portland Aerial Tramway, which connects the South Waterfront to Marquam Hill (Marquam Hill is where several of Portland's hospitals, including OHSU, are located). Roundtrip on the Aerial Tramway costs $4.

A two-hour ticket that covers the entire TriMet region costs $2.50, and all-day tickets are $5.00. A two-hour Streetcar Only ticket can be purchased for $1 at Streetcar stations and on the Streetcar. You can purchase a ticket at any MAX station (but be prepared for the occasional out-of-order ticket machine). On board buses, you can buy a ticket for exact change in cash only. Keep the ticket for transfers, and as proof of payment for fare inspectors. An extensive system map is available for a small cost from the TriMet store in Pioneer Square, or can be found here.

Many of TriMet's buses run from Downtown to other parts of the city, though an increasing number are crosstown or local routes that do not. Nearly all TriMet buses connect with MAX at one or more stations. A number of TriMet buses are designated as having frequent service, meaning they run at least once every fifteen minutes. These include:

  • 4 Fessenden/Division between St. Johns and Gresham via Downtown
  • 6 Martin Luther King Jr. between Jantzen Beach and Goose Hollow
  • 8 Jackson Park between Downtown and Marquam Hill
  • 9 Powell between Downtown and Powell Green Line Station
  • 12 Barbur Blvd/Sandy Blvd between Tigard Transit Center and Parkrose Transit Center via Downtown
  • 14 Hawthorne between Downtown and Lents Town Center
  • 15 Belmont/NW 23rd Avenue between Gateway Transit Center and NW 23rd and Thurman
  • 33 McLoughlin between Downtown and Oregon City
  • 54 Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy/56 Scholls Ferry between Downtown and Beaverton Hillsdale and Scholls Ferry
  • 72 Killingsworth/82nd Avenue between Swan Island and Clackamas TC
  • 75 Lombard/Cesar Chavez between Pier Park and Milwaukie TC

As of September 2012, the free ride area downtown, the Fareless Square, has been eliminated. You may still see some uncorrected signs referring to the free area, or to the former fare zones, but don't be misled — all TriMet travel now needs a paid ticket, and all trips require a flat fare.

Crime on the TriMet system is extremely rare. Cell phone chatter (it is illegal in Oregon to use a cell phone while driving), however, is a problem.

If you have a smart phone, there are free apps to assist with trip planning and finding out when the next bus will arrive at your stop. TriMet actively encouraged developers to leverage its web resources.


  •   The Faux Museum139 NW 2nd Ave (2nd and Davis in Old Town). Tu-Sa noon-7PM, Sa noon-5PM, M closed. Gallery and Gift Store featuring interesting historical and quirky displays, such as the world's only remaining woolly ant. $6 adults/children, $5 seniors.
  •   Museum of Contemporary Craft724 NW Davis St +1 503 223-2654. Tu-Sa 11AM-6PM; first Thursday of every month 11AM-8PM. A museum in partnership with the Pacific Northwest College of Art, with an excellent collection of art from some top contemporary artists. $4 adults, $3 students/seniors, free on First Thursdays.
  •   Oregon Historical Society1200 SW Park Ave (across from the Portland Art Museum),  +1 503 306-5198. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Lots of artifacts and exhibits on the history of the state. $11 adults, $9 students/seniors, $5 youth, free for ages 5 and under.
  •   Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), 1945 SE Water Ave +1 503 797-6674. Summer: 9:30AM-7PM daily; Winter: Tu-Su 9:30AM-5:30PM. OMSI is great for kids, with hundreds of hands-on activities with a particular emphasis on technology and earth sciences; you can spend a full rainy day here and not get bored. Moored in the river just outside is the USS Blueback, an old navy submarine which is open for tours (separate ticket required). There's also a planetarium and an IMAX theater which requires separate admission, but you can view the IMAX projector in operation without paying for the movie ticket. $12 adults, $9 youth/seniors (parking $2/car, IMAX theater, planetarium, and submarine tickets require separate admission).
  •   Pittock Mansion3229 NW Pittock Dr (Bus 20 from Downtown to NW Barnes, followed by a 15 min moderate climb),  +1 503 823-3623. Feb-Jun, Sep-Dec daily 11AM-4PM; Jul-Aug daily 10AM-5PM; grounds open daily 5AM-9PM. A stunning Victorian mansion in the hills of west Portland, dating back nearly a century now and preserved just as it looked then. The mansion also contains beautiful artworks and furniture collected by the original owners. $8.50 adults; $7.50 seniors above 65; $5.50 youth 6-18; free for children under 6.
  •   Portland Aerial Tramat SW Moody and Gibbs (in South Waterfront, at the southern end of the streetcar line). Trams depart every 6 minutes M-F 5:30AM-9:30PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su June-Sep. 1PM-5PM. An aerial tram which connects the South Waterfront neighborhood to the Oregon Health Sciences University campus on a hill to the west. The tram is sleek and offers an excellent view of Downtown and the surrounding area, with splendid views of the mountains on a clear day. The joint-venture project is part of Portland's public transit system. Roundtrip $4, children 6 and under free.
  •   Portland Art Museum1219 SW Park Ave +1 503 226-2811. Su noon-5PM, M closed, Tu-W, Sa 10AM-5PM, Th-F 10AM-8PM. Has several outstanding collections and is regularly updated by moving exhibits. It is an expansive museum where on could easily spend an entire afternoon. With trolley and max stops nearby, as well as several bus lines in the vicinity, it is easily accessible by public transportation. The Whitsell Auditorium in the basement of the museum is where the Northwest Film Center hosts film screenings. $15 adults, $12 seniors/students, children 17 and under free; free on the 4th Friday of every month 5-8PM.
  •   Portlandia1120 SW 5th Ave (W side of Portland Building). Looming over the west entrance of the Portland Building is the second-largest hammered-copper statue in the U.S. (after the Statue of Liberty); a classical sculpture of a woman bearing a trident, crouching over the entryway and reaching down to welcome visitors. For its sheer size, it's surprisingly easy to miss - keep your eyes peeled for Michael Graves' historic postmodern building painted in red, blue, and tan.
  •   Sapporo Friendship Bell777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (at the entrance to the Oregon Convention Center). This gift from Portland's sister city Sapporo, Japan is encircled by red and yellow roses.
  •   Oregon Maritime Center and MuseumSW Naito Pkwy at Pine St (on the Willamette River),  +1 503 224-7724. W, F-Sa 11AM-4PM, closed Su-Tu, Th. Located on the Portland, a steam sternwheeler tug boat moored in the river, the museum contains numerous ship models, maritime artifacts and memorabilia, while tours are offered of the ship itself. $7 adults, $5 seniors, $4 students, $3 youth, children under 6/military free.
  •   Saturday MarketSW 1st Ave (under the Burnside Bridge). Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4:30PM, held from the 1st weekend in Mar through Dec 24th. This market and craft fair, where everything sold is handmade, is the largest open-air crafts market in continuous operation in the U.S.


Pearl District
Hollywood Theater

Portland has many unique and interesting neighborhoods to explore. One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Portland is constant possibly of discovery. Rather than containing most places of interest to a few busy streets, Portland has food, shopping, parks, and other activities sprinkled all throughout the city. There is always Here are just a few notable neighborhoods:

  • Downtown Portland is the heart of the city, centered around Pioneer Square and home to modern commercial towers, new condominiums, and converted lofts, along with several museums and urban parks of interest to tourists, including Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the river. To the immediate south of Downtown is the campus of Portland State University and South Waterfront, an urban revitalization area at the southern end of the streetcar line with newly built glass residential towers.
  • Just to the north of Downtown is Old Town, which is where Portland was first settled and which has some historic buildings and is a nightlife center, but also contains a fair amount of social services for homeless and mentally ill. The neighborhood also holds the remnants of Chinatown which, despite a lovely archway entry at Burnside and 4th Avenue and some Chinese-inspired street decorations, is rather desolate and may prove a disappointment for visitors expecting the bustle of San Francisco's or New York City's Chinatown.
  • Just to the northwest of Downtown 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 the famous Powell's Bookstore. Perhaps the best spot to people watch is Jamison Square, a city park at the heart of the Pearl that includes a popular fountain which fills a pool during the summer months that's popular with little kids. For a slightly more quiet retreat, Tanner Springs Park is just a couple of blocks north and built to resemble a piece of reclaimed wetland, with tall grasses and a nice pond. On the First Thursday of every month, all art galleries in the Pearl district open their doors for casual viewing, and many serve wine and cheese.
  • To the north of the Pearl, at the northern end of the streetcar line is the Northwest District, also known as Nob Hill and also on the trendy side and with a variety of retail shops, bars, and restaurants along with plenty of lovely Victorians and tree-lined streets. West of this is the West Hills, where the well-to-do of Portland have traditionally lived. Because of the geography, the streets in the West Hills are a bit of a maze, but they still make for an interesting trek; you'll find lavish mansions, ornate public staircases, and good views of Downtown.
  • Hawthorne Blvd, which runs east-west across the river from Downtown, has a broad selection of shops including a menagerie of vintage goods at the House of Vintage 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. The nearby Belmont Street is also worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood, with a similar - if smaller - array of shops and attractions.
  • Located along Broadway and Sandy Blvd northeast of downtown, Hollywood is a commercial district for the nearby neighborhoods and home to the Hollywood Theater, a historic non-profit theater with an ornate facade showing a variety of independent, second run, and classic films as well as original programming and interactive events. There is also a popular Saturday farmers market in the neighborhood during the warm months.
  • To the north of downtown between MLK Blvd and 30th Avenue, Alberta Street has much the same feel as Hawthorne Blvd; a counter-culture/bohemian community that's becoming popular with yuppies. Alberta is home to Last Thursday, said by many locals to be the alternative to First Thursday in the Pearl District and also featuring wine tasting and gallery openings, along with street vending and performance artists. The Neighborhood between Alberta Street and Broadway is known as Irvington, and contains many historic Craftsman homes.
  • Other neighborhoods to explore include: St. Johns in North Portland featuring the gorgeous St. Johns Bridge, Mississippi Avenue, quaint Sellwood, Inner Southeast a loosely defined neighborhood where bars and music venues have been cropping up amidst the industrial landscape, Foster-Powell, East Burnside and Stark, Division and Clinton Street, and North Williams.

Parks and Gardens[edit]

St. Francis of Assisi statue at The Grotto
  •   Crystal Springs Rhododendron GardenSE 28th Ave & Woodstock Blvd +1 503 771-8386. Summer: 6AM-10PM daily, Winter: 6AM-6PM daily. A display and test garden was initiated in 1950 that includes more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, the gardens 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. $4 in the summer months (free for children under 12); free for all in the winter.
  •   Forest Park. Located on the hills northwest of Downtown, Forest Park is one of the nation's largest urban parks at 5,000 acres. There are many great hiking and biking trails to be found winding through this natural forest setting. Free.
  •   The Grotto Gardens (National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother), 8840 NE Skidmore St (entrance on NE Sandy Blvd across from NE 85th Ave),  +1 503 254-7371. Open at 9AM; closing time varies from 4PM in the winter to 8:30PM in the summer; consult website for current information. A tranquil and spiritual sanctuary which 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. The Grotto also makes for a very romantic destination for a special night out. Lower level free, nominal fee at gift shop for token to access upper level.
  •   Lan Su Chinese Garden (formerly the Portland Classical Chinese Garden), 239 NW Everett St (at 3rd in Old Town/Chinatown),  +1 503 228-8131. Summer: 10AM-6PM daily, Winter: 10AM-5PM daily. A beautiful urban retreat in the heart of Chinatown with a pond, a teahouse, pavilions, and lots of gardens. If you are on a budget, you can peek in through the ornate open windows and see much of the gardens without paying admission. $9.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $7 students, children 5 and under free.
  •   Laurelhurst ParkSE 39th Ave & Stark St. 5AM-10:30PM daily. A beautiful park designed by a horticultural expert from the same team that designed New York City's Central Park. 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. Free.
  •   Mill Ends ParkSW Naito Pkwy & SW Taylor. The "smallest park in the world", a title backed up by the Guinness Book of Records, Mill Ends was originally created satirically for the purpose of being "a leprechaun colony and racetrack for snails." It is located in the median of SW Naito, and consists of nothing more than a single small tree in the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection. Free.
  •   Mount Tabor ParkSE 60th & Salmon St. 5AM-midnight. At the eastern end of the Hawthorne District, Mt Tabor is a forested park situated atop an extinct volcanic butte with great views of the city. The park contains a couple of reservoirs and lots of winding trails, and is also the home of the popular PDX Soapbox Derby event (see below under Do). Free.
Pioneer Courthouse, Downtown
  •   Pioneer Courthouse SquareSW Broadway and Yamhill +1 503 223-1613. This is the central courtyard of downtown Portland, a big gathering spot that's popular with tourists and locals alike. Notable features of the park are a cascading waterfall fountain, chess boards, and the Weather Machine, a machine that predicts the weather every day at noon. Many other sculptures and art elements surround the square, including Kvinneakt, the bronze statue of a nude woman that's otherwise known as the "Expose Yourself to Art" statue after a popular poster featuring a flasher (former Mayor Bud Clark) facing this work. Free.
  •   Tom McCall Waterfront ParkNaito Pkwy (Between the Steel and Marquam bridges). This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront is a scenic slice of park land, with views over the Willamette River and of the skyline. At one point, this narrow stretch of land was a four-lane freeway, but growing environmental awareness led to the city replacing the freeway with this park. Along the waterfront there are a number of fountains, memorials, and gardens, including the Salmon Street Springs, a large fountain at the Salmon Street entrance that's popular with kids during the summer; the Battleship Oregon Memorial, the old mast of the USS Oregon battleship between Oak and Pine Streets; and the Japanese American Memorial Garden at the north end of the park has monuments telling the story of people of Japanese descent in the US, including the WWII internment camps. The park is also home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Waterfront Blues Fest and the carnival-like Rose Festival. Free.

Washington Park[edit]

  •   Washington ParkSW Park Pl (directly west of downtown),  +1 503 823-2525. Daily 5AM-10PM. Washington Park is a classic urban park, sprawling over about 140 acres, with many trails that take you between the stands of trees, around the hills and through the canyons - a park so large it can be easy to get lost without a map. In addition to the many attractions listed below, it also contains memorials for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Holocaust, and the Lewis and Clark expedition, and has beautiful vistas of Portland and Mount Hood. The MAX red and blue lines can take you to the park; the station is located at the south end of the park, outside the World Forestry Center and the Oregon Zoo entrance. Free (some enclosed attractions have separate ticketing).
Rose, International Rose Test Gardens
  •   Hoyt Arboretum4000 SW Fairview Blvd (on the western side of Washington Park),  +1 503 865-8733. Grounds 6AM-10PM daily; Visitor Center M-F 9AM-4PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM. A large arboretum with paved trails of varying length and over 1,000 species of trees and plants in a natural setting. Free.
  •   International Rose Test Gardens850 SW Rose Garden Way (10 min on Washington Park Shuttle from Washington Park MAX),  +1 503 823-7529. 7:30AM-9PM daily. The largest rose test garden in U.S., perched on a hill overlooking Downtown Portland, with thousands of roses planted in every possible way: rows, bushes and vines. Best to come between May and July, when it gets fragrant as everything's in bloom. Volunteer gardeners offer free guided tours at 1PM during the summer months. Free.
  •   Oregon Zoo4001 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park),  +1 503 226-1561. Winter 10AM-4PM daily, Summer 9AM-6PM daily. A good-sized zoo with Pacific Northwest animals, a primate house, and an Africa area, as well as a large Asian Elephant exhibit and breeding area, which is noteworthy among zoos. $11.50 adults, $10 seniors, $8.50 children, aged 2 and under free (parking $4/car, discount for public transit users).
  •   Portland Children's Museum4015 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park),  +1 503 223-6500. 9AM-5PM daily. Lots of interactive exhibits designed for kids. $10 general, $9 seniors/military, free for children under age one (parking $2/car; discount for public transit users).
  •   Portland Japanese Garden611 SW Kingston Dr (across from the Rose Test Gardens),  +1 503 223-1321. Winter Tu-Su 10AM-4PM, M noon-4PM; Summer Tu-Su 9AM-7PM, M noon-7PM. A haven of tranquil beauty across the seasons, Portland Japanese Garden has been proclaimed as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. $9.50 adults, $7.75 seniors/students, $6.75 youth, child 5 and under free.
  •   World Forestry Center Discovery Museum4033 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park),  +1 503 228-1367. 10AM-5PM daily. Built like a giant log cabin, this museum is devoted to the science and cultural impact of Pacific Northwest forests. $9 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children, children 2 and under free.


  •   Portland Rose Festival. This wonderful festival, held in early June, is Portland's largest event. The Portland waterfront is turned into a carnival for a couple of weeks, starting with Fleet Week as military ships moor alongside Waterfront Park and culminating with a bunch of festivities on the second weekend, including the centerpiece of the festival, the Grand Floral Parade held on the last Saturday. Other events include flower shows, other parades, fireworks, and dragon boat races.
  •   Portland TimbersProvidence Park, 1844 SW Morrison +1 503 553-5400. Portland's Major League Soccer team, the Timbers, play at Providence Park (formerly PGE Park and JELD-WEN Field) and are known for their strong local support.
  •   Portland Trail BlazersModa Center (Rose Garden Arena), 1 Center Ct +1 503 234-9291. An NBA basketball team which plays at the Moda Center. They are well known for having one of the most loyal crowds in the NBA, so make sure to get tickets before the game as it is very rare to have a game that is not sold out.
  •   Portland Thorns FCProvidence Park, 1844 SW Morrison +1 503 553-5400. Portland's newest top-level professional team, the Thorns are charter members of the National Women's Soccer League, which began play in April 2013. The NWSL season runs from April to August. The Thorns are owned and operated by the Timbers, making them the only charter NWSL team with a formal MLS affiliation (the Houston Dash, joining the NWSL in 2014, also have MLS ties).
  •   PDX Soapbox DerbyMt. Tabor Park. A popular event which takes place annually in mid-August and is great 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.
  •   Springwater Corridor. A 21-mile multi-use trail extending from SE Portland to the town of Boring, Oregon. It is designed to accommodate hikers, bikers, wheelchairs and horses.
  • Portland World Naked Bike Ride. Portland's annual World Naked Bike Ride, held in early June, has many goals: to increase visibility of cyclists; to promote confidence in the beauty and individuality of the human body; to affirm nudity as a legal form of protest; to emphasize the bicycles’s place as a catalyst for change in the future of sustainability, transport, community and recreation; to celebrate the coming summer, bicycles in the urban grid, and the fun of a multi-thousand person bike ride; and to protest the automobile. World Naked Bike Ride is an annual, worldwide bike ride that highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport. Free.


Portland has a pretty good music scene throughout town, with venues holding everything from huge national acts to small underground music groups. Many local pubs and bars offer great local bands on weekends, and the city is developing a national notoriety as the nation's "indie rock capital", with many high (and low) profile independent rock music acts calling the city home. Given its reputation for all that is hip, Portland maintains a fairly diverse range of live music options. Check out one of the two weekly alternative newspapers for comprehensive music listings; the Portland Mercury and the Willamette Week.

  •   Doug Fir Lounge830 E Burnside St +1 503 231-9663. Located at the Jupiter Hotel, 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 Theater3017 SE Milwaukie Ave +1 503 234-9694. 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.
  •   Wonder Ballroom128 NE Russell St +1 503 284-8686. A large ballroom with cash bar featuring many of Portland's favorite music artists and national touring acts.
  •   Roseland Theater8 NW 6th Ave (at Burnside),  +1 503 224-2038. 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 Ballroom1332 W Burnside St +1 503 225-0047. 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 Hall1037 SW Broadway +1 503 248-4335. Home to the Oregon Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. Contains intricate Italian architecture in the hall. The concert hall seats 2,776 people and hosts lectures, symphonies, comedians and big name musical acts.
  •   Dante's350 W Burnside St (at 3rd Ave),  +1 503 226-6630. Home of the weird, bizarre, and devilish live music and shows.
  •   Rose Quarter1 Center Ct +1 503 797-9619. The Rose Quarter holds two major arenas, the Moda Center (Rose Garden) and The Memorial Coliseum, which host large, international level touring artists. The Moda Center is also home to the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Ticket prices are usually higher for Rose Quarter events.


The Multnomah County Library (see "Connect" below) hosts language study groups.

Reed College is a top small liberal arts college with a beautiful campus. The college frequently hosts educational events and lectures. The campus is worth checking out if not only for the nuclear reactor that is located there.

Lewis & Clark College, in Southwest Portland, is the other small liberal arts college with a beautiful campus. For information about upcoming events and lectures, check the campus events calendar. The library hosts the Roger D. Wendlick collection of Lewis and Clark Expedition literature.

Oregon Health and Science University is arguably the most prestigious research institution and hospital in Oregon. The site looks like a fortress from a distance. For fun, take the aerial tram from the South Waterfront to OHSU. OHSU is the largest employer in Oregon.

Portland State University in downtown Portland is the largest university in Portland, with nearly 30,000 students. Both the CL and NS Portland Streetcar lines, as well as the MAX Green and Yellow lines, are vital transit connections between PSU and outlying areas of the Portland metro area.


Former Oregon Governor Tom McCall (to whom a major riverfront park downtown is dedicated) said in a 1971 speech, somewhat famously, "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."

Since then, the Governor's request has been widely repeated by people who ignore it, then quote it. In recent years, Portland has been one of the hardest cities in which to find work. The official unemployment rate in the city went over 14% in March 2009. Underemployment is a rampant problem, and wages tend to be artificially low compared to the cost of living. These forces combine to make Portland a tough job market to navigate.


As in the rest of Oregon, there is no general 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. (Vancouver, Washington, however, despite being part of Portland metro, levies Washington State and local sales taxes. A tax of 8.2% generally applies there.)

Certain Stores[edit]

Powell's City of Books
  •   Powell's City of Books1005 W Burnside St +1 503 228-4651. 9AM-11PM daily. 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 even the most casual reader.
  •   Columbia Sportswear Company911 SW Broadway (or 1323 SE Tacoma St.'s outlet store) +1 503 226-6800. M-F 9:30AM-7PM, Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su 11AM-6PM. The Broadway location is the flagship store of the outdoor sportswear company, which has an emphasis on cold and rainy weather clothing.
  •   Compound107 NW 5th Ave +1 503 796-2733. M-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su noon-6PM. 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.
  •   Upper Playground23 NW 5th Ave +1 503 548-4835. M-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su noon-6PM. Across the street from Compound, this streetwear brand has a store and gallery located in Old Town. Known for their iconic walrus symbol, they often have some more "hip" local and Portland-themed goods that make good souvenirs. A good place to grab music flyers as well as check out some amazing contemporary urban artists.
  •   Popina Swimwear318 NW 11th Ave +1 503 243-7946. M-W 11AM-6PM, Th-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su noon-5PM. Retro Swimwear brand Popina is located on the Portland Streetcar line in the Pearl District. Popina offers the Popina Swimwear Brand which is designed by Pamela Levenson and made in Oregon. Popina is known for Retro or Vintage Inspired Swimwear akin to the styles of Jantzen Swimwear which put Portland on the map as a swimwear powerhouse in the 1920's. Popina is one of 25 swimwear brands sold in the boutique.

Shopping districts[edit]

  • Sellwoodalong SE 13th Avenue, between Tacoma St & Bybee Blvd. A neighborhood shopping area on the east side of the Willamette River south of downtown, specializing in antique and vintage furnishings.
  • NW 23rd Avenuenorth of Burnside. Part of the Northwest/Nob Hill District and one of the most densely populated shopping districts, with some funky and eclectic shops.
  • Hawthorne Districteast side of the Willamette River. A popular shopping area, particularly along Hawthorne Blvd between 34th and 39th Ave. Includes head shops, vintage clothing, used books and magazines, local clothing designers and craft stores.
  • Lloyd Center2201 Lloyd Center (accessible via MAX Red, Blue, and Green lines),  +1 503 282-2511. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. A large mall just northeast of downtown near the Convention Center with dozens of stores to visit. Lloyd Center was the first urban mall in the United States.
  • Clackamas Town Centeroff of I-205 exit 14 (accessible by MAX Green Line),  +1 503 653-6913. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Great shopping facilities; smaller than Lloyd Center, but just as much to see.
  • Pioneer Place, located downtown on SW 5th & Yamhill. Similar to Lloyd Center, though more upscale.
  • Just about any street in Downtown Portland has some neat shops, particularly around Pioneer Square and Broadway.
  • Pearl District. Just meandering through the neighborhood, you're sure to come across many boutiques, gift shops, and furniture stores. The areas around Jamison Square and the intersection of Lovejoy Street and 10th Avenue have the highest concentration of these fabulous shops.


Foodies may find their nirvana in Portland. With its location in one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the nation, an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood raised not far from its boundaries, award-winning wines and beers, and a food culture that supports food artisans and emphasizes local, seasonal food served fresh, it's no surprise that the culinary scene in Portland has received national attention in recent years. Restaurants and food carts have popped up in large number throughout the city, making it quite easy to enjoy a good meal at a reasonable price.

Portland has an amazing selection of farmers markets. The PSU Saturday Market offers a wide range of cuisines made from healthy, local ingredients, and is great if you only have time for one. 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 and choose from a variety of foods including Indian, Mexican, pastries, and hot dogs.


Food carts
  •   Burgervillemultiple locations around the Portland area; Lloyd District location at 1135 NE Martin Luther King Blvd +1 503 235-6858. Su-Th 5:30AM–midnight, Th-Sa 5:30AM–1AM. The NW's own fast food chain with a decidedly NW flavor promoting organic, 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.
  • C'est Si Bon!regularly appears at local farmers markets. This crêpe stand offers a great selection of combinations, savory and sweet. Try the Tropical Monkey.
  •   Cha! Cha! Cha!several Portland locations; Pearl District location at 1208 NW Gilsan +1 503 221-2111. Daily 10AM-10PM. Good quality Mexican food at a middling price.
  •   Costello's Travel Caffé2222 NE Broadway +1 503 287-0270. M-F 7AM-5PM, Sa-Su 8AM-4PM. Low-key but sometimes busy cafe with an international travel theme. Offers a substantial breakfast/lunch menu. Good place to catch a soccer (sorry, football) match or other travel-related event. Wi-fi.
  •   The Delta4607 SE Woodstock Blvd (at 46th Ave),  +1 503 771-3101. M-Th 4PM-11PM, F 4PM-1AM, Sa 9AM-2PM and 5PM-1AM, Su 9AM-2PM and 5PM-11PM. Southern food (chicken fried steak, jambalaya, grits, etc.) on the cheap. The food is excellent and in large portions.
  •   Detour Cafe3035 SE Division St +1 503 234-7499. Daily 8AM-4PM. Fresh and mostly organic fare in a cozy setting.
  •   Dockside Saloon and Restaurant2047 NW Front Ave +1 503 241-6433. M-F 5AM-9PM, Sa 6AM-4PM, Su 7AM-3PM. Probably the best classic breakfast in Portland: perfect eggs to order, great bacon and world class golden hash browns. Pleasant waitresses, good coffee and excellent value.
  •   Equinox830 N Shaver St (at Mississippi St),  +1 503 460-3333. Brunch Sa-Su 9AM-2PM; Dinner daily starting at 5PM. Excellent variety of egg scrambles, vegetarian fare.
  •   EuroTrashSW 10th Ave & SW Washington St. Mediterranean food with a sloppy American twist. Cute pink, black and teal cart, fantastic for lunch and dinner.
  •   Fat City Cafe7820 SW Capitol Hwy, Multnomah Village +1 503 245-5457. Daily 6:30AM-3PM. Local favorite, serves excellent breakfasts. The French toast is recommended.
  •   Grand Central Bakeryseveral locations; Northwest location at 2249 NW York +1 503 808-9860. M-F 6:30AM-4PM, Sa-Su 7AM-4PM. Artisan breads, pastries, soups, sandwiches and salads.
  •   Gravy3957 N Mississippi Ave +1 503 287-8800. 7:30AM-3PM daily. Great egg scrambles and other hearty breakfast fare. Can be a long wait on weekends.
  •   Laughing Planetseveral locations; Downtown location at 1720 SW 4th Ave +1 503 224-2326. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Another easy and less-expensive option. They have a number of vegetarian & vegan dishes available as well as a small outside dining area when the weather is nice.
  •   Le Bistro Montage301 SE Morrison St (under the east end of the Morrison bridge),  +1 503 234-1324. Brunch Sa-Su 10AM-2PM; dinner Su-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 5PM-4AM. Good Portland character, with Cajun style food including mac and cheese, alligator bites, and great mud pie. Service is quirky, as is the atmosphere. Make sure to save some food to take with you - all to-go leftovers come package in tin foil sculptures!
  •   Little Big Burgermultiple locations all over the city; Pearl location at 122 NW 10th Ave +1 503 274-9008. Daily 11AM-10PM. A local chain of burger restaurants featuring a simple In-and-Out style menu with a Portland twist. Little burger for a big price.
  • New Seasons Market. Local natural food supermarket chain with fantastic sandwiches and an awesome deli counter. You can choose your bread, meat/tofu pate, veggies, and spreads. Six locations in the city.
  •   New Seasons Market - Hawthorne4034 SE Hawthorne Blvd +1 503 236-4800. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Seven Corners1954 SE Division St +1 503 445-2888. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Sellwood1214 SE Tacoma St +1 503 230-4949. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Williams3445 N Williams Ave +1 503 528-2888. 7AM-11PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Concordia5320 NE 33rd Ave +1 503 288-3838. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Arbor Lodge6400 N Interstate Ave +1 503 467-4777. 8AM-10PM daily.
  • Nicholas Restaurant. Great value Lebanese food, family owned and operated where everything is made from scratch. Two locations.
  •   Nicholas Restaurant - SE Grand318 SE Grand Ave +1 503 235-5123. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-9PM. The original location. Small seating area so there can be waits.
  •   Nicholas Restaurant - NE Broadway3223 NE Broadway +1 503 445-4700. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Second location.
  •   Olé Olé2137 E Burnside St +1 503 230-1132. 10AM-10PM daily. Great burritos and a good budget option. Cash only.
  •   Original Hotcake House1002 SE Powell Blvd +1 503 236-7402. 24 hours daily. A local landmark, famous for excellent food, great prices, and a quirky after-hours clientèle (after 1AM the place gets a bit rough).
  • Original Taco House. 11AM-10PM daily. A local restaurant with two locations serving Mexican food at very cheap prices. They've been in business since 1960. $5-10.
  •   Pine State Biscuits2204 NE Alberta St +1 503 477-6605. M-W 7AM-3PM, Th,Su 7AM-11PM, F-Sa 7AM-1AM. Excellent biscuits, gravy and bacon.
  • ¿Por Qué No?. Popular taqueria providing sophisticated but informal food in an evocative setting. Top-notch tortillas that are often purchased on their own. Excellent array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including authentic drinks not often seen north of the border (horchata, mezcal, etc.). Often crowded with lines, especially at mealtimes. Outdoor seating. Kid and bike friendly. Order ahead for take-out and skip the line.
  •   ¿Por Qué No? - Hawthorne4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd +1 503 954-3138. Su-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM.
  •   ¿Por Qué No? - Mississippi3524 N Mississippi Ave +1 503 467-4149. Su-W 11AM-9:30PM, Th-Sa 11AM-10PM.
  •   Quan Linh8230 SE Harrison #345 +1 503 788-7267. 10AM-10PM daily. A small hole in the wall restaurant, family owned and operated, with a large variety of Chinese and Vietnamese home cooked meal. $5-10.
  •   Riyadh's1318 SE Hawthorne Blvd +1 503 235-1254. M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa 11:30AM-9PM, Su noon-8:30PM. An excellent source of affordable Lebanese food.
  •   Robo Taco607 SE Morrison St +1 503 232-3707. Su-W 10AM-midnight, Th-Sa 10AM-3:30AM. The fact that Robo Taco is open late and is located within walking distance of Holocene makes it the perfect place to end a night dancing and live music. It's consistently delicious with a laid back vibe and plenty of vegetarian options.
  • Sizzle Pie +1 503 234-7437. Su-Th 11AM-3AM, F-Sa 11AM-4PM. A heavy metal themed pizza joint with some of the best pies in town. Pizza is available by the slice or whole, to eater there or to go. The salads are great as well utilizing yummy homemade dressings. Great for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike! Two locations in Portland.
  •   Sizzle Pie - West Burnside926 W Burnside St.
  •   Sizzle Pie - East Burnside624 E Burnside St.
  • Taqueria Los Gorditos. Vegan and non-vegan food, cheap but delicious and with a very expansive menu for a taco cart (they also have two brick-and-mortar locations), including quite large burritos. The ingredients are fresh and the staff friendly.
  •   Taqueria Los Gorditos - Perla922 NW Davis St +1 503 805-5323. M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Taqueria. Slightly larger menu than the other locations.
  •   Taqueria Los Gorditos - Flor1212 SE Divsion St +1 503 445-6289. M-Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Taqueria.
  •   Taqueria Los Gorditos - MonteSE Division St at SE 50th Ave +1 503 875-2615. M-Sa 10AM-9PM. The Gorditos outdoor food truck location. They have a handful of tables just outside the truck.
  • Voodoo Doughnut. Open 24 hours. A distinctly Portland spot, where you can get unusual donuts and a marriage while learning Swahili. While they do have the standard cake doughnuts, the real stars are the doughnuts topped with cereal, candy bars, strawberry Quik powder, and the maple bar with bacon (yes, bacon) on it. It's also the place to get vegan doughnuts. While the vibe is cool and flavour combinations and the naming gimmicks are creative, the doughnuts themselves are not that great. They tend to be a bit heavy and often lacking in freshness, and the cereal toppings are often soggy. If you want a sugar rush and possibly a free huge doughnut, take the Tex-Ass Challenge; eat one of their oversized glazed doughnuts in under a minute and a half and it's free. (Of course, you have to purchase it in advance!) Lines are frequently long and wrap around the block, with wait times up to two hours.
  •   Voodoo Doughnut22 SW 3rd Ave (at Ankeny),  +1 503 241-4704.
  •   Voodoo Doughnut Too1501 NE Davis St (at Sandy),  +1 503 235-2666. Their second location, in a distinctive pink building, is about a mile east of the original. It's usually slightly less crowded during peak hours, and has parking.


  •   BridgePort Brewing Co1313 NW Marshall St +1 503 241-3612. Tu-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-midnight, Su-M 11:30AM-10PM. One of Portland's finest brewpub/restaurant combos, serving everything from steak to vegan platters and the menu changes quite frequently.
  •   Byways Cafe1212 NW Glisan St +1 503 221-0011. M-F 7AM-3PM, Sa-Su 7:30AM-2PM. 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 Delicacy6411 SE 82nd Ave +1 503 775-2598. Serves delicious Chinese food and is open fairly late.
  •   Flying Pie Pizzeria7804 SE Stark St +1 503 254-2016. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Has been regularly voted one of Portland's favorite pizza restaurants for the past decade by hungry locals and media critics alike.
  •   Huber’s411 SW 3rd Ave (inside the Oregon Pioneer Building),  +1 503 228-5686. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 4PM-10PM. Portland’s oldest restaurant, open since 1879, this place is known for its turkey dinners and Spanish coffees, poured right at your table. Dinner is priced between $12 to 28; lunch menu is similar with prices between $6 and $13..
  •   Kornblatt's Delicatessen628 NW 23rd Ave +1 503 242-0055. M-Th 7AM-8PM, F 7AM-9PM, Sa 7:30AM-9PM, Su 7:30AM-8PM. Serves up a mean corned beef sandwich, better than most you'll get on the West Coast, not to mention their famous bagels. Outside tables in the summertime add to the pleasure.
  •   Pizzicatolocations throughout the metro area; Downtown location at 705 SW Alder St (off Broadway),  +1 503 226-1007. M-Th 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-9PM, Sa noon-9PM, closed Su. Excellent thin-crust pizza; try the faux-Italian options.
  •   Hot Lips Pizzaseveral locations; downtown location at 1909 SW 6th Ave (near Portland State University),  +1 503 224-0311. M-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa F 10AM-10PM, Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11PM-9PM. Another place with excellent thin-crust pizza. Get any of the surprisingly good veggie pizza toppings, like artichoke.
  •   Marrakesh1201 NW 21st Ave +1 503 248-9442. Daily 5PM-10PM. Great food and the atmosphere is wonderful, 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 $18.50 buys a five-course meal.
  •   Mio Sushimultiple locations; Northwest location at 2271 NW Johnson St (near NW 23rd St),  +1 503 221-1469. M-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa 11:30AM-10PM, Su closed. 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.
  • For New York-style pizza, it's hard to beat   Escape from New York Pizza at 622 NW 23rd (+1 503 227-5423), and   New York New York at 7737 SW Barbur Blvd uptown (+1 503 768-4408). The restaurants are shrines to New York, unlike their chain-restaurant counterpart, Pizza Schmizza, which is also quite good with locations spread throughout Portland. Also worth checking out are   Bella Faccia at 2934 NE Alberta St (+1 503 282-0600) and   Pizza A Go-Go at 3420 N Williams Ave (+1 503 335-0300).
  •   Der Rheinlander and Gustav's Bier Stube5035 NE Sandy Blvd +1 503 288-5503. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Authentic German cuisine, including bratwurst, schintzel, spaetzle and sauerbraten. Many German beers on tap.
  •   Salvador Molly's1523 SW Sunset Blvd +1 503 293-1790. Su-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Caribbean and South American cuisine with a pirate twist. Try the Great Balls of Fire (a habanero cheese fritter); if you eat 5 you will get your photo on the wall of fame.
  •   Vegetarian House22 NW 4th Ave +1 503 274-0160. Daily 11AM-9PM. 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!


  •   Andina1314 NW Glisan St +1 503 228-9535. Lunch daily 11:30AM-2:30PM; dinner Su-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-10:30PM. 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.
  •   Bastas Trattoria410 NW 21st Ave +1 503 274-1572. M-Th 5PM-11PM, F-Sa 5PM-11:30PM, Su 5PM-10:30PM. Serves excellent Italian food in a rustic-style decor. The wine list is extensive, and the menu is long but not overwhelming.
  •   El Gaucho319 SW Broadway Ave +1 503 227-8794. Su 5PM-10PM, M-Th 5PM-11PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight. A chain with other restaurants in Seattle and Tacoma. The steak and ambiance don't come cheaply, however, so be prepared.
  •   Ken's Artisan Pizza304 SE 28th Ave +1 503 517-9951. M-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 4PM-9PM. Wood fired oven cooking amazing pizza and other superbly executed Italian dishes. Expect a wait.
  •   McCormick and Schmick's0309 SW Montgomery St (at the Marina),  +1 503 220-1865. Daily 11:30AM-10PM. Has now expanded across the US, but "way back when" it was just a Portland seafood restaurant. They still serve fresh seafood, too, and it's excellent almost any way they prepare it.
  •   Papa Haydntwo locations; Northwest location at 701 NW 23rd Ave +1 503 228-7317. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-midnight, Su 10AM-10PM. 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 Kitchen422 NW 8th St (Pearl District),  +1 503 223-7275. Daily 5PM-9PM. Wonderfully inventive, delicious cuisine served in a lovely setting, with a view of the park blocks.
  •   Pazzo Ristorante627 SW Washington St (in Downtown),  +1 503 228-1515. Breakfast M-F 7-10:30AM; brunch Sa-Su 8AM-2PM; lunch M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; dinner M-Th 5-9PM, F 5-11PM, Sa 4:30-11PM, Su 4-9PM. 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 Grill111 SW 5th Ave, 30th floor of the Unico/US Bancorp Tower +1 503 450-0030. Lunch M-F 11AM-4PM; dinner M-Th 4PM-midnight, F-Sa 4PM-1AM, Su 4PM-11PM. 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 as expensive and offers the same wonderful view and good food. Happy Hour is even cheaper (4:30-6:30PM) for the same good food, but much more crowded than lunchtime.
  •   Portofino Caffè Italiano8075 SE 13th Ave (in Sellwood),  +1 503 234-8259. M-Th 4:30-9:30PM, F-Sa 4:30-10PM, Su 4:30-9PM. A very small restaurant with attentive service and solid northern Italian and French Riviera cuisine.
  •   Red Star503 SW Alder St, located below Hotel Monaco (Downtown),  +1 503 222-0005. M-F 6:30AM-11PM, Sa 8AM-midnight, Su 8AM-11PM. Upscale new American classics done very well.
  •   Ringside2165 W Burnside St (in downtown),  +1 503 223-1513. M-W 5PM-11:30PM, Th-Sa 5PM-midnight, Su 4PM-11:30PM. Portland's original steakhouse. Autographs from famous musicians, athletes and movie stars line the walls. Great steak, dimly lit and excellent service.
  •   Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar901 SW Salmon St (in the southwest corner of the shopping district),  +1 503 326-1300. Lunch M-Sa 11:30AM-3PM; brunch Su 10AM-3PM, dinner Su-Th 5-10PM, F-Sa 5-11PM. The food is excellent Mediterranean-Italian fare with a regional seafood twist.


Benson Bubbler

If you're looking for a free drink while walking around downtown, look no further than the iconic Benson Bubblers. These are ornate drinking fountains scattered throughout the downtown area, made of copper and in one-bowl and four-bowl variations. Installed by Simon Benson in the 1910s, the fountains continuously run from 6AM to 11PM daily and offer a cool drink perfect for the summer months. Many cities have asked for Benson Bubblers of their own, but the City of Portland has turned them all down, respecting the wishes of Benson and his family. A single exception has been made, however — Portland has gifted one Benson Bubbler to its sister city of Sapporo, Japan.


Portland is often referred to as "the microbrewery capital of the world", and it's a well-earned title. Take advantage of the Northwest's famous microbrews — small breweries that serve their own (and others') craft beers. They are a world away from the generic beers that are America's mainstay. Portland also has more traditional nightlife drinking establishments, mainly located downtown, in Old Town, and in the Pearl. You will find everything from dance clubs, gay bars, and an assortment of karaoke bars. Portland likes its alcohol.

Although a handful of Portland's key gay bars can be found in Downtown and Old Town, they are not restricted to any identifiable gay neighborhood. They are found in diverse locations throughout the city. This reflects the fact that the Portland LGBT community is highly integrated into the city overall, which makes Portland special among cities with a big LGBT community.

Bagdad Theater
  •   Bagdad Theater and Pub3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd +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.
  •   Bartini2108 NW Glisan St +1 503 224-7919. M-Th 4PM-midnight, F-Sa 4PM-1AM, Su 4PM-11PM. 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 Station4500 SE Stark +1 503 232-8538. Daily noon-11PM. 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 Taproom213 SW Broadway +1 503 295-1004. 2PM-midnight. 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. $10.
  •   Clinton Street Theater Pub2522 SE Clinton St +1 503 238-5588. Shows a great assortment of esoteric films and the world's longest running Rocky Horror Picture Show. $6 general admission, $4 students/seniors, $4 on Tuesdays, $8 Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  •   Dots Cafe2521 SE Clinton St (SE Clinton and 26th),  +1 503 235-0203. M-F noon-2:30AM, Sa 9AM-2:30AM. A funky night spot with great bar food.
  •   EastBurn1800 E Burnside St +1 503 236-2876. M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa-Su 10AM-2AM. Cool building and great atmosphere. Hanging swing chairs, heated patio and downstairs bar with skee ball. The food is higher end, but not pricey and full bar with big wine list and great beers on tap make this spot a local favorite.
  •   Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade511 NW Couch St +1 503 796-9364. Daily noon-2:30AM. Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade preserves and updates the classic arcade experience with 100 of the most popular video games and pinball tables in a multi-level space in downtown Portland. A full bar and food menu is available from 5PM-close nightly, along with recurring events such as twice-monthly Free Play Parties and Rock Band Tuesdays. All ages are admitted noon-5PM. At 5PM, the bar opens and adults 21+ are welcome.
  •   Hair of the Dog Brewing61 SE Yamhill St +1 503 232-6585. Tu-Th and Su 11:30AM-8PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-10PM. 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.) Originally not a brewpub, a recent relocation closer to the Willamette River has added a taproom (W-Su 2PM-8PM), and its beers can also be found around town at such places as Higgins and the Horse Brass.
  •   Hopworks Urban Brewery2944 SE Powell Blvd +1 503 232-4677. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-midnight. One of the newest additions to the Portland brewpub scene. They emphasize sustainable practices business model. Hoppy beer with a distinct flavor.
  •   Horse Brass Pub4534 SE Belmont St +1 503 232-2202. Daily 11AM-2:30AM. 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.
  •   Laurelwood Public House & Brewery5115 NE Sandy Blvd +1 503 282-0622. M-Th 11AM-10PM, Friday 11AM–11PM, Sa 10AM–11PM, Su 10AM–10PM. 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 at 1624 NW Glisan St, and the Kennedy School Theater at 5736 NE 33rd Ave. Not all locations have theaters.
  •   Cinema 21616 NW 21st Ave +1 503 223-4515. A non-chain, non-McMenamins owned cinema brew pub showing more foreign, documentary and experimental film. $9 general admission, $8 students, $6 students.
  •   Laurelhurst Theater2735 E Burnside St +1 503 232-5511. Another cinema serving beer, wine and food. Children are allowed to shows before 5:30PM; after that it's 21+ only. $4 general admission, $3 seniors, $2 children.
  •   Red and Black Cafe400 SE 12th Ave +1 503 231-3899. Daily 9AM-10PM. 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.
  •   Rogue Distillery Public House1339 NW Flanders St +1 503 222-5910. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F-Sa 11AM-1AM. Best burger and fries downtown, and more beers than you can handle.
  •   Teardrop Lounge1015 NW Everett St +1 503 445-8109. M-Sa 4PM-close. One of the more upscale, inventive cocktail spots in PDX. The great drink concoctions have been written about in many national publications.
  •   Bula Kava House3115 SE Division St +1 503 477-7823. Su 3PM-10PM, M-Th 1PM-11PM, F-Sa 1PM-1AM. Kava kava is a mildly sedating drink from the South Pacific. Definitely worth a try if you're in Portland since the South Pacific is quite far away. Great place to relax and socialize in a semi-authentic atmosphere, all the while trying something entirely new and exotic.


Stumptown Coffee
  • Coffee People +1 503 284-5911. 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.
  •   Pied Cow3244 SE Belmont St +1 503 230-4866. M-Th 4PM-midnight, F 4PM-1AM, Sa noon-1AM, Su noon-midnight. 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.
  •   Ristretto Roastersmultiple locations; largest and coffee lab at 3808 N Williams Ave +1 503 288-8667. M-Sa 6:30AM-6PM, Su 7AM-6PM. 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.
  •   Stumptown Coffee Roastersseveral locations; Downtown location at 128 SW 3rd Ave (SW 3rd and Pine),  +1 503 295-6144. M–F 6AM-7PM, Sa–Su 7AM-7PM. 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 five locations, as well as more gourmet grocery stores such as Wild Oats and Whole Foods.
  •   Water Avenue Coffee Roasters1028 SE Water Avenue #145 (SE Taylor and Water Ave),  +1 503 808-7084. M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa-Su 8AM-6PM. A loft style cafe and coffee roastery.
  •   World Cup Coffee and Tea1740 NW Glisan St (second location in Powell's City of Books downtown) (on 18th and NW Glisan),  +1 503 228-4152. M-F 6:30AM-8PM, Sa-Su 7AM-7PM. Great locally owned company whose 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 & Breakfast7006 SW Virginia Ave (South Portland/one block west of Willamette Park),  +1 503 892-5781. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located in the southwest part of the city, one block from a beautiful park on the Willamette River. $125-175.
  •   Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites2300 N Hayden Island Dr +1 503 283-8000. $130-180.
  •   Inn at Northrup Station2025 NW Northrup St +1 503 224-0543. Boutique all-suite hotel with modern decor, a rooftop deck, and kitchens. $150-200.
  •   The Jupiter Hotel800 E Burnside St +1 503 230-9200, toll-free: +1-877-800-0004. Crisp, modern guest rooms, cutting edge entertainment, food 21/7, and spa style rub-downs make up this unique boutique hotel. While there, The Doug Fir is not to be missed. All day eats and drinks. Often has loaner bicycles. $140-180.
  •   The Kennedy School5736 NE 33rd Ave +1 503 249-3983, toll-free: +1-888-249-3983, e-mail: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 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. $115-145.
  •   Marriott Portland City Center520 SW Broadway (in downtown Portland, two blocks from the MAX light rail),  +1 503 226-6300fax: +1 503 227-7515.
  •   Oxford Suites Portland - Jantzen Beach12226 N Jantzen Dr +1 503 283-3030.
  •   The Park Lane Suites809 SW King Ave (near NW 21st and Burnside),  +1 503 226-6288, toll-free: +1-800-532-9543. Apartment-like suites with kitchens (stove, refrigerator, coffee-maker, and dishwasher). Rooms also include a living room and comfortable beds. It's a short bus ride on the 15 to downtown. Rates are reasonable.
  •   Le Pensione Guesthouse Style Bed and Breakfast1039 SE 37th Ave +1 503 351-4831. 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.
  •   Rodeway Inn Airport9723 NE Sandy Blvd +1 503 255-1400.
  •   Ramada Mall 2059707 SE Stark St (near Portland Airport on Stark St and I-205 near Mall 205),  +1 503 252-7400, e-mail: .


Stay safe[edit]

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 Old Town, 82nd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. If you're just passing by in a car, cab, or train, don't be too worried, but be aware of the occasional crime on public transportation at night as well.

Recently, LGBT people have been the target of hate crimes, mostly around gay bars. A volunteer foot patrol, Q Patrol, keeps an eye on the gay hotspots on some summer weekends to deter potential attacks. The Portland Police Department is generally quite responsive to anti-LGBT crime, and even works closely with the LGBT community to ensure overall safety.


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.

  •   Multnomah County Library801 SW 10th Ave +1 503 988-5123. M,Th-Sa 10AM-6PM, Tu-W 10AM-8PM, Su noon-5PM. Issues one-hour guest passes for Internet terminal use. Numerous branch libraries scattered around Portland. Free wi-fi available to public while the libraries are open. Wi-fi shuts off ten minutes before the libraries close and stays off until the library opens again.



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 (The Oregonian vs. The Tribune, Willamette Week vs. The Mercury).

  • The Oregonian. Nationally recognized, Pulitzer Prize–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, Washington). The paper suffers as a city guide for the out-of-towner as its arts coverage is limited (Friday A&E is comprehensive), 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. $1 daily, $1.50 Sundays.
  • Willamette Week. An alternative weekly newspaper that recently won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigative reporting. This boomer-hipster hybrid sometimes struggles from identity freak-out but is likely the quickest and most immediate help to out-of-towners. The paper's free annual city guide "Finder" can be found around town in late August and is specifically tailored for those new to Portland. Willamette Week is sometimes referred to as Willy Week or Willy by old-guard Portland hipsters or those who disagree with its politics. Free every Wednesday.
  • PQ Monthly. Portland's queer newspaper. It started in 2012 when Just Out, Portland's established LGBT publication for three decades, went out of business (although Just Out shortly resumed publication under new ownership). PQ Monthly covers the full diversity of the Portland queer community. Consult PQ to find community events of interest to LGBT people, or to find the gay nightlife. Every third Thursday, the paper's staff hosts a press party at a local queer venue, where the newest issue can be picked up hot off the presses. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with LGBT Portland. Free monthly on the third Thursday.
  • The Portland Tribune. This broadsheet-sized upstart has struggled since its start to find a spot between Willamette Week and The Oregonian, the city's mainstays and the paper's main competitors. Suburbanites who work in the city tend to favor the Tribune. Free Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • The Portland Mercury. Another alt weekly newspaper, the Portland version of Seattle's The Stranger. This tabloid-sized hipster-focused mag has taken a bite out of Willamette Week's advertising in recent years, meaning that those looking for movie times or rock show listings can often find them in the Mercury's pages. Readers offended by foul language or grammatical errors may be frustrated by the editorial content. Free every Thursday.

Most other publications would be of only passing interest to travellers, but to read what locals think and feel, the Northwest Examiner, Portland Observer, Skanner, St. Johns Sentinel, and Portland State University's Vanguard are some of the better choices.


Go next[edit]

Multnomah Falls

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 waterfall 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 southwest 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 its 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.
  • Officers Row, Vancouver, Washington (Across the Columbia river via I-5 or I-205, about 15 min from Portland Airport). Pearson Field, the oldest continuous operating air field in the U.S., is now a museum with beautifully restored southern houses used by many well known people such as General George Marshall. 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.
Routes through Portland
SeattleVancouver  N I-5.svg S  TigardEugene
END  W I-84.svg E  GreshamThe Dalles
Ends at N US 101.svg SBeaverton  W US 26.svg E  GreshamPrineville
AstoriaSt. Helens  W US 30.svg E  GreshamThe Dalles
END  N OR 99E.svg S  GladstoneEugene
END  N OR 99W.svg S  TigardEugene

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