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, which draws people for 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.
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 counterculture, 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.
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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.
Although Portland is roughly at the same latitude as Minneapolis, Minnesota (and is in fact slightly further north), snow is very uncommon because of Portland's fairly low elevation and the relative proximity of the Pacific Ocean. 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.
- Portland Visitor Information and Services Center, 701 SW 6th Ave (at Morrison), ☎ , toll-free: . M-F 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sa 10AM-4PM.
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 from Canada (Air Canada and Alaska Airlines), Frankfurt am Main (Condor), Reykjavik (Icelandair), Mexico (Alaska and Volaris), Tokyo and Amsterdam Schiphol (Delta). The following airlines serve Portland:
- Concourse A: Alaska Airlines
- Concourse B: Alaska/Horizon Airlines
- Concourse C: Alaska Airlines (C1-C5, C7, C21-22); American (Gates C9, C11, C17, C19, C21); Frontier (Gate C10); Jetblue (Gate C6); Southwest (Gates C13-16, C18)
- Concourse D: Delta (International & domestic) (Gates D3-11 odd numbered); Hawaiian Air (Gate D10); Spirit (Gate D4); Virgin America (Gate D1); United (D2, D6, D8 & D12); Condor, Icelandair, Volaris.
- Concourse E: Air Canada Jazz (Gates E4 & E7), SeaPort (Gate E6), United & United Express (Gates E2-E6)
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 and least expensive option is the MAX train, Trimet's light-rail system. Just catch the MAX Red Line in the south end of the airport terminal, near the baggage claim area, at lower level. 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 at the Parkrose Transit Center Stop), 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.
- Portland Union Station, 800 NW 6th Ave. 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:
- The Amtrak Cascades is the most frequent train, coming in from as far south as Eugene and as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia. The Cascades offers certain amenities not available on the other two routes, such as wifi, more space for bikes, more power outlets, a bistro car serving Pacific Northwest foods and wine, and the occasional movie.
- The Coast Starlight runs between Seattle and Los Angeles. Stops include Tacoma, Olympia, Salem, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Redding, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. Historically the Coast Starlight has been nicknamed "the Coast Starlate" due to its frequent, horrendously long delays, but its reliability drastically improved since about 2008.
- The Empire Builder, Amtrak's busiest long-distance route, runs between Chicago and its two western terminus, Portland and Seattle. It stops at Milwaukee, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Glacier National Park, and Spokane along the way. The westbound train splits into two branches (or joins into a single route going eastbound) in Spokane with one branch going to Seattle and the other to Portland. Since 2013, the Empire Builder has been seeing greater and greater delays, resulting in significant schedule changes.
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 can take I-405 over the Fremont Bridge to cross the Willamette River and reach downtown, or take exits 302A or 300B and follow the City Center signs. 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 in the rest 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.
Long distance buses pick up in front at Union Station (800 NW 6th Ave) and the Greyhound depot next door (550 NW 6th Ave). They can also pick up at other parts of town too. See below:
- BoltBus, (bus stop) Along SW Salmon St at 6th Ave, near the Portland Hilton., toll-free: . Service from Eugene, Albany OR, Seattle, Bellingham WA; and Vancouver BC. $1 if lucky; up to $30.
- CoBreeze, (bus stops) Union Station, Greyhound terminal, Portland International Airport & the Cleveland MAX station in Gresham, ☎ . Goes down to Bend via Sandy, Welches, Government Camp, Madras, Prineville P&R and Redmond Airport. Buses may not make all the above stops regularly but on request in advance of travel. Check with them.
- Greyhound, (Depot) 550 NW 6th (Next building occupying two city blocks south of Union Station. Front entrance facing NW 6th in the middle of the block between NW Irving & Glisan.), ☎ , toll-free: . Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 5 (Portland-Seattle & Portland-Sacramento on two separate routes. Some buses run contiguously between Seattle and Sacramento); 84 (Portland-Boise-Salt Lake City); & 84-US395-90 (Portland-Pasco-Spokane). Passengers transfer to other buses in Seattle, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Medford, and/or Pasco to get to other cities & towns. Prices vary depending on your destination.
- Tillamook Transportation District Rt #5, (stops) Union Station, Greyhound depot, Sunset Transit Center & NW 185th Ave, ☎ . Twice daily trip to/from Tillamook along US Hwy 26 and OR-Hwy 6. $15 OW or $20 RT..
- Oregon Point, (bus stop) Union Station @ 800 NW 6th Ave (Stops in both Greyhound & Union Station). Tickets can be also be purchased at the Greyhound or Amtrak ticket counters for two of their routes:
- Northwest Point goes up to Astoria via Manning, Elsie along US Hwy 26 and Seaside, Cannon Beach, Gearhart and Warrenton along US Hwy 101. Picks up from both the Union Station and Greyhound terminal.
- Cascades Point goes down to Eugene via Woodburn, Salem & Albany. Some buses detour into Oregon City too. Check schedules. Picks up from the Union Station only. At other times take TriMet Rt#35 to get to Oregon City. ..
By public transit
- Tri Met. operates buses, MAX light rail, WES commuter train (between Beaverton & Wilsonville) and the Portland Streetcar in and around Portland and the surrounding suburban cities/municipalities in the greater Portland Metropolitan Area. See "By public transit" under "Getting Around" for more details. $2.50 for 2 1/2hrs or $5 day ticket. The same tickets are valid for travel on bus and rail..
In addition to the above there are other transit providers providing onward transport from Portland to other cities/municipalities surrounding the greater Portland Metropolitan area and outside the Tri-Met service district.
- C-Tran. operates local buses between Vancouver, WA; Camas, Battlegroud and Washougal in Clark County, Washington as well as express buses to downtown Portland, Lloyd Center &/or Marquam Hill (Rt #105,134,157,190,199); Parkrose/Sumner MAX station (Rt #65 to NE Portland) and Delta Park/Vanport MAX Station (Rt#4, 44 & 47 to N Portland). Transfer to MAX Red line to the airport or to downtown from the Parkrose/Sumner Station and the MAX Yellow Line from the Delta Park/Vanport Station to downtown. $1.75 within Clark County, WA; $2.50 all zones (to Vanport or Parkrose Transit Centers), $3.75 express to downtown Portland. All zone & express tickets are transferable for onward travel on Tri-Met..
- Columbia County Rider (CC Rider), (stops) SW Salmon between 5th & 6th Ave and NW 113th & US Hwy 30, ☎ . operates buses within Columbia County between St Helens, Clatskanie, Rainier and Scappoose as well as to downtown Portland (Rt#1), PCC Rock Creek & Willow Creek Transit Center (Rt#2, #6), and to Kelso, WA (Rt#5) $5 base zone + $1 additional zone or $2 on the Flex route..
- South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART). Operates local buses in Willsonville (20mi/30km south of Portland), Charbonneau & Canby (#3) and express buses to Salem (1x), Barbur Transit Center (2x) and Beaverton (8, 9x). Transfer to Tri-Met #12 or 44 to continue to downtown from Barbur Transit Center or Blue Line MAX from Beaverton. Tri Met WES train also connects Wilsonville to Beaverton via Tualatin and Tigard. $3.00 to downtown Portland, Salem & Beaverton; $1.50 to Tualatin, Canby & Barbur Transit Center; FREE within Wilsonville..
- Sandy Area Metro (SAM), (stop) Gresham Transit Center, ☎ . , Goes to Estacada and Gresham on two routes. Both routes make stops locally in Sandy. Continue to downtown Portland from Gresham Transit Center on 'Blue Line' MAX, or the #4 or 9 bus. $1 one way no transfers..
- Mt Hood Express, ☎ . The Mt. Hood Express is a bus service for communities along US Hwy 26 between Sandy east to Timberline Lodge in Mt Hood. $2 one way no transfers or $5 day pass/ticket transferable on SAM buses.
- Tillamook Transportation District, (stops) Union Station, Greyhound depot, Sunset Transit Center & NW 185th Ave, ☎ . Operates buses in/around Tillamook town and to Manzanita, Cannon Beach and Oceanside in Tillamook County as well inter county service to Lincoln City (Rt #4) and over to Portland (Rt#5). NOTE: There are no longer Greyhound services to the Oregon Coast from Portland or from anywhere along the I-5 corridor. $1.50 per zone in Tillamook County or within an adjacent county in the north Oregon Coast; $15 OW to Portland or $20 RT..
- Yamhill County Transit, (stops) downtown Hillsboro (Rt #33) & Tigard Transit Center (Rt #44), ☎ . Operates buses in/around McMinville and to Newberg, Amity, Carlton, Dayton, Dundee, Lafayette, Sheridan & Willamena in Yamhill County and to Tigard Transit Center (nearest point to Portland on Rt #44), Hillsbro (Rt #33), Salem (Rt #11). Transfer to Tri-Met #12 from Tigard Transit Center to downtown Portland or the 'Blue Line' MAX from Hillsboro to downtown Portland. NOTE: There are no longer Greyhound bus services to Tigard or to anywhere in Yamhill County along OR Hwy 99W. $1.25 ow fare or $2.50 day ticket/pass.
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.
If you are touring the United States without a car, rejoice! 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. 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.
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.
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.
If you must park in downtown, the best parking deal is any of the six SmartPark garages maintained by the City of Portland. As of May 2015, rates are $1.60 per hour on weekdays for the first four hours, and $5 flat rate evenings after 5PM and all day on weekends. Also, some businesses can validate your parking. SmartPark locations are:
- SmartPark Naito and Davis, 33 NW Davis St.
- SmartPark O'Bryant Square, 808 SW Stark St.
- SmartPark 10th and Yamhill, 730 SW 10th Ave.
- SmartPark 3rd and Alder, 620 SW 3rd Ave.
- SmartPark 4th and Yamhill, 818 SW 4th Ave.
- SmartPark 1st and Jefferson, 123 SW Jefferson St.
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.
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. Coming by Summer 2016, Portland will have a fully operational bike share system, focusing mostly along downtown and the surrounding areas, including across the Willamette River. More information can be found on the Motivate (the soon to be operator's) news release.
By public transit
TriMet is preparing for the 2017 release of an electronic fare payment system, featuring the Hop FastPass, a contactless smart card. The card will work on TriMet, the Portland Streetcar, and C-TRAN in Vancouver, Washington.
One planned major benefit is a cap on how much fare users will be charged per day and per month. Hop users will "earn" free travel for the rest of the day once they pay $5 in fare with their card, which is equivalent to buying a day pass. The equivalent of 20 round-trip rides in a month will "earn" a monthly pass as well. This will be particularly useful for any visitor who wants to use public transit—you will never have to consider whether you'll use public transit often enough to justify buying a pass.
TriMet operates the Portland metro area's extensive public transit system of buses, MAX light rail trains, and streetcars.
Fare is $2.50. TriMet uses a "proof of payment" system—when you pay the fare, you get a paper ticket good for two-and-a-half hours of travel on the entire system. Hold on to it, in case you're visited by a fare inspector.
You can pay fare, or buy passes, such as a $5 day pass, at any MAX station ticket machine (but expect the occasional out-of-order machine), on-board any streetcar, or on any bus (with exact change). Smartphone users (iPhone or Android) can use the TriMet Tickets app to buy tickets too; show your ticket on the phone screen to the bus driver or any fare inspector (and make sure your phone's battery doesn't die!).
TriMet offers trip planning on its mobile website, but no official app. However, many excellent third-party apps will help.
MAX light rail
There are five MAX Light Rail lines, which offer speedy and frequent service across much of Portland:
- The Blue Line runs between Hillsboro and Gresham via Beaverton, Downtown Portland, and the Gateway Transit Center.
- The Red Line runs between the Portland International Airport and Beaverton via the Gateway Transit Center and Downtown.
- The Green Line runs between Clackamas Town Center and Portland State University via the Gateway Transit Center and Downtown.
- The Yellow Line runs from the Expo Center south to Downtown and Portland State University.
- The Orange Line runs from Milwaukie north to Union Station in Downtown via Portland State University.
All the lines go through the city's downtown (referred to as "City Center" on TriMet), with the Red and Blue lines running east-west and overlapping on Morrison/Yamhill Streets, while the Yellow, Orange and Green lines run north-south and overlap on the Portland Transit Mall along 5th and 6th Avenues, with all lines crossing at Pioneer Square. Each MAX line 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 operates the Portland Streetcar service, which consists of modern light rail vehicles running along Downtown streets about every 15-20 minutes. Because the streetcars usually share space with car traffic and stop every few blocks, this is a much slower service than the MAX and is intended primarily for getting around the Downtown area. A two-and-a-half-hour Streetcar Only ticket can be purchased for $2 at fare machines at Streetcar stops and on the Streetcar vehicles. There are three lines:
- The NS (North South) Line, which runs between Northwest Portland and South Waterfront through the Downtown area. The route runs along Lovejoy/Northrup through Northwest Portland and the Pearl District before turning south along 10th and 11th Avenues through Downtown to Portland State University, then winds it way past Riverplace to South Waterfront.
- The A Loop and B Loop lines, which run clockwise and counterclockwise, respectively, between Downtown and Central Eastside. The route runs from SW Market through Downtown along 10th and 11th to the Pearl District, across the Broadway Bridge and along Broadway/Weidler through the Rose Quarter, then along MLK/Grand south past the Convention Center through the Lloyd District and Central Eastside to OMSI, where it crosses the Tilikum Crossing bridge over to South Waterfront before returning north to Portland State University and SW Market.
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. A full list of bus routes, with the frequent lines clearly marked, can be found here.
TriMet also runs the Portland Aerial Tramway, which connects the South Waterfront to Marquam Hill, where several of Portland's hospitals, including OHSU, are located. A roundtrip ticket on the Aerial Tramway costs $4.
- The Faux Museum, 139 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 Craft, 724 NW Davis St, ☎ . 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 Society, 1200 SW Park Ave (across from the Portland Art Museum), ☎ . 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, ☎ . 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 Mansion, 3229 NW Pittock Dr (Bus 20 from Downtown to NW Barnes, followed by a 15 min moderate climb), ☎ . Feb-Jun, Sep-Dec 11AM-4PM daily; Jul-Aug 10AM-5PM daily; grounds open 5AM-9PM daily. 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 Tram, at 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 Jun-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 Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave, ☎ . 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. 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 5PM-8PM.
- Portlandia, 1120 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 Bell, 777 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 Museum, SW Naito Pkwy at Pine St (on the Willamette River), ☎ . 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.
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
- Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, SE 28th Ave & Woodstock Blvd, ☎ . 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), ☎ . 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), ☎ . 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 Park, SE 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 Park, SW 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 Park, SE 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 Square, SW Broadway and Yamhill, ☎ . 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. An annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place here the Friday evening after Thanksgiving to ring in the holiday day season and get everyone attending into the holiday cheer. Free.
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Naito 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, SW Park Pl (directly west of downtown), ☎ . 5AM-10PM daily. 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).
- Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd (on the western side of Washington Park), ☎ . 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 Gardens, 850 SW Rose Garden Way (10 min on Washington Park Shuttle from Washington Park MAX), ☎ . 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 Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park), ☎ . 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 Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park), ☎ . 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 Garden, 611 SW Kingston Dr (across from the Rose Test Gardens), ☎ . 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 Museum, 4033 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park), ☎ . 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 Timbers, Providence Park, 1844 SW Morrison, ☎ . 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. Games against the Seattle Sounders are especially heated, though fan conflict is almost always verbal.
- Portland Trail Blazers, Moda Center (Rose Garden Arena), 1 Center Ct, ☎ . 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 FC, Providence Park, 1844 SW Morrison, ☎ . 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 except in FIFA Women's World Cup years (such as 2015), when it extends to September. The Thorns are owned and operated by the Timbers, making them one of four NWSL teams with a formal MLS affiliation (the other three are the Houston Dash, owned by the Houston Dynamo; FC Kansas City, affiliated with but not owned by Sporting Kansas City; and the Orlando Pride, entering the league in 2016 and owned by Orlando City SC). While not quite as popular as the Timbers, they're still the only NWSL team to draw over 10,000 per game in any of the league's first three seasons (doing so all three seasons). In 2015, they averaged slightly over 15,000 per home game, far higher than any other professional women's team in the U.S. and rivaled only by the University of Utah gymnastics team in all U.S. women's sports.
- PDX Soapbox Derby, Mt. 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 Lounge, 830 E Burnside St, ☎ . 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 Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie 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.
- Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St, ☎ . A large ballroom with cash bar featuring many of Portland's favorite music artists and national touring acts.
- Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave (at Burnside), ☎ . 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 St, ☎ . 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, 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.
- Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Ave (between Davis and Everett), ☎ . Portland's unofficial home for live Jazz music.
- Dante's, 350 W Burnside St (at 3rd Ave), ☎ . Home of the weird, bizarre, and devilish live music and shows.
- Rose Quarter, 1 Center Ct, ☎ . 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, notably 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 teaching hospital in Oregon. They offer post graduate studies in medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy. The site is shared with the VA Hospital, Dornebecher Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House looking 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.
University of Portland is a private catholic school located in the 'University neighborhood' up north in the St Johns neighborhood. They are affiliated with the Congregation of the Holy Cross, which also founded the more prestigious University of Notre Dame.
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. Around 2009, Portland was one of the hardest cities in which to find work. 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. Many Portlanders commute to one of the suburbs such as Hillsboro or Beaverton. You are likely better off moving to one of those cities instead however, unless you like taking overcrowded light-rail trains or sitting in perpetual gridlock for 2 hours in the morning. Just ask a local.
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.)
Craft and farmers markets
- Saturday Market, SW 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.
- Portland Farmers Market, Organization Office at 240 N Broadway, ☎ . At the markets, farmers, ranchers and nursery growers offer various conventionally and organically grown fruits, vegetables and pre-cut, pre-packaged meats (usually fish, pork or eggs) and live ornamental and food plants for gardening. There are other artisan food producers offering prepared products, ranging from fruit jams to farmstead cheeses, breads and pastries, pickles, pasta, chocolate, and more. The markets occur once weekly in different neighborhoods from the first week of May or June to the last week of September or November in the following locations:
- Sundays 10AM-2PM at NE 7th & NE Wygant in the King Neighborhood from first weekend in May to the last weekend in November.
- Mondays 10AM-2PM at the downtown Pioneer Courthouse Square on SW 6th & Yamhill from June-Sept.
- Wednesdays 10AM-2PM at Shemanski Park on SW Park & Main in downtown from May to Sept.
- Thursdays 3PM-7PM at SE 20th & Salmon in the Buckman Neighborhood from May to Sept.
- Thursdays 2PM-6PM at NW 19th & Everett in the NW Neighborhood from June to Sept.
- Fridays 3PM-7PM at N McClellan & N Denver from June to Sept.
- Saturdays 9AM-2PM (Nov-Feb) & 8:30AM-2PM (Mar-Oct) at SW Park Ave & Montgomery on the Portland State University (PSU) campus. Only one operating year round.
There are numerous other farmers markets happening during the summer months (some year around), once weekly, in different neighborhoods in the city and in other nearby cities of the greater Portland Metropolitan area. They are sponsored by a different organization from the above. See this link for a a list of other Farmers' Markets, not listed above, around the greater Portland Metropolitan area.
- Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St (W Burnside & NW 10th), ☎ . 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 while visitors make a point in seeing the place as an attraction whether they buy a book or not. 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 across the street (NW 10th) from the main store, 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 Company, 911 SW Broadway (or 1323 SE Tacoma St.'s outlet store), ☎ . 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.
- Compound, 107 NW 5th Ave, ☎ . 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 Playground, 23 NW 5th Ave, ☎ . 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 Swimwear, 318 NW 11th Ave, ☎ . 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 malls and districts
- Sellwood, along 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 & 21st Avenues, north of Burnside. Part of the Northwest/Nob Hill District and one of the most densely populated shopping districts, with some funky and eclectic shops along NW 23rd & NW 21st (parallel to 23rd a couple blocks east) from W Burnside up to NW Marshall St. There are some bars, restaurants along NW 23rd north of Marshall.
- Hawthorne District, east side of the Willamette River. A popular shopping area, particularly along SE Hawthorne Blvd between 34th and 39th Ave. Includes head shops, vintage clothing, used books and magazines, local clothing designers and craft stores.
- SE Division, east side of the Willamette River. A popular shopping area with a variety stores, bars and restaurants along SE Division from SE 12th through SE 60th.
- Lloyd Center, 2201 Lloyd Center (accessible via MAX Red, Blue, and Green lines), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. A large mall just northeast of downtown near the Convention Center with dozens of stores to visit within the mall itself and the surrounding areas particular along NE Weidler and NE Broadway, north of the mall, from NE MLK to NE 33rd. Lloyd Center was the first urban mall in the United States and the largest mall west of the Mississippi River in the early 1960s when it was built.
- Clackamas Town Center, off of I-205 exit 14 (accessible by MAX Green Line), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Great shopping facilities; smaller than Lloyd Center, but just as much to see.
- Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave (SW 5th & Yamhilll), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Similar to Lloyd Center, though more upscale.
- Downtown Just about any street in Downtown Portland has some neat shops, restaurants, food carts and coffee houses; 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 housed in buildings that were once warehouses and factories. The areas around Jamison Square and the intersection of Lovejoy Street and 10th Avenue have the highest concentration of these fabulous shops. The neighborhood is bounded west by I-405, south by W Burnside, north by NW Quimby and east by NW Park, just northwest of downtown Portland.
- Buckman is an up & coming neighborhood in the southeast to rival the Pearl District in the northwest. The neighborhood is bounded to the west by the Willamette River, south by SE Hawthorne, east by SE 28th and north by E Burnside. It was once an industrial warehouse district as recent as 20 years ago is now gentrifying with all sorts of boutiques, antique stores, furniture stores, gift shops, bars and restaurants housed in old warehouse buildings particularly along SE MLK & Grand Ave (OR-Hwy 99E) and along SE Water Ave. The area is also home to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) and is connected to Lloyd Center by the frequent Streetcar going up down SE Union/MLK and to downtown by the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges.
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. Be sure to see the above "Shopping Malls & Districts" article under the "Buy" section as there are a great number of restaurants next to the boutique stores located in these shopping districts and malls in a nice urban setting. Some of them are locally owned unique type of restaurants while others are national or international chain restaurants (Subway, McDonald's/McCafe, Chipotle, Starbucks, KFC, etc.) that may or may not be listed in the below.
- Burgerville, multiple locations around the Portland area; Lloyd District location at 1135 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, ☎ . 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!, 22 NE 7th Ave (Middle of block along NE 7th between E Burnside & NE Couch), ☎ . , This crêpe stand offers a great selection of combinations, savory and sweet. Try the Tropical Monkey. They also regularly appear at the farmers' markets too
- Cha! Cha! Cha!, several Portland locations; Pearl District location at 1208 NW Gilsan, ☎ . 10AM-10PM daily. Good quality Mexican food at a middling price.
- Costello's Travel Caffé, 2222 NE Broadway, ☎ . 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 Delta, 4607 SE Woodstock Blvd (at 46th Ave), ☎ . 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 Cafe, 3035 SE Division St, ☎ . 8AM-4PM daily. Fresh and mostly organic fare in a cozy setting.
- Dockside Saloon and Restaurant, 2047 NW Front Ave, ☎ . 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.
- Equinox, 830 N Shaver St (at Mississippi St), ☎ . Brunch Sa-Su 9AM-2PM; Dinner daily starting at 5PM. Excellent variety of egg scrambles, vegetarian fare.
- EuroTrash, SW 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 Cafe, 7820 SW Capitol Hwy, Multnomah Village, ☎ . 6:30AM-3PM daily. Local favorite, serves excellent breakfasts. The French toast is recommended.
- Grand Central Bakery, several locations; Northwest location at 2249 NW York, ☎ . M-F 6:30AM-4PM, Sa-Su 7AM-4PM. Artisan breads, pastries, soups, sandwiches and salads.
- Gravy, 3957 N Mississippi Ave, ☎ . 7:30AM-3PM daily. Great egg scrambles and other hearty breakfast fare. Can be a long wait on weekends.
- Laughing Planet, several locations; Downtown location at 1720 SW 4th Ave, ☎ . 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 Montage, 301 SE Morrison St (under the east end of the Morrison bridge), ☎ . 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 Burger, multiple locations all over the city; Pearl location at 122 NW 10th Ave, ☎ . 11AM-10PM daily. 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 - Hawthorne, 4034 SE Hawthorne Blvd, ☎ . 8AM-10PM daily.
- New Seasons Market - Seven Corners, 1954 SE Division St, ☎ . 8AM-10PM daily.
- New Seasons Market - Sellwood, 1214 SE Tacoma St, ☎ . 8AM-10PM daily.
- New Seasons Market - Williams, 3445 N Williams Ave, ☎ . 7AM-11PM daily.
- New Seasons Market - Concordia, 5320 NE 33rd Ave, ☎ . 8AM-10PM daily.
- New Seasons Market - Arbor Lodge, 6400 N Interstate Ave, ☎ . 8AM-10PM daily.
- Nicholas Restaurant. Great value Lebanese food, family owned and operated where everything is made from scratch. Two locations.
- Nicholas Restaurant - SE Grand, 318 SE Grand Ave, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-9PM. The original location. Small seating area so there can be waits.
- Nicholas Restaurant - NE Broadway, 3223 NE Broadway, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Second location.
- Olé Olé, 2137 E Burnside St, ☎ . 10AM-10PM daily. Great burritos and a good budget option. Cash only.
- Original Hotcake House, 1002 SE Powell Blvd, ☎ . 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).
- The Original Pancake House, 8601 SW 24th Ave (exit 296A off I-5 south, immediately to the left), ☎ . W-Su 7AM-3PM. This is the flagship location of the well-known American pancake restaurant chain, and it is in fact in a house. Many of the familiar favorites (apple pancakes and Dutch Babies) are available. Cash only.
- 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.
- Original Taco House - Southeast, 3550 SE Powell Blvd, ☎ .
- Original Taco House - Northeast, 3255 NE 82nd Ave, ☎ .
- Pine State Biscuits, 2204 NE Alberta St, ☎ . 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? - Hawthorne, 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM.
- ¿Por Qué No? - Mississippi, 3524 N Mississippi Ave, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM.
- Quan Linh, 8230 SE Harrison #345, ☎ . 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's, 1318 SE Hawthorne Blvd, ☎ . M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa 11:30AM-9PM, Su noon-8:30PM. An excellent source of affordable Lebanese food.
- Robo Taco, 607 SE Morrison St, ☎ . 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, ☎ . 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 Burnside, 926 W Burnside St.
- Sizzle Pie - East Burnside, 624 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 three brick-and-mortar locations), including quite large burritos. The ingredients are fresh and the staff friendly.
- Taqueria Los Gorditos - Monte, 3420 SE 50th Ave, ☎ . 10AM-9PM daily. The Gorditos outdoor food truck location. It's situated at a former self-service car wash with plenty of outdoor seating.
- Taqueria Los Gorditos - Perla, 922 NW Davis St, ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Taqueria. Slightly larger menu than the other locations.
- Taqueria Los Gorditos - Flor, 1212 SE Divsion St, ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Taqueria.
- Taqueria Los Gorditos - Norte, 902 N Killingsworth St (at Mississippi Ave), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Taqueria.
- 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 Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd Ave (at Ankeny), ☎ .
- Voodoo Doughnut Too, 1501 NE Davis St (at Sandy), ☎ . 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 Co, 1313 NW Marshall St, ☎ . 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 Cafe, 1212 NW Glisan St, ☎ . 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 Delicacy, 6411 SE 82nd Ave, ☎ . Serves delicious Chinese food and is open fairly late.
- Flying Pie Pizzeria, 7804 SE Stark St, ☎ . 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’s, 411 SW 3rd Ave (inside the Oregon Pioneer Building), ☎ . 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 Delicatessen, 628 NW 23rd Ave, ☎ . 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.
- Pizzicato, locations throughout the metro area; Downtown location at 705 SW Alder St (off Broadway), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-9PM, Sa noon-9PM, closed Su. Excellent thin-crust pizza; try the faux-Italian options.
- Hot Lips Pizza, several locations; downtown location at 1909 SW 6th Ave (near Portland State University), ☎ . 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.
- Marrakesh, 1201 NW 21st Ave, ☎ . 5PM-10PM daily. 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 Sushi, multiple locations; Northwest location at 2271 NW Johnson St (near NW 23rd St), ☎ . 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).
- Gustav's, 5035 NE Sandy Blvd, ☎ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Authentic German cuisine, including bratwurst, schintzel, spaetzle and sauerbraten. Many German beers on tap.
- Salvador Molly's, 1523 SW Sunset Blvd, ☎ . 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.
- Andina, 1314 NW Glisan St, ☎ . Lunch 11:30AM-2:30PM daily; 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 Trattoria, 410 NW 21st Ave, ☎ . 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 Gaucho, 319 SW Broadway Ave, ☎ . Su 5PM-10PM, M-Th 5PM-11PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight. A chain with other restaurants in Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma. The steak and ambiance don't come cheaply, however, so be prepared.
- Ken's Artisan Pizza, 304 SE 28th Ave, ☎ . 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's, 0309 SW Montgomery St (at the Marina), ☎ . 11:30AM-10PM daily. 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 Haydn, two locations; Northwest location at 701 NW 23rd Ave, ☎ . 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 Kitchen, 422 NW 8th St (Pearl District), ☎ . 5PM-9PM daily. Wonderfully inventive, delicious cuisine served in a lovely setting, with a view of the park blocks.
- Pazzo Ristorante, 627 SW Washington St (in Downtown), ☎ . Breakfast M-F 7AM-10:30AM; brunch Sa-Su 8AM-2PM; lunch M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; dinner M-Th 5PM-9PM, F 5PM-11PM, Sa 4:30PM-11PM, Su 4PM-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 Grill, 111 SW 5th Ave, 30th floor of the Unico/US Bancorp Tower, ☎ . 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 Italiano, 8075 SE 13th Ave (in Sellwood), ☎ . M-Th 4:30PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 4:30PM-10PM, Su 4:30PM-9PM. A very small restaurant with attentive service and solid northern Italian and French Riviera cuisine.
- Red Star, 503 SW Alder St, located below Hotel Monaco (Downtown), ☎ . M-F 6:30AM-11PM, Sa 8AM-midnight, Su 8AM-11PM. Upscale new American classics done very well.
- Ringside, 2165 W Burnside St (in downtown), ☎ . 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 Bar, 901 SW Salmon St (in the southwest corner of the shopping district), ☎ . Lunch M-Sa 11:30AM-3PM; brunch Su 10AM-3PM, dinner Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. The food is excellent Mediterranean-Italian fare with a regional seafood twist.
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 and Pub, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd, ☎ . 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.
- Bartini, 2108 NW Glisan St, ☎ . 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 Station, 4500 SE Stark St, ☎ . Noon-11PM daily. 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, 213 SW Broadway, ☎ . 2PM-midnight daily. 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 Pub, 2522 SE Clinton St, ☎ . 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 Cafe, 2521 SE Clinton St (SE Clinton and 26th), ☎ . M-F noon-2:30AM, Sa 9AM-2:30AM. A funky night spot with great bar food.
- EastBurn, 1800 E Burnside St, ☎ . 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 Arcade, 511 NW Couch St, ☎ . Noon-2:30AM daily. 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 Brewing, 61 SE Yamhill St, ☎ . 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 Brewery, 2944 SE Powell Blvd, ☎ . 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 Pub, 4534 SE Belmont St, ☎ . 11AM-2:30AM daily. 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 & Brewery, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, ☎ . 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 21, 616 NW 21st Ave, ☎ . A non-chain, non-McMenamins owned cinema brew pub showing more foreign, documentary and experimental film. $9 general admission, $8 students, $6 students.
- Laurelhurst Theater, 2735 E Burnside St, ☎ . 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.
- Rogue Distillery Public House, 1339 NW Flanders St, ☎ . Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F-Sa 11AM-1AM. Best burger and fries downtown, and more beers than you can handle.
- Teardrop Lounge, 1015 NW Everett St, ☎ . 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 House, 3115 SE Division St, ☎ . 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.
- 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.
- Pied Cow, 3244 SE Belmont St, ☎ . 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 Roasters, multiple locations; largest and coffee lab at 3808 N Williams Ave, ☎ . 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 Roasters, several locations; Downtown location at 128 SW 3rd Ave (SW 3rd and Pine), ☎ . 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 Roasters, 1028 SE Water Avenue #145 (SE Taylor and Water Ave), ☎ . M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa-Su 8AM-6PM. A loft style cafe and coffee roastery.
- World Cup Coffee and Tea, 1740 NW Glisan St (second location in Powell's City of Books downtown) (on 18th and NW Glisan), ☎ . 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.
- Hostelling International Portland-Hawthorne, 3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd, ☎ . Dorms $22-28, private rooms $52-60.
- Hostelling International Portland-Northwest, 425 NW 18th Ave (at NW Glisan St), ☎ . A lovely and clean hostel in a couple of pleasant old buildings. Kitchen, internet access, and the staff are very friendly and relaxed. You can't beat the location for the price; a fairly quiet side street in a nice neighborhood near downtown. Dorms $22-28, private rooms $59-76.
- McMenamins White Eagle, 836 N Russell St, ☎ , toll-free: . Dormitory bunks at $30, full rooms at $40, queen rooms at $50-60.
- Aloft Portland Airport Hotel at Cascade Station, 9920 NE Cascades Parkway, ☎ . Complimentary WiFi access, PDX airport shuttle services.
- Fulton House Bed & Breakfast, 7006 SW Virginia Ave (South Portland/one block west of Willamette Park), ☎ . 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.
- Hampton Inn Portland-Airport, 8633 NE Airport Way, ☎ . Free daily breakfast and high speed internet access.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 2300 N Hayden Island Dr, ☎ . $130-180.
- Inn at Northrup Station, 2025 NW Northrup St, ☎ . Boutique all-suite hotel with modern decor, a rooftop deck, and kitchens. $150-200.
- The Jupiter Hotel, 800 E Burnside St, ☎ , toll-free: . 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 School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. 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 Center, 520 SW Broadway (in downtown Portland, two blocks from the MAX light rail), ☎ , fax: .
- Oxford Suites Portland - Jantzen Beach, 12226 N Jantzen Dr, ☎ .
- The Park Lane Suites, 809 SW King Ave (near NW 21st and Burnside), ☎ , toll-free: . 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 Breakfast, 1039 SE 37th Ave, ☎ . 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 Airport, 9723 NE Sandy Blvd, ☎ .
- Ramada Mall 205, 9707 SE Stark St (near Portland Airport on Stark St and I-205 near Mall 205), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, ☎ , fax: . A grand historic hotel located downtown.
- Embassy Suites Portland Airport, 7900 NE 82nd Ave, ☎ . Conveniently located at the entrance to the Portland International Airport. $200-250.
- Embassy Suites Portland Downtown, 319 SW Pine St, ☎ .
- Hotel Fifty, 50 SW Morrison St (Downtown on the waterfront), toll-free: . Convenient to downtown and MAX train stops. $200-250.
- Hotel Monaco, 506 SW Washington St (at 5th Ave), ☎ .
- Hotel Vintage Plaza, 422 SW Broadway, ☎ . Luxury hotel with free daily wine tasting in the lobby. $150-300.
- The Governor Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave, ☎ . Historic four star hotel.
- The Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, ☎ .
- The Hilton Hotel-Portland, 921 SW 6th Ave, ☎ .
- Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th Ave, ☎ .
- Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway, ☎ .
- Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay St, ☎ . Stylish boutique hotel in downtown.
- Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Pkwy, ☎ , fax: .
- The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison St (Entrance along SW Morrison.), toll-free: . A grand boutique 4-star hotel located in the upper floors of historic Meier Frank Plaza building in a central part of the downtown core. Macy's is in the first five floors accessed from SW Alder (north side of the building) while the Nines occupy the 6th through the 15th floors accessed from SW Morrison.
- Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, 8235 Northeast Airport Way, ☎ . 24-hour complimentary shuttle service to Portland International Airport. Complimentary high speed Internet access.
- Riverplace Hotel, 1510 SW Harbor Way, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Four star hotel overlooking the river. $150+.
- The Westin Portland, 750 SW Alder St, ☎ , fax: .
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 Library, 801 SW 10th Ave, ☎ . 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.
- US Postal Service ( Post Office), (main post office) 715 NW Hoyt (NW Corner of NW Hoyt & Broadway). (Retail Counter) M-F 8AM-6:30PM, Sa 8AM-5PM; (Passport Acceptance) M-F 11AM-5:30PM by appointment. Zip codes for the greater Portland area typically range 97201 through 97266. There are also other zip codes in the surrounding cities making up the greater Portland metropolitan area ranging from 970xx to 971xx as well. There are numerous post office branches in different neighborhoods and at least one (or more) in each adjacent city/municipality serving the other zip codes.
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, However the printed television schedule has been discontinued. $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.
- Belgium (Honorary), 1024 SW Myrtle Dr, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: Portland@diplobel.org.
- Czech Republic (Honorary), 320 A Ave., Suite 5, Lake Oswego 97034, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- Denmark (Honorary), 1600 Pioneer Tower, 888 SW 5th Ave, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Germany (Honorary), 200 SW Market St Ste 1695, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- Japan, Wells Fargo Center Ste 2700, 1300 SW 5th Ave, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mexico, 1305 SW 12th Ave, ☎ .
- Netherlands (Honorary), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
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|
|Seattle ← Vancouver ←||N S||→ Oregon City → Eugene|
|END ←||W E||→ Vancouver → Spokane|
|Seattle ← Vancouver ←||N S||→ Salem → Eugene|
|END ←||W E||→ Gresham → The Dalles|
|Ends at N S ← Beaverton ←||W E||→ Gresham → Prineville|
|Astoria ← St. Helens ←||W E||→ Gresham → The Dalles|
|END ←||N S||→ Gladstone → Eugene|
|END ←||N S||→ Tigard → Eugene|