Southwest Portland comprises the part of the city south of Burnside and west of the river, including the downtown core and Washington Park.
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.
Get in and around
Coming by train or bus to Portland, you'll likely end up at the Union Station or Greyhound terminal in northwestern Portland, a few blocks north of the border to southwest Portland (as defined in this travel guide). From Vancouver (Washington) there are commuter buses going to Downtown Portland in the morning and back in the afternoon, at other times you have to change in Eastside.
See Portland (Oregon)#Get around for getting in from elsewhere in the city.
Downtown is just south of Chinatown, Old town and the Pearl District, and except for the Marquam Bridge (where the I-5 crosses), bridges across Willamette River have sidewalks so you can walk in from nearby parts of Eastside. Streetcars provide access from the southern parts of the northwest and Central Eastside.
All MAX lines come in from different parts the Eastside: the orange line from the southern Eastside near the Willamette River, yellow line from the Expo center, red line from the airport, blue line from Gresham, green line from Clackamas Town Center, the three latter from locations along Banfield Freeway, and all except the orange line go through locations in the southern part of the northwest.
The blue and red lines take you to Washington Park, and the orange line to locations south of downtown. Locations further southwest can be reached by bus (network map).
- 1 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.
- 2 Portland Aerial Tram, at S 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.
- 3 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 one 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.
- 4 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.
- 5 Oregon Maritime Center and Museum, SW Naito Pkwy at Pine St (on the Willamette River at Tom McCall Waterfront Park), ☏ . 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.
Parks and gardens
- 6 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 created satirically for the purpose of being "a leprechaun colony and racetrack for snails." It is 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.
- 7 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.
- 8 Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Naito Pkwy (Between the Steel and Marquam bridges). 5AM-midnight. 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 a Cinco de Mayo celebration, the Waterfront Blues Fest, and the carnival-like Rose Festival. Free.
- Halprin Open Space Sequence. Landmark of modern landscape design representing Oregon's waters' passage from mountains to sea, spread across a string of four downtown parks with fountains and connecting pedestrian malls.
- 9 Source Fountain Plaza (in the SW 2nd Ave pedestrianway, near its south end and SW Lincoln St). Modest brick plaza with a small fountain evoking a mountain spring. Free.
- 10 Lovejoy Fountain Park (bounded by the SW 2nd and 3rd Ave pedestrianways and the SW Hall St pedestrianway). 5AM-midnight. Plaza with the vigorous Lovejoy Fountain. Free.
- 11 Pettygrove Park (bounded by the SW 2nd and 3rd Ave pedestrianways, between SW Market and Harrison Sts). 5AM-midnight. Paths among serene rolling hills. Free.
- 12 Keller Fountain Park, SW 3rd Ave and Clay St (opposite Keller Auditorium). 5AM-9PM. Features the dramatic Ira C. Keller Fountain. Free.
- 13 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). Parking $2/hr, $8/all day.
- 14 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.
- 15 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.
- 16 Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd (on the southern side of Washington Park), ☏ . Winter 9:30AM-4PM daily, Summer 9AM-6PM daily. Grounds remain open one hour after close. 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. $17.95 adults, $15.95 seniors/military, $12.95 children, aged 2 and under free (discount for public transit users).
- 17 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).
- 18 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.
- 19 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.
- 1 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.
- 2 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. Getting tickets can be tricky, as the stadium is rather small—even after an expansion project completed during the 2019 MLS season, it still holds only a bit more than 25,000.
- 3 Portland Thorns FC, Providence Park, 1844 SW Morrison, ☏ . Portland's newest top-level professional team, the Thorns (which are owned and operated by the Timbers) are charter members of the National Women's Soccer League, which began play in April 2013. The NWSL season runs from April to late September, with playoffs in October. While not quite as popular as the Timbers, they've drawn over 10,000 per game in all of the league's first seven seasons, something that only one other team in the league (Utah Royals FC in the Salt Lake City area) has done even once, and their 2019 average attendance of just over 20,000 compares favorably with many MLS teams and makes them the biggest spectator draw in all of U.S. women's sports.
- Portland State Vikings. Sports teams representing Portland State University, the city's largest institution of higher learning. The Vikings field 15 NCAA Division I teams in all (6 men's and 9 women's), mainly in the Big Sky Conference. As with all other Big Sky schools, Vikings football plays in the second-tier FCS. Football and basketball are typically the highest-profile sports. The main indoor venue is 4 Viking Pavilion, home to both basketball teams and women's volleyball. However, the football team doesn't play on campus, instead using Providence Park and Hillsboro Stadium, the latter in the suburb of that name.
- 5 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 to 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.
- 6 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.
- 7 Dante's, 350 W Burnside St (at 3rd Ave), ☏ . Home of the weird, bizarre, and devilish live music and shows.
- 8 The Old Church (TOC Concert Hall), 1422 SW 11th St, ☏ .
- Downtown. Just about any street in Downtown Portland has some neat shops, restaurants, food carts and coffee houses; particularly around Pioneer Square and Broadway.
- 1 Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave (SW 5th & Yamhilll), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Similar to Lloyd Center, though more upscale.
- 2 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.
- 3 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.
- 1 Voodoo Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd Ave (at Ankeny), ☏ . A restaurant of a local chain, see Portland (Oregon)#Local chains for description.
- 2 Sizzle Pie – West Burnside, 926 W Burnside St. A restaurant of a local chain, see Portland (Oregon)#Local chains for description.
- 3 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.
- 4 Pine Street Market, 126 SW 2nd Ave. 8AM-10PM. Nine restaurants serving different food styles in a casual and open food hall located inside an historic Portland building.
- 5 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.
- 6 Cha! Cha! Cha! – South Waterfront, 3135 S Moody Ave (about 2 blocks north of Aerial Tram), ☏ . 11AM-10PM daily. A restaurant of a local chain, see Portland (Oregon)#Local chains for description.
- 7 The Old Spaghetti Factory, 715 S Bancroft St, ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-2:30 PM and 4:30PM-9PM, Sa 11:30AM-10PM, Su 11:30AM-9PM. Although not the original location, this is the flagship location and headquarters of the nationally known Portland-based spaghetti chain, with views of the Willamette riverfront. Lovers of their mizithra cheese spaghetti will want to make a pilgrimage here.
- 8 Fat City Cafe, 7820 SW Capitol Hwy, Multnomah Village, ☏ . 6:30AM-3PM daily. Local favorite, serves excellent breakfasts. The French toast is recommended.
- 9 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.
- For New York-style pizza, it's hard to beat Escape from New York Pizza at 622 NW 23rd (+1 503-227-5423), and 10 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.
- 11 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.
- 12 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.
- 13 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.
- 14 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.
- 15 McCormick and Schmick's, 309 S 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.
- 16 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.
- 17 Fogo de Chao, 930 SW 6th Ave, ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-2PM 4:30PM-9:30PM, Sa-Su 11:30AM-9PM. Authentic Brazilian steakhouse serving traditional Brazilian foods and 'churrasco' style meats.
- 18 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.
- 19 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.
- 20 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.
- 21 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.
- 22 Jake's Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave (at Stark St), ☏ . M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM. A Portland institution and birthplace of the McCormick and Schmick's chain, this is considered one of the finest seafood restaurants around. This is the place you take someone you want to impress, although with extremely limited vegetarian options.
- 1 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.
- 2 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.
For cheap accommodation, head north or east.
- 1 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.
- 2 Marriott Portland City Center, 520 SW Broadway (in downtown Portland, two blocks from the MAX light rail), ☏ , fax: .
- 3 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.
- 4 The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, ☏ , fax: . A grand historic 1912 hotel located downtown.
- 5 Embassy Suites Portland Downtown, 319 SW Pine St, ☏ , ✉ PDXPS_MOD@hilton.com.
- 6 Hotel Fifty, 50 SW Morrison St (Downtown on the waterfront), toll-free: . Convenient to downtown and MAX train stops. $200-250.
- 7 Hotel Monaco, 506 SW Washington St (at 5th Ave), ☏ .
- 8 Kimpton Hotel Vintage Portland, 422 SW Broadway, ☏ . Luxury hotel with free daily wine tasting in the lobby. $150-300.
- 9 Sentinel Hotel (formerly Governor Hotel), 614 SW 11th Ave, ☏ . Historic four star hotel.
- 10 The Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, ☏ .
- 11 Hilton Portland Downtown, 921 SW 6th Ave, ☏ .
- 12 Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th Ave, ☏ .
- 13 Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway, ☏ .
- 14 Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay St, ☏ . Stylish boutique hotel in downtown.
- 15 Mark Spencer Hotel, 409 SW 11th Ave (at Stark St), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. A less-flashy, but highly dignified entry in Portland's hotel market, the Mark Spencer receives excellent reviews. Its arts theme is well served by its location near the junction of the West End, Pearl District, Northwest District, and Downtown neighborhoods.
- 16 Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Pkwy, ☏ , fax: .
- 17 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. The basement and the first five floors are being redeveloped into office and retail spaces while the Nines occupy the 6th through the 15th floors accessed from SW Morrison.
- 18 Riverplace Hotel, 1510 S Harbor Way, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Four star hotel overlooking the river. $150+.
- 19 The Westin Portland, 750 SW Alder St, ☏ , fax: .
- 20 The Duniway Portland, a Hilton Hotel, 545 SW Taylor St, Portland, ☏ . A boutique hotel in downtown Portland near Pioneer Square