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Guide: Portland, OR – Sights, Best Hotels, Restaurants…

Guide: Portland, OR - Sights, Best Hotels, Restaurants...

‘Hold Portland Bizarre’ is a becoming motto for a metropolis beloved for its quirkiness and hipster tradition however admired for its welcoming spirit. Regardless of gentrification, Portland stays an eccentric city with enjoyable, down-to-earth individuals, and it presents extra scrumptious meals than anybody might style in a lifetime. It’s additionally a metropolis well-known for espresso and microbreweries, in addition to world-class wines from the Willamette Valley.

A road musician performs outdoors Portland Saturday Market. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Locals say when you can deal with the shortage of sunshine for about 9 months of the yr, you’ll love Portland and by no means need to depart. The city is a melting pot of parents – many East Coasters and Californians – who’ve ventured right here for a milder local weather, fewer attitudes and the laid-back way of life. Therefore, a lot of the Portland that was stricken by corruption, medicine and crime within the 1970s and ‘80s not exists, however somewhat, it’s now cleaner, safer, friendlier (and costlier). Premiering in 2011, the zany hit TV present, Portlandia, put the town on the city map as not solely a vacation spot to go to, however a pretty place to stay. A Los Angeles native defined, “Portland is a metropolis of immediately belonging regardless of the place you got here from or your agenda. Keep every week or a lifetime, however Portland will grow to be house quick.”

PDX, because it’s been dubbed, is split by the Willamette River with downtown falling on the west aspect. Downtown is the town’s central enterprise district, and the hub is Pioneer Courthouse Sq. (701 SW sixth Ave), the city’s “front room” the place you possibly can seize a espresso or snack, hop the MAX Mild Rail, sit back on the famed steps, and sometimes take heed to reside music. However downtown can also be the cultural coronary heart of Portland, housing Arlene Schnitzer Live performance Corridor, the Oregon Historic Society and the Portland Artwork Museum, which occurs to be the oldest museum on the West Coast. You might dedicate a number of days to exploring these establishments, properly well worth the time, however to understand the essence of Portland – a metropolis that has continued to reinvent itself – stroll and speak to the individuals.

Pioneer Courthouse Sq. is taken into account Portland’s front room. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Whereas out and about, pay shut consideration to the array of public artwork – straightforward to overlook in the event you don’t know the place to look. Sculpture, road artwork, metalwork and different varieties – each everlasting and momentary – adorn the streetscapes, buildings, plazas, and transit. Obtain the app, “Public Artwork PDX” for actual places. Embark on a self-guided strolling tour and scout out tons of of artworks throughout your exploration of downtown.

In your journey, stroll east; when you attain the Willamette River, you’ll discover Portland’s parade of statuesque bridges. By far one of the crucial hanging is the Hawthorne Bridge – a metal truss construction and the oldest vertical-lift bridge within the US. See this overpass in all its glory from the Tom McCall Waterfront Park (98 SW Naito Pkwy). A 36-acre area named after a former Oregon governor, it’s a reasonably place for strolling, jogging, biking or catching a breath whereas having fun with the water (and bridge) views. Don’t miss Salmon Road Springs, a fountain set north of the Hawthorne Bridge within the park’s plaza. Within the summertime, watch little youngsters romp by way of the spritzing water or take a dip your self. It’s PDX, so let your hair down.

The statuesque Hawthorne Bridge as seen from Tom McCall Waterfront Park. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

From jewellery to espresso to residence furnishings and craft beer, regionally made merchandise are the lifeblood of Portland and important parts of the city’s subcultures. Guests can immerse themselves on this artistic group once they wander by way of the Portland Saturday Market (2 SW Naito Pkwy), an outside emporium based in 1973 by artists for artists. Held each Saturday and Sunday from March by means of Christmas Eve within the Previous City/Chinatown neighborhood, the humanities, crafts and meals market hosts greater than 250 cubicles, highlighting the work of over 350 artisans from the Pacific Northwest. Browse the stalls, take heed to the music – starting from World Jazz to Haleakala – or sit back, observe and mingle with Portlandians.

Portlandians flock to the Saturday Market, held each weekend from March by way of Christmas Eve. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Don’t let the seediness of Previous City/Chinatown cease you from meandering the neighborhood and getting a glimpse of Previous Portland. The gem of this district is Lan Su Chinese language Backyard (239 NW Everett St), a superbly landscaped plot modeled after the gardens of Suzhou. Lan Su options a chic assortment of crops and flowers native to China, in addition to an enthralling tea home and present store. Stroll the paths, bask within the serenity and reap the benefits of the various photograph ops of bridges, walkways and pavilions.

Lan Su Chinese language Backyard is a gem in Portland’s Previous City/Chinatown neighborhood. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)


Located steps from Tom McCall Waterfront Park, The Porter (1355 SW 2nd Ave), a Hilton Curio Assortment lodge, offers upscale lodging and pays tribute to all issues Portland. Hospitable employees, a number of on-site eateries (don’t miss Chiosco Pizza Window for a grab-and-go slice) and a trendy rooftop bar with panoramic metropolis views give visitors good causes to remain on this sleepy part of downtown that’s inside a 15-minute stroll to a lot of the space’s points of interest.

That includes upscale lodging, The Porter is a few 15-minute stroll from most of downtown’s points of interest. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Kimpton Lodge Monaco (506 SW Washington St) occupies an imposing previous constructing simply steps from Pioneer Sq.. Previous World luxurious abounds the second you step inside and see the eclectic furnishings cloaked in daring colours and luxurious materials. Showcasing dramatic patterns and particulars, visitor rooms depict simply as a lot type because the foyer. Cease into Purple Star Tavern for a microbrew at comfortable hour, daily from 2 to six p.m. and after 10 p.m.

The hippest of the hip select Ace Lodge (1022 SW Stark St) within the previous Clyde Lodge constructing, only a block from the fashionable Pearl District. Rooms vary from small dorm-like quarters with shared corridor baths to extra spacious digs with personal loos and metropolis views. The web site states that the Ace has “bikes, booze, espresso and canine,” because the lodge options handmade bicycles for taking a spin, Clyde Widespread (one of many metropolis’s favourite consuming dens) and a Stumptown Espresso outpost within the foyer. 4-legged buddies trotting round are par for the course since pooches are welcome.

Eat and Drink

In Pine Road Market (126 SW 2nd Ave), a meals corridor staged within the historic Carriage and Baggage Constructing, select dishes from 9 of Portland’s prime cooks and purveyors. The market provides an open format, quite a lot of cuisines similar to burgers from Bless Your Coronary heart, Korean-style road meals from Kim Jong Smokehouse, bratwurst from Olympia Provisions Public Home, and different tasty fare. Loads of seating is on the market on this rustic warehouse-style meals courtroom that’s additionally on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

At Pine Road Market, feast on burgers from Bless Your Coronary heart or Korean-style road meals from Kim Jong Smokehouse. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Catch a caffeine buzz as you sip a cup of Portland’s well-known espresso at Public Area (603 SW Broadway), a slick area the place gifted (and pleasant) baristas work their magic. The espresso bar is right for grabbing a cappuccino, latte, double shot of espresso or holding it easy with an Americano whereas kicking again or catching up on emails.

When asking a Portlander the place to go for the perfect breakfast, Mom’s Bistro & Bar (212 SW Stark St) will be the reply. Heaping parts and little elbow room go hand in hand on this tiny spot that believes the most effective meals comes from our mom’s kitchens. Strains are lengthy, so arrive early or anticipate an hour-plus wait simply. Morning must-tries embrace the do-it-yourself buttermilk biscuits dripping with nation sausage gravy alongside two eggs any fashion, and the crunchy cornflake Challah French toast. Mom’s can also be open for lunch and dinner, cooking up comforting plates of pierogies, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and different sinful dishes.

Hungry patrons await tables at Mom’s Bistro & Bar. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Leaning on the crusty aspect and oozing old-school allure, Dan & Louis Oyster Bar (208 SW Ankeny St) has been shucking oysters since 1907. The Previous City bar gives joyful hour each day from four p.m. to six p.m. and all day on Mondays and Tuesdays. Past uncooked oysters, Dan & Louis suggests Rockefeller, fried, stew and po’ boys, in addition to different shellfish choices – assume clams, shrimp and Mussels, to not point out combined seafood plates and clam chowder. Pair your shellfish with a pint of Portland’s Altbier by Occidental Brewing Co. or Barley Browns Pallet Jack IPA from Northeast Oregon.

Think about that you simply’ve stepped inside a Parisian bistro if you enter the moody, wood-paneled barroom at Higgins (1239 SW Broadway). James Beard Award-winner Greg Higgins launched his namesake eatery in 1994, incorporating the best elements and sources from the Pacific Northwest. His menu displays the richness of the area: plump and completely cooked Totten Inlet mussels, gazpacho garnished with Oregon bay shrimp, duck confit, and salmon caught off the coast. The wine and beer lists run deep – many choices hail from Oregon and Washington with Europe rounding out the alternatives. Along with the tavern area, Higgins contains a informal albeit windowed and white-tableclothed eating room overlooking Broadway.

At Higgins, shellfish followers should attempt the superbly cooked Totten Inlet mussels . (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)


Guide lovers shouldn’t miss Powell’s Metropolis of Books (1005 W Burnside St). The block-wide retailer with greater than three,500 sections lies on the sting of downtown and the Pearl District, holding the title as the most important unbiased new and used bookstore on the earth. Its legacy started in Chicago in 1970, however Powell’s has undoubtedly turn into Portland’s e-book megastore, with the flagship opening in 1971 and the model increasing to incorporate 5 outlets within the Portland space. Bookworms can be a part of tons of of readers and writers as they lose themselves for an hour (or a day) at this epicenter of titles in all types and genres.

Bookworms can be a part of tons of of readers and writers at Powell’s Metropolis of Books. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

In relation to fashion, Portland could also be extra informal than different huge cities, however the dressed-down look is properly executed right here. It’s boutiques like Frances Might (1003 SW Washington St) which have Portland’s relaxed aesthetic right down to a science. Outfitting each women and men, the store shares uncommon items from established and up-and-coming designers. Browse prairie clothes, tees, monitor pants, blazers and extra from style homes like Pimples Studios, HI LO, Our Legacy and Ulla Johnson.

In the event you can’t make it to the Willamette Valley (a area recognized for world-class pinot noir and an hour’s drive from Portland), pop into at Oregon Wines on Broadway (515 SW Broadway), a bottle and tasting store the place you possibly can pattern before you purchase. The shop-cum-wine bar shares principally Oregon pinot in addition to a strong choice of whites, French rosés and champagne, plus a number of full-bodied reds from Japanese Washington. Style one wine for $three and when you’re looking for a number of bottles, go for a flight of three for $10 and up.

For handmade wares by native artists, peruse Inventive Portland (318 SW Taylor St), a gallery and cooperative staffed by the makers themselves. Promoting pottery, work, candles, furnishings, jewellery and different distinctive gadgets at numerous worth factors, the store strives to rejoice the artistry and variety of Portland. Shock a pal or beloved one with an uncommon discover or kitschy memento, made in Portland.

Store native at Inventive Portland, a cooperative promoting handmade wares by Portland artists. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

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