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Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 10:10:09 MDT Print View

Hello,

The GF and I are flying out Wednesday for a wedding in Portland. We are staying here:

http://tinyurl.com/427eqsk

She is an Art Director, and I am an IT Engineer...we're in our early 30s...ummm...we like cool stuff?

Any suggestions on things to do (non-hiking) for a few days? We'll have a rental car.

Thanks!

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 10:27:22 MDT Print View

Tour the downtown microbreweries.

Drive out into the Columbia Gorge to see OR's 2nd most visited tourist attraction - Multnomah Falls. Take the old Colmbia River Scenic Highway (get off I-84 past Troutdale - there are signs at the exit). Go up to Vista House for the views; follow the histroic road past many lovely waterfalls all the way to Multnomah Falls.

Tour the microbreweries again.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 10:31:35 MDT Print View

Here's a few things to start with.

In the city:

Wander through Powell's Books and the adjacent Pearl District.

Wander around downtown, go to the food carts at 10th & Alder Street. There are food carts all over the city but this is the greatest concentration. Portland has a compact and very-walkable downtown. We also have great public transportation.

See the Rose Garden (free) in Washington Park and maybe the Japanese Garden (not free). Note: the arena where the Trail Blazers play is also called the Rose Garden. I'm talking about a real garden, with great views of Mt. Hood.

Go to NW Thurman Street and follow it to its end. Park and wander up Leif Erickson Drive, the main fire-road through Forest Park.

On Saturday morning, go to the Saturday Market (a local craft market) and then take the Max Light Rail up to the Portland Farmer's Market. Those are great opportunities to people-watch.



Outside the city:
Drive to Multnomah Falls (do this during the week and not on the weekend when parking is horrible). Its about 40 minutes from downtown Portland.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Many Thanks on 08/01/2011 10:59:46 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions guys. While the suggestions sound great, I'm hoping it's not too much fun such that I want to pull up ties and move cross country. :p Keep them coming!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Many Thanks on 08/01/2011 11:04:55 MDT Print View

Go to Pittock Mansion or the top of the tram at OHSU for great views of the city, Mt. Hood, Mt. St.Helens, Mt. Adams,...

Walk along the waterfront downtown. That's right next to Saturday Market and close to other places people mentioned.

+1 to what others said

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 11:39:46 MDT Print View

Portland has a great trolley system that ties some of the suburban areas to downtown. Downtown itself has been 'gentrified' and is great for strolling around. I liked the Portland Art Museum. Unless totally bored and desperate for something to do, avoid Chinatown -- a depressing and semi run-down area.

Edited by ben2world on 08/01/2011 11:40:59 MDT.

seth t
(diggity) - F
oo on 08/01/2011 12:53:18 MDT Print View

oo

Edited by diggity on 04/06/2012 20:48:13 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 17:47:34 MDT Print View

One other thing - if you want to drive 50 miles, go up to Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge - built in 1930s - huge timbers and stuff - great views of Mount Hood - you can walk around in the direction of the mountain as far as you want

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Outdoors in Portland? on 08/01/2011 17:51:57 MDT Print View

Not to hijack the thread but...

What about dayhiking, snowshowing, and .... backpacking options?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Outdoors in Portland? on 08/01/2011 18:55:37 MDT Print View

Go to Timberline!! It is worth the drive. Or go out midweek to the Columbia River Gorge, even for just the drive.

PDX is fine and all, but it is just another city, albight overly hip and full o' hipsters. Beware the very aggressive panhandlers in the touristy sections. My husband on one trip (I was at the PCT Trailsfest) had a woman with an empty baby stroller (faked to look like it had a baby in it) who wouldn't leave him alone. For all people say good about PDX I also will NOT walk it at night. The only time (knock on wood) I have been nearly mugged was in PDX when we left our hotel around 8 or 9 at night and went 1/2 a block to a c-store to get me orange juice and got followed by a guy - and we lost him by running across a 4 lane road.

So yeah, OK, PDX has nice spots but....IMO I'd rather be out of the city. There is so much outdoorsy stuff that doesn't involve anything remotely hard. And if you like beer...well head over just across to one of the best little dive bars/breweries just across from the Bridge of the Gods.

Of course if I was flying in from across the country and had a car I would go the coast and enjoy the Oregon beaches. But that is me. I grew up on Or. beaches and got quite spoiled.

Having said that....after my husband saw Hood and the beaches he knew he wanted to live in the PNW and within a year or so moved out to Wa.

Mark Primack
(Bufa) - MLife

Locale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
Multnomah Falls on 08/01/2011 19:31:42 MDT Print View

The drive along the Columbia is the best, especially all the water falls. At Multnomah Falls there is a lovely(a bit expensive) lodge type restaurant. Worth it to rent a car for this with the restaurant as the early eve destination--very beautiful, elegant and romantic.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 19:31:53 MDT Print View

The art museum is good-- smallish but a nice collection.

There is a book, "60 hikes within 60 miles of Portland." Mt. St. Helens is close too.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
PDX to do list on 08/01/2011 20:05:22 MDT Print View

"Of course if I was flying in from across the country and had a car I would go the coast and enjoy the Oregon beaches. But that is me. I grew up on Or. beaches and got quite spoiled."

+1 on going to the beach. Take a drive out to Astoria and then down the North Coast, Wowza. I would eat at Esparza TexMex, Bridgeport Brewpub (get the pizza and a Caesar Salad). Definitely go out and see the Falls. Don't forget to go to Portland REI. If you don't have a place to stay yet, check out the Avalon be sure and ask for a Riverfront room.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 21:25:48 MDT Print View

Portland has some great restaurants and the scene here is casual; rarely do you need to dress up for anything.

East side near-ish where you are staying:

Ken's Artisan Pizza (SE Pine St & 28th). I love this place! You can grab a drink if there's a line or eat at the small bar, right across from the wood-burning oven. Great date place.

Apizza Scholls (SE Hawthorne & 48th): very similar to above. Either is a great place.

?Porque No? is a casual (and open-late) taqueria (Hawthorne & 47th): http://www.porquenotacos.com/


Other restaurants:

Definitely head to Departures, a new bar on the top floor of the Nines Hotel downtown. This used to be a department store, but had been redone as a high-end hotel. The views on the outside bar areas are some of the best in town: http://departureportland.com/, go to "gallery" and check out the photos!

Edit: Bluehour in the Pearl District for drinks. It's right next door to Wieden+Kennedy, the big ad agency who moved into the Pearl when it was still mostly warehouses and really prompted that area's transition.

For a really nice meal (maybe dress up a bit!), try Higgins downtown. One of the first and best places emphasizing local cuisine.

+1 for Bridgeport Brewery (the one in the Pearl at NW 14th + Marshall).

Edit: my recommendations are for in the city (except for the Gorge and especially Multnomah Falls). I'm assuming you won't necessarily have time with a wedding weekend to travel to the coast. If you do, then a big +1 for the coast, especially Ecola State Park & Cannon Beach, and Astoria.

Edited by saparisor on 08/01/2011 21:34:18 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Pacific Beaches on 08/01/2011 21:50:54 MDT Print View

My Mom grew up in Tillamook. Come on, admit you all....there is nothing like a hill-billy tour of the cheese factory! And then porking out on the ice cream ;-) Ok, maybe not....not very high brow. LOL! Once you have kids your expectations of activities goes down quickly.

Anyhow...I grew up on the fine beaches there. My Grandmother had a beach house right below Cape Meares:
Photobucket
It was a magical place indeed. Her house was on the cliff you can see above the beach. If anything my G-Mom taught me to love hiking on beaches ;-)
If you do go to the coast, go to Canon Beach, not Seaside. Seaside is a tourist trap for families (fun and tacky all at once), where as Canon Beach is high-brow and adult. Classy dining, art galleries, etc.

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: Utah
Donuts! And other awesome things. on 08/01/2011 22:09:20 MDT Print View

Nobody has mentioned Voodoo Doughnuts!!??

This is a must visit while in town. And don't go to the new one, go to the old one down by Burnside.

Saturday Market is a good suggestion, as is the PSU farmer's market. Get the pizza and rhubarb lemonade at the farmer's market, I hear the guy serves pizza on Tuesday nights somewhere in NE.

Alberta Street and accompanying festivities is a good choice.

Timberline Lodge is cool if you're into beautiful old lodges... or the Shining.

Eagle Creek is super close to Portland and is an excellent hike!

Head down to Dundee and hit up some world class (seriously agreed upon) Pinot Noir at Argyle.

Walk around in Forest Park.

Powells is a good suggestion, even if it's not raining.

The coast is always rugged, never warm.

You won't have any trouble.

Edit!: There's a happy hour at the Portland City Grill which is way up in some awesome building. Super pricey except from 3-5, and supposedly top-notch.

Edited by ctwnwood on 08/01/2011 22:12:18 MDT.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Chinese Garden on 08/01/2011 22:10:57 MDT Print View

A treat downtown is the Chinese garden, take a break and have tea.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
PDX suggestions on 08/01/2011 22:41:46 MDT Print View

"Ken's Artisan Pizza (SE Pine St & 28th). I love this place! You can grab a drink if there's a line or eat at the small bar, right across from the wood-burning oven. Great date place.

?Porque No? is a casual (and open-late) taqueria (Hawthorne & 47th): http://www.porquenotacos.com/"

+1 on the Ken's even though I have never eaten there, I hear it's great. They have a Le Paynol, French wood fired, oven that I have thought about building in my backyard.

Porque No also comes highly recommended although ever time we try and go there we end up at Esparaza.
http://www.esparzastexmex.com/

+1 on Powells Books as well. It is a Portland institution.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Portland is the best big city in the PNW on 08/01/2011 23:09:39 MDT Print View

Ok, my opinion, but I'd rate Portland as easily the most livable big city on the West Coast. It's not just another city - it's a great walking city excellent microbreweries, some great neighborhoods and a good restaurant scene (especially for the PNW) and very good public transportation.

Andina Restaraunt (http://www.andinarestaurant.com/) is a Peruvian place that never disappoints. It's in the Pearl District on NW Glissan and is among the best the city has to offer. Pok Pok on SE Division will make you completely rethink what Thai food can be. In your area (the Hawthorne) there are some great breakfast places - just ask around at what is the latest and the greatest.

As for things to do...Powells is a must. And if you are all geeking out, Powells technical books (a seperate store) is a great place for the math, engineer, scientist or IT tech.

Hiking around Timberline is a nice spot, you could head north (provided you had a car) and look at Mt. St. Helens in Washington, although that is a bit of a drive. (a couple of hours - 50 miles northwest). Massive volcano (the Fuji of the West blew its top in 1980). If the weather is good the Oregon coast is lovely.

Eagle Creek in the Columbia Gorge isn't too far away and gives you a chance to hike behind a waterfall and have a real lovely hike without gaining much in the way of elevation. http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8861

Have fun!

Dirk

Edited by dirk9827 on 08/01/2011 23:10:18 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Touristy things to do in Portland Oregon on 08/01/2011 23:16:05 MDT Print View

Big +1s for Pok Pok, Andina (both Oregonian "Restaurants of the Year" in the last several years) and especially Voodoo (which just reopened after a renovation). Funny, that show "Amazing Race" finished in Portland one year with the participants racing to finish outside VooDoo Doughnuts.