Welcome to Portland, got some time to kill?
Let’s start with basic city layout.
Portland is divided into 4 quarters: NW, NE, SE and SW.
The Willamette River divides East and West addresses, and Burnside St. divides North and South. Keep this in mind as you read or give out any address.
Most of our wedding stuff is on the East side, but “downtown” is just across the river in NW.
Portland has good public transport. You can ride the max to most places, and busses cover just about everything else. There is also a street car that operates two lines along the sides of the Willamette. The North-South line connects all the commercial areas of the west side. The Central Loop connects the central industrial district to the Lloyd District and crosses the river to downtown and the Pearl.
Google maps will give you schedules for all public transport.
– Pearl District –
– Vancouver (I-5, 205)
– Mississippi Ave (Alberta) – this area has blossomed of late. Find great food here.
– Hawthorn district for off beat shopping
– NW 23rd
– Pioneer Courthouse (giant Nordstrom)
– Clackamas – a standard mall with lots of good options
– Lloyd Center (good movie theater near the mall), MAX access,
– Washington Square Mall, fancy mall west of the city.
Powell’s – an entire city block of books downtown. So big they need a map.
go here to pick up a Willamette Weekly Finder for offbeat tips
International Rose Test Garden – Portland is the “city of roses”… check out where they grow some of the world’s best.
Portland Art Museum – currently featuring an exhibit on the Human Body in Greek Art and Thought with a lecture on Sunday. Also a Chinese art exhibit, “Object Stories”, and their extensive permanent collection
OMSI – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – a great educational museum
The Oregon Zoo – Where Rachel and I started dating and got engaged. In the western hills. They are known for their successful elephant breeding program.
World Forestry Center -learn about Oregon’s logging industry/history. Near the zoo.
Tom Mcall Waterfront Park -just outside of downtown, walk along the west side of the Willamette, visit the “Saturday Market” (runs on Sunday too)
Food in Portland
Portland loves to eat. You can find food from any corner of the world at any price. In the past couple years there’s been a boom of Food Carts, a good bet for sometimes exotic and affordable grub on the go. The scene is in constant flux, grab a review from the internet and go on an “adventure in food”
VooDoo Doughnuts – if you go at a peak time, be prepared to wait in a line around the block for this Portland landmark (2 locations)
Breakfast in the Alberta district (see especially: Slappy Cakes, and Petit Provance)
Trader Joes, a west-coast grocery chain with great house-brand products -three locations
Coffee – Like much of the Northwest, Portland is a city of Coffee. There are dozens of local place that pour a mean cup, but Stumptown, Barista and Coava are the big three. Stumptown and Barista have multiple locations. Coava has one gorgeous space it shares with a bamboo wood shop just over the Morrison Bridge on the East Side.
Waterfalls – Multnomah Falls & chain (there are a dozen or so) / Crowne Point. Most are viewable from the car, but can be approached for closer viewing on foot.
Oregon Coast – 90min-2 hours will get you to most beaches
– Manzanita – beautiful beach
– Tillamook – famous for their cheese and ice-cream factories (tours provided)
– Canon Beach, Seaside, Lincoln City