Portland’s best lodging choices are found in its lively downtown area, near Broadway Street or near the airport. From any of the downtown hotels, you can walk to restaurants, live shows, nightlife, and distinctive shopping options. There’s also a light rail system, bus system, and parking garages. McMenamins offers six unique and funky hotels around the Portland area, but you will need a car to get to some of them.
Book McMenamins hotels early.
One-of-a-kind restaurants can be found all over the city of Portland, including food carts. The Pearl District, Downtown, and NW 23rd street have a variety of restaurants serving every imaginable cuisine. To find a variety of food carts head to Alder and 10th, Stark and 5th or Washington and 3rd. The most popular Portland food cart is Waffle Window.
Many restaurants in downtown stay busy all week. It's always best to make a reservation.
Be Sure to Sample:
Local microbrews and wine, Voodoo Doughnuts, and Moonstruck Chocolates.
Portland has some of the most beautiful gardens and parks in the United States, including the International Rose Test Garden, Japanese garden, Forrest Park, Washington Park and the Grotto. Visiting the Oregon Zoo is a must, as is driving out to the scenic Columbia Gorge area to see Multnomah Falls. Downtown are many art museums, the Portland Children's Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Skiing and tubing is only 45 minutes away on Mt. Hood.
Keep an eye on your kids while hiking in the Columbia Gorge area. Many of the trails split.
Bring hiking shoes. The hiking opportunities are endless.
No matter what night it is, you can find live music in Portland. Whether it’s a regional band, national touring show, a musical, or orchestra is up to you. Portland also has plays and comedy shows. If you are into sports, you'll want to go see a Trailblazer or Timbers game. Many dance clubs can be found in Chinatown and the Pearl District has some upscale bars.
Kells Irish Pub is a popular and fun place to go.
Portland shopping can range anywhere from designer to re-purposed to used. Known for being environmentally-conscious, it’s no surprise that the city has an abundance of antique shops and consignment shops. Northwest 23rd is a fun shopping street in Portland. It has upscale stores like Pottery Barn and tons of trendy boutiques. The Columbia Gorge Premium outlet mall and the Woodburn outlet mall are both about a 20-minute drive from downtown Portland.
East Vista Ridge tunnel during rush hour. The traffic is always backed up there.
There is no sales tax in Oregon.
Best Local Souvenir:
Any locally handcrafted item. Portland's Saturday Market is full of these goodies.