Portland, OR

Portland, OR Travel Guide

A visit to Portland is an absolute must for lovers of the arts. With its wealth of museums, galleries and festivals brimming with colorful offerings from world-renown masters and local legends, your itinerary will be brimming with artistic things to do in Portland. Visit the Pearl District to explore trendy galleries located in renovated warehouse spaces, or visit the Portland Arts Center for to see works by international masters. Foodies should likewise visit the Pearl District for some of the city’s trendiest restaurants, many serving up the organic, farm-to-table fare that’s become a huge part of the city’s culinary scene. And then there’s the beer: With dozens of local breweries, you’ll never run out things to do – or beers to try – in Portland. Visit Hair of the Dog Brewing to sample unique, unusual beer flavors, then stop by Amnesia Brewery and Hopworks Urban Brewery to try more familiar microbrews and mingle with the locals.

Travelers looking for outdoorsy activities will find plenty of things to do in Portland, from a low-key cycling tour through the city – you can even take a bike tour of the city’s many breweries – to a demanding hike up Mount Hood. Nature lovers will want to check out some of Portland’s many parks, including the International Rose Test Garden, which is resplendent with hundreds of varieties of roses, or Forest Park, home to more than 5,100 acres of dense, temperate rainforest. To relax after a long day of hiking, grab a bite at one of Portland’s many groundbreaking restaurants, like Asian-fusion Pok Pok or French-inspired Higgins, and read a book from Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world.

Thanks to a growing colony of trendy bars and terrific restaurants around the intersection with 28th Street, this formerly industrial area has become increasingly vibrant and popular.

Along with bar snacks like rock shrimp hushpuppies, Red Star has a great selection of single-malt Scotches and small-batch bourbons. Its menu showcases bourbon cocktails.

Occupying a forested ridge high above downtown Portland, this park has enough sights and attractions that it’s easy to spend a full day here.

Situated in southeast Portland, this bakery is the namesake of French-trained pastry chef Cheryl Wakerhauser, known to her friends as Pix.

Located three miles southwest of downtown Portland, the 64-acre Oregon Zoo is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi.

This multi-spirit distillery started in Corvallis, Oregon, in 2004 and relocated to Southeast Portland the following year. They make Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, White Dog Whiskey, and celebrated the release of Volstead Vodka to start February 2012.

The store looks like an innocuous gift shop but hides within it an outlandish library of exotic salts curated by salt “selmelier” Mark Bitterman.

Created by PDX Jazz, the US Bank Portland Jazz Festival showcases local and Pacific Northwest jazz talent as well as widely known musicians and singers like Branford Marsalis, Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bill Frisell, and Charlie Hunter.

Once a collection of hulking early-20th-century warehouses, this area just north of downtown is now Portland’s trendiest neighborhood, chockablock with high-end loft condos, see-and-be-seen lounges and restaurants, and natty shelter shops and fashion boutiques.

Years as agent: 21. Specialties: England, India, South Africa. Consulting fee: From $500.

On Saturdays—and, despite the name, Sundays from March through late December—the nation’s largest ongoing outdoor arts and crafts market unfolds beneath the Burnside Bridge (in 2009, the location will change).

This cocktail lounge complements adjacent Gracie’s restaurant in downtown Portland’s Hotel deLuxe. The space has cushioned banquette seating, alligator skin and shark skin railing, moody wall sconces, and the namesake driftwood affixed to a purple back bar.

The Museum: During a 1998 reading at the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans, the concept of a museum dedicated to velvet paintings was discussed, and since then, Caren Anderson and Carl Baldwin, now museum co-owners, began collecting, opening the Velveteria in 2005.

Ristretto Roasters founder Din Johnson first contributed to the city's booming specialty coffee scene in 2005 by opening this Beaumont coffeehouse with wife Nancy Rommelmann.