They say ‘the dream of the 90s is alive in Portland’ – perhaps it’s this rebel attitude that has made the city a beacon for artisans. Craft beer makers, coffee roasters, fashion designers and budding chefs alike all flourish in Portland; a city with ample green space, where there are more cyclists on the road than cars. Here, street food is as highly regarded as Hatted restaurants. Local and organic aren’t just buzz words, they’re a way of life.
The satirical TV show Portlandia is responsible for the dream of the nineties slogan, but it also cleverly exemplifies the spirit of the city’s more alternative inhabitants. Whilst being rather tongue-in-cheek, Portland is the kind of city that embraces creativity. Pack your walking shoes, dress casual, and prepare to eat and drink your weight in doughnuts and craft beer – then cycle off the calories exploring the many cosmopolitan corners of the city.
The dream of the 90s is alive at...
- Tasty & Sons cafe for brunch
- MoonBrine Pickles store
- The 'Keep Portland Weird’ sign
In love? Like doughnuts? Why not get married, or renew your vows at Portland's iconic Voodoo Doughnut? If you can’t get enough of Portland’s street food, beer and coffee scene, head to the Portland Farmers Market and see where all the fresh produce you’ve been enjoying originates. For green space, visit Forest Park to explore some 125 kilometres of walking and hiking trails.
Bookworms will want to check out Powell’s Books, the largest independent store for new and used booked in the entire country. In case you’re wondering, it takes up a full city block and is three stories tall. Animal lovers need look no further than Oregon Zoo; the oldest zoo in the Northwest sees 1.6 million visitors through its doors each year, keen to see elephants, polar bears, lions and penguins.
Don’t leave Portland without...
- Taking a Portland Bicycle Tour
- Visiting the International Rose Test Garden
- Trying the Portland Cream doughnut
Eat and Drink
If Oprah endorses it, it’s got to be good. While best known for their award-winning, celebrity-tick-of-approval cured meats, Olympic Provisions is also a famous Portland dining institution with a location on both the east and west side of town. You can’t go past the housemade meat boards, but there are plenty of other tasty small plates and an avant-garde cocktail menu.
Portland is home to more breweries than any other city on earth. Affectionately referred to as ‘Beervana’, within the city you’ll find over 50 breweries to wet your whistle. Not to mention the range of beer centred events from festivals to beer pairings at fine restaurants. Check out Hopworks BikeBar, an ‘eco-brewpub’ powered with 100 per cent renewable energy. You can even help power the cause by cycling on a stationary bike while you’re there!
Dine with Portland hipsters at...
- Cabin-in-the-woods style restaurant Ned Ludd
- Pastry and macaron cafe Nuvrei
- Thai resturant with a cult following Pok Pok
Where to Stay
Portland’s largest concentration of hotels is found in the compact and vibrant downtown area. Choose from boutique hotels, established hostels with dorm-style lodging for private rooms, or a range of reputable international hotel chains – all within walking distance to restaurants, museums, entertainment and shopping. Hop on the light rail or street car to be conveniently transported to the rest of the city.
There’s also the Lloyd District, located across the Willamette River from downtown and adjacent to the Central Eastside. A great location for business travellers and families alike, the neighbourhood boasts the Moda Center, home court for the NBA’s Trailer Blazers, as well as the Lloyd Center - Oregon’s largest shopping mall.
Grab a drink at these hip hotel bars...
- Jake's Grill at Sentinel
- Urban Farmer at The Nines
- Stumptown at Ace Hotel Portland
Oregon is one of the five states in the USA that does not have a sales tax. This means no-holds-barred tax-free shopping for you! Make a big purchase from a well-known brand or pick up a handcrafted souvenir. There are nearly 50 vintage shops in Portland, so save room in your suitcase for that special find.
There are plenty of places to shop in Portland, from quaint boutiques on tree-lined streets to flashy malls. Check out the Scandinavian inspired architecture in the design-savvy Union Way Shopping Arcade, which connects Portland’s West End with the Pearl District. For something really unique, head to the Portland Saturday Market by the river every Saturday (and Sunday) from March to December, it’s the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the USA.
Shop in the iconic Portland destinations...
- Pearl District
- Nob Hill
Portland like a Local
You’ve heard about the beer and doughnuts, but let’s not forget the coffee. Stumptown Coffee Roasters started up in Portland in 1999 and has continued to take the bean-scene by storm, having also expanded to New York City and Seattle. You can get your Stumptown brew at one of five Portland locations. The space on Division Street is the coffee house’s first location and they still roast some of their beans here.
The bulk of the roasting, however, is done at The Annex on SE Salmon Street, where you can saddle up for a free coffee tasting and a tour of the Stumptown HQ. If you’re a real coffee connoisseur, sign up for an introduction to brewing class and stock up on beans to take home.
Other places to get your caffeine fix...