Love That City!
Portland, Oregon is a very hip city. Located on the Columbia River, which divides Oregon and Washington, it comes up frequently on the "best places to live" lists. Friendly, laid-back people, healthy living, a burgeoning arts scene, innovative transportation and moderate temperatures are just a few of the wonderful things about Portland.
For 20 years I made frequent trips to Portland when I lived to the south in Eugene. Now that I've moved across the country, I appreciate it even more. I'm fortunate to still be able to travel there occasionally. So....here are some tips about one of my favorite cities: Portland, Oregon.
The US City With the Least Amount of Road Rage
What, Northwesterners worry? No way. They are friendly and take their time. No hurry. Despite the rain, Northwesterners are some of the friendliest people in the US. The contrast between driving in the Northeast and driving in the Northwest is like night and day. Boston and New York have recently been designated as being 2 of the worst cities for road rage. Portland, Oregon is number 1 for having the least amount, if any!
After living in the Northeast for 7 years, I made a trip last summer to Oregon. In downtown Portland I pulled up to a red light in my rental car. A driver 2 lanes over honked at me and I readied myself with much anxiety expecting the usual (in Boston) rant about something I did. I rolled down my window to have the driver holler "Nice car!". I was driving a car just like his. What a difference, but what struck me was my expectation of an abusive rant because of my experiences back east.
Where to Stay in Portland
- The Portland Hotel deLuxe
My favorite place to stay, the Hotel Mallory, has changed hands, but my recent stay there has confirmed that it's grand style remains and, in fact, has been significantly enhanced.
- The Heathman Hotel
This is a very nice, upscale downtown hotel in an historic building.
- The Benson Hotel
The Benson Hotel is right downtown, very elegant and even if you don't stay here, the brunch or the afternoon teas are wonderful. They take pets and they have tempurpedic beds too.
- The Jupiter Hotel
I just found out about this newly opened hotel in the "Lower Burnside" neighborhood, east of downtown. The interior design is sleek and modern and the rates are great starting @ $89. If you book a room after midnight (hhmmm) they have a special rate.
Where to Eat
- Papa Haydn's
You know the saying: "Eat dessert first." The sweets here are yummy. I remember going with friends, sitting at a round table, ordering dessert and passing them around like a merry-go-round...round and round they went. That was fun!
A concise summary of the best shopping and eating in Portland. It has received excellent reviews.
Twist is a fun store full of very high quality artist-made gifts such as jewelry and pottery. The street it is on has many more great places to browse, snack and shop. There is also a Twist in the terminal at the Portland airport.
The best department store ever! Great layout and product selection and if you are lucky, the piano player will be doing his or her thing. This links you to the downtown location. They are known for their service and I know that first hand. I once wa
- Powell's Books History - Powell's Books
When in Portland, you must see Powell's Books. Go to the original store on Burnside Avenue. Forget Barnes & Noble here (which I LOVE, by the way). In Portland, Powell's is IT. Powell's Books is the largest independent used and new bookstore in th
- Portland Saturday Market
Portland Saturday Market is a fun, outdoor, afternoon activity with booths run by more than 300 artists, craftsmen and food vendors and performances by roving entertainers. Open every Saturday and Sunday from March to December 24th. Located in Portla
Things to See & Do
- Portland Oregon Old Town/Chinatown Neighborhood
Old Town Chinatown is the original Portland. Read all about this delightful section of downtown Portland. This is a very comprehensive site: galleries, restaurants, shopping, housing,etc. The architectural detailing in old town is very interesting an
- Pittock Mansion
The Pittock Mansion is located in the hill overlooking Portland. With a beautiful view and stunning interior, this 1914 mansion is a joy to see.
- The Rose Gardens
The famous Portland Rose Gardens!
- Japanese Garden - Portland, Oregon
I love a walk through the Japanese Garden in Portland. It is beautiful and calming.
- Church of Elvis Home Website!! 24 Hour Church of Elvis!!
As suggested by a reader, here is the website for the Church of Elvis. I have heard of it, but never visited. You may want to check it out. "Home page of the 24 Hour Church of Elvis!! From Your Friend, Stephanie G. Pierce, Artist to the Stars, Portl
Musician Curtis Salgado lives in Portland. Curtis was the inspiration for John Belushi's "Blues Brothers" and is a wonderful performer.If you have a chance to see him live, do it.
"Salgado's forte is live performance; seeing him and hearing the almost otherworldly power and passion of his voice is a transcendent experience."
-Steve Daniels, Blues Wax
- Curtis Salgado Official Web Site
Here is the official site for Curtis Salgado. Curtis is hot on the harmonica, but it is his voice that really will move you. Hear some of the cuts from his CDs and read all about his connection to John Belushi and The Blues Brothers.
A Sample of Curtis Salgado's Music
The Surrrounding Area - Worth a Visit
- Timberline Lodge, Mt Hood
Timberline Lodge Ski and Snowboard area on Mt. Hood is a National Historic Landmark offering skiing, snowboarding, hotel accommodations, music festivals, fine dining and more. Not just for winter activities, this is a beautiful building and is worth
- Astoria, Oregon on the Coast
Astoria is at the mouth of the Columbia River on the spectacular North Coast of Oregon. The drive over is about an hour west of Portland.
Locals contribute to this best places guide for Portland.
- The Oregonian
Portland's daily newspaper, The Oregonian, has a well-organized site for accessing local news and info.
- Willamette Week
This weekly newspaper is a great guide to what is happening in Portland. Check it out on-line before your trip.
- Portland Ground
A photographic guide to the Portland Metro area in Oregon and Southern Washington State, by Miles Hochstein. This guy goes around taking photographs of Portland, Oregon and the surrounding neighborhoods. Its great! You feel like you are right there.
The Insider guides are really good ones.
If you are visiting from somewhere with cold, long winters, you will be pleased with any time of year. Though the winters are rainy, the temps are moderate. Summers are gorgeous!
Enjoy your visit to Portland.
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