The Portland Bucket List

We are less than two months away from the Region 8 conference in Portland, Oregon and it’s time to gear up for the experience that is Portlandia. The hospitality sub-committee has come up with a few things you should try to do while you are in the City of Roses. This list is in no particular order and feel free to add to it:

Eat a doughnut at Voodoo Doughnuts. This is a Portland must – we suggest the Bacon Maple Bar or the Loop, a raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Fruit Loops on top (pictured right).

Grab a meal or a snack from a local food cart. There are tons of options such as Tabor, home to the original Schnitzelwich: Breaded pork loin or chicken breast in a ciabatta roll with lettuce, paprika spread, sautéed onion and horseradish.

If you want the best view in town, venture to the top of the west hills to the Pittock Mansion. The grounds are a public park with views of downtown Portland and, on a clear day, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Scott and even Mt. Rainier. The Pittock Mansion is also a wonderful museum with guided tours available.

Hang out in Portland’s Living Room: Pioneer Courthouse Square. Only two blocks from the conference hotel this is a great spot to catch the MAX, gather Portland Visitor Information or just people watch.

Experience Powell’s City of Books, the largest new and used bookstore in the world. Grab a coffee and marvel at the 68,000 square feet of literary heaven.

Ride the Portland Aerial Tram. For those who are not afraid of heights, the Portland Tram boasts a wonderful view of the Cascade Mountain Range on a clear day. This 3,300 foot ride takes you from the south waterfront to the Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Center for Health and Healing in the west hills.

Drink from a Benson Bubbler. Local folklore tells us that Simon Benson, a businessman and philanthropist, donated 20 bronze drinking fountains to the city as an effort to keep loggers out of the saloons at lunchtime. Others say that Benson was inspired after seeing a little girl crying at a 4th of July parade because she couldn’t find a drink of water. Either way, the Benson Bubblers have become a historical and enduring legacy here in Portland and, because they are now located all over the city, this will be an easy thing to check off of your list.

Talk a walk down Waterfront Park. This is a popular spot for Portlanders to run, walk or just hang out. You can admire some of Portland’s bridges or take a run through the Salmon Street Springs fountain.

Go shopping! Portland is full of hot spots for good shopping. And you may have heard somewhere that Oregon has no sales tax.

  • The Pearl District is a wonderful example of Portland’s commitment to Urban renewal. It is now one of Portland’s premier neighborhoods and has tons of art galleries, restaurants and locally owned shops.
  • Hawthorne Boulevard contains a bevy of eclectic shops and restaurants and is one of the most pedestrian friendly areas of the city.
  • The Nob Hill neighborhood has many high end shops. It’s also a great place to buy some local chocolates or get some tasty gelato.
  • Portland’s Saturday Market (and Sunday’s too). Operating since 1974, the Portland Saturday Market is the largest continually operating outdoor arts and crafts market in the nation. Centered in Portland’s historic Old Town, the Market is one of the most popular shopping destinations for local handcrafted goods.

Drink a local brew at one of Portland’s local breweries. Beer is one of Portland’s specialties so grab a beer, some great food and relax – some breweries even offer free tours.

There, you’re now ten steps closer to know what it is to be Portland. What else would you add to your Portland Bucket List?

One thought on “The Portland Bucket List

  1. The January Martha Stewart Living has a small featurette on Portland and calls it a city of “industrious creativity” with an “artisanal vibe” (I don’t think “artisanal” is a word but whatever). It recommends the following in downtown Portland: Canoe (“a style emporium”), 1136 SW Alder; Odessa (“a boutique for the fashion-forward Portlander”), 410 SW 13th; Seek the Unique (“furniture & found objects”), 931 SE 6th Avenue; Powell’s (of course!); Stumptown Coffee Roasters (“scenic location”), 1026 SW Stark; Huber’s Cafe (“the city’s oldest restaurant”), 411 SW 3rd Avenue; & Frances May (“minimalist fashion must-haves”) (seriously, that’s what it says), 1013 SW Washington St. FWIW!!

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