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6 days in Portland, OR - where to stay, what to do?

6 days in Portland, OR - where to stay, what to do?

Old Apr 24th, 2022, 06:56 PM
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6 days in Portland, OR - where to stay, what to do?

Hello!
I am traveling to Portland, OR with my son (19) in May for 6 days. I would love recommendations on the best part of town to stay in. I have read in some older travel writing that Downtown is a good place to stay but have been told that Downtown/Old Town has been hit hard by COVID and has not bounced back yet and that I should avoid it. Any recommendations on where to land for our stay? I am looking for a cool area with coffee, food, shopping etc to keep the teen entertained.

I'd also love recommendations for must-do activities while we are there. It has been a while since I have used Fodors Forum, but I recall getting some great itineraries from fellow travelers in the past and am looking forward to some great tips. I am planning on getting a car through Turo as needed for day trip out of the city. Otherwise, we plan to walk and use public transportation.

Thanks in advance!
Jen
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 06:55 AM
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I visited famous Powell's Books and the International RoseGarden. The light rail system is pretty good. I really liked the Hawthorne Neighborhood (https://www.travelportland.com/neigh...awthorne/).BTW, there are thousands of homeless people in Portland. I enjoyed an excursion to the coast:

Cannon Beach. Scenic coastal resort with Haystack Rock. South of town is Oswald West State Park which has lovely deserted beaches.

Astoria. Many colorful houses and older longtime residents speak with a Finnish accent. Lewis and Clark National Historic Park with the recreated Fort Clatsop. Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Stroll on the Astoria Riverwalk. The Cathedral Tree Trail takes you to a Sitka spruce which you can walk into. Eat seafood.
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 10:27 AM
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We went in 2019 (twice), so pre-pandemic, and we had a wonderful time. When we went as a family, we stayed at two separate places, one night at each, but I wouldn't recommend them as they weren't within walking distance to many things. I stayed at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront when I was there later that year for a conference, and was able to walk quite a few places.

We all loved Powell's. Also, witch's castle, Multnomah Falls, and McMenamins (there are several), and a visit to the Trailblazers Arena. If you are a plant lover, Pomarius Nursery is heavenly.

Last edited by itsmeamanda; Apr 25th, 2022 at 10:32 AM.
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 12:17 PM
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Check out the Travel Portland website for recommendations.
I have not been to Portland since pandemic hit and the homeless camps became a big problem so don’t know what hotels to advise. You could check The Inn at Northrup Station. It’s a smaller boutique hotel and close to light rail, restaurants and shops. Last time I stayed there, free parking was included.
Things to do-
Rent bikes down by the waterfront. There is a paved path on both sides of the river. You can do a loop by riding over a couple of bridges.
Kayak on the Willamette. You will go with a guide and they provide the gear.
The jet boat ride on the Willamette but not sure they operate in May.
I have done an Epicurian Walking tour of Portland. Again, not sure if it’s too early in the season for that.
Hike in Forest Park.
Day trip to the Columbia Gorge- there are several hikes you could do along the way.
see if there are any sporting events going on.
A few ideas for you. Travel Portland has an event calendar you can check for your time frame.
Enjoy.
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Old Apr 26th, 2022, 08:12 AM
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A couple of blocks south of Powells World of Books is Ken & Zukes Deli. They have some great food. Across the street from Ken & Zukes is a boutique hotel (Mark something?) The end of the red line light rail (TriMet) is right outside baggage claim at PDX so you do not have to rent your car at the airport unless you want to go directly out to see Multnomah Falls. Ken & Zukes also has a location in PDX.
If you wanted to spend a night or two outside Portland, try for lodging in the town of Hood River. There are a lot of people who go out on sailboards on the Columbia River. Go south on OR 35 to see the east side of Mt. Hood and come back into Portland on US 26.
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for sharing!
Jen
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 08:18 AM
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Thanks for these tips. I did see that hotel and will give it another look. Like that it is close to public transportation.
Jen
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 08:36 AM
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Lan Su Chinese Garden was my favorite place in a week spent in & around Portland.

https://lansugarden.org/

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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 04:35 PM
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I like the Benson, Crystal, and the Kex. Iíve stayed at the first two several times. Iíve only stayed at the kex once, and Iím not positive about the post Covid situation. Of the three, if you want to play safe, Iíd go with the Benson. I think Iíd only choose McMenamins Crystal if the soaking pool was open, as I mostly stay there for that, but either way, I like it.

Portland feels pretty okay to me at this point. Granted, thereís a noticeable homeless presenceÖbut there always has been. Powellís hadnít resumed their late night hours, last I checked, which is a shame, but to be fair, I was rarely there past 9 anyway. I donít enjoy the area late at night, and I usually walk from Powellís to my hotel.

mostly the impact Iíve seen is servicesólike whether certain places are open their normal hours/days. Donít trust Google, always double check, Iíd recommend booking reservations for dinner.

I agree about the Chinese garden. Love the Japanese and rose gardens. Enjoy the quirky shops, like Paxton Gate. Definitely day trip to the coast or Columbia gorge, but I feel that your teen will equally just enjoy the vibes and food scene. I love the farmerís market but that experience is pre-Covid.

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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 04:46 PM
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Also take a look at Kennedy School Hotel- owned by McMenimins who take old buildings and restore and always have a fun vibe to them. This one is actually an old school. I believe this one has a movie theatre and a restaurant.



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Old May 1st, 2022, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the great info everyone. Looking forward to our Trip. I'd like to see Mount St. Helen's. I have been low-key obsessed with it since I was a kid. Is it worth it? Any tips for a day trip?
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Old May 1st, 2022, 07:37 PM
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Just got back. The city was a little rough.
I did an incredible Airbnb experience to get out for a day -
There's a few hosts on there doing tours of Multnomah Falls
It was absolutely stunning and only cost $57 for a ride out to the falls (Bridal Veil and one more was included).
I highly recommend a day devoted to aw hike out there, in addition to all the city stuff. Enjoy!
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Old May 1st, 2022, 10:37 PM
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There is now a hop on hop off trolley that does tours of the Columbia Gorge waterfalls. It is new this year and I think costs $21. I think it would be a great way to see the area without the frustration of looking for paring spots.
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