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First trip to Portland, OR - looking for recommendations

First trip to Portland, OR - looking for recommendations

Old Sep 6th, 2014, 08:11 AM
  #1  
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First trip to Portland, OR - looking for recommendations

Hey everyone,

I'm making my first trip to Portland at the beginning of October, and I'm looking for tips from those who have been there. Looking for fun, interesting, unique things to do while I'm there. I'm traveling on my own and will be there for five days (Wed thru Sun).

I've got my lodging, my restaurants, my coffee, and my beer/spirits in order, but would love recommendations on some cool things to check out - tours, parks, trails, museums, art galleries, architecture, shops, record stores, markets.

Since I've never been I would like to include some typical touristy stops, but would also be very very interested in non-touristy, unique places (outdoors and indoors) to check out. Definitely willing to travel a little outside of Portland as long as it is within a reasonable distance.

Would love some tips! Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Mike
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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I don't have anything to name that is a secret, just did the usual well-known things. But of course a drive to the east along the Gorge is a must-do if you like scenery. I did that and then some light hiking. I don't remember where, probably around Multnomah Falls.
http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide....er_Gorge_Hikes

the city of Portland has a good website for trails and parks
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/42336

Of course Portland has some nice parks and gardens, like the Rose Garden. I did enjoy the art museum, they have some collections of Native American and NW art that are something you might not see elsewhere.

I'm not a big shopper so can't help you on that one, I already own too many records and books, I'm trying to get rid of them. I'm sure you know the legendary places (like Powells). They don't have sales tax, so it is a good place to buy stuff. The Pearl District has lots of shops and art galleries (former warehouse district, Powells is over that way).
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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We really enjoyed the Japanese Garden. Take a free tour with a docent if you can. It should be lovely in the fall. Head to the Gorge for sure.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 03:32 PM
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Powell's Books! We spent an hour or so wandering around there every morning after coffee the week we spent in Portland. Amazing place for readers.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 07:20 PM
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I saw that your were coming from Seattle. If you're driving a rental car from Seattle, take I-205 to I-84 to go out to see the waterfalls (including Multnomah).
You could take the rental back to the airport and turn it in to save some money and ride the TriMet into the city from PDX.
The TriMet system (including light rail, bus and streetcar) is only $5/day/person. The end of the red line is right outside baggage claim at PDX. You don't need a car for downtown Portland.
On the SW corner of Portland is the zoo and the World Forestry Center which has an arboretum.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Definitely willing to travel a little outside of Portland as long as it is within a reasonable distance.

The Willamette Valley is my favorite place to taste wine in the US.

I agree with the recommendation for the Japanese Garden upthread.

You might also try Portland's Distillery Row to see a bunch of hipsters making gin. I really enjoyed many of the visits.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 07:53 PM
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The Epicurian Walking tour is a combination of history and food tasting is a fun thing to do

http://tickets.portlandwalkingtours....%20tour/info/2
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 08:45 PM
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In downtown, we enjoyed the Lan Su Chinese Garden:
www.lansugarden.org

We also had fun at this cool arcade/bar, Ground Kontrol. groundkontrol.com
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Mike,

This past May, I finally visited Portland and had 2.5 days.

Visited the Rose Garden (not in bloom yet, so just enjoyed the views).
Loved the Japanese Garden!

Did the Epicurian Walking Tour and really enjoyed it. Everywhere we went was delicious.

Went to Powell's and didn't care for it, left quickly.

Had fun at the art market under the bridge on Saturday. Bought a couple nice things and had them shipped. BUT - got a bad middle Eastern sandwich and was very sick for 24 hours the next day. I would not recommend eating there!

I had visited the Gorge in detail previously on a homeexchange trip when I stayed in Parkdale so for me 2 days in Portland was just right.

I stayed at a vrbo property in the Irvington neighborhood. A gorgeous neighborhood, but not too convenient for visiting downtown Portland.

Two things I did not like about Portland were the huge number of in-your-face panhandlers and the traffic with poorly marked lanes/directions. If I ever go again, I would stay downtown and not drive. I had a car on my trip because I was going on to the coast and the Willamette Valley for wine tasting.
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Old Sep 10th, 2014, 05:12 AM
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Thank you soooo much for all the recommendations guys! These are great. Can't wait for my trip!

Cheers,
Mike
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Old Sep 10th, 2014, 06:47 AM
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Hi Mike,

I went to Portland for the first time last year and I enthusiastically second the Columbia River Gorge (Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls and Shepperd Falls; I enjoyed them all) and the nearby Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery (say hi to Herman the Sturgeon if he's still around), the Portland Museum of Art and the Japanese Garden. I love the Rose Garden too but not sure what they do with it in October. I will add that exploring some of the neighborhoods was a real treat for a glimpse at some of the city's charming urban living-- the Pearl District and Alphabet District were my favorite neighborhoods.

Best wishes, Daniel
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Old Sep 10th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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Forest Park has a lot of hiking trails.

There is a paved path along both sides of the river- I like to walk up one side, cross over on a bridge, walk along the other side, cross over again on the next bridge- the path can be accessed by many points along the downtown waterfront.

You can do the same loop with a bike which can be rented in waterfront area.

you could do a jet boat ride on the Willamette River.

You could do a kayak tour on the Willamette.

The Newport Bay Restaurant has a great happy hour menu.

Check out the Travel Portland website for events/concerts that may be in town while you are there.

Enjoy!!
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Old Sep 10th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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Link to Travel Portland

http://www.travelportland.com
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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You might want to consider a trip over to the coast! We have had some beautiful weather here in Seaside lately. Nearby Cannon Beach is a lovely coastal town to explore also. .
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 07:50 PM
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All good advice above. You could make a long day trip in good weather out to see Mt. St. Helens.
You could go south and see our capitol building with the little golden man on top of the dome.
Near McMinnville is the Evergreen Aviation museum which has the "Spruce Goose" and other aviation related items.
If you get to the coast, visit the Tillamook cheese factory for some great ice cream and cheese (free samples).
Near Newberg is Champoeg State Park where the state was founded on February 14 1859. We have Oregon and 1859 on the front side of the flag and on the back side is the image of a beaver.
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Old Sep 19th, 2014, 09:41 PM
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If you're a hiker, try Eagle Creek trail (think that was it) along the Columbia Gorge. It's absolutely gorgeous; one of the best hikes ever. There are all sorts of small hikes to the numerous falls (and of course you should go to Multnomah) but this is a longer hike along a beautiful creek.

Hood River was also nice. We went to the Full Sail Brewery there.

Forest Park has lots of trails too. Someone mentioned Powell's Books...if you're a reader, this is a MUST. I think there were 6 floors of books books books.

Enjoy
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Old Sep 20th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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I'm a reader and have no desire to go to bookstores on vacation, why should I? I own too many books already, would not want to lug them home, and can buy anything I want at home or get it from the library. We also have bookstores where I live, anyway, even if they aren't that big. I just don't get why people want to go look at books in a store. If you want to buy anything from them, you can from Amazon, anyway, they sell on there.

NYT recently did an article about good cheap eats in Portland, a week or two ago, but if you don't need real cheap places, wouldn't matter.
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Old Sep 20th, 2014, 06:34 AM
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Last time DW and I were in Portland, she bought 2 books and had them shipped home. She said she could not find them elsewhere at any price.
We had lunch at Ken & Zukes Jewish Deli which is about 2 blocks south of Powell's.
Powell's is suggested as a fun place to hang out when it is raining even if you don't buy anything.
Check out Pioneer Square as well.
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Old Sep 20th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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Thanks guys! Great suggestions. Can't wait!

Cheers
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Old Sep 20th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Christina checks in with her usual ray of sunshine. Are you so dour IRL?

Have a fun trip, Mike!
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