What’s Doing in Portland, Oregon

1,000 bright orange bikes are now part of the  city's bike share program

1,000 bright orange bikes are now part of the city's bike share program

By Paul Riegler on 10 August 2016
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While Portland, Oregon’s largest city, isn’t its capital (that title goes to Salem), it is perhaps the country’s capital of cool.

Known for a lively theater, art, and music scene as well as for outdoor activities and amenities, microbreweries, and coffee houses, the city, in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood, the city’s temperate climate is welcoming to visitors thanks to its warm and dry summers and moderate, albeit rainy, winters.


Start your visit in the West End, the boutique-filled downtown neighborhood that is home to Powell’s Books, the self-described “largest used and new bookstore in the world,” which occupies an entire city block. You might find Jeremy Brownlowe, the Typewriter Troubadour, sitting at a table outside the store with his manual Smith-Corona typewriter. For a small fee, he’ll create a poem just for you.

The Typewriter Troubadour

The Typewriter Troubadour

Funky boutiques abound but our favorite is the aptly named Boys Fort on SW Morrison Street, which offers boys (and girls) an ever-changing variety of great blankets, travel accessories, clothing, and decorative objects for your fort, I mean your home.

The city is host to a number of beer-related festivals and events including the Oregon Brewers Festival, held in July in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, so check with your hotel’s concierge to see what beer-related activities are happening during your visit.

Portland is graced by more than 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of public parks including one of the largest municipal parks in the country, Forest Park. Pioneer Courthouse Square, centrally located downtown, is referred to by locals as the city’s living room. Over 300 events take place there each year including outdoor movie screenings. It fronts the Pioneer Courthouse, a federal courthouse built starting in 1869, and is the oldest federal building in the Pacific Northwest.

Click here to continue to Page 2Portland’s Music Scene and Where to Stay

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