Truth: We All Want to Go to Portland
Our Seek, Tell, Discover series featuring things to do in Portland, Oregon drew a remarkable response, including scores of people who posted in the “I’ve-always-wanted-to-go” vein. So we’ve banded together to uncover what locals know about this West Coast treasure.
EXTINCT VOLCANOES ARE COOL
Mount Tabor boasts a volcano that, while it won’t rain molten lava on you, offers up an amazing city view. Walk the streets and take in the modest older homes and stately mansions, as there is much to discover here. When you’re done soaking up the architecture, have a picnic at Mount Tabor Park – 190 acres where you can take in public art, play tennis, or even get married.
PEOPLE WATCHING, FOOD COURTS, LOCAL BANDS
Many are insisting the Portland waterfront is a must-see (officially called Tom McCall Waterfront Park). It’s full of “local bands, food carts, and people watching” one posted; “Great Mount Hood views on a clear day, good place for picnics and wine!” wrote another. It’s definitely a good place for a run or inline skating.
Be sure to check out the Japanese American Historical Plaza at the north end of the park. Free concerts are often held here as well. Just be sure you don’t leave any trash – the park’s namesake is former Oregon Governor Tom McCall, a staunch advocate of recycling.
COME FOR THE CHILI, STAY FOR THE CIDER
We’re told by the insiders that chili and beer brewing are vital to this town – so make your way to the laid-back Woodlawn neighborhood for generous offerings of both. Arrive in the morning and visit the local pastry and coffee shop, then spend some time exploring this historic area until you work up an appetite for wood-fired pizzas and locally sourced dishes.
EATS FOR EVERY PALETTE AND MOOD
Locals love the Lower Burnside neighborhood for the sheer diversity of food. You’ll find brewpubs and cheap eats, wine bars, and sushi bars. There are upscale French restaurants and, understandably, lots of places that prepare fresh seafood for any budget. There are plenty of places to catch live music, too.
There’s much more of course – a pretty cool Museum of Science, a fantastic zoo, and a Saturday Market that sells arts and crafts. All should be included on any explorer’s to-do list, including the McMenamins Mission Theater, which one Facebook user encouraged us to go to “for monthly drag queen bingo.”
But more than anything, our friends tell us to explore the outdoors and take in all the parks, trails, and views. One user wrote she likes to “drive west to downtown on sunny mornings and catch the view. Every day viewing Portland at sunrise is like opening my mother’s jewelry box when I was four years old.”
We’ll send you off with this: “There are some really great things here in Portland and you do not have to look, see, or smell too hard to find them.”