Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Fri March 27 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide To Portland, Ore. You Need

Destination & Tourism | Ryan Rudnansky | March 27, 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide To Portland, Ore. You Need

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

We Say:

Portland was a hidden gem for years, but more people are beginning to take notice of the eclectic city, as Californians and others from throughout the nation start moving to the Oregon hotspot.

It’s not hard to figure out why Portland has become a major tourist destination. It boasts a vibrant and varied community that ranges from artists to musicians to entrepreneurs, it has a great music and nightlife scene, the coffeehouses are splendid, it’s become a ecotourism and foodie draw, it may be the most bike-friendly major city in the country, and it has a bunch of quirks that make it charming and unique from the rest of the world.

After all, there wouldn’t be a popular TV show about it (“Portlandia”) if it wasn’t special.

They Say:

Portland is known as a progressive city with a world-class culinary scene, laid-back culture, and abundance of creativity. From craft beverages and artisan food products to handmade goods, Portlanders' “Do-It-Yourself” approach is showcased across the city. This creative spirit, coupled with close proximity to natural bounty defines Portland cuisine. Close access to ingredients also means great beer—Portland has more craft breweries than any other city in the world. And not only is the city known for producing creative, high-quality products, there is no sales tax in Oregon, which means greater spending power for visitors. - Visit Portland




Current Traffic: Google Traffic

Airport: Portland International Airport

Public Transit: TriMet/MAX

Bikeshare: Portland Bike Share

Walkability Score: 63 at Walk Score

Parking Options / Expense: ParkMe, Best Parking

Best Accommodations:

Boutique: RiverPlace Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel

High End: The Nines

Mid Range: Residence Inn Portland Downtown/Pearl District

Bargain: Candlewood Suites Portland Airport

Foods to seek out:

Food carts: There are approximately more than 600 food carts in Portland, Oregon (including more than 400 in operation at any given time), so if you can’t find one, chances are you’ve taken a detour to Portland, Maine. Local favorites include: Brunch Box, Grilled Cheese Grill, The Big Egg, Pyro Pizza, The Frying Scotsman, Viking Soul Food, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Scoop and Flavour Spot.

Doughnuts: If you’ve been to Portland before, chances are you’ve heard about Voodoo Doughnut. If this is your first time to Portland, go to Voodoo Doughnut…now. As more and more gourmet doughnut shops pop up throughout the country, Voodoo Doughnut is still one of the premier hotspots in the segment. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait in a long line, but your taste buds will thank you once you bite into an explosion of flavor (warning: some doughnut names are risqué, but also hilarious). 

Brunch: Portland has some truly spectacular brunch spots (pretty sure some Portlanders wish it was brunch all day). Take your pick from such favorites as Mother’s Bistro & Bar, Screen Door, Tasty n Sons, The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar, Tin Shed Garden Café, Pine State Biscuits, Broder and more.

Known For:

Farm-to-Table Dining: The spectacular brunch spots in Portland make up just a portion of Portland’s farm-to-table dining scene. Many restaurants in the city make the most of the surrounding farmland. It’s part of the community-oriented, sustainable culture Portland is proud of.

Craft Beer: To say Portland has a craft beer scene would be putting it lightly. The city has nearly 60 breweries scattered about town, as well as a variety of beer fests, movie theaters where you can drink and watch and beer pairings at fancy restaurants.

Tax-free Shopping: Taxes are, for lack of a better word, annoying. It may be a small amount added to your purchase, but that small amount can add up over time. Fortunately for Portland shoppers, there is no sales tax in Oregon, so the price you see is exactly what you pay. It’s just another way Portland feels like a friendly and welcoming place.

Sports Teams:

Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)

Portland Timbers (Soccer)

Portland Thunder (Arena Football)

Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League)

Portland Thorns (National Women’s Soccer League)

Portland Pilots (University of Portland)

Portland State Vikings (Portland State University)

Cool attractions:


1. Explore the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area.

2. It’s only natural that you would take in the Portland Art Museum in artsy Portland.

3. Visit the world-famous Powell’s Books.


1. There’s a reason why Portland’s dubbed “The City of Roses.” Wander around the International Rose Test Garden, which boasts more than 8,000 roses.

2. Be lovebirds at the tranquil Portland Japanese Garden.

3. Described as “The Golden Gate of Portland” by one TripAdvisor reviewer, talk a stroll or bike on St. Johns Bridge and enjoy the amazing views of the Willamette River.


1. Take the fam to the Oregon Zoo.  

2. Take the kids to the Portland Children’s Museum, which features exhibits, workshops and the new Outdoor Adventure.

3. Go to Savie Island Farms for a hands-on experience where you can pick fruit, vegetables, berries, plants and flowers (summer).


1. Grab a beer and some bites at the historic McMenamins Kennedy School.   

2. Swing by Jimmy Mak’s and catch local favorite the Mac Brown Band. 

3. Have a chuckle at Helium Comedy Club.   

Portland is:



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