Portland Oregon from a native's point of view

Where I go to eat, what I do for fun, how to get around in Portland, OR, "the rose city"

Portland Oregon from a native's point of view

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

1. The Rose Garden in spring time/early summer
2. The microbrews
3. The pinot noir
4. The art in The Pearl district
5. Forest Park - The largest urban park (Portland also boasts the country's smallest park)
6. You want sports? We got sports! Wind surfing, skiing, running, boating, fishing, biking...
${QuickSuggestions} -Portland Airport is tiny - flights may be expensive, so think about flying into Seattle, where it's alot cheaper. From Seattle it's about a 3 H car drive
-Bring rain gear for sure if you are coming between Oct and May${BestWay} -good public transport - the Maz (train) and a trolley system downtown. I find the buses to be on-time and reliable and clean. Taxis are rare. Portland is very bike friendly, too, so you can always rent a bike. I like Fat Tire Farm for my bike stuff - try renting there.

Portland Art Museum

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

The special exhibits here are wonderful! I have seen Grandma Moses, a collection of artistic objects around the house, a collection of Japanese and Chinese art on loan from their respective countries. Look into what their special exhibit is when you are visiting - it is worth the extra money.

The 'basic' exhibits are nice, but small. I especially liked the modern art rooms. You can see the whole museum in about 4 hours. Parking is a bit tight, but look for a Smart Park - these are city sponsored lots that are really cheap - about $1-2/hour for the first few hours. The museum looks over the "Park Blocks", which are literally patches of trees, shrubs and grass in the middle of downtown. Good place to people watch and get a strong cup of coffee at one of the many cafes that line the blocks. Portland State University about three blocks, too, so you will see demonstrations, art for sale, etc.

Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon, 97205
(503) 226-2811


Member Rating 2 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

Old school theater, w/ the red velvet seats and ornate decorations. Shows some good artsy films and is dirt cheap - only $1.50 a movie. The popcorn is made in the old-fashioned way, too. And you can specify the toppings. The seats are a little creaky, but it has a romantic feel, and it is about 1 mi from the Hawthorne district which is hopping at night. Lotsa hippies.
2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, Oregon, 97214
(503) 231-7919

Mount Taber

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

Mt Tabor is the largest extinct volcano in a major city. It is a hill you can see from downtown. I go there to walk around and unwind. There are several unique things about Mt Tabor. One, there are lots of trails for trail running/hiking (probably up to 10 miles or so). There is a big water reservior at the start of the park that holds SE Portland's drinking water. The sun shimmers off the water in the early evening; it is quite calming. There are paths around the reserviors. You can watch the sunset over Portland from Mt Tabor - beautiful! Finally, Mt Tabor is a 'leash free' park. There is a hill side just beyond the reserviors that is a popular place to let dogs run and play with each other. I hear that Tues and Thurs are popular days, but I see lots of dogs each time I go.
Mount Tabor Park
SE 60 & Salmon
Portland, Oregon, 97215

Peninsula Park and Rose Garden

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

The rose garden, from what I understand, is actually a test garden for hundreds of different roses. The garden also overlooks the city, so it's a nice place to start out your trip to portland. The main blooming time is in June and early July, and it's not really worth going at any other time of the year. Watch out for Saturdays - major wedding location for Portlanders!
Peninsula Park & Rose Garden
700 N Portland Blvd
Portland, Oregon, 97217
(503) 823-3620

Oregon Zoo

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

The Oregon Zoo is in Portland and is the only zoo in all of Oregon! It is a bit out there, so it's best to take the Max to the zoo. The stop is only a few ft from the entrance. The zoo itself is on a large plot of land and is a good walk to see the whole thing. There is a special emphasis on Pacific NW animals - mtn goats, marine life, otters, eagles, hawks, deer, etc. Very neat and educational. There are also the zoo standards - polar bear, lion, tigers, giraffe etc. Check out the African savannah exhibit and the Alaskan tundra exhibit as well. Very natural exhibit spaces w/ lots of room for the animals to move around. The animals are well taken care of. The docents are better than average. If you come in the summertime, make time for the Birds of Prey show at the main auditorium. The birds fly and perch right over your head. The kids get a kick out of it!
Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd
Portland, Oregon, 97221
(503) 220-2786

Hawthorne district

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by noelle_1 on October 5, 2002

I have lived in the Hawthorne district for 2 years now. It is in SE Portland. It is a community of young people (lots of hippies mostly) and some young professionals too. We all seem to comingle without much trouble. Most of the action takes place on the Hawthorne Blvd itself. This is a 12 block strip that is lined with shops, bars and restaurants. Some of my favorites:

- Cafe = coffee people (portland's answer to starbucks)

Breakfast = it's a tie, Cafe Lena and Cup and Saucer. Both very veggie friendly and cheap. Lena almost never has lines.

Bar = Bridgeport Ale House, which brews all its own beer, including some in the firkin. Their pizzas are gourmet and yummy. Come early; there is frequently a wait.

Fancy dinner - compass cafe- little known excellent food for a fancy night out. Be sure to try one of their wines; Oregon is known for its pinot noir from the Willamette Valley, about 90 miles from Portland.

organic groceries = the daily grind (not a chain! Down with Natures, etc).

Shopping is endless. Hawthorne has a lot of jewelery and trinket shops as well as a few great record stores. There is also a general Powell's bookstore as well as its Garden and Home branch if you can't make it to the big one on Burnside. Personally I find the staff at Powell's to be book snobs, which is irriatating. Their selection of new and used books, though, is truly great. IF you are looking for rare stuff, it's worth a stop.

The downsides of the Hawthorne area include lots of kids "spanging" (a.k.a. "Can you spare any change?"). It's still a little dirty, too, but there are a lot less yuppies to contend with. Parking along the main drag can be tough, but side street parking is still pretty easy to come by. There aren't many neighborhood parking restrictions.


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