Portland’s not so big! Even if you’re only here for a short time, it’s easy to catch the flavor of each of the five quadrants of our city. (Yes, we know... five quadrants is an oxymoron. But remember how they told you Portland was “weird”?) No matter where you end up, you’ll always be able to find the Portland essentials: a few great restaurants, a local coffee shop, a neighborhood bar, a Whole Foods, and a public park.
Home to downtown and the lively waterfront! Working stiffs and tourists abound, visiting Voodoo Doughnut and Powell’s Books, as well as top-notch venues for a night out like the Crystal Ballroom and Portland’s beloved 50-year-old strip joint, Mary’s Club.
Other things to check out: Japanese Rose Garden, Oregon Zoo, Portland Aerial Tram, Portland Art Museum, the view from Portland City Grill, any food-cart pod
A bit on the fancy and aesthetically upscale side, close-in Northwest includes 21st and 23rd, busy streets geared for a walking/drinking/eating tour, as well as the posh Pearl District. Mingle with Portland’s elite and those who only wish they were.
Other things to check out: Pittock Mansion, Forest Park
This area of the city feels less urban, as main thoroughfares branch into sprawling residential communities. Chat with fellow tourists and locals while waiting in line to eat and drink at some of Portland’s finest (and still affordable) restaurants and bars.
Other things to check out: Laurelhurst Park, Hawthorne/Belmont Streets, Division/Clinton Streets, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
This quadrant is filled with variety: from residential communities like Irvington and Hollywood, to shopping opportunities in the Lloyd District, as well as the artsy vibe of Alberta street (best known for its shops and monthly street fair, Last Thursday).
Other things to check out: Kennedy School, NE 28th
A mix of industrial and residential, Portland’s fifth neighborhood is the one that’s really on the move. Mississippi Avenue is your best bet for an entertaining stroll. Expect everything on this strip, from a light bulb store, to comic book shops, to long and winding taco lines. If you’re feeling adventurous, cross the iconic St. Johns Bridge for a taste of eclectic small-town living inside the city in St. Johns.
Other things to check out: Peninsula Park, the Paul Bunyan statue, or venture even further north to Sauvie Island (ahoy, nude beach).