Portland, Oregon Nutz and Bolts
How did you get there: Fly
How did you get around: Other Public Transport
The local people wanted: to help in any way they could
Surroundings: Clean as Singapore’s streets
Top Local Attractions: Rose Gardens: Portland is the City of Roses – why wouldn’t you see the namesake international test gardens? They’re the most beautiful during June, the time when the month-long Rose Festival is taking place.
Saturday Market: This weekend market features works by artisans from around the Portland area, as well as an international food court and local musicians (as well as the best people watching in town). See http://www.saturdaymarket.org/ for more details.
Pioneer Square: Only second to the Saturday Market in terms of people watching, Pioneer Square is a large square in the center of town. Surrounded by shops (and the MAX lightrail line), the Square hosts a number of events, especially on the warm summer weekends.
Top Local Excursions: Columbia River Gorge: If kitesurfing, hiking or sailing is your favorite activity, this is the place to do it. The winds on the river are famous for sports that rely on that sort of thing, and the deep valley is an excellent place to lace up your boots. Multnomah Falls, which is located off mile marker 33 on the freeway, is the top attraction in the state.
Oregon Coast: Seafood and beach lovers unite! The Oregon Coast is host to a dozen or so towns that give description to the word \”quaint\”. Although the beaches lack the California beauty, temperature and waves, brave people insist they\’re still good for walking, swimming and occasionally a surf. The Tillamook Creamery is a must-visit for some fresh cheese and ice cream.
Willamette Valley: The heart of Oregon\’s famous pinot noir country, the Willamette Valley provides ample tasting opportunities of the wines that make the state the second-largest wine producer in the US.
Best places to eat and drink: Heathman: For Pacific Northwest cuisine, French style, look no further than the Heathman. Also a hotel, backpackers may find their prices to be on the very high side. However, the happy hour is a good alternative.
Hot Lips: Excellent gourmet pizza that focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. \’Nuf said.
Piazza Italia: Real Italian food cooked by real Italians.
Vault Martini: Cozy up to a small setting and a 70+ specialty drink list.
820: Excellent sweet potato fries and killer happy hour cocktails make 820 an excellent East side bet.
Ohm: For laid back electronica and clubbing, Ohm is the place to be.
Lots of Portland\’s top restaurants offer happy hours. Check out their offers and get great meals, cheap!
Best places to stay: BootsnAll Hostel: It\’s close in, the people are killer and hey, it\’s free for members.
Wish you knew: The city is very easy to navigate – it is divided into four quadrants, seperated into NE, SE, NW and SW by the Willamette River and Burnside Street. Each address includes one of these distinctions, allowing you to determined what part of the city you are on.
Recommendations: Portland is an awesome city for the open-minded. There is a strong emphasis on locally grown, seasonal and organic food; art; and liberal politics. Conservative Republicans may find themselves out of place.