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Vacation Portland

Tourist Guide

The Cultural Metropolis
European Ambience in a Contemporary Setting

Portland Farmers Market
Saturday Farmers Market


Enjoy a power breakfast among Portland's energetic business folk at Jake's Grill in the handsome old Governor Hotel, and then spend the morning reveling in Portland's "cultural district" surrounding the South Park blocks. At the Oregon Historical Society, you'll find fascinating exhibits telling the story of state's past. The Portland Art Museum is the city's leading venue for international visual art exhibits, including a stellar permanent collection. The Cultural District holds Portland's major performance theater complex. During the summer months, the South Park blocks are a shady spot to catch one of the Oregon Ballet Theater's occasional outdoor rehearsals; or grab some fresh fruit at the Portland Farmers Market, held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge
Have lunch at Southpark Seafood Grill & Winebar, beloved by locals for the bourride, a shellfish and saffron soup from the south of France. Another excellent dining option is Clyde Common in the Ace Hotel where you’ll sit shoulder to shoulder with strangers (who will soon become friends) as you partake in regional fare prepared with a modern twist. For something even more casually Portland, check out the dozens of food carts dotting the city sidewalks. These have become wildly popular with residents and can be a great way to sample obscure cuisines (one of the most successful carts serves Korean barbecue tacos). Thus fortified, head off on an afternoon road trip to the incredible Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

To understand Portland, you must explore the geographical wonders lying just beyond the city limits. Drive east on Highway 84 to the Historical Columbia River Highway and continue for about 30 minutes to the beautifully restored 1916 Vista House, a two-story stone and stained-glass monument to the spectacular view of the landmark Columbia River Gorge.

McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery
McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery

Follow the highway about five miles farther through the Oregon forest, where waterfalls, fir trees and ferns create a dramatic and peaceful backdrop. Your destination: Multnomah Falls, a 620-foot cascade of water, and the pinnacle of this tour, packed with stunning vistas. Here you'll find trails aplenty for hiking, but be prepared for crowds during summer months — the falls are by far the most popular attraction in the state. Enjoy dinner at the rustic Multnomah Falls Lodge, built in 1925, or stop at McMenamin's Edgefield in Troutdale (visible from Highway 84) on the way back to town for a fascinating stroll through the state's former Poor Farm. Now an historic hotel and restaurant complex, you can sip a glass of house-vinted Black Rabbit wine at the bar of the same name.

Upon returning to town, have a nightcap at an authentic Portland microbrewery — the BridgePort BrewPub, McTarnahan's Taproom, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, or any of the McMenamins' spots. Two decades ago, these local brewers were among the visionary ale artisans whose handcrafted beers started the national trend of local microbreweries. Today, the Portland metro area boasts over 40 breweries, more per capita than any other metro area in the U.S. Craft beer lovers across the land have christened the city "Beervana."

Continue to Day 3


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Travel Guide Oregon
Official Tourism and Meeting Website for Portland


* Images from the Official Tourism and Meeting Website for Portland, Oregon

(Updated: 08/31/11 SG)

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