Portland: Like No Place Else
New Seasons Market
This local retailer is a health-conscious foodie’s dream come true. Customers are greeted by friendly employees and carts with drink slots for the free coffee offered near the front door. Each store prides itself on expansive beer, wine and vegetarian selections and produce from Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Eco-friendliness prevails as cashiers thank those who opt for no bag, and the parking lot is home to separate recycle bins for paper, plastic and bottles.
Nothing says Portland like Voodoo Doughnut. With two locations and a selection that runs the gamut from bacon maple bars to toppings of cookies, candybars, cereal, peanut butter and banana, this mainstay is open 24/7. It hosts eating contests every first Friday of the month at midnight and weddings. Seriously, weddings.
International Rose Test Garden
One step onto this five-acre garden and it’s obvious why one of Portland’s nicknames is the Rose City. The largest of three public rose gardens in town is home to approximately 9,000 rosebushes that represent nearly 600 varieties. Visitors to the garden get one of the city’s best views of downtown, Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens while enjoying the scent of Climbing Ophelias, Sweet Juliets, Savory Hotels and many more. The IRTG, established in 1917, making it the oldest rose test garden in the nation. Free tours run from late spring through fall.
Powell’s City of Books
This multitiered bookstore has a nationwide reputation as one of the best indie booksellers going. Have a seat in the in-store coffee shop and chat up the person sitting next to you, or just meander in the biography section. Whether it’s art history, cookbooks, alternative religion or travel guides you seek, grab a map upon entering the cavernous store; you’ll need it so you won’t get lost in the shelves and shelves of books.
Mt. Tabor Park
This 196-acre park is a slice of serenity amidst a bustling city. Mt. Tabor Park, just minutes from busy Hawthorne Boulevard, offers a peaceful place to walk a dog, shoot hoops, picnic or hike one of the infinite trails. The park also offers some of the best views in the city.
Opened in 1915, the Kennedy School was an elementary school until 1975. The McMenamins bought the abandoned northeast Portland school in 1997 and converted it into a hotel with five pubs, a movie theater, 35 guest rooms and a soaking pool. It’s fab. This is one school where you’ll want to stay after class.
The Portland Beavers, a minor league baseball franchise with major league fans, have captured the hearts of baseball fans who choose to root for a hometown team instead of the Seattle Mariners. The team plays at PGE Park (located in the northwest part of the city) and is the Triple-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres.