i. Avoid these tourist attractions |
ii. 17 Things: Portland in a couple days
iii Coping with weather
C. Public Transit
G. Leaving Portland
B. Tours (self-guided, of course)
D. Visual Art
E. Everything Else
E. Dirt Cheap Drinking
C. the Pearl
D. Northwest (NW 21st/NW 23rd)
F. Old Town
I. Multnomah Village
K. NE Broadway
L. E 28th
M. Sandy BLVD (Hollywood and Roseway Districts)
VI. The Suburbs
B. Internet Access
E. Post Offices
F. Currency Exchange
G. Gay/Lesbian Resources
This is a guide to Portland for the frugal.
Mission: pool useful information for tourists and locals alike while minimizing personal economic damage in the process. Contribute, Suggest, Ask: email@example.com.
(map: Ladds Addition)
(bus: 14 Hawthorne)
07.23.06 - UPDATES!! Yes it's been another six months but I am back! New sections: Coping with weather and Stairwalks! I moved Bike Paths to Tours, which is also where Stairwalks reside. I'll be adding new stairwalks and bike rides soon, and eventually I'll try to fix all the broken links to the City of Portland's website (they changed servers, again).
Northwest is the smallest sector, since the river cuts away half of it, but this doesn't stop it from being busy. Inner-NW neighborhoods that wrap around downtown are pretty popular with consumers: Old Town, Pearl District and Northwest District. The West Hills creep into NW for a little bit, but almost immediatley give way to Forest Park, a 5000 acre mass of forest. Most of the area along the river in northwest is industrial ("port"-land).
(image: Northwest Neighborhoods)
Just over the river from downtown, inner-SE is part of the Central Eastside Industrial District, mostly warehousing that supports downtown businesses. But once past that, the sprawl of old single family homes is a mix of young people and commercial strips built off of old streetcar lines. Hawthorne and Belmont are the most successful commercial centers, but Clinton and E 28th serve as hip nodes too. Going farther south, Sellwood and Westmoreland are commercial districts dependant on Reed College. Many neighborhoods in SE have an unusually high 18-35 age distribution, and the houses sport the necessary front porches and bad paint jobs. Lots of good vegetation too. A place worth being. Also noteworthy is the Ladds Addition neighborhoods strange street pattern and rose gardens, Laurelhurst Park, and Mt Tabor Park, an extinct volcano. However, outer south east (east of 82nd, lets say) is prime meth territory ("felony flats").
(image: Southeast Neighborhoods)
Northeast Portland has gone through some very serious changes in the past 10 years. At one time, a good percentage of the sector was busy with gang activity and murder. Today, it is still recovering in many ways. Although NE has not seen the succesfull gentrification that SE has, it is fairly inevitable. NE Alberta St has been it's biggest success story (or biggest tragedy, depending on who you talk to). As the young-and-poor crowd is gradually pushed out of inner SE, N and NE neighborhoods have grown. Nudged between the mansions of Irvington and the office towers of the super-ugly Lloyd District, NE Broadway is packed with expensive restaurants. Riding through Sandy Blvd, the Hollywood District is one of the few remaining "working class" commercial strips in town, and the Roseway District has more Vietnamese food and Vietnamese jewlers than you'll ever need. Don't forget the airport!
(image: Northeast Neighborhoods)
North Portland is considered by many to be the least desirable place in Portland to live. Eco-feminists would argue otherwise. History hasn't been kind to NoPo, but the new MAX line is supposed to change things. I think North Portland has some good things going for it. The Cathedral Park neighborhood opposite of the St. Johns Bridge has a hidden commercial center on Lombard St and the coolest park in town: Cathedral Park. Check out Peninsula Park's rose garden too. The bluff in the Overlook neighborhood has a park with great views of the West Hills and the industrial districts along the river. Mississippi St is in very early stages of gentrification but growing quickly.
(image: NoPo Neighborhoods)
The MAX (metropolitan area express) light-rail runs about 40 miles of track thru east-west suburbs, downtown, airport, and North Portland. After crawling through downtown and the Lloyd District at street grade, the MAX spends most of it's time speeding alongside freeways, only to stop at park-and-rides and transit centers. It's functional for moving commuters, but most trips within Portland would be more suitable on a bus (w/ the exception of the yellow line in North Portland).
(link: MAX route and timetables)
The Portland Streetcar runs on the street with traffic as a circulator between Portland State University, downtown, the Pearl District, and the Northwest District. The 2.4 mile route was built primarily to attract inner-city development and suburbanite disposable income, however it does connect most of the food and attractions in and around downtown quite conveniently.
(link: Portland Streetcar route and time tables)
All buses and trains in Portland are run by Tri-Met, so fares and transfers apply the same to all. The downtown area as well as parts of Old Town, the Pearl, and the Lloyd District fall within fareless square, where all buses and trains are free (70% of the Portland Streetcar route is within fareless square, as well as MAX stations between SW 10th and Lloyd Center, not to mention the entire bus mall). After that, all buses and trains run on a 3 zone system where you pay for the number of zones you intend to pass through (2-zone $1.70, all-zone $2.00). Almost the entire city of Portland is within the first two zones (except the airport and the neighborhoods east of I- 205).
(image: Fare-Zone Map)
Ten bridges span the Willamette River in Portland, eight of them downtown. It's worth noting which ones to use since they make such important connections and have the potential to be extremley dangerous. (image: map of bridges)
Bad: The Fremont and Marquam bridges are freeways so they're off limits by default. The Morrison
and Ross Island bridges feature freeway on/off ramps and extremely minimal sidewalks so they pose a serious
threat. The Burnside Bridge is okay (has a bike path next to the small sidewalk) but motorists are rather
aggresive on Burnside and the immediate neighborhoods on either side of the bridge are seedy.
(image: Fremont Bridge, Marquam Bridge, Morrison Bridge, Ross Island Bridge, Burnside Bridge)
Good: The Hawthorne Bridge (connecting downtown to inner SE) is extremley bike friendly. Well
engineered bike paths at both ends make the entrance easy and the bridge has 12-foot-wide sidewalks that
bicyclists and pedestrians share. The same goes for the Broadway Bridge (connecting the Pearl District and
inner N/NE) that also has a bike signal on the western exit. The Steel Bridge (connecting Old Town and the
Lloyd District) would be a tough one with it's long steep entrance, but a walkway was added to the lower
deck (where the freight trains run) that connects Waterfront Park to the
(image: Hawthorne Bridge, Broadway Bridge, Steel Bridge, Steel Bridge lower deck)
Frankly, renting a bike in Portland is so expensive that I wouldn't recommend it. But anyways...
Fat Tire Farm
Offers Schwimm cruisers for $25 a day. Hours: M-F(11AM-7PM), Sat(9AM-6PM), Sun(10-5). Located at 2714 NW Thurman St (at NW 27th Ave).
(map: Fat Tire Farm)
(bus: 15-NW 23rd Ave, 17-NW 21st Ave, 77-Broadway/Halsey, walk two blocks south of Vaughn St. to Thurman St.)
On the other hand, there's a lot of locally owned bike shops around.
I don't know, there's a lot of places I haven't been. Any good or bad stories?? mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
However, Portland isn't a really taxi oriented city- meaning it will be tough to find one driving
down th street.Some taxi cab companies:
Yellow Cab - (503) 227-1234
Radio Cab (503) 227-1212
Walking on Burnside St really sucks. Although it's definitley skid row around 3rd, the real problem is that it's the major traffic artery for Portland and the sidewalk is very narrow and there is no on-street parking or trees that provide a barrier between you and thousands of cars. Also avoid running into St Francis Park (around SE 11th and Washington) and Old Town is a little iffy after 3AM.
2. train station - bus station
Located just north of downtown. On the Bus Mall in Fareless Square. They are both on 6th Ave- bus station at NW Glisan St, train station across the street at NW Irving St. By bus: catch one of many "Union Station" buses on SW 6th Ave. A bunch of buses terminate at Union Station (14, 31, 32, 33, 35, 38, 43, 44, etc).
(map: Union Station/Greyhound Station)
(image: Union Station)
3. By Car
To get to Tacoma, Seattle, or Vancouver, CA, get on I-5 North. For Salem, Eugene, or California, get of I- 5 South. To the coast: take US 30 to Astoria, US 26 to Canon Beach. I-84 East to eastern Oregon (what the fuck are you doing in eastern Oregon?).
(image: freeway map)
(link: MilebyMile: Oregon Highway Travel Guide)
a. WHERE ARE THEY
They tend to cluster at downtown surface parking lots:
b. WHICH ONES DO I GO TO
c. YEAH, BUT WHERE DO I TAKE THE FOOD TO EAT IT?
2. Mexican food
Mexican food that isn't dirt cheap? Not my kind of Mexican food. Avoid any place in Portland that wants more than $4 for a burrito.
Ole Ole - Prices has jumped a little since Cha Cha Cha bought 'em. Still, huge burritos and chimichangas all fall under the $5 mark. On the edge of PSU campus at SW 6th and Jackson.
(map: Ole Ole)
(bus: on the south end of the bus mall: take the 1, 9, 12, 17, 19, 40, 43, 44, 45)
El Grillo - Cheapest central business district meal (aside from the carts, of course). Hole in the wall in an alley 1 block south of Burnside and Broadway. Burrito f' $4.25! Be sure and take a piss there (you have to walk thru a depressing titty bar to get to their bathroom). SW Broadway and Ankeny (map)
(bus: downtown, 1 block from the bus mall- just figure it out)
La Serenita - a little farther away and a little more popular (... a little more crowded). NE Alberta and 28th. Quesdillas are $1.25.
(map: La Serenita)
(bus: 9-Broadway to 27th and Alberta)
Catalina's - I admit, I haven''t gone yet. Supposedly they have $2.50 chimichangas.
Lets say... under $8. Don't take
'em too seriously, this is basically the evolving list of places I'm willing to dine.
From: "Fuzzy Rick" (email@example.com)
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 17:24:49 +0000
"...Fred Meyers is not only expensive but their staff are often downright rude. If you want cheap groceries, you have to go to WinCo. There is a WinCo on 82 Ave in SE Portland and one in Tigard. Be prepared - must WinCo stores do not take debt cards; cash or check only. But, their stuff is so CHEAP - if a gallon of milk cost $3 at Fred Meyers then it is a $1.60 at WinCo. Plus, they have a huge section with barrels of pasta, flour, cereal, trail mix, etc. where everything costs $1 or so a pound. As a college student, I find that if I shop at WinCo, I can eat real food. If I go to Fred Meyers, all I can afford to eat is oddles and noodles..."
Authors note: the 82nd ave Winco is actually in Clackamas, a suburb. the Winco within the city limits is at:
1222 NE 102nd Ave (map) (bus: MAX blue and red lines to Gateway TC).
2. La Casita
Mexican food. Big ass burritos for $6. Mighty fine lemonade. A little pricey for the quality, but thats what you get at 2 AM. Open: Tues-Wed- 11AM-1AM, and Thurs-Sun 24 hr. Closed Mondays. Recently moved to SE Morrison between 7th and MLK.
(bus: 15-Belmont, 6-MLK)
(link: La Casita)
Half of the menu is Italian, the other half is Southern. Liquor served, yet it is all ages. Open till 4AM Fri-Sat, 2AM otherwise. Too hip. Tables that would usually seat 2 people are lined up really long and you will be seated next to people you don't know. Absolutley amazing macaroni and cheese (all kinds too) from 5 to 9 bucks. SE 3rd and Morrison, in a warehouse district just across the river from downtown under the Morrison Bridge. Kind of hard to find. Once you get over the river you have to zig zag back under the bridge (be careful not to drive on the train tracks).
(link: Le Bistro Montage)
(map: Le Bistro Montage)
(bus: 15-Belmont, 6-MLK)
Mexican food cart downtown at 3rd and Stark St. Open till 3AM Fri-Sat. About $4. No seats tho'.
5. Voodoo Doughnuts
(hours have gotten inconsistent, see link below) Stumptown coffee. Doughnuts. A popular after-drinking spot ('cause it's by Old Town). Downtown at SW 3rd and Burnside. (map: 22 SW 3rd) (link: voodoodoughnut.com)
From: Sean Kelly
Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 6:41 PM
"In "Coffee Culture", I think that the thing that makes Portland stand out are the coffeehouses, what you call "social" coffee shops. I think you might have a bad impression of them based on the ones you've been to. I wouldn't call the Pied Cow a coffeehouse, because it's not that comfortable, and you get a bill. The great coffeehouses in Portland are places like the Portland Coffeehouse on Broadway and Alder, or Tiny's on Hawthorne and 12th, or either Papaccino's, or the good Stumptown (the one on Division). These are the places where you can go and sit by yourself on a comfy couch, sit for three hours, and not get kicked out. Plus at Stumptown you can get two cups of coffee for a buck. Of course, there are plenty of bad trendy coffee"houses" in Portland that might have skewed your judgment, like the Stumptown downtown and any Starbucks or Coffee People. "
--Along the lines of these legit coffeehouses that Sean described: Three Friends Coffeehouse at SE 12th and Ash; the Hof at SW 19th and Jefferson; Village Coffee at SW 35th and Capitol; Star E Rose at NE 24th and Alberta; Anna Bananas at NW 21st and Northrup.
a. Forest Park
Apparently, Forest Park is the largest forested city park in the USA (or something like that). 5000+ acres of untouched forest starts a half mile west of downtown. The 30+ mile Wildwood Trail is the spine of the trail system; Lief Erickson Drive is an 11 mile (unpaved) road closed to cars and open to bikes, pedestrians, and equestrians (starts at the dead end of NW Thurman St, map). Firelanes 1, 3, 10 and 15 are also open to bikes [and closed to cars :) ]. This park is connected to Washington Park (see below) and many trails, including the Wildwood, go into Washington Park. The only entrance supported by transit is that of the Lower Macleay Trail. To get there, take the 15-NW 23rd Ave, 17-NW 21st Ave, or 77-Broadway/Halsey west to NW 27th and Vaughn. Walk 1 block south and 3 blocks west to NW 30th and Upshur. The entrance has a map and a bathroom. Note: do not get stuck in Forest Park at night- this is where several transients sleep (supposedly) and there are no lights whatsoever. (image: Forest Park) (image: aerial)
(link: Maps of Forest Park) (link: Wildwood Trail) (link: National Geographic: 97210)
b. Mt. Tabor Park
Mt. Tabor is an extinct volcanic vent for Mt Hood (or the Columbia Gorge, I can't remember...). It offers some badass views of se pdx, downtown and the West Hills. Especially at night. But it has some good hiking trails too. And a paved road that winds to the top has been closed to cars so it's popular w/ cyclists and there's a soapbox derby every August. The top of the park is flat (top of a volcano, right?) with grass and picnic benches and even better views (if you can grab the right bench). Enter the park on SE Salmon St at 60th Ave: Salmon quickly winds up to the popular view point and a couple trails start on the left side.
(map: SE 60th @ Salmon St)
(map: Mt Tabor (pdf))
(bus: 15-Belmont, 71-60th/122nd Ave)
(image: Mt Tabor view 1, Mt Tabor view 2)
(link: US Geological Survey: Mt Tabor Cinder Cone)
(link: Mt Tabor photos @ Portland Ground)
c. Marquam Nature Park
One of the most lush forests in the city and it's less than a mile from downtown. If there was something more I could say about it (i.e. - describe the ecosystem) I would, but you'll just have to see for yourself. 500 ft elevation change (if you take the steepest trails). The Marquam Trail connects Marquam Nature Park to Terwilliger Park and Willamette Park to the east and Council Crest Park and Washington Park to the west. Enter the park on SW Sam Jackson Rd a few hundred feet west of Terwilliger Blvd (just past the water towers) at the Marquam Park Shelter (a trailhead w/ maps and such).
(bus: 8-OHSU to SW Terilliger Blvd and Sam Jackson Rd [first stop on Terwilliger], above directions)
(map: Marquam Park Shelter)
(map: trail map comin' soon)
(link: Portland Park & Rec- 40-Mile Loop: Marquam Trail)
d. Washington Park
Washington Park is Portland's 'showcase' park. Sort of like Golden Gate Park. Museums, zoo, pay-to-enter gardens, touristy stuff. Washington Park is in the SW Portland's West Hills, just west of downtown. Driving? I have no idea. You can walk in thru the Kings Hill neighborhood west of downtown (walk up to the front entrance via SW Main at 22nd).
(bus: MAX Blue and Red Lines to Washington Park station, 63-Washington Park runs between downtown and the MAX station, stopping at most (if not all) Washington Park attractions on the way)
Inside Washington Park is:
Big open space, lots of trails, large collections of trees from all over. Vietnam memorial too. It starts at the Washington Park MAX Station.
(image: photo) (link: Hoyt Arboretum) (link: Trails of Hoyt Arboretum pdf)
ii. International Rose Test Garden
A large rose garden that is sort of touristy but worth a look. The "famous" views of downtown are mostly covered by trees. (image: photo). On the 63 bus.
(link: Rose Garden photos)
iii. Pittock Mansion
e. Rocky Butte
Rocky Butte is the next farthest East Portland Butte after Mt Tabor. Less popular than Mt Tabor but cooler in many ways. The sides are steeper so there are less trails, but the top has a view: 360 degree panorama with little tree interference. Mt Tabor and southeast Portland to the south; Mt Hood, freeways, farther east buttes, outer northeast Portland to the east; Mt St Helens, I-205 bridge, Columbia River, Government Island, PDX (airport), and Washington state to the north; northeast Portland, downtown, West Hills to the west. Yup. You have to walk up steep-and-long NE Rocky Butte Rd, but the bike ride back down is most rewarding. Enter NE Rocky Butte Rd by NE 92nd and Fremont Drive. From NE Fremont Street and 82nd (map): east on Fremont St, slight right onto Fremont Dr (a few blocks after 82nd), at 92nd (map) go up NE Rocky Butte Rd.
(map: NE 92nd and Rocky Butte Rd)
(bus: 33-Fremont and 72-82nd Ave to Fremont and 82nd; MAX Blue and Red Lines to 82nd Ave station, but be sure to go north on 82nd first 'cause if you try and head east on Halsey you hit some sidewalk-less overpasses)
(link: US Geological Survey: Rocky Butte)
(image: North, East)
f. Oaks Bottom Park
On the westside of the river by Ross Island, bisected by the Springwater bike trail, has beach access and lots o' trails. Enter at the south entrance off at SE 7th and Sellwood (in Sellwood), or on the Springwater Trail.
(link: PP&R; page)
g. George Himes Park
A conveniently located park of trails connecting Terwilliger Park to Willamette Park, George Himes Park's short distance from transportation corridors is it's blessing and it's damnation. Translation: it's very bus accessible, but then you have to listen to nearby traffic arteries. I'm giving it a bad rap. After all, if I didn't like it I wouldn't bother typing this. Lots of moss (no complaints). The Barbur Blvd overpass is actually kind of cool. Enter the park at SW Terwilliger and Capitol (map).
(bus: 44-Capitol Highway, 45-Garden Home, 54-Beaverton/Hillsdale Highway, or 56-Scholls Ferry Rd to SW Terwilliger and Capitol Highway)
h. Powell Butte Nature Park
One of several extinct volcanoes on the eastside, 570 acre Powell Butte is far away (I'm not sure if it's in Portland or Gresham) but it has some good contrasts. The eastern half is relatively barren (due to [I'm guessing] the powerful winds that outer eastsiders experience from the Columbia Gorge) which makes for some great views of Mt Hood and a handful of other hills. The western half is good ol' Pacific Northwest forest. Sorry kids, no downtown views (wouldn't be all that impressive anyways being that you're 8 miles out). A heavy sunrise facing east perhaps? I wouldn't know, I don't have time to be at 162nd at the crack of dawn. 9 miles of trails reaching an elevation of 630 feet (even a wheelchair accessible one). From SE Powell Blvd, walk south up windy 162nd Ave for a few hundred feet to the main entrance (maps, bathrooms, parking).
(map: SE 162 @ Powell)
(link: Powell Butte Nature Park Trail Map pdf)
(link: Friends of Powell Butte)
(link: US Geological Survey- Powell Butte Cinder Cone)
(bus: 9-Powell -only every other bus goes east of 97th so check the schedule-)
i. Smith and Bybee Lakes
Really cool. Two big lakes w/ trees and views and everything. "Comprising almost 2000 acres, makes up one of the nation's largest urban freshwater wetlands" so they say. Lots of birds screaming and dragon flys fighting (or mating?). Bus access isn't great. I'd recommend getting there on the Marine Drive bike path from the Expo Center MAX station.
(link: this site has links and maps and everything)
(bus: Yellow Line to Expo Center)
j. Kelly Point Park
Not to be confused w/ Kelly Butte on the outer eastside. This park is at the very tip of the North Portland peninsula, where the Columbia River, Columbia Slough, Willamette River and Willamette Slough meet. Beaches have great views of the freight traffic on the rivers and Sauvie Island. Thick canopy lines the paved and unpaved paths. More or less inaccessible by bus. But you could bike there from St Johns (Yellow Line "to Expo Center", get off at Lombard TC, 75-39th/Lombard westbound to St Johns). Or you could take the Marine Drive bike path from Expo Center station)
b. Cathedral Park
Probably the most stunningly beatiful park in Portland. It's located way out in North Portland (image: map) in the St. Johns neighborhood. Under the east side of the super-gothic St. Johns Bridge (image: St. Johns Bridge), an unexpected park is full of the usual trees and grass, but the really cool thing is the bridge and it's supports (Forest Park in the background). Way the hell out there, but well worth it. Take the Yellow Line to Lombard TC and transfer to 75-39th/Lombard westbound to downtown St Johns. From the main bus stop, work your way to the underside of the bridge.
These photos will convince you. (image: Cathedral Park, Cathedral Park 2, Cathedral Park 3, map)
c. Laurelhurst Park
Laurelhurst Park attracts lots of people (and dogs) from affluent Laurelhurst and surrounding neighborhoods. Although it's only a few square blocks, it's Olmstedian landscaping features a small lake and some serious canopy. It's location and size make it a relativley effortless escape when compared to most of the other parks mentioned. The two main entrances are at SE 31st and Ankeny (map) and SE 38th and Oak (map).
(image: Laurelhurst Park 1, Laurelhurst Park 2, Laurelhurst Park 3)
(bus: 15-Belmont, 20-Burnside/Stark, 75-39th Ave)
e. Mocks Crest Park
Little known to the public, this small park in North Portland's Overlook neighborhood offers sweeping views of industrial districts (Union Pacific Railyards, Swan Island, and the Northwest Industrial District), bridges (Fremont Bridge, St Johns Bridge, and Railroad Bridge), West Hills neighborhoods (Hillside, Kings Hill, Washington Park, Council Crest, and Marquam Hill), downtown, the Willamette River, and miles of Forest Park. Mocks Crest Park isn't on most maps and isn't mentioned by the parks and recreation dept, so this is insider knowledge. And it's panoramic for sure. The view at night of all those lights is also serious (I imagine the sunset would be good since you're facing southwest).
Mocks Crest Park is at the dead end of N Skidmore Terrace.
(map: Mocks Crest Park)
(image: Mocks Crest Park 1, Mocks Crest Park 2, Mocks Crest Park 3)
(bus: Yellow Line to N Prescott station, walk 1 block south to Skidmore, west on Skidmore until the T at Overlook Terrace where Skidmore St joggs over to Skidmore Terrace)
f. Peninsula Park
Ten years ago it was a place to murder someone, but 21st century Peninsula Park is just a place to hang out. It's a square-block-concave-radial-rose-garden. And there's a fountain in the middle. N Albina St and Ainsworth St.
(map: Peninsula Park)
(image: Peninsula Park 1, Peninsula Park 2)
(bus: 4-Fessenden to N Albina and Ainsworth, 40-Mocks Crest to N Albina and Portland)
g. Sellwood Riverfront Park
At the southern tip of the city limits on the east bank of the Willamette River, Sellwood Riverfront Park offers good views and a decent escape from everything urban (except all the people). On the short stretch of beach, one has a great view of the Sellwood Bridge, the hills of forest on the westside, and the river. A landscaped area behind the beach is popular w/ dog owners and many nearby trails also entertain. The popular Springwater Corridor bike path runs right through the park as well. To get to the park, walk west on SE Tacoma St until you're under the bridge.
(map: Sellwood Riverfront Park)
(image: One, Two, Three)
h. Terwilliger Park
The hike up Marquam Hill from downtown on SW Terwilliger Blvd is about 90 minutes to the southern terminus at SW Capitol Highway. This "park" of a street is surrounded by a few blocks of natural vegetation and a wide paved sidewalk on the side is wheelchair accessible and well lit. Short trails occasionally meander off and back onto the sidewalk. The views are excellent too. Drops you off at the back entrance to George Himes Park at Terwilliger and Capitol, so coordinating both parks into your day is smart. The Marquam Trail also passes thru Terwilliger Park, but the connection to Marquam Nature Park isn't as easy as some maps would let on (you have to hike through fast, windy, sidewalk-less streets for over a mile).
Note: in many ways this isn't even a park. But it's in this section because it's a good walk (which is usually what the natural/pseudo-natural parks are all about) and it connects to other parks.
(map: SW Terwilliger Blvd)
(bus: 8-Jackson Park runs up Terwilliger from downtown to the massive OHSU hospital complex. It's a good way to get there from downtown, but it doesn't run down the entire length of the park. Pick up the 44-Capitol Highway, 45-Garden Home, 54-Beaverton/Hillsdale Highway, or 56-Scholls Ferry Rd at the southern tip at Capitol Highway (map)
i. Council Crest Park
The landscaping isn't that amazing, but locals know: it's the view. At 1040' above sea level, most of downtown is too short to be seen. But you can see clear out to the east Portland volcanoes, the airport, Columbia River, southern Washington state, etc. Lots of SW Portland too from the west side of the park. Enter the park on a short trail at SW Talbot and Fairmount. A particularly nice way to get there is on trails (1.7 miles) from Marquam Nature Park (follow signs to "Council Crest").
(bus: service isn't great, so plan ahead- 51-Vista to SW Patton and Talbot/Humphrey (the street changes names at Patton), and walk south on Talbot a couple blocks to Fairmount)
(map: SW Talbot and Fairmount)
(image: Council Crest Park 1, *2, *3)
j. Willamette Park
Functionally, this park is very similar to Waterfront Park: grass and benches with a big view of the river. But instead of bridges, freeways, and warehouses, you can see Ross Island, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and the Springwater Trail (nature instead of infrastructure, basically). The park is pretty dead usually, which is nice. The Willamette Green Trail (bike path) runs through the park and continues through Butterfly Park (collection of trails that winds through trees close to the water) and Marine Powers Park (trail that runs south of the Sellwood Bridge along the water with lots of beach access). Enter Willamette Park at SW Nebraska just east of Macadam.
(map: SW Nebraska and Macadam)
(image: Willamette Park 1, Willamette Park 2, Marine Powers Park 1, Marine Powers Park 2)
(bus: 35-Macadam and 40-Tacoma to SW Nebraska and Macadam, 43-Taylors Ferry to SW Nebraska and Virginia)
b. Pioneer Courthouse Square
The 'square is often refered to as "Portland's Living room" (EYES ROLL). Def: the public square in the center of the retail district of downtown. So it serves that sort of purpose: people hanging out, the occasional bullshit festival or promotion of downtown commerce. Circles of hacky-sack. People playing chess. A big fucking Starbucks. Between SW Morrison St, SW Yamhill St, SW 6th Ave, and SW Broadway. The MAX stops on both sides, on the bus mall in farel ess square.
(image: Pioneer Courthouse Square 1)
(image: Pioneer Courthouse Square 2)
As with the rest of the website, pictures open in new windows but I'm going to offer an alternative page to each stairwalk that is complete with photos in the page in case you want to print it with the pictures for reference. But be warned: they have LOTS of photos so it might spoil it for you. I highly recommend looking at the map I made too.
A: Starting at 24th place, cross Burnside to a non-descript entrance to Washington Park (image: 1). Take the small staircase on
the right. Follow this combination of paths and staircases for a while (image: 2). When you reach the painted white pole
(image: 3) go right and continue
up the staircase. Be careful when passing the big tree: many steps have been displaced by its
roots. Just before you cross the first paved road (actually about a dozen steps before) turn right
on an unpaved trail (image: 4). Follow
this path past a small staircase on your left and an abandoned building. The trail will finally spit you
out on SW Wright Av at SW Tichner Dr.
B: Turn right on SW Tichner and enter one of Portland priciest neighborhoods: Arlington Heights. Continue down Tichner for a few blocks until you see the sign for SW Parkside Drive and turn left. Follow the short staircase (image: 5) up to uber-skinny Parkside Drive. A couple hundred feet later when Parkside Drive ends at a T with Parkside Lane, stay to the left. Follow the street for 300 or 400 feet, the next staircase will be on your left. Be careful: this one is easy to miss (image: 6). At the bottom of the stairs a path will take you to SW Marconi (no sign). Turn left at Marconi and follow the street for a couple hundred yards to the staircase entrance to the International Rose Test Garden (image: 7).
C: This staircase will take you to Portland's most famous park. On top of the obvious roses (if they're in bloom) it's an excellent spot for people watching (image: 8). The garden has a bathroom and a water fountain (maps there will direct you). Exit the park at its northeastern corner (you entered at its northwestern) on a paved path (image: 9). Follow the path until it ends at a sidewalk on the right (image: 10). Continue on the sidewalk for a few hundred yards, cross at the crosswalk by the water fountain (image: 11). Past the water fountain, turn right on a paved road (closed to cars) and pass the swing set to the big obelisk (image: 12).
D: This is the official front entrance to the park. There are water fountains and several picnic tables. Go down the stairs in front of the obelisk and turn left at SW Lewis and Clark Drive. A hundred feet down the road there is a very small path on your right that will take you to SW Cedar (image: 13). Be careful not to miss that path! On SW Cedar make an almost immediate left. The road dead-ends soon thereafter at my favorite staircase in Portland (image: 14). Continue down SW Cactus, turn left at SW Green and the next thing you know you're at the awful 23rd and W Burnside intersection you more or less started at. I wouldn't recommend buying the food at the adjacent Zupans grocery store but they have bathrooms and some good samples.
c. Marquam Hill/Portland Heights Stairwalk
d. Linnton Stairwalk
b. Springwater Trail
The Springwater Trail is an extremely popular path that runs from the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge south along the river to the Sellwood neighborhood before cutting east along Johnson Creek out to Gresham (about 21 miles total). A gap between the north-south segment and the east-west segment exists between the Sellwood Bridge and 32nd and Berkeley that's best explained on this map.
The first stretch along the river offers great views of the Willamette River and Ross Island and connects to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and Sellwood Riverfront Park. The Johnson Creek watershed is rich with vegetation and Salmon restoration has been underway for several years now. The Johnson Creek alignment of the trail connects to Tideman Johnson Nature Park, Beggars-Tick Wildlife Refuge, Powell Butte Nature Park, Leach Botanical Garden, Mt Scott Park etc. (good views of Mt Hood too). The path is wide and changes elevation very little.
(map: Springwater Trail)
(link: Springwater Trail)
(image: Springwater 1, 2)
(bus: 4-Division, 6-MLK, 10-Harold, 14-Hawthorne, and 33-McLoughlin all connect to the northern terminus at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge; 40-Tacoma connects to the trail at Sellwood Riverfront Park and at Tacoma St; and the 75-Lombard/39th intersects at SE 45th, 71-60th/122nd intersects at SE 72nd and SE 122nd)
c. Willamette Greenway trail
From: Gregg Everhart (PKGREGG@ci.portland.or.us)
Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 11:38 AM
"Willamette Greenway Trail is on west bank of Willamette River. It is paved, open to both bikes and pedestrians. It has been constructed one property at a time so there are some dangerous right angle turns, constrictions and interim sections. Expect more trail traffic on weekends and during commute hours. Some sections use bikelanes, sidewalks, and shared low traffic roads. Not as good as Springwater or Marine Drive for a family-style bike ride but we do get kids just learning to ride and seniors."
Yeah, it's pretty cool. Goes thru Willamette Park, Butterfly Park. You have to ride thru an ugly industrial area on SW Moody St for a mile or so south of the Ross Island Bridge (south of Waterfront Park).
(map: Willamette Greenway trail)
(bus: 35-Macadam, 40-Tacoma, 43-Taylors Ferry)
d. Marine Drive
There are portions in North and Northeast Portland but they don't connect (bike map lists the connection as rough). I've only tried the NoPo one so thats all I can talk about.
Marine Drive runs along the south side of the Columbia River on the absolute edge of Oregon. Be sure and take the Marine Drive path to Smith and Bybee Lakes, and way up to Kelly Point Park. Both parks have lots of paved trails. If you take the Yellow Line to the Expo Center stop, it's about 6-7 miles one way to Kelly Point.
I know that the Northeast part of the trail goes from the airport and I-205 to NE 33rd. You can take the Red Line to Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center and ride the I-205 bike path up to Marine Dr.
(map (PDF): North Portland segment)
(map (PDF): Northeast segment)
(transit: MAX, can hold a lot of bikes- good for groups)
e. Ladds Addition
It's such a popular place for bicyclists, I thought I'd mention it before getting into the actual paths. After riding across the Hawthorne Bridge to the east side, head down Hawthorne Blvd to about 12th and make a slight-right onto Ladd Ave into Ladds Addition. This is a small neighborhood in inner South-East Portland. Its streets were layed out by famous landscape architects in the 1920s into a kalidascope shape with diagonal streets, a circular park in the center surrounded by 4 small rose gardens. (image: Aerial Photo) Head down Ladd Ave to the center park (Ladds Circle). On the other side of the small park is a good coffee shop (Palio) and a small grocery. Lock your bike up, grab some coffee and walk (or bike) around the remaining 4 rose gardens (which can be suprisingly hard to find even though they are 2 blocks away). Lots of trees, lots of roundabouts so the motorists drive slow. It'll make you want to move here.
(map: Ladds Addition)
(bus: 4-Division, 10-Harold, 14-Hawthorne, 70-12th Ave)
I don't know how this thing started exactly. Many "bike Oregon" type of books list the ride from downtown up into Washington Park as one for "experienced" riders only because it's so steep. On the other hand, if you take your bike on the MAX to Washington Park station, and take the elevator 250 feet up you don't have to do any work at all. So a bunch of these ruffians get drunk and stoned and ride homemade bikes very fast through the park at midnight. It's become a popular thing, talked about in the papers, etc. Suprisingly fun, tho.
Take the MAX blue or red lines west from downtown to Washington Park station. From the surface, turn right (its the only street there), ride a few hundred yards (past the Vietnam Memorial Garden), cut through a parking lot on your right and head down SW Kingston. The entire route is pretty self explanitory (ie- downhill). 'Hits the Rose Gardens and goes thru Kings Hill before winding back downtown.
(link: some sort of description)
g. I'll write up the rest as I try them, but the weather is currently terrible, so don't hold your breath.
h. There's also a lot of good trails (so I've heard anyway) in the suburbs of Vancouver, WA (link: Vancouver WA: Parks and Recreation: Parks and Trails: Trails)
and Lake Oswego, OR (link: Lake
Oswego Parks and Recreation: Pathways).
Take C-Tran line 105 to downtown Vancouver, and take Tri-Met line 35-Macadam or 78-Beaverton/Lake Oswego to downtown Lake Oswego.
b. 5th Ave Cinemas
$4 (general), $3 (student- you are always a student), $2 (PSU student- sorry, gotta have ID). Located on Portland State University campus, and run by PSU students- they run two movies on Fridays and Saturdays. It's hard to find their listings- check out the Willamete Weekly, Mercury, or go he re. Located on SW Harrison St between SW 5th and SW 6th Avenues. On the busmall in Farel ess Square.
c. Hollywood Theater
NE 42nd & Sandy, $4
d. Cinema 21
e. Northwest Film Guild
Oregon History Museum
I wouldn't bother unless you have some particular interest in Portland, but if you do there is lots of good stuff. There is an ongoing exibit on old movie theaters in Portland, 19th century birds eye views, lots of old photos, old news footage, etc. The non-Portland history in the museum is pretty tiresome. $6 general, $3 students. Located on the South Park Blocks. 1200 SW Park Avenue (at Madison St). I'd recommend walking, but if you want to take a bus, look at the buses that go to the South Park Blocks. (website: Oregon Historical Society)
Thursday of each month is the day where most downtown and Pearl District galleries are open. On the
last Thursday of the month, a string of galleries on NE Alberta St open up. I am less knowledgeable
than I could be on the subject, so I'll just pass on some links:
Willamette Week - Visual Arts - a good site with samples and directions for westside galleries and other visual arts listings.
Portland Mercury - Visual Arts - a little less broad, more suggestive.
alt.portland - art - some more links
b. Reading Frenzy and Counter Media
Although there is no coffee shop, basically the same idea as above. Eye candy. Browsing for free. which one? specializes in foreign comics and weird smut magazines, and which one? specializes in independant comics and less-popular magazines. SW Oak St between 9th and 10th Ave. Public transit: 20-Burnsideto 10th and West Burnside and walk one block south-west on Oak St, Portland Streetcar to SW 10th and SW Stark and walk one block north to Oak St OR to SW 11th and Alder and walk one block east to 10th and three blocks north to Oak St *depending on direction*. If you cross Burnside St when you are finished at Powells, turn left and pass the shitty pizza place on your right can't miss 'em. Side note: a cool store behind one of the small book stores is "Billy Galaxy" (on W Burnside, between 9th and 10th) that has really old toys, lot of Japanese shit.
Bad ass nickel arcade (connected to the Avalon theater) that has all kinds of stuff: new crazy games from Japan (like those dancing ones), air hockey, even those ball throwing games. It costs $2.25 to get in, all games are between 10 and 20 cents. If you leave, you can't get back in w/o paying again. A lot of fun- plan on hanging out for an hour or two and blowing a good $5+ on these games.
c. PSU's arcade
Not a particularly interesting arcade, but it's cheap and if you're in the neighborhood and you're in the mood... Go to the Smith Memorial Center between SW Broadway, SW Park, SW Montgomery, and SW Harrison. On the busmall in fareless square. Go to the basement.
This is an old rail building that was revitalized (including adding a 3rd floor) by an environmental group. A free tour of the building is pretty interesting (the floor of the second floor is recycled car tires, for example). From 9AM-5PM on week days, you can walk up to the 3rd floor terrace on stairs from the outside. Great views of downtown, the Pearl District, and the Fremont Bridge. NW 10th and NW Johnson. Public transit: Portland Streetcar to NW 10th and Johnson.
(image: Ecotrust Building)
(link: Architecture Week - "Historic Warehouse Grows Green")
Also, might I note, I haven't included any 'mall' type of commerce (like Lloyd Center, Clackamas Town Center, 82nd Ave, Washington Square) because they're fucking despicable.
NW 23rd (sometimes called "trendy-third") is full of shops that sell stupid shit that you don't need to buy (candles, wrapping paper, braclets, incense), a couple of restaurants that aren't worth the wait, and a lot of Starbucks to hang out at. 23rd is a place to be seen, a place where people cruise. In front of the main Starbucks, loads of assholes park their motorcycles and hang out in front of them with lattes in hand strutting their stuff. Suburban housewives put their sunglasses above their forehead as they shop at Kitchen Kaboodle. I often find myself taking the bus to 23rd and then immediatley walking away from it, and that is about all I can take. If you don't want a headache and you don't want to spend a lot of money don't go to 23rd.
21st is a little different. More restaurants and bars and less shopping. The drunk suburbanite factor can get a little serious on a weekend, but not half as serious as 23rd. Coffee Time is a popular late night coffee shop at Irving St (but you couldn't pay me to go in there). You'd be better off in the basement, back room, front porch, or patio at Anna Bananas though. Taj Mahal's Indian lunch buffet is $8 and damn fine (at Lovejoy). Get a half sandwich and cup of soup at Kens Artisan Bakery at Flanders.
On the whole, the commercial streets
don't have a lot that interests me (and therefore, you). The neighborhood is architecturally rich though
(especially varied east of 23rd, see link below). Try Couch Park (between NW Glisan, Hoyt, 19th and 20th)
out for size, take a walk on the Lower Macleay Trail in Forest Park
(entrance at 29th and Upshur), sleep cheap at the NW District Hostel (18th and
Everett). Upper Thurman and Vaughn Streets (west of 23rd) have made a small start: get a sandwich at Food
Front Co-op (at 23rd place and Thurman) and rock the chimichanga + margarita at Acapulco's Gold (Vaughn at
(link: Northwest District Photos)
(bus: 17-NW 21st Ave, 15-NW 23rd Ave, 77-Broadway/Halsey, Portland Streetcar)
Add equal parts eyesores and slick business, mix thoroughly. By "eyesore" I
mean boarded up buildings, empty parcels overgrown with weeds. By "slick business" I mean vegetarian
restaurants, vintage clothing outlets and coffeeshops. Hot with the artists too (cheap rent), and lots of
galleries. On the last Thursday of each month all the galleries open at night ("last Thursdays," like
downtown/Pearl's "first Thursdays"). La Serenita is a very popular and very cheap Mexican Restaurant (at
28th). Vita Cafe has more street credibility than any other veggie restaurant in town (at 31st). Good food
(mostly vegetarian) and not-so-bad-coffee at Star E Rose (at 24th). Bumpin' at varying levels between 10th
(bus: the 72-82nd/Killingsworth runs up and down Alberta but it doesn't go downtown or anywhere else that you might actually catch it. Take the 8-NE 15th Ave to Alberta and 15th, the 9-Broadway to Alberta and 27th, or the 10-NE 33rd Ave to 33rd and Alberta.)
(map: Alberta St)
(link: Alberta photos @ Portland Ground)
Backspace, at NW 5th and Davis, is a "hangout." There's a gallery in the back, four or five vintage arcade games, pool, espresso, couches, and a bunch of computers to play RPGs and first person shooters against other people (rather expensive)- which is billed as their main attraction. I think they also have wireless internet. Open till midnight usually, but 4AM Fri/Sat. Voodoo Doughnut (just south of Burnside on SW 3rd) is open from 10PM to 10AM, making it another important late night stop (link: voodoodoughnut.com). Darcelle's nightclub (NW 3rd and Everett) hosts Portland's premiere burlesque drag queen show and holds down a half century tradition of electing an empress every year (hosted by Darcelle's in Washington Park every August).
History lesson: 19th century tunnels under Old Town connected the bustling port to warehouses so goods could be transported directly from a ship to a warehouse. With the presence of numerous dives, drunk men where often "Shanghaied" (kidnapped and sold to ship captains for slave labor) by falling through trap doors, having the shit beat out of them, and then being transported to the ship via the tunnel. Between the 1890s and the end of WWI, Portland had a reputation for being the scariest place on the west coast for a sailor. You can tour the tunnels with some paranormal investigative unit (who apparently takes this shit seriously) on Halloween (link: Portland Underground FAQ).
Town is bordered by W Burnside, the North Park Blocks, and the Willamette River.
However, many of the buildings and businesses a few blocks south of Burnside and east of 4th have a notably
similar aesthetic. (bus: The northern terminus for the Bus Mall is in Old Town (NW
5th/6th), so all buses going over the Steel Bridge (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 33, 40, 77) as well as all buses
bound for Union Station (14, 31, 32, 35, 44) pass thru)
(image: Old Town)
(map: Old Town)
OK, enough on the ambiance. Fat City Cafe is
one of the top 2 or 3 diners in town (instead of asking if you want an english muffin or toast with your
breakfast, it's hash browns or pancakes). Village Coffee has a lot of magazines. Bring your dog to
the picnic tables in front of the Lucky Labrador and have a pint w/ other K-9s (and their owners).
(map: Multnomah Village)
(bus: 44-Capitol Highway, 45-Garden Home)
2. Hostelling International- SE Hawthorne Neighborhood
Right on Hawthorne Blvd, amid the heavy consumption, this hostel in at the center of the eastside business world. Same prices as above. Located at 3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd (between SE 30th and SE 31st). The website has directions and other info. Hawthorne Neighborhood Hostel.
3. McMenamins: White Eagle
From : Jeff Mendon
Sent : Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:33 PM
"dirt cheap lodging? how about mcmenamins white eagle hotel? 900 n. russell (map). $30 bucks a night for a bunk room and free cover to their nightly shows. very clean and great atmosphere. better than any crappy $60 hotel. right on the MAX line too."
According to the website: Room rates are the same for single or double occupancy. Guests must be age 21 and over. Add 12.5% state and county room tax to all room rates.
Transit: MAX Yellow line, 1-Greeley, or 33-Fremont to Albina/Mississippi station.
2. should be pretty damn cheap, not sure of price though...
Fourth Avenue Motel
1889 SW 4th and Hall, (503) 226-7646
(link: citysearch review)
2401 SW 4th and Barbur (just south of 405 freeway), (503) 226-1121
(link: citysearch review)
Downtown Value Inn
415 SW Montgomery and 4th, (503) 226-4751
(link: citysearch review)
Sixth Ave Motel
2221 SW 6th and Barbur (just south of 405 freeway), (503) 226- 2979
(link: citysearc h review)
Portland Parks and Recreation
Oregon State Parks
Washington State Parks
US Geological Survey - Portland Volcanoes and Mountains
Vancouver, WA Parks and Rec
Lake Oswego Parks and Rec
Tualatin Hills Park and Rec District
* more popular publication
Business Journal Of Portland
El Hispanic News
Portland Chinese Times
Portland Radio Guide
Urban Adventure League
Old Portland Postcards
Oregon Historical Society
Portland, Oregon In 3D
Oregon Brewers Guild- Microbreweries in Portland
NW FILM CENTER
S H I F T to bikes!= calendar
Aerial Photographs- Northwest
portland radio authority
The Portland Radio Guide - pdxradio.com
t e a m . m i d n i g h t
F. Transportation links
Office of Transportation: Getting Around
Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Shift To Bikes
Portland International Airport
Portland Inline Skate Association
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