Located in SW Portland, west of downtown and Goose Hollow, the Japanese Gardens is a must see for anyone visiting Portland. After completing its $33.5 million expansion in early April, it’s biggest in over 50 years, the Portland Japanese Garden is ready to dazzle its visitors with beautiful sights, smells and sounds. The design is the brainchild of Kengo Kuma, who is most famous for designing the 2020 Olympic National Stadium. The renovations add over three acres to the front Garden, and include new gardens and galleries all centered around the cultural village. Make sure to check their website before you go, because the garden regularly hosts wonderful, family friendly events
Need some new, or maybe not so new clothes? Portland’s SE Hawthorne St. is home many recycled fashion stores and furniture stores. Stop by Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange for trendy clothes, visit Magpies for men’s and women’s vintage styles, and get lost in Really Good Stuff for a collection of everything you never knew you needed. Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, visit Cartopia for one of Portland’s favorite selections of food carts.
Duh. In Portland, the issue isn’t finding good food, it’s finding enough time to visit all of the amazing eateries. Luckily, Portland’s ubiquitous food cart pods help to solve this problem for you. With some pods featuring as many as 30 carts, there is something for all tastes and diets. With pods on Hawthorne, Alberta, Sandy, Belmont and Downtown, there is almost no limit to the amazing culinary creations you can taste. Try mixing and matching food carts to optimize your experience.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park stretches 1.5 miles from the Steel bridge to SW Hall street on the West Side of the Willamette River. This park is ideal for jogging, rollerskating, biking, and strolling along waterfront. If you are lucky enough to catch the ever elusive sun, you may want to cool off in the Salmon Street Springs, a beautiful fountain with a changing water patterns. If you are looking to walk through the whole park, start at the South End, and work your way up to the Japanese-American Historical Plaza located at the North end of the park, and from there you are only a few blocks away from the original Voodoo Doughnuts.
Alberta Street in NE portland is pumping with life, and vibrant beauty. One of Portland’s most popular walking streets, Alberta is home to some classic, Portland favorites. Check out the McMenamins Kennedy school, a remodeled grade school complete with hotel, movie theater, brewery, soaking pool and at least five bars — it seems that I find a new bar each time I go — or, stop at Salt & Straw to satisfy that sweet tooth. If you happen to catch the last Thursday of the month, Alberta’s Art District hosts a monthly parade complete with floats, vendors, and live music. This is a can’t miss event, and a blast to take part in.
Built in 1914, the former home of Henry Pittock who is known for being the owner and publisher of the Oregonian as well as being a major influence in early Oregon. the Pittock Mansion is one of Portland’s oldest historical landmarks. Overlooking the Macleay Park this gorgeous, remodeled mansion is now home to the Pittock Museum, offering a unique glimpse into Portland’s past. You can drive to the mansion or take the easy, 5 mile round trip hike for Macleay Park.
Ever want to relive the magic of a childhood field trip? The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry allows you to do just that with their monthly, after dark, adult only events. Conduct chemistry and physics experiments in the lab, see who can build the most aerodynamic paper airplane, and finish it off with a laser light show in the OMNImax theater for the ultimate music experience Each unique event is tailored around a theme, features local vendors, and some of Oregon’s best craft beers and ciders. Check out their events calendar to find one for you.
Portland is home to very eclectic tastes, and the music scene mirrors that. You can see some of today’s top artists at the Crystal Ballroom or the Moda Center, catch a punk rock show at the Hawthorne Theater, dance to EDM and Hip Hop’s up and coming artists at Holocene or 45 East, hear Alt-Rock’s favorites at Mississippi Studios, or catch Portland Center Stage’s amazing house band, Blitzen Trapper.
And of course, pick up some more weed at the end of the day from The New Amsterdam, and do it all again.