Welcome to Downtown
Scattered among its grid-like streets are verdant green spaces, public art, food carts, retail stores, a world-class urban university and some of the most well-known and -loved restaurants in the city. Described as "compact and cozy," you'll quickly become familiar with Portland's recognizable landmarks and easy-to-navigate layout.
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Pioneer Courthouse Square: Portland's Living Room
Pioneer Courthouse Square, the heart of downtown is a prime gathering place for office workers, buskers, tourists, and everybody in between, the plaza isn’t called “Portland’s living room” for nothing. The midday pomp and circumstance of Weather Machine is only part of its routine energy. Ranked (by the Project for Public Spaces) among the very best public squares in the world, it sees 26,000 tread its signature bricks every day.
An everyday focal point, Pioneer Courthouse Square also makes one of Portland’s busiest venues: More than 300 events—most of them free—go down here every year, from Festa Italiana and India Festival to the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree (a cloud-splitting Douglas-fir, of course). Certain Friday evenings in July and August, “Flicks on the Bricks” turns the place into the biggest outdoor movie theater in the city.
Speaking of rain, you’d also do well to tip your hat to another Pioneer Courthouse Square fixture: Allow Me, the bronze of an umbrella-wielding (and yielding) businessman. The Mile Post Sign, meanwhile, helpfully informs you the distance to near-and-far destinations from the Portland waterfront (seven blocks) to Timbuktu (a mere 6,726 miles). If you’re feeling declamatory, step right up to the center of the Echo Chamber’s amphitheater alcove and throw that voice of yours around.
Portland'5 Centers For The Arts
No, “Portland’5” isn’t a typo: It’s a reference to the quintet of distinct venues that compose this organization, which brings better than 1,000 world-class concerts, Broadway musicals, dance performances, poetry readings, lectures, and all manner of other shows to Oregon’s biggest city each and every year.
Now, let’s be clear: Portland just about oozes artistic expression, and not only in prim-and-proper concert halls. You can find incredible performers plying their craft all across PDX on any given night — from open mic to gallery opening, from Old Town street corner to Outer Southeast barroom. The near-and-far artistry cultivated and curated by the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts marks the high-profile masthead of a city brimming with creative energy.
Given the throb of artistic expression going down year-round at the Schnitz and the Antoinette Hatfield Hall, it’s little surprise the length of Main Street in between frequently gets swept up in the spirit. The summer Arts on Main and Music on Main programs bring free outdoor live performances and tunes to the thoroughfare. This year’s run begins July 6 and concludes September 7, with Arts on Main taking place 11 a.m. ’til 2 p.m., and Music on Main kicking off at 5 p.m. The Antoinette Hatfield Hall’s ArtBar & Bistro serves up eats and drinks ahead of the concerts, just as it does before most of the evening performances in the Antoinette Hatfield as well as at the Schnitz.
Portland Art Museum
An iconic landmark of the city's Cultural District, Portland Art Museum is one of the largest and most respected institutions in the nation.
Surveying the Museum from the South Park Blocks today, you immediately appreciate its historic importance, while sensing its growing influence on the city's evolution.
The Portland Art Museum isn’t merely a venue for renowned works of art (such as Monet’s Water Lilies) or touring exhibitions (such as this spring’s Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art). It’s also a community gathering place designed to encourage respectful dialogue, inward reflection, common understanding, and a greater awareness of the world around us.
1408 SW Sixth Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
Award-winning chef and restaurateur David Machado takes his inspiration from the Riviera for one of his most popular restaurants, Nel Centro. Conveniently located near the Keller Auditorium, Nel Centro is in the Hotel Modera and caters to a variety of tastes, from little sliders to the most elaborate French dessert pastries to gorgeous dishes of root vegetables or calamari. Breakfast, lunch, Happy Hour, dinner and bar food are all represented on its expansive menus, backed by an aesthetic none can beat: Italian marble, blown-glass lights, huge windows and a beautiful outdoor patio.
1239 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
Higgins Restaurant and Bar is a popular option for those headed to or coming from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – fondly known in Portland as the Schnitz. Making the most of the Willamette Valley’s incredible range of veggies, berries, mushrooms and more, Higgins renown for its farm to table fare. Whether you're people watching in the main dining room or enjoying an ale in the bar, think charcuterie boards, salmon salad sandwiches, stew, mushroom risotto and more. Enjoy it before a show or just for its own sake.
525 SW Morrison Street
Portland, Oregon 97204
Located in luxury hotel The Nines, Departure Restaurant + Lounge juxtaposes its historic roots in the Meier & Frank Building with an ultra-modern interior for a truly unique dining experience. Departure is nothing less than a nexus of Portland's classic past and a glimpse into the city's future. As for its fare, Departure combines classic sushi, dim sum, stir-fry and more for a pan-Asian flair with American touches. The menu offers up rice and seafood as well as more unexpected dishes such as Brussels sprouts with chili, lime and mint.
Shouldering the Willamette River where it joins the Columbia, gazing east to the Cascades and west to the Coast Range, Oregon’s biggest metropolis feels at the doorstep of primal Mother Nature as few other cities in the country do. The easy-to-reach sublimities of the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, the Pacific Coast are a defining part of Portland’s appeal. But so are its city wilds: soul-nourishing havens and recreational playgrounds.
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Forest Park is the pinnacle of Portland’s park network: an urban wilderness like none other in the U.S., and a haven for thousands of Portlanders for whom it’s downright sacred ground. Its deeply wooded West Hills ridgelines and ravines form a glorious emerald wedge against Northwest Portland, giving you the ability to step—remarkably quickly and lightly—from the realm of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and industrial sprawl into a rugged, fragrant, and enveloping Northwest forest.
The park protects close to 5,200 acres of the West Hills, more formally known as the Tualatin Mountains. Separating the Tualatin Valley from the Portland Basin as a topographical offshoot of the North Oregon Coast Range, they’re cored by Columbia River Basalt (issued millions of years ago from faraway vents in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington) that’s been uplifted by faulting and coated in silt.
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I'd love to show you the homes along Portland's waterfront! Want more information first? I'd welcome an opportunity to speak with you. Please feel free to call me on my cell at 503-730-0702.
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