Fun Things in Portland?
June 2, 2010 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I'll be going to Portland OR this weekend to visit family. I know about Powell's Books and little else. What's fun to do in Portland?
posted by faceonmars to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (22 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I hope when you say you know about Powell's Books, you mean to include their separate technical bookstore which is about as badassed a bookstore as ever there was.
posted by jquinby at 1:26 PM on June 2, 2010

Stumptown coffee!
posted by foodgeek at 1:29 PM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Many many food choices
Bamboo in close in SE for sushi
Esparza's at SE 28th & Ankeny for great TexMex
the ubiquitous McMenamins' brewpubs - all have adequate to good beer, adequate pup food
HUB for good beer

The Rose Garden at the SW end of Downtown AND the "other" Rose Garden in Peninsula Park in North Portland.

Sauvie Island for hiking, nature experiencing

Forest Park (and mountain bike rentals) for mountain biking, hiking, etc.

Pittock Mansion

Ground Kontrol - old school video games lovingly displayed for your play and enjoyment (and they have a bar) in the Pearl District / Chinatown

Many many snooty, uppity restaurants in the Pearl populated by uppity transplants from California who are proud not to fit in. Note, however, some of these restaurants have food that is worth as much as half of what it costs!

Exception to that - Fenouil.
Olive or Twist - paradoxically in the Pearl, but the BEST martinis in town. Bar none.

Multnomah Falls because you are a tourist and all tourists have to go there.

Live music at: Wonder Ballroom, Aladdin, Roseland, Berbatis, etc etc

Portland Art Museum

Spella or Coffee Plant - both downtown for great non-corporate coffee

If you'll be in town Friday it's First Friday in Multnomah village a fun evening of open houses at shops and such

Other than that - nothing ever happens in Portland
posted by BrooksCooper at 1:30 PM on June 2, 2010

If you like comic books and have a need to browse a vast selection of same, I can heartily recommend Excalibur Books & Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne. It's not flashy, but it has just about everything you could want on the shelves and they're super-nice.

If you tend more towards arcade games, Ground Kontrol.

I rather enjoyed the beer and the food at the Laurelwood Public House; there have been other Portland beer and food questions, though, so you could go look up the locals' favorites.

...wait, did you say this weekend? There's a MetaFilter meetup! 6pm Saturday night, June 5th, at Prost. Also, the Starlight Parade is at 8:30 Saturday night; expect traffic and transit oddities, or just go and be part of the mayhem.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:35 PM on June 2, 2010

Choose your own adventure from the Portland Mercury!

Not up for adventure? I liked the Portland Japanese Garden. You can also trek up Forest Park if you want to get outside without having to drive.
posted by golden at 1:36 PM on June 2, 2010

I'm a big fan of the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, personally (and everything else others have said :) )
posted by alaijmw at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Eat at food carts a/o the Waffle Window.

The gardens already mentioned are great, even in the near-inevitable rain this weekend. I'd recommend taking the spoils from your trip to Powell's and camping out to read in an environment where someone will bring you a) cocktails or b) tea/coffee.
posted by janell at 1:56 PM on June 2, 2010

Voodoo Doughnut. They have a maple bacon doughnut. Let me repeat that-- a doughnut with maple frosting and TWO ACTUAL PIECES OF BACON ON TOP.
posted by cereselle at 2:15 PM on June 2, 2010

There's lots to do here. What kind of stuff do you generally like to do?
posted by bluedaisy at 2:30 PM on June 2, 2010

It's a bit out of the city, but you really should go see Multnomah Falls. It's the second tallest waterfall in North America, and it's within easy walking distance of it's own exit on I-84. (You can actually see it from the highway.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:32 PM on June 2, 2010

Oaks Park roller skating. 1920s (?) rink with an organ suspended over it (I think the organ is played on Sundays and Tuesdays, and the rest of the time they just play pop music, though I've never actually been there for the organ playing so I don't know what times of day it is). On Friday and Saturday nights at least, there's a big turnout and lots of fancy skating, including, if you are lucky, break-skating.
posted by thesmallmachine at 3:01 PM on June 2, 2010

Stumptown coffee!

It's okay coffee. But at least there's Voodoo Doughnut down the block.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:02 PM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Exit Powell's through its Burnside St. entrance, walk half a block or so down SW Oak Street, and you'll find Reading Frenzy, a "specialty bookshop/gallery/event space ... devoted to supporting independent/alternative media and culture." There's also a zine library and some sort of "underground" bookstore called Countermedia (the kind with a large selection of interesting adult material and a whole shelf devoted to Robert Anton Wilson) on that same block. Disclaimer: I have a bad memory and haven't been to Portland in a year.
posted by twirlip at 3:07 PM on June 2, 2010

Strolling along NW 23rd, or SE Hawthorne. Off SE Hawthorne, there is a neighborhood called the Ladd's Addition which is fun to stroll around in. At the other end of SE Hawthorne is a park named Mt. Tabor, which is an entire extinct (albeit small) volcano, with a basketball court in its crater.

AND, as every local hooker knows, it is Fleet Week, wherein several large navy ships sail up the rivers and dock next to downtown. Part of the Rose Festival which is fun to do once, sorta.
posted by Danf at 3:14 PM on June 2, 2010

Lot's of good threads on this topic!

Yes to Reading Frenzy above -- good recommendation.

Are you going to be east side, west side, downtown?
posted by amanda at 3:15 PM on June 2, 2010

I got a lot of good suggestions in my "what-to-do-in-PDX" question.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:45 PM on June 2, 2010

On Hawthorne there is an awesome Mexican joint called Por Que No? If you can get out there for lunch, it is well worth it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:49 PM on June 2, 2010

I have a huge collection of Portland related bookmarks. (I've linked you to the start which is the mor e general ones). Lots to see and do.

I'd also recommend the the Zinester's Guide to Portland.
posted by tallus at 4:12 PM on June 2, 2010

It's not Portland proper, but Multnomah Falls is a short half-hour drive east and surrounded by excellent trails.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 5:06 PM on June 2, 2010

There is a meetup planned for Saturday evening, if you have some free time.
posted by nickthetourist at 8:20 PM on June 2, 2010

voodoo donuts. totally voodoo. i miss voodoo so much. maybe one of my favorite things about living in portland.
posted by dithmer at 4:28 PM on June 3, 2010

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