Where can I eat gooseneck barnacles & explore unique spots in Portland?
August 6, 2014 2:05 PM   Subscribe

For instance, my SO really wants to find a place that serves gooseneck barnacle like they did here and explore spots like the abandoned Upper Salmonberry River Railway. We wanted to see sloths, but it was booked. We know these kind of unique local gems are coveted, but does anyone mind sharing their favorite off-the-beaten path activities in PDX?

Headed to Portland this weekend for a short trip, and we're on the hunt for interesting experiences. We asked our network, but they're only giving restaurant recs and we can only eat so much. No restrictions except that we only have 2 days and can't travel too far from Portland (<1hr away by car). Please help us make the most of our trip and also educate other MeFites who are on similar mission!
posted by doctordrey to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've never heard of gooseneck barnacles and, despite our relative nearness to the mighty Pacific, Portland really isn't too much of a seafood place. That being said, you might contact Flying Fish Company and see if they can source you some. They source and sell fresh and flash-frozen fish daily from Oregon and Washington.

Food is really our sport here so it's hard to stay away from that. The waterfalls in the Gorge are pretty great if you haven't been out that way. Multnomah Falls, of course, but on the historic highway that runs parallel to 84, you can stop and hike to a number of falls. You might want to be a little adventurous and get a little wet, wading through the Oneonta Gorge to the Oneonta Falls.

If you'd like to visit a throwback, old-school amusement park -- especially the roller rink! -- you'd do right to check out Oaks Park in Oaks Bottom. When you're done, take a stroll along the Willamette to Sellwood Park and back. Nearby good food: Oaks Bottom Public House and the Muddy Rudder (good pizza). For an entirely different, yummy food experience in the area check out Jade Patisserie (Bahn Mi). (Sorry, food.)
posted by amanda at 3:06 PM on August 6, 2014

Maryhill, WA has a full-size replica of Stonehenge. If you're going out toward Multnomah Falls anyway, it's not too far out of the way. Plus, there are wind turbines all over that area, which are also cool to see.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:15 PM on August 6, 2014

Portland is famous for being bicycle friendly. There are several rental shops in town if your friends don't have any you can borrow. Get out for a few hours and see the city by bike. There are tons of bike-friendly routes. You will have a fantastic time of it.
posted by aniola at 4:07 PM on August 6, 2014

Shanghai Tunnels tour, but I have not been to one:

If you're into film cameras, Hollywood Camera Store:

Herman the Sturgeon:

I've heard Oneonta Gorge is fun, but pretty crowded on hot summer weekends. And some days you'll have to swim a little bit to get over, depending on your height.
The stonehenge was a little bit disappointing to me actually... not sure if it's worth your drive all the way out there just for that, although the drive is very nice and there's plenty to do along the way.

These are not hidden gems, but the Saturday Market (not just Saturday) and PSU Farmers Market are both nice.

Powell's rare book room
posted by bread-eater at 4:26 PM on August 6, 2014

As rabbitrabbit says, the Maryhill Stonehenge replica is an interestingness—and as a WWI memorial, an appropriate destination this year. It's about two hours from Portland, but it's a lovely drive. The nearby Maryhill Museum is pretty keen—a very high quality collection of art, artifacts, and curiosities—and there are a couple of wineries right there, with a tasting room just as you turn off the main road.

I also highly recommend the Bonneville dam tour, from the Washington side of the Columbia. And even if you're not there at tour times, watching the salmon and other fish go by the underwater fish ladder window is mesmerizing.
posted by mumkin at 8:35 PM on August 6, 2014

How about taking a meal cruise on the Columbia Sternwheeler through the Gorge? You can see Herman the Sturgeon (as mentioned above) and the Bonneville Dam on your way there or back. Add Maryhill's museum or just its Stonehenge in there and you have a whole day of gorgeousness.

I have been on the Shanghai Tunnels tour and didn't like it one bit, for what it's worth.
posted by feets at 11:31 PM on August 6, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Portland was a blast and full of gems. We weren't able to check out any places further out as we decided to roam the city by bike, but we still managed to have a blast and we will continue to keep harvesting suggestions for our next trip!
posted by doctordrey at 10:19 AM on August 12, 2014

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