Things to do in Portland when you're dead?
February 6, 2008 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Things to do in Portland when you're dead?

I'll be visiting Portland, OR. on the weekend of March 7th. We already have plans to go up to Mt. Hood Sunday-Tuesday. What I'm in need of help on is the first two days.

Our group will be 4 people, the catch... one of us is only 15 and the rest are in our mid twenties. I don't want to just leave him in the hotel room and go out without him. Any advice for activities for a mixed age group?
posted by Mark5four0 to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Salvatorparadise at 12:31 PM on February 6, 2008

Well, if you like books, Powell's is the best bookstore in the English-speaking world.

Both the Japanese Gardens and the Chinese Gardens are pretty great if you like that sort of thing.

This place has classic videogames and beer. It's all ages until 7PM.

It would be helpful, though, if you could tell us the sort of things you enjoy.
posted by dersins at 12:38 PM on February 6, 2008

Sorry, joke on "Things to do in Denver when you're dead"

but could mean "Dead Broke" from plane tickets, hotels, and Lift tickets.
posted by Mark5four0 at 12:39 PM on February 6, 2008

There's plenty to do!

First and foremost, don't miss powell's books! Its the largest used and new bookstore on the planet, it takes up an entire city block. Its easy to burn an entire day there.

Directly around powells, the downtown area has many funky shops and cafes.

In the city there are the gardens: The rose garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Chinese Garden. These are huge gardens. the rose garden has a tremndous variety of roses. Its beutiful, lots of space to walk around and you get a great view of the city.

Starting at 39th and Hawthorne in Southeast, and heading west is a funky Bohemean neighborhood with funky shops cafes and the like.

Twenty minutes out of the city is the fabulous Columbia river gorge. If you're into hiking, there are spectacular hikes. If you're not, you can just drive up and there are three incredible waterfalls stacked up right next to each other accessible by car. The gorge also has some of the best windsurfing in the world. While there, stop by the Char Burger for pie.

If you're up for a day trip, go out to the coast. The Oregon coast is the most beautiful in the world!
posted by TigerCrane at 12:44 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

You definitely need to go out to the Gorge. In particular, you need to visit Multnomah Falls. Go east on I-84 and take the only left-exit between Portland and the Idaho border. The sides of the highway divide and there's a parking lot between them, which is why it's a left exit.

Multnomah Falls is the second tallest waterfall in North America. The view from the bottom is spectacular, but the view from the top is just as good, and shouldn't be missed. About a one hour hike, all of which is beautiful.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:54 PM on February 6, 2008

Classic arcade games and pinball?
Ground Kontrol looks awesome, and underagers are welcome 12-7 daily.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:56 PM on February 6, 2008

TigerCrane: First and foremost, don't miss powell's books! Its the largest used and new bookstore on the planet, it takes up an entire city block. Its easy to burn an entire day there.

Unfortunately, this is not true:

In 2005, Guinness World Records had this entry:
"Largest Bookshop -- Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 105 Fifth Avenue at 18th Street. It covers 14,330 sq m (154,250 sq ft) and has 20.7 km (12.87 miles) of shelving."

However, I'm sure Powell's is still a great place to kill some time with a mixed-age group....
posted by Grither at 1:02 PM on February 6, 2008

Go to the teahouse at the Chinese Garden! It's really great.
posted by thomas144 at 1:04 PM on February 6, 2008

Unfortunately, this is not true

Actually, it may be true. Your quote demonstrates nothing relevant, since Barnes and Noble is not a "used and new bookstore."

One of the many things that makes Powell's so fucking amazing is that the used books are shelved with the new ones, allowing you to decide between spending twelve dollars on the brand new trade paperback or 3 dollars on the used penguin classics edition.

Another thing in Powell's favor is that it isn't, y'know, Barnes & Noble.
posted by dersins at 1:07 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hit The Pub Course, a 21-hole pitch-and-putt (3-par holes only) golf course at The Edgefield. Even if you're not into golfing, whacking balls from bar to bar is a great way to spend a spring afternoon.
posted by maniactown at 1:28 PM on February 6, 2008

The Portland Lindy Exchange is that weekend, and there's an outdoor dance on Saturday at 1pm. If you don't dance you can learn enough to have fun in an hour or so; otherwise, it might make some good people watching. Also, the evening dances will have live bands if you like that kind of music.
posted by JasonSch at 1:48 PM on February 6, 2008

Ground Kontrol is rad!!

Tour the Shanghai Tunnels

Go roller skating at Oaks Amusement Park

Buffalo Exchange is right across the street from Powell's if anyone in your group likes to do quasi-thrift store shopping.

Jackpot Records is a couple blocks down from Powell's, as is Everyday Music.

Hawthorne area is fun. The NW 23rd/NW 21st area can be fun to wander in, though a lot of it is basically an outdoor mall.
posted by medeine at 2:33 PM on February 6, 2008

I agree that Ground Kontrol and Powell's are two good places for your crowd. For just hanging out and shopping, I also strongly recommend the Hawthorne neighborhood in SE over 21st/23rd in NW.
posted by plague at 2:53 PM on February 6, 2008

From JasonSch's link, here is map with potential things to do.

Also, stop by Next Adventure for new & used outdoor gear then grab a beer at the Green Dragon or Roots.
posted by turbodog at 2:57 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ground Kontrol is awesome--as an alternative for minors (even in the evening), though, try Backspace.

Also, for extra fat and weirdness try Voodoo Doughnuts!
posted by eralclare at 3:17 PM on February 6, 2008

The Japanese gardens rock the socks off of Portland. It has decent bus line access, but not very frequent IIRC. Also, the coffee shop tour is a classic. Make sure you hit at least one Stumptown location.
posted by devilsbrigade at 3:49 PM on February 6, 2008

be careful traveling to the mountain right now unless you've got some heavy duty chains. the snowpack this time of year is at anywhere from 200% to 500% it's normal levels. roofs are collapsing and folks are having a pretty hard time in all the towns around the Cascades.
posted by hollisimo at 4:49 PM on February 6, 2008

Underground, black-light, pirate-themed mini-golf (warning sound)
posted by dipolemoment at 5:50 PM on February 6, 2008

Go to Grant Park to see the Henry, Ramona and Ribsy statues.
posted by brujita at 10:05 PM on February 6, 2008

Thanks everyone, This is really awesome info!

West coast tour 2008 is going to be SWEET!
posted by Mark5four0 at 6:33 AM on February 7, 2008

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