Planning a trip to Portland? We love our hometown!
As makers of Portland leather goods and long time Portland residents, here are some of our favorite things to do, eat, and stay for visitors coming to Portland. A tiny little Portland guidebook:
Rent a bike. This is the best way to see the city. Period. Here's an interactive map to Portland's bike routes. A word to the wise: use Portland's designated bike routes, both for safety and to avoid looking like a bicycle tourist. If you're visiting in June, join one of many free fun themed bicycle rides during Pedalpalooza.
We know our beer here. We have the most breweries of any US city, period. Never mind the fact that we're much smaller than most cities. What are the "best" breweries? Depends on what you like! And it depends what month it is. And day of the week. And the weather. Here's a map of all the breweries in Portland.
BICYCLES + BEER!
Or, do a self-guided bicycle beer tour using this excellent little guidebook Hop in the Saddle by local bicycle and beer writers.
Stumptown is the standard bearer and the pioneer of the Portland coffee brand, so you have to go at least once. You can try a "cupping" (a tasting of several coffees) for free at the Annex location. Check their site for an up to date schedule here.
Branch out a little though - you can spend a whole month trying different roasters. Here's a map of all the coffee roasters in Portland.
If you like to read, you simply have to go to Powell's Bookstore (the big one, downtown). Plan for at least 2-3 hours. If you love to read, schedule a whole day to wander the stacks.
Shop Portland Made at MadeHerePDX! Conveniently located next to Powell's Bookstore, MadeHerePDX carries our Portland leather goods.
Love leather? You're in the right place. You've got to see Oregon Leather, our main supply store and one of the last remaining old school leather stores in the country. It's conveniently located across the street from the bike rental shop.
I'm not just talking about all the marijuana shops! Although you can get greenery there, too (starting in July 2015, I'm told!), Portland has gorgeous gardens. Our personal favorite is the Portland Japanese Garden but if you love gardens also consider the Lan-Su Chinese Garden and the Rhododendron Garden. Take a walk up to the top of Mt Tabor for a beautiful view of the Hawthorne Strip and Downtown.
We are blessed to live in a foodie city. Try some food carts while you still can before they're all turned into condo towers.
There are simply too many restaurants to name, and sometimes they come and go quickly. Check out Eater PDX for the latest and greatest.
Unless you really like feeling like a tourist and enjoy long lines, don't go to Voodoo Donuts. If you want artisanal donuts, try Blue Star instead. Or better yet, try some of the many, many yummy ice cream, pastry, or chocolate shops instead to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The Ace Hotel is hip, has reasonable rates, and is right by Powell's Bookstore downtown.
The Jupiter Hotel is connected to a fabulous restaurant and live music venue called the Doug Fir, and is retro-cool.
The Kennedy School is a completely unique experience, a converted elementary school that retains the school feel with an artist makeover. It's run by McMenamin's, a series of breweries in historic remodels throughout the Northwest. And it has a huge hot pool!
In our neighborhood in Southeast Portland, near the ever-cool and much-written-about Division Restaurant Row and Hawthorne Strip, there actually aren't many places to stay. In Hawthorne, there is the ever-popular Hawthorne Hostel, and several of our friends host AirBnBs.
Try the Zinester's Guide to Portland.
And before you come, you must read Fugitives and Refugees by Chuck Palahniuk. Or, buy it at Powell's while you're here.