Portland, Oregon Insider Tips

9 11 2017

Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineHere a few Portland, Oregon insider tips from a reader. We occasionally hear from our readers about their favorite spots in our favorite gay-friendly cities. This was submitted by loyal, long-time subscriber Deborah Wakefield.

If you’re heading to Portland and staying downtown, here are some nearby recommendations. On the MAX light rail system, you can ride over to the Lan Su Chinese Garden (the blue, red and yellow lines all stop at the Old Town Chinatown stop, which is the one you want to use for the garden). The garden is one block west (away from the river) of the MAX light rail station. The garden is beautiful and there is a nice tea house on-site that I recommend.

Powell’s City of Books is about a 10-12 minute walk from Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is is the center of downtown. If you love bookstores, I would definitely check this one out—it’s the world’s largest. It’s open until 11 p.m. every night, so you could go after dinner even. If you’re interested in rare books, take a peek into the Rare Book Room (it closes at 7 p.m.). I recommend using the entrance to the store that is located at the corner of Couch Street (pronounced “Kooch,” if you want to talk like a local) and N.W. 11th Avenue. There, you’ll see the Pillar of Books sculpture that includes the ashes of one very loyal Powell’s customer. He wanted to be buried at Powell’s, so his ashes were mixed into the concrete used to make the sculpture. That entrance also takes you directly into the Orange Room, where you can pick up a map of the store.
Two blocks from Powell’s is Cacao. If you like chocolate, it’s a great place to stop.  I highly recommend the drinking chocolate, but get the small-sized cup, as the chocolate is super-rich.
Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
Further afield, I recommend seeing the Japanese Garden, located in Washington Park. They are close to downtown (about a 7-minute drive from downtown hotels). You can get there on public transportation too, but you’d have to ask your hotel concierge to sort out the route for you).
For shopping close to downtown, there’s the Pearl District, which you can get to on the Portland Streetcar (catch it going into the Pearl District on Southwest 10th Avenue; it comes back downtown on 11th). There are stops for the streetcar every few blocks on 10th and 11th and the cars run repeatedly, so you can show up at any stop and usually never wait more than 15 minutes. There is also a lot of great dining in the Pearl. If you want to try a good Portland microbrew, Portland’s oldest craft brewery—BridgePort Brewing—is in the Pearl.
Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
A little farther out is Northwest Portland/Nob Hill. This is also reachable via the streetcar, which goes through the Pearl and then on to Northwest/Nob Hill. If you get off at the streetcar stop on Northwest 23rd Avenue and walk toward Burnside Street, you’ll pass dozens and dozens of great shops and restaurants. Jo Bar & Rotisserie is a good one for lunch, and its sister restaurant (and next door neighbor), Papa Haydn is the best for desserts. Another of my favorites on this shopping strip is Moonstruck Chocolate, a Portland-based chocolate company.

If you’ll have a car and can get to the east side of town, I recommend Biwa Izakaya (Japanese small plates; get the black cod, if they have it that night), 215 S.E. 9th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214; Toro Bravo (Spanish), 120 N.E. Russell Street, Portland, OR 97212; and Pok Pok (Thai street food; the chicken wings are fantastic), 3226 S.E. Division Street, Portland, OR 97202.

If you have tips to share, please let us know! And don’t forget to subscribe to ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine. And here are a few more Portland, Oregon-related pieces in our blog.

6 Things DJ Grind Says Not to Miss in Portland, Oregon

22 07 2015
DJ Grind crushes it, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

He will transport you

ManAboutWorld’s contributor, Stephen Massey (aka DJ GRIND) is based in Portland, Oregon. He oversees major communications for non-profit clients. He’s also one hell of a DJ and music producer, DJ’ing at major gay events and music festivals and formulating remixes for a who’s who in music:  Kylie Minogue, and Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, Demi Lovato, Cher, & more. His boyfriend, Tim Healea, is head baker and owner at Little T American Baker. This DJ knows his way around the stage as well as Portland, Oregon.

DJ Grind told us the 6 things not to miss that’ll make a perfect, gay visit to Portland, Oregon.

1-Outdoor Spot: Portland is well-known for its many bridges, and there’s no better way to see them than from the water. In the summer, Tim and I love boating with our friends along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, and spending the afternoon sunbathing at one of the many beaches on nearby Sauvie Island or Rooster Rock State Park.

2-Breakfast: My partner, Tim Healea, is one of the country’s best artisan bread bakers. There’s no better place in Portland for breakfast than his bakery, Little T American Baker with a wide selection of hand-made pastries, savory breakfast sandwiches, and fresh-roast espresso drinks. Pick up a loaf of what Sunset Magazine describes as the “best baguette in Portland if not the entire West Coast.”

3-Cocktails: Some of the best cocktails in the city are shaken, stirred and poured at Kask — a “modern saloon” just steps from some of the city’s best dining and nightlife offerings. It’s a great spot for a pre-dinner or pre-theater cocktail or a nightcap.

4-Sunday Funday: Less than 40 minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon’s Willamette Valley offers some of the most beautiful and bountiful wine country in North America, with more than 300 wineries and tasting rooms to explore. The Willamette Valley is also a gateway to Oregon’s stunning Pacific Coast communities like Cannon Beach that make for a perfect weekend getaway.

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 1.05.59 PM

5-Hidden Gem: On a warm afternoon, we love taking a picnic to Council Crest Park, the highest point in the city. It’s a quiet oasis high above the city, and it offers striking views of the most famous mountains and volcanoes in the Cascade Range, including Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson.

6-Hotel: The trendy, gay-friendly Ace Hotel in Portland’s dynamic West End neighborhood offers all the stylish furnishings and quirky amenities (typewriters and turntables in many of the rooms) that you’d expect in the self-proclaimed hipster capital of the U.S. Plus, it’s located in the heart of Portland’s burgeoning cultural, dining and shopping district.

ManAboutWorld travels to the beat of DJ GRIND. We highly recommend his uplifting, lyrical musical selections to help make the journey as satisfying as the destination. Subscribe on iTunes or Podomatic. For DJ GRIND music & upcoming events check his site: www.djgrind.net.

You can check out our unique digital-born gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few free publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!

This was originally published in ManAboutWorld. A version was also published in Towleroad’s new Travel section.

%d bloggers like this: