Functioning as a multifaceted operation, certainly the one thing The Wine Valet knows better than anything else is wine. Part event space, part tasting room, and part tour guide, The Wine Valet hosts one-of-a-kind events for up to 75 and offers tours with transportation that visit local wineries and vineyards. The staff welcomes patrons to sample varietals from different wineries before traveling to Artisanal Wine Cellars to sniff, sip, and listen to vinos. The Wine Valet is so immersed in the regional wine culture that they offer a free Android app for self-guided tours of more than 200 wineries.
Housed at the bottom of the roaring Willamette Falls, which comprises the confluence of Willamette and Clackamas Rivers, eNRG Kayaking's on-water shop and docks serve as the home base for instructional excursions in kayaking, rapids rafting, and standup paddleboarding. Head instructor Sam Drevo also helps those more experienced in watersports to attain a swift-water rescue certification or an ACA instructor certification, required credentials to shake hands with most river deities. Sam watches over all levels of kayakers with experience earned through years of competing, including a ranking as the world's sixth-best freestyle kayaker in 1998 and a first-place win at the Ford Gorge Games' Outdoor World Championships in 2001.
When Sam is not leading tours around the falls or down segments of either river, he guides extended expeditions to other northwestern and foreign waterways. His 16 international aquatic excursions have taken paddlers to rivers on four continents, through countries such as Canada, Costa Rica, Thailand, Laos, China, India, and Botswana. Sam and his staff aim to protect the rivers through eco-friendly exploration and sell a range of kayak models to help others to similarly respect the ecosystem or sneak up and tickle unsuspecting bass.
With uniforms as sleekly black as the paint jobs of the town cars and limousines they drive, Alpha & Omega Limousine Service's pilots transport travellers in style. Like all limo services, they ferry folks to and from weddings, airports, and special celebrations. They also put their knowledge of local culture to work for them, offering special tours of seasonal sights of fine dining. The Limo and Lunch tour travels to one of 10 fine area restaurants, the Wine Country tour samples beverages from four nearby vineyards, and the Christmas Lights Tours show off Queen Ann Victorian Mansion, which hangs over one million lights on the property every year.
Dreamboat Cruises harks back to a bygone era, sweeping passengers on scenic cruises aboard the Ananda, a 1929 Blanchard motor yacht. This beautifully restored vessel—outfitted with modern amenities such as an electric-flush toilet—features an iconic, whitewashed hull and raised foredeck that adjoins a squared-off passenger house. From this heated enclosure, passengers observe the Portland waterfront's forested terrain and signature landmarks, such as the country's oldest vertical-lift bridge that's also made out of popsicle sticks.
Specializing in six-passenger tours, Dreamboat Cruises adjusts its excursions to suit each season. Whereas winter trips highlight holiday lights and Christmas ships, other outings feature bridges, shipyards, and depositories of misplaced tub toys. In addition to tours, Dreamboat Cruises hosts intimate weddings and memorial cruises.
Stalwart cyclists pedal through Portland's historic streets, towing colorful chariots with up to three passengers seated snugly on their padded benches. Pdx Pedicab's drivers take participants on guided experiences of local breweries, such as Bridgeport, Tugboat, and Rogue, during jaunts through Distillery Row, the East Side, and the Pearl District. They also venture out to wine cellars during voyages throughout the southeast part of the city. They make stops at each selected establishment, where passengers sip samples and purchase additional drinks to recover from joining obligatory fire-breathing competitions. Drivers also conduct cycle-powered experiences starting from the west bank of the Willamette River to explore the city's eclectic culture and some of its stranger landmarks. Each eco-friendly, emissions-free pedicab is open-air, allowing riders to feel summer or autumnal winds in their hair during excursions.
Eastside Distilling's master distillers and long-time friends Lenny Gotter and Bill Adams began concocting recipes in 2008, quickly stocking liquor cabinets and bar shelves with the potent fruits of their collaboration. Their tasty lineup of spirits draws accolades from fans near and far, with the small-batch outfit taking home hardware including a gold medal at the 2012 MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and SIP Magazine's runner-up in the Best of Spirits section for Best Brown Liquor for their Burnside Bourbon, Portland Mercury’s 2011 Readers' Choice award for favorite distillery, and a silver medal from the 2011 World Spirits Competition for their Below Deck Coffee Rum. Within the duo’s tasting room, visitors sample elixirs such as the Portland Potato Vodka, or the bold 96-proof Burnside Bourbon, named for the Union Army General famous for trademarking his facial hair.