Victorian Inn Centrally Located near Portland’s Pearl District
A Painted Lady, a historic Victorian inn, is conveniently located in northeast Portland—just minutes away from some of the city’s most popular areas. For one, you’re right across the Willamette River from the Pearl District, which was named one of “America’s hippest neighborhoods” by Forbes; it has a cluster of art galleries, loft studios, and coffee shops. Adjacent to this district is the historic Old Town/Chinatown area, home to many of the city’s hottest nightclubs. You can also walk from the inn to Lloyd Center, Oregon’s largest shopping mall and also the site of a MAX light rail transit station, which can quickly transport you to the heart of downtown Portland.
In architectural parlance, a “painted lady” is a Victorian house with a multicolored exterior that helps enhance the details of the façade. The inn fits that bill; it was built in 1894, and recent renovations have helped preserve some its Victorian-style accents, including a double parlor entry with a fireplace. There’s a quiet atmosphere here—the hotel only has a handful of rooms, which helps keep noise and occupancy to a minimum. Shared spaces include a garden patio, a front porch with a swing, and a dining room where a full breakfast is served in the morning ($15/person).
Portland, Oregon: Quirky Riverfront City Known for Its City Parks
Extensive bikeways, adventurous chefs, indie-rock bands, and progressive environmentalists—counterculture is almost a way of life in Portland. And it’s certainly a source of civic pride. Locals have adopted the slogan “Keep Portland Weird,” which is brandished on bumper stickers in businesses ranging from an art-house movie theater to a donut shop that that used to glaze its pastries with Nyquil. The city has always been a little ahead of its time; it was originally planned with strict urban-growth boundaries that left plenty of room for parks and other green spaces. Today, in new building developments, shops are built at street level with apartments above them, similar to urban architecture in Europe.
The downtown area is a refreshing mix of the traditional and the offbeat: high-rise buildings are interspersed with clothing boutiques and restaurants serving sustainable cuisine. Streets here are narrow and the blocks are compact to encourage walking, which visitors are wont to do to take in all of the parks, plazas, and fountains. You can also get around the district on a vintage trolley. A popular place to hang out is Pioneer Courthouse Square, a 40,000-square-foot public space often referred to as “Portland’s living room.” In warmer months, the square hosts free shows and festivals, as does Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Located on the west bank of the Willamette River, the park was named one of the Top 10 Public Spaces in America in 2012 by the American Planning Association.
Just north of downtown, the Pearl District, formerly a warehouse area, has recently sprouted a bevy of art galleries and specialty shops housed in lofts. It’s also one of the best bets if you want to go for a night out in the city and enjoy a solid craft beer. Portland boasts one of the largest collections of microbreweries in the country, and a good number of them can be found in this neighborhood.