Hotel at a Glance: Hotel Portland – Convention Center
A block from the Willamette River and across the street from the Oregon Convention Center, Hotel Portland – Convention Center puts its guests in the center of the Rose City. Getting around is easy, too—the hotel is steps from a MAX light-rail stop. Enhancing your visit, this Getaway includes optional parking credits.
- Dinner with a view: Windows Skyroom & Lounge provides a great vista of downtown from the hotel's sixth floor, plus a seasonal terrace.
- In-room amenities: Each guest room features a 37-inch flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, and free WiFi. Premium king rooms also offer views of downtown.
- Nearby attraction: The Rose Quarter, home to the NBA's Trail Blazers and the city's biggest concerts, is within walking distance. Upcoming shows here include Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Aug. 12) and American Idol Live! (Aug. 21).
- Food and fashion: The nearby Lloyd Center mall has 35 restaurants and more than 130 stores that offer tax-free shopping.
Portland, Oregon: Quirky Riverfront City Known for Its City Parks
Extensive bikeways, edgy 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 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 developments, shops are built at street level with apartments above them—following a European model that complements Portland’s slightly European, laid-back atmosphere.
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 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 Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Located on the west bank of the Willamette River, the waterfront park was named 1 of 10 Great 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 for a good night out in the city, especially if you’re looking for 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.