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Kathryn from New York City asked

Memorial Day Weekend in Portland. What to do/where to stay?

Headed to Portland for Memorial Day weekend. Only staying Friday night and part of Saturday and then headed to some different cities. Would love some recommendations while in town. 

- Where to stay that isn't overpriced (we will have a car)

- Staple Portland restaurants

- Things to see/do

- Good places to drink

We are in our late twenties with no kids

Portland (Oregon)

3 Answers
top answer by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Roberta is right. Portland is very walkable. I usually park downtown in one of many parking garages and then forget the car and walk. You can easily walk the downtown blocks even up north to Powell's City of Books and the Pearl District (which has great restaurants) and back along the Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park which has some restaurants and a great little coffee shop on the southern end. (We like the Bean and Tree's Sleeping Giant)

Hit the local Portland Saturday Market on Saturday morning before you leave. It's been a market forever (I went there as a kid) and is just very Portland.

If you like outdoor stuff and great views, go to the International Rose Test Garden and the nearby Japanese Gardens on the hill. The Rose gardens are free and have a great view of Mt. Hood on a nice day.

If you want to drive, go just 30 minutes to the Columbia River and eat at Salty's on the Columbia which has excellent food and a beautiful view. Not far is The Deck which is much more casual, has a bar, and is also on the water (literally) and has a great view.

Street food is VERY Portland, very delicious, and cheap! If you go to the area of 9th and Alder (close to Powell's books), you'll find an entire city block completely lined with food trucks from Indian to German. All delicious and a great place to just nosh.

Portland is also known for microbreweries, so you'll find tons of amazing beers there. I can't remember the name of the one I used to go to, but you won't have a problem tasting a lot of beer - I'd start here...(

For other alcoholic drinks (and beer), I really like the ambiance of the Brasserie Montmartre. It's just fun and the food is excellent.

People do LOVE Voodoo Doughnuts and they are unique and good. I am probably the only one that will ever tell you that it's not worth the line - honestly, I think other than the novelty shapes and some unique flavors, they aren't really so much better than any other donut. But... if you get to Powells and the Pearl District, then VooDoo is on your walk back and across from the Keep Portland Weird sign that everyone loves to photograph, so it's worth a stop at least to evaluate the line and see how desperate you are for fruit-loop topped or anatomically shaped pastry.

Walk, bring an umbrella, enjoy the craziness that locals love and just enjoy Portland.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portland (city)
  2. Powell's City of Books (attraction)
  3. Pearl District (neighborhood)
  4. Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park (attraction)
  5. Bean and Tree (restaurant)
  6. Portland Saturday Market (attraction)
  7. International Rose Test Garden (attraction)
  8. Japanese Gardens (attraction)
  9. Columbia River (attraction)
  10. Salty's on the Columbia (restaurant)
  11. The Deck (restaurant)
  12. Brasserie Montmartre (restaurant)
  13. Voodoo Doughnuts (restaurant)
  14. Keep Portland Weird (attraction)
likes (5) thanks
answered by
Micky from Portland

Airbnb for best deals on places to stay. Restaurant reviews on Willamette Week website are best. Don't forget food carts but lots of good restaurants - Paley's Place, Natural Selection and Grüner Restaurant for expensive, Petisco, Lardo, Bollywood Theater for less expensive. 

The Portland Saturday Market is the best food market in America. There is also Saturday Market on Saturday and Sunday for crafts. Good Chinese and Japanese gardens. Also Powell's Books. Drinking - depends if you like beer or wine or cocktails?? Columbia Gorge Hotel and Timberline Lodge may be on your way elsewhere. They are not to be missed. 

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paley's Place (restaurant)
  2. Natural Selection (restaurant)
  3. Grüner Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Petisco (restaurant)
  5. Lardo (restaurant)
  6. Bollywood Theater (restaurant)
  7. Portland Saturday Market (attraction)
  8. Powell's Books (attraction)
  9. Columbia Gorge Hotel (hotel)
  10. Timberline Lodge (attraction)
likes (3) thanks
answered by
Roberta from Los Angeles

Hi Kathryn - the best thing to do in Portland is abandon your car and enjoy the free rail in the city!  Parking in hotels can be very expensive, parking on the street can be difficult, but you also have the option of overnight parking in public garages for a fraction of the price.  also helps to avoid the valet scene.   

Hotels:  I like the Kimpton Hotels; but have also stayed in Hotel Modera, the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront by the water, and The Westin Portland.  For an inexpensive stay, Hotel Modera is good.  A friend finds Hotel Fifty clean, basic, acceptable.  All are centrally located.  I've successfully used Hotwire to stay in downtown Portland a few times and had great experiences.  

Restaurants:  Andina Restaurant on Glisan is wonderful - one of the most highly rated in the city.  Best described as Peruvian fusion food.  A little pricey for Portland but a bargain relative to higher end dining in most other cities.    

Other Portland things to do:  Voodoo Doughnuts.  Don't worry about the long line, it moves quickly;  the donuts are both tasty and well... unusually themed.  Portland Saturday Market is also a ton of fun.  

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likes (3) thanks

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