About Downtown Portland
Downtown Portland offers a diverse range of activities for kids and adults alike. From the Portland Saturday Market which hosts live music and local vendors selling artisanal crafts, to the Portland Art Museum which offers a variety of Native American, European and Asian collections.
Overlooking the Willamette River and connected to the Eastside by a variety of stunning bridges notable for their feats of engineering and architectural design, Downtown Portland is characteristically unique.
Downtown Portland is home to the world’s smallest park! Mill Ends Park, located just by the waterfront, is a stunning park on a median strip that was established as a park back in 1972. Go check it out but don’t blame us if you’re a little underwhelmed – the park is only .6 meters in diameter, afterall.
Getting to Downtown
Downtown Portland is bordered by the Pearl District and Goose Hollow to the West and the Willamette River and Portland’s newer Eastside to the East. Connected to the Eastside and the I-5 by the NW Broadway Bridge, N Steel Bridge, Burnside Bridge, SE Morrison Bridge, Hawthorne Bridge, and Marquam Bridge – there are clearly no shortage of routes to get you where you need to go!
Things to do in Downtown
Downtown offers a range of vibes to choose from when it comes to chowing down – with the local favorites like Lardo for hearty sandwiches and craft beers to the upmarket delights at Luc Lac Vietnamese. Family-friendly spots for brunch abound, with Mother’s Bistro and Bar offering comfort-food in country-chic settings, and the decadent Voodoo Donuts for a more raucous and Portland-weird treat sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. For more upscale donuts, be sure to check out the locally-sourced creations at beloved Blue Star Donuts which offers a brioche style fried indulgence you won’t soon forget!
For arguably Portland’s best pizza chain be sure to grab a slice from Sizzle Pie which offers vegan and gluten free options, a range of beer and drinks, and stays open until 3am. Another local classic is Jake’s Famous Crawfish which serves up the freshest local seafood you could imagine, or the fantastic Tasty n Alder steakhouse for something a bit more turf rather than surf.
For the vegan or generally health-conscious crowd, be sure to give Veggie Grill a try – you won’t be disappointed with the incredible range of seasonal dishes and healthy takes on comfort-food classics. Shigezo is a great option for those who are into unusual sake and massive portions of delicious Japanese pub food in a causal setting.
Portland State University is located in the heart of downtown Portland, and is one of several universities in the Portland area with Lewis and Clark also on the Westside and Reed College across the river in SE.
Many squares and parks dot the landscape of Downtown, such as the Pioneer Courthouse Square – colloquially the city “living room” hosting regular events, protests and marches, and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park offering the city 30 riverfront acres interlaced with walking and cycling paths and family-friendly picnic and play areas.
For some 21+ fun, stop by the Departure Restaurant and Lounge which boasts a chic atmosphere and a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city. For something a bit more low-key, head over to the popular student haunt the Cheerful Tortoise to catch a game and sample some local brews. For something with a few less students, try The Independent Sports Bar and Grill, a local-favorite.
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