Where To Stay In Portland: The Pearl District
Great area for: Galleries & Boutiques Refurbished Warehouses Upscale & Trendy Central & Convenient
Places to Check Out in the Pearl District
Brix, Adina, Ovation Coffee & Tea, Barista, Tea Bar NW, Froelick Gallery, Pearl Gallery, Sisters Coffee Company, BridgePort Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewery, Powells City of Books
A neighborhood once dominated by industrial warehouses and rail yards, the Pearl District is now notable place for art galleries and upscale living. Walking along the cobblestone streets, taking in the architecture of the old warehouses, and stopping in at the Pearls many eclectic galleries is the perfect way to spend any afternoon in Portland.
Union station is situated on the waterfront nearby, hidden behind an array of cherry blossoms when the season is right. Walk through the waterfront park and watch the Amtrak pass over the Willamette River on the Historic Steel Bridge.
Powells City of Books is a city landmark worth visiting on any trip to Portland. It is the worlds largest independent bookstore, and its easy enough to spend an entire day there, marvelling at the treasures!
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Southwest Hills: The Best Neighborhood For Families
Simply called the West Hills by locals, the Southwest Hills neighborhood sits above the city. While the neighborhood is but a few steps away from Downtown, its natural topography separates it from the heart of the city with broad swaths of greenery. Places like Governors Park and the form a natural noise-absorbing border wall.
That said, there are areas of the West Hills that provide awesome views of the city. On clear days, these same vistas are decorated with the distant snow-capped peaks of mounts Hood, Adams, and St. Helens.
The separation from Downtown is part of what makes it the best of the Portland neighborhoods for families. Theres an abundance of kid-friendly parks nearby, and the ever-popular Oregon Zoo and iconic Portland Japanese Garden are only minutes away.
The homes in the West Hills are overall large, historic, and ornate. They come in all styles, from Victorian estates to ranch homes. Many are off winding forest roads, cantilevered above the regions tree-laden hillsides.
West Hills is also directly above Portland State University and adjacent to the massive OHSU complex, making it a convenient area to stay when visiting friends and family at either campus.
Find the best airbnbs in the Southwest Hills here.
Clackamas And Happy Valley
Clackamas and Happy Valley are what I call the East-Side Suburbs. Clackamas Town Center, one of Oregon’s largest indoor malls, and the surrounding shopping centers are located just off I-205 and at the western edge of the Clackamas area. Happy Valley is located on the east side of I-205 and was mostly farmland 10 years ago. There are new neighborhoods built for first time home buyers up to some very high-end developments with views of Mt. Hood and prices starting at $500,000. This area is growing rapidly and has a few traffic issues until some major new roads and highways are completed over the next decade or so, but I love the variety and affordability of the homes. The commute into downtown Portland is longer than other Eastside communities, but there is great access to the airport and shopping. Average sales price is about $375,000 for a starter home and up to $900,000 for a high-end new construction.
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Where To Stay In Se Burnside
- Jupiter NEXT Features bright, modern rooms guests can enjoy a private garden retreat with picturesque city views.
- Lolo Pass Modern boutique hostel with 8-bed or 4-bed rooms. Perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties or other groups of single people!
Search for Portland hotels in SE Burnside now!
Where To Stay In Portland Oregon: 5 Best Areas & Neighborhoods
Portland is one of the best cities in Oregon for tourism and vacations. It is also the second biggest city throughout the Pacific Northwest. This laid-back city is known for its modern architecture and wonderful history. Many people call Portland, Oregon the City of Roses. If you enjoy the music and arts environment, you are going to have so much fun in this city.
In addition, if you want to check out the smallest park in the world, Mills End Park only 2.5 feet is right in Portland, Oregon. However, you will also find many green spaces in this city. There is Mt. Hood and Washington Park, just to name a couple. You will also find so many microbreweries in Portland. In fact, this city has more microbreweries than any other city in the entire world. They also have many food carts that you can try out.
With about 8 million visitors each year, Portland is truly a hot spot for traveling. If you are thinking about taking a trip to Portland, Oregon, you might be wondering where you should stay.
The below-mentioned places are some of the best options for your stay. Each one of these areas in Portland feature amazing attractions, wonderful entertainment options, have historical sites you can visit, and much more.
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Nob Hill Northwest District Residential Area With Great Shopping
Immediately to the west of the Pearl District is Nob Hill. Sometimes also referred to as Northwest, this neighborhood is the site of Northwest 23rd Avenue, which is widely regarded as a favorite shopping thoroughfare for locals.
Dont expect to find much in the way of parking on 23rd or on the surrounding blocks. This is a heavily residential area with apartments and historic single-family homes.
Add to this all of the shops, restaurants and more along 23rd, and parking is always at a premium. Its wise to walk here, take a taxi or find an Uber.
If you can get to Northwest 23rd, the experience is definitely worth it. Youll find national retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Lucky Brand and Restoration Hardware.
For apparel, the choices include Oddball Shoes, Sloan Boutique and Lena Medoyeff. Specialty stores abound as well.
Dining in Nob Hill is nothing short of fantastic. Vitaly Paley, a James Beard Award-winning chef, spotlights sustainable cuisine at Paleys Place while St. Jack is the place to find delectable classic French dishes.
If you arrive in time for happy Hour, consider a visit to 23Hoyt. When youre in the mood for Italian, theres no better choice than Caffe Mingo. Dont forget to save room for dessert at Salt and Straw with its farm-to-cone ice cream.
Nob Hill Northwest is a really busy and congested district with narrow streets and difficult parking. Crime rates are low, but there arent many hotel choices because there simply isnt room.
Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Portland
Portland is an exciting city in the Pacific Northwest that oozes charm and hospitality! Known for its hipster culture, the city is packed with great dining options and intriguing cultural attractions. Scratch beneath the surface, you will also find some historical gems.
In terms of the best area, we are going to have to go with Hawthorne! Its not often we choose somewhere outside of the city centre, but Hawthorne perfectly encapsulates what makes Portland such a vibrant destination.
Nevertheless, all of the areas mentioned in this guide have their own benefits and we hope we have helped you plan your itinerary.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
***Disclaimer*** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, One Weird Globe will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going 🙂
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The Nines A Luxury Collection
The Nines is another one of the cool hotels in Portland Oregon. Its certainly one of the best hotels in downtown Portland Oregon.
The Nines Hotel is set within the historic Meier and Frank Building. Originally built at the start of the 20th Century, it was a department store for the Meier and Frank Company at the time the largest retailer west of the Mississippi. This building was the first in Oregon to have an escalator! In 2005, when this amazing building was turned into a luxury hotel, the original escalator was retained and a massive 7-story atrium was added. So, this is the best hotel in Portland to experience history and luxury.
The Nines features a signature steakhouse, Urban Farmer, which was awarded a Gold rating for Sustainability at Work in the city of Portland. Departure Restaurant is the Nines panoramic rooftop terrace, restaurant, and bar. Theres also a cocktail bar called the Library, which features over 3,000 books from Powells City of Books. With fabulous dining options like these, its no wonder that the Nines is regarded as one of the best places to stay in downtown Portland.
Things To Do In Southeast Burnside
Southern food, great drinks, and an easygoing atmosphere. This place is extremely popular, so be prepared for a long wait if you dont get there as soon as the doors open. Youve been warned! I waited over an hour the last time I was there. Another strategy is to go for a late dinner, after 8pm.
This charming cinema offers $4 second-run movies. Enjoy some Pizzicato pizza and local beer while you watch good flicks. After the movie, take a stroll down foodie row stretching north and south of East Burnside.
Fifty Licks is by far the best ice cream Ive had in my lifelike, ever. In my opinion, its a million times better than Salt & Straw. Im smiling thinking about it now Theyve got uncommon yet delicious flavors like Thai Rice, Mango Sticky Rice, Cornbread with Honey Butter, Mochi Green Tea, French Toast, and Banana Pudding. The Banana Pudding and Green Tea Mochi flavors are my all-time favorites there. They have other locations throughout Portland as well.
Doug Fir Lounge
Doug Fir is the place to catch current headliners in the indie music scene. They have a constant music line up worth checking out. Have a drink in the upstairs restaurant/bar and then check out the show in the cave-like live venue space in the basement. Such an architecturally cool place.
Base Camp Brewing
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Best Bars In The Pearl
10 Barrel Brewing is new-ish to Portland and they have one of the busiest rooftop bars in the city! When the sun is shining youll find that the rooftop patio is packed with locals sampling beers, meeting new friends, and enjoying the views. You wont want to miss it during your trip to Portland! But if you want a table, expect a wait, especially on weekends.
If you want to watch a game or play some pool, then the basement of Blitz Bar is the place to be! With lots of big-screen TVs and a variety of bar games, youre sure to be entertained for hours here. Plus they have a huge selection of beers on tap and some tasty bar snacks.
Fancy a fancy cocktail? Teardrop Lounge has got you covered. A Portland stalwart serving delicious bespoke cocktails in a fun and funky setting, its one of our favorite spots in the Pearl. Stop by for happy hour for $7 drinks and $5 small plates.
Where To Stay In Portland: Central Eastside
Great area for: Coffee Culture Dining and Nightlife Local Living
Places to Check Out in Central Eastside
Coava Coffee, Good Coffee, Water Avenue Coffee, Olympia Provisions, Associated, Sizzle Pie, Trifecta, Screen Door, Le Pigeon, Ox, Century Bar, Noble Rot, Doug Fir Lounge, Montage
I call the Central Eastside home, and find my love for coffee flourishes here. The heart of Portlands coffee culture is here in the Central Eastside, and the neighborhood is pretty well rounded when it comes to Portland daily life and great spots.
Coava Roasters has a beautiful industrial space where minimalist design and simplistic options are key. Grabbing a coffee and taking a walk down the Eastbank Esplanade is a very charming way to spend your morning. Water Avenue Coffee and Kure Juice Bar are along the waterfront neighborhood as well, and are local favorites.
This is also the best neighborhood for a Portland nice night out. Portlanders keep it pretty casual as a rule, but this is where youre going to find date night restaurants such as Oympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, and Ox. If a metal pizza bar is more your style, Sizzle Pie is the best place to grab an iconic Portland pizza.
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The Alberta Arts District: The Best Food In The City
We love this area, though its not the most convenient place to stay for exploring downtown and the other parts of the city west of the river. After spending almost all of our time staying in Southeast Portland or Downtown, we decided to stay here on a recent trip and it did not disappoint. Far from it its a lovely neighborhood, and its right next door to Mississippi Avenue, another awesome place to explore.
If its your second or third time in Portland consider staying here and exploring this amazing neighborhood.
Pros & Cons of Staying in the Alberta Arts District
Pros: Alberta Street is full of restaurants of all kinds, bars, coffee shops, and boutiques to peruse. Its a good place to stay for a slice of local Portland life.
Cons: Its far away from downtown and the major tourist attractions that Portland has to offer, like the Rose Garden and Powells. Its also worth noting that this is an area that is experiencing massive gentrification, and has changed drastically over the past decade.
Alberta Arts Highlights
The Best Places to Stay in the Alberta Arts District
Theres a variety of places to stay here, from hotels to awesome vacation rentals. Here are some of our picks.
The Alberta Petite Hotel
Its a renovated craftsman home with multiple bedrooms, a shared kitchen, and modern touches like, you know, a big hot water heater so youll never run into a cold shower .
Theres a kitchen, but its for simple breakfasts and meals only no big culinary productions.
Inn At Northrup Station
In Northwest Portland on the city’s streetcar line, the Inn at Northrup Station is an all-suite boutique property. The suites all feature contemporary, very colorful decor. They also come with marble and granite kitchens, sitting areas with pullout sofa beds, and desks.
The three-star hotel has amenities like a free breakfast, a lobby filled with local art, and a rooftop deck. The hotel is family friendly, and kids stay free. There are children’s TV networks in the suites, and adults and kids alike can borrow board games and puzzles from the front desk.
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When To Visit Portland
Portland tends to enjoy good weather from about April through October. It does get a lot of rain, and the most reliably non-rainy months are July and August. A popular time to visit is for the big Rose Festival. It starts Memorial Day and goes through mid-June. But if youd prefer to avoid crowds, consider the shoulder seasons in the spring and fall.
Downtown Portland Best For First Time Visitors
In SouthWest Portland, surrounded by the Willamette River and the Pearl District, Downtown Portland has everything an urban city center should have. Its the best place to stay in Portland for first-time visitors. There are plenty of transportation options in the area, but the best thing about Downtown is that you can go around on foot, you wont really need a car.
Here you will find famous street markets, great food, skyscrapers, green places, tax-free shopping, art museums, and galleries throughout the district. Downtown Portland has enough attractions to keep you busy for days!
This part of the city is home to the famous Keep Portland Weird mural. If you dont have a picture of it, no one will believe you were in Portland!
This is the best place to stay as a base to visit most of the attractions and here is some top recommendation for accommodation:
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Downtown Portland: The Best Place To Stay For First Timers In Portland
Pros of Staying in Downtown Portland
Staying downtown puts you in the best location to access public transportation be it the MAX, streetcar, or buses which makes it an ideal spot if you want a centralized hub to explore from. It also has the most hotel options so youre sure to find something you like.
Additionally, there are tons of restaurants and bars and shopping. It can be fun for any first-timer, but especially fun if you dont live in or spend a lot of time in big cities.
Cons of Staying in Downtown Portland
I dont not like downtown, I just dont go downtown often. All things considered, its actually a pretty cool downtown .
That said, I feel downtown lacks some of the character and vibrancy that other neighborhoods in Portland have. Also, most of the bars and restaurants are gonna be kind of expensive and probably busy.
A note from Matt & Alysha on Downtown Portland: If you are uncomfortable with the presence of a visible homeless population, you might want to look elsewhere. Like many cities on the west coast, Portland is in the middle of a full-fledged housing crisis, with housing prices skyrocketing at a pace that has outstripped wages . Downtown Portland is the area where the issue is most visible. Its worth remembering that these are real people that, ultimately, we as a country have failed. We arent going to solve the issue here, but we do want to acknowledge it, and realize that it might impact your decision on where to stay for your visit.