Category Archives: Places to Go

The 2016 Spring Break Staycation Guide

If you’ve got a break coming up and you’re staying in town, here are some transit-accessible ideas for when…

Image: Picnic House
You could eat at three different restaurants a day during Portland Dining Month and not try them all. Image: Picnic House

You’re hungry: Portland Dining Month

In a city known for embracing food culture, March is the tastiest month. This year, more than 120 restaurants are offering a three course special for $29. Browse the entire list, which spans 24 (!) categories and restaurants citywide. (And don’t think for a second that there’s a shortage of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options — there’s a checkbox for that.)

Every day in March at 120+ restaurants throughout Portland. portlanddiningmonth.com

You’re thirsty: Spring Beer & Wine Fest

Not only are 39 great, mostly local breweries and wineries exhibiting at this event — there are also cideries, meaderies, distilleries, cheesemakers and chocolatiers. And the fact that it’s indoors means you don’t have to worry about spring showers diluting your drink!

Oh, and get there early if you can: The first 500 in line on Friday get in free!

March 25 & 26 at Oregon Convention Center. springbeerandwinefest.com

 

Portland Saturday Market
Don’t forget: Saturday Market is open Sundays, too.

You’ve got family in town: Saturday Market

This month marks the return of one of Portland’s longest-running events, Saturday Market (it’s on Sundays, too). At its core, the market is an artists’ community that gives visitors — approximately one million each year — a direct connection to the artisans, makers and artists. Within the 250+ craft and food booths everyone in your party is guaranteed to find something they want, love or simply and inexplicably need to have.

Saturdays and Sundays, March through December at North Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza. portlandsaturdaymarket.com

You’re feeling nostalgic: Gresham Skate World and The Tiki Putt

In an age where throwbacks reign supreme, this is the real deal — a neighborhood roller rink that’s been open since the mid-70s. There’s even a Spring Break All-Nighter if you think you’ve got what it takes.

Open daily at 1220 NE Kelly Avenue in Gresham. greshamskateworld.com

If your skating skills are suspect, try the nearby mini-golf course at The Tiki Putt. Its 18 holes feature huts, jungles and an active volcano — plus the whole thing is blacklit.

Open daily at 1776 NW Fairview Drive in Gresham. thetikiputt.com

 

Flickr/Portland Japanese Garden
The Strolling Pond is one of many serene spaces at the Portland Japanese Garden. Image: Flickr/Portland Japanese Garden

You need a close-in getaway: Portland Japanese Garden

After a six-month closure to work on an expansion, this local treasure has reopened its doors. It’s been hailed as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, and a stroll around the grounds (you’ll visit the Natural Garden, Sand and Stone Garden, Flat Garden, Strolling Pond Garden and Tea Garden) makes this abundantly, serenely, beautifully clear.

Open daily in Washington Park. japanesegarden.com

You need a wardrobe update: The Mall

You’ve earned your break, why not treat yourself? Head over to the shop whose Instagrams you’re always liking and see what’s in store. Or go to the mall and surprise yourself (any mall will do, but Washington Square, Clackamas Town Center and Lloyd Center are the biggest). We love spring because it symbolizes a fresh start, and a new outfit pairs well with a new outlook.

 

Train to Plane
We’ll take you right to the terminal.

You’re leaving town: Portland International Airport

It’s been quite a winter. So if your plan is to get far, far away (a week of sun and sand, perhaps) we’ve got you. Skip the parking and catch the train to the plane — MAX Red Line trains arrive at PDX about every 15 minutes during the day.

(We can get you to Amtrak and Union Station, too!)

trimet.org/traintoplane

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

Four Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

In a smart Slate piece about more thoughtful ways to celebrate Black History Month, Aisha Harris implores readers to do more — to make an effort to learn something new about the black community or experience.

So if you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start. We’ve gathered some ideas below — these upcoming events will broaden your perspective and offer insight into the past, present and future of African-American culture. Each is guaranteed to be engaging and thought-provoking, and all are accessible by transit.

Cascade Festival of African Films

Thursday, Friday and Saturday screenings through March 5 at PCC Cascade Campus’ Moriarty Arts & Humanities Building. Free.

woman

The films being shown this year take on subjects as varied as urban life, gender equality and religious fundamentalism, but the majority of them share a common trait: They were made by African directors. This makes for a great opportunity to explore the continent’s diverse cultures through the lens of first-hand experience.

The festival’s centerpiece film, Run, plays February 19 at 7 p.m. at the Hollywood Theatre. Free.

The festival’s centerpiece film is Run, which takes place in the present-day Ivory Coast. The story reflects on the journey of a man named Run, who is in hiding after assassinating the country’s prime minister. It’s described as “impassioned and poetic…a strong allegory for the people and history of contemporary Ivory Coast.”

Portland Black Film Festival

Through February 27 at the Hollywood Theatre. General admission $8.

Bringing things closer to home, this young film festival focuses on the black experience in America. Seven films will be screened, including A Ballerina’s Tale, the story of prodigal ballerina Misty Copeland, and the only known print of Catch My Soul, a 1974 rock opera treatment of Othello (!).

African American Read-In

February 14 at 2 p.m. at the North Portland Library; Teen Read-In is February 26 at 4 p.m. at the St. Johns Library. Free.

Two Multnomah County Libraries have gathered community leaders, teachers, students and local celebrities to read from their favorite books by black authors — but you can do more than just listen. Everyone will be able to share words from their favorite works, and children and young adults will be able to enjoy special gatherings.

PDX Jazz Fest

February 18–26 at a dozen Portland venues. Tickets for individual shows from $15.

High-Res_Alicia_Olatuja_0937_1600x600b

This festival began 13 years ago as a Black History Month initiative to heighten jazz outreach and education in Portland, and now it’s bringing world-class performances to our city. Jazz is one of America’s most celebrated art forms, with roots in hundreds of years of the black experience — but it’s not all history. What you’ll discover at these shows and talks is that jazz is an ever-evolving medium.

So whether you’re at an intimate club like the iconic Jimmy Mak’s or seated in the Newmark Theater, taking in a tribute to the greats or watching a virtuoso harpist who has recorded with Drake, you’re sure to marvel at how vital jazz really is.


The final point Harris makes in her article is that we need to continue this conversation year-round — not just every February. So after you’ve enjoyed the festivals and events, consider that there is infinitely more to share and learn. There are people to meet, businesses to become acquainted with, books to read and lots of history to consider.

All this is especially important to us as a transit service (as everyone who knows Rosa Parks’ story can attest). We have an ongoing responsibility to steer our legacy toward fairness, understanding and appreciation — that’s what drives our transit equity and diversity work, and why we encourage everyone to celebrate Black History Month.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

Date night ideas—all accessible by transit!

heart rosette whitebgValentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not surprise your sweetheart with a date you can get to by bus or train? Here are some fun (and frugal!) date nights — and you don’t have to drive!

The good ol’ go-to

Who doesn’t love dinner and a movie? MAX Blue and Red lines will take you right to the Regal Lloyd Center Cinema, or hop on the Green Line to check out Clackamas Town Center’s XD Theater. Want to have dinner delivered to your seat during the film? Check out the Living Room Theater in Downtown Portland. The Portland Streetcar and Line 20-Burnside/Stark will take you there.

Brunch lovers

Forget the fancy dinner and take your Valentine out to brunch. Portland — known for its brunch scene — is chock full of great spots. Here are a few you can get to by public transportation: Old Salt Marketplace (Line 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard), Kerns Kitchen (Line 19-Woodstock/Glisan), An Xuyen (Line 14-Hawthorne), and Roman Candle (Line 4-Division/Fessenden).

Plan a private pub crawl

Perfect for the beer lover in your life! Stay safe and off the streets by planning your crawl along a bus, train or Portland Streetcar route. Need a little inspiration? Here’s a Belmont pub crawl by bus, a pub crawl through the Pearl District and a crawl all along the streetcar’s North/South Line.

Play in the park

Washington Park, that is! Take MAX Blue or Red lines to the Washington Park MAX Station and explore! There’s not much in bloom at the International Rose Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden is closed through March, but you can still enjoy a stroll with your sweetie through the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum or the World Forestry Center.

Nature lovers

Spend some alone time with your Valentine in the wild outdoors. There are so many hiking trails accessible by transit, rain or shine! Frolic through Forest Park — Lines 15, 20 and MAX can get you there .

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

More Posts

2015 Holiday Events Guide

Who doesn’t love November? Sure, the brisk weather and short days can catch us off guard. But once we get past that, our holiday spirit begins to surface as we come together for food, family and festivals.

Here are 10 upcoming celebrations to get you started:

Macy’s Holiday Parade

Friday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.
Downtown Portland

Shake off your post-stuffing stupor with a morning of grand floats, costumed characters (nearly 500 of them!) and local marching bands parading through Downtown.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s a 75-foot tree in the middle of Pioneer Courthouse Square — you may have seen it — waiting to be lit for the holidays. As part of the ceremony, Thomas Lauderdale will lead members of Pink Martini, the Pacific Youth Choir, The von Trapps, and thousands of onlookers in a holiday sing-a-long. Come prepared: Download a copy of the songbook here.

ZooLights

ZooLights

Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 3
5–9 p.m.
5–8 p.m. on Value Nights
Oregon Zoo

There are 1.5 million lights on display at the Oregon Zoo’s annual winter festival, but that’s only one reason it’s so popular. This year, think “train” when you go to ZooLights — there’s a special Zoo Railway loop you won’t want to miss, plus big savings for anyone who takes MAX to the event.

Tip: The Sunset Transit Center Park & Ride often fills up on Blazers game nights — consider using a different lot if you’re planning to visit those evenings.

Holiday Ale Festival

Wednesday, Dec. 2–Sunday, Dec. 6
11 a.m.–10 p.m. most nights
Pioneer Courthouse Square

What would an events guide be without a beer festival? Keep warm by sampling more than 50 exclusive and rare brews, from Belgians to barleywines to porters and stouts. Keep your phone handy when you’re there, because the mobile version of the festival’s site will have up-to-the-second updates on beer tappings and locations.

Christmas Ships

Christmas Ships

Friday, Dec. 4–Sunday, Dec. 20
Parade on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, starting most nights at RiverPlace Marina

The first Christmas Ship sailed solo from the Portland Yacht Club back in 1954; now, nearly 60 boats light up the Willamette and Columbia rivers in what’s become a grand Portland tradition. If you’re taking in the spectacle this year, be sure to track the fleet on Twitter. And if you’re looking for a new vantage point, may we suggest Tilikum Crossing?

First Night at Director Park

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m.
Director Park

This year’s celebration of the first night of Chanukah features a special ice menorah (ice menorah!), music, latkes and activities for kids. It’s a community collaboration between Chabad of Oregon, the American Red Cross and Portland Fire & Rescue — pitch in by bringing travel-size toiletries to be given to VA Hospitals and Stand Downs, events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Super Colossal Holiday Sale

Saturday, Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 13
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center

Need to get gifts for your sister, grandfather, boss, best friend, neighbor, et cetera?

Try Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Holiday Sale — you won’t be disappointed. With 60,000 square feet of handmade gifts, goodies, art and crafts from Northwest artisans (and beyond!), this is your one-stop holiday shop.

Portland Posada & Holiday Bazaar

Posada: Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.
Holiday Bazaar: Saturday Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 20
Portland Mercado

Looking for something a little smaller than the Super Colossal sale, and with great food? Head to the Portland Mercado for the inaugural Portland Posada, an all-day craft fair with specialty food and drinks, a gift drive and musical performances.

What makes Posada even more special is that it’s tied to Latin American holiday traditions, and that it celebrates philanthropy and creative entrepreneurship. Plus, it marks the kickoff of the Holiday Bazaar, a nine-day pop-up gift shop in the heart of the Mercado.

Winter Village

Friday, Dec. 18–Sunday, Jan. 3
10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Orenco Station Plaza

Be the first to take the ice at the Winter Village, an open-air ice skating experience making its debut at the Orenco Station Plaza. Hop on MAX and you’ll be at the rink in no time — this one’s right across from the Orenco/NW 231st Ave Station!

Portland Winter Light Festival

Portland Winter Light Festival

Wednesday, Feb. 3–Sunday, Feb. 7
5–11 p.m.
OMSI

In the bleak midwinter, a light! Or, actually, large-scale light sculptures, projections, performances, installations, from a dozen world-class artists. Taking cues from light festivals around the globe, the inaugural Portland Winter Light Festival aims to bring people together during a time of year typically reserved for the indoors.

Who couldn’t use an inspiring spectacle to celebrate light, life and warmth in February? Bundle up!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

Five things to know about the MAX Orange Line Grand Opening celebrations

One. Day. Left. Can you believe it?

The Orange Line has been years in the making and we’re going all out for its introduction, with celebrations all day from Park to PSU!

If you’re joining the party tomorrow, here are five things to know before you go:

  1. It all starts at 11 a.m. — that’s when the Orange Line, Tilikum Crossing and all the special events are scheduled to begin. Rides will be free all day on all TriMet buses, MAX, Portland Streetcar and Aerial Tram.
  2. Lots of people will be celebrating. Excitement has been building in the community for a while now, so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.
  3. There are events at every platform along the Orange Line, including a block party at Milwaukie/Main St and opera performances at OMSI/SE Water Ave.
  4. Orange Marks the Spot! Our updated TriMet Tickets app includes a community-wide scavenger hunt all along the Orange Line. Check in at local businesses and stations while you’re out celebrating — you could win some awesome prizes (seriously) and unlock coupons.
  5. Plan for a hot, fun day. Stay hydrated and keep cool — we’re gonna have a blast!

Get all the Grand Opening details at catchtheorange.com »

Join the Facebook event and invite a friend »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

2015 Summer Events Guide: Street Fairs

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Alberta Street Fair

August 8 on NE Alberta Street

Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook
Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook

Three hundred vendors will line this iconic Northeast Portland street at the heart of the Alberta Arts District, welcoming you to an afternoon of food, art, entertainment and activities. And not just any activities: 3 v 3 Street Soccer goes down at 11 a.m., and Portland Bike Polo plays at 4 p.m.

And, since this is a fair in Portland, there are two beer gardens on the street: one open until late at 11th Avenue and one with wine, too, at 29th Avenue.

Head out »

Celebrate Hillsboro

August 8 in Downtown Hillsboro

Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr
Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr

More than a street fair, this is an event that showcases an entire city. Still, it’s got a block-party vibe, as it’s put on for Hillsboroans by Hillsboroans. (While Hillsboroans doesn’t sound quite right, is the official demonym for the city’s residents—although the people seem to prefer Hillsboroite.)

The city’s official Top 11 Reasons to Celebrate Hillsboro list includes live music, a sustainability village and magic shows. The number one reason? You could win an Apple Watch when you cast your vote in the first-ever Best of Hillsboro Awards.

Go celebrate »

Jade Night Market

August 15 & 22 at PCC Southeast Campus

10830558_705227366266034_3623893931324730165_o
Photo: APANO

The goal of the Jade Night Market, now in its second year, is to surface and celebrate the community centered around SE 82nd Avenue & Division Street. The district, so called for its blend of Asian influences, has a vision to become a center of art, entertainment and cuisine by 2018. If the success of last year’s Night Market is any indication, it’s well on its way.

This year’s Night Market is focused on two Saturdays in August, each featuring 80 vendors, plenty of performances, a Portland Brewing beer garden and an expected crowd of over 20,000. Market-goers young and old will have their pick of several ethnic cuisines, and the chance to see everything from Chinese yoyo-ing to Bollywood dancing to a set from The Slants, a self-described “Chinatown rock” band.

About that beer garden: Portland Brewing has made a limited edition Night Market Special Lager spiced with lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger.

Hop on the bus »

Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways

August 23 in Inner Southeast Portland

Photo: Michael Andersen on Flickr
Photo: Michael Andersen/Portland Afoot on Flickr

Think of this as a fair that celebrates many streets. Walk, ride, scoot or stroll from park to park in Inner Southeast Portland, without vehicle traffic.

Some highlights along the way:

  • Disc golf, a bike skills track, slack lines and all-day Zumba classes at Colonel Summers Park
  • Live music, Circus Cascadia, Shakespeare and a slip-n-slide at Laurelhurst Park
  • A bouncy house, music and dancing at Sewallcrest Park

Plus, keep an eye out for the roving Umpqua Bank ice cream truck.

Start at Laurelhurst Park »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

2015 Summer Events Guide: Keeping cool along (and in) the Willamette

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon Brewers Festival

July 22–26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

obf
Photo: Oregon Brewer’s Festival

For five days in July, revelers on the waterfront will soak up the sun — and some of the world’s best craft beer. This festival is the biggest and oldest celebration of our “Brewvana” heritage, with 90 brewers pouring their award-winning wares. And with live music, on-site restaurants and a root beer soda garden, there’s more to do than sample suds.

With an expected crowd of 85,000 over the long weekend, parking will be scarce. Add to that an afternoon of drinking, and leaving the keys at home is the way to go. We’ve got plenty of bus service and MAX stations just a token’s toss away from the festival grounds.

Fun fact: When the festival started in 1988, only four microbreweries existed in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer); now you might find that many in your neighborhood.

Head out (and don’t forget sunscreen) »

The Big Float

July 26 between Poet’s Beach and Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Do you really need encouragement to hop in the river on a Sunday in July?

Start at the Tom McCall Bowl (the waterfront just south of the Hawthorne Bridge) and join the parade marching a half mile down to Poet’s Beach, floatation device in hand. Hop in and float back to the park, where the beach party will be in full swing, including a band barge, two giant slip-n-slides, food carts, a beer garden and kids’ activity area.

But there’s more to this one than a giant party on the river. It’s about awareness: the Willamette River, once the site of dozens of sewage overflows each year, has been deemed safe for summer recreation — including swimming — since 2011, when the Big Pipe project was completed. Now, even sensitive groups like children and pregnant women can enjoy the river without risking their health.

Grab your floaties and hop aboard »

Red Bull Flugtag

August 1 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

flugtag
Photo: Red Bull Flugtag

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this event on the river flugtag, which means “flying day” in German. Maybe it’s that “plummeting day” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This celebration of human-powered flight will see 20 local teams launch themselves off a flight deck 28 feet above the Willamette. Will they plunge or will they soar? With team names like Soarin’ Sasquatch, PDX Flying Carpets and Flutter Punks, the answer is probably something in between.

In case you missed it, this is what happened last time Flugtag came to town:

Grab a good seat early »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts