Explore around town . . . and out of town!
If you wish to get off campus and explore in and around Portland, we encourage you to start with these do-it-yourself sightseeing suggestions compiled by Shelley Emond '96, Barbara Smith-Thomas '64, and Sandy Blake Boles '90.
To make contact with others who might enjoy the same activities, post a note to our Reedfayre '13 page in Facebook. There will also be a way to join forces during the week for those who prefer spur-of-the-moment adventures.
Two of the best ways to sightsee throughout Portland are on bicycle and on foot. A wide variety of trails allow visitors to explore historic neighborhoods, scenic parks, natural areas, and quaint shopping districts. The following websites have links to trails throughout the city and surrounding areas, including the immediate Reed campus area. The sites also includes additional resources, such as ways create your own maps, safety information, and more.
Metro Portland’s "50 Treks for You"
Address: 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221 Map
Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. (grounds open until 7 p.m.)
Parking: $2 per vehicle, or take the TriMet Light Rail Service (MAX) which stops at the Washington Park station approximately every ten minutes.
Portland Children's Museum
Address: 4015 SW Canyon Rd., Portland, OR 97221 Map
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Ages 1–54: $9 (or buy online for $8); â€¨under age 1: free ;â€¨ages 55+/military: $8; museum members: FREE;
Parking: $2 per vehicle; free for members, or take the TriMet Light Rail Service (MAX) which stops at the Washington Park station approximately every ten minutes. Calendar of Events
A hands-on experience for children of all ages. Kids will love to explore how the world works by visiting the various rooms, each with a different theme and activity. Toddlers will love “The Dig Pit,” with rubber “gravel” that can be loaded and dumped with the shovels, trucks, and buckets provided, while older kids will love “The Garage,” where they can drill, glue, draw, and build their own creations. The museum was recently renovated to include a cafe.
Address: 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214-3354 Map
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; check website or call for additional hours
Cost: Adults $12; youth (3–13) and seniors $9; plus extra charges for some areas of the museum
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a scientific, educational, and cultural resource center dedicated to improving the public's understanding of science and technology. OMSI makes science exciting and relevant through exhibits, programs, and experiences that are presented in an entertaining and participatory fashion.
Address: 810 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97255 Map
Hours: 5 a.m.–midnight
Note: Swim diapers available at Posh Baby
This fantastic public wading pool is fed by a waterfall that can be climbed even by early walkers. Around the square are a variety of kid-friendly restaurants and shops. Jamison Square is at the very end of the streetcar free ride area, and well worth the trek.
Salmon Street Springs
Address: SW Salmon at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR 97201 Map
Hours: 5 a.m.–midnight
Designed by Robert Perron Landscape Architects and Planners, this fountain is controlled by an underground computer that changes the pattern of the fountain's 185 water jets. The three cycles of the fountain are called misters, bollards, and wedding cake. At full capacity, the fountain recycles 4,924 gallons of water per minute through as many as 137 jets at once. A great place for older kids (primary/middle schoolers and those young at heart!) to get wet and cool off on a hot Portland day.
Address: Head of SW Park Place Map
Hours: 5 a.m.–10 p.m.
Whether you are seeking excitement or tranquility, Washington Park is the place for you and your family. With over 400 acres of trees, gardens, attractions, and playgrounds and 15 miles of trails, this is an oasis of green space just minutes from downtown Portland.
The following attractions are located within Washington Park:
- Portland Children's Museum
- Portland Japanese Garden
- World Forestry Center
- Hoyt Arboretum
- Holocaust Memorial
- International Rose Test Garden
- Oregon Zoo
Address: 1005 W Burnside 97209 Map
Powell's is one of the best bookstores around, and a favorite Portland destination for all ages and interests. Small tables and chairs provide a place for children to read and take a break from their busy day.
Address: 922 Southwest Yamhill Street, Portland, OR 97205 Map
Finnegan's is the Pacific Northwest's largest independent specialty toy store.
(excerpts from portlandneighborhood.com)
Here are a few interesting neighborhoods worth visiting while in Portland. See above website for descriptions, maps, and more details about these and others.
The Humboldt and Mississippi neighborhoods in Portland can best be described as young, urban, and hip. The streets are busy with bike traffic, foot traffic, and buses cruising by every few minutes. This area is a hot-spot for the 20–30s Portland crowd looking for easy access to downtown and the ever-cool Boise neighborhood which is known to most as "Mississippi" due to its most popular and populated street, the historic Mississippi Avenue. Mississippi is a destination for many out of area neighborhood visitors and Humboldt enjoys the spillover traffic coming up to its famous coffee shop, the Albina Press. Atlas Tattoo, located a few doors down from the Albina Press, is renowned for incredible ink work. The Red Fox is the popular local watering hole.
The Nob Hill neighborhood, also known as the NW 21st and 23rd Avenue neighborhood (with street signs also referring to the area as the Historic Alphabet district), is apparently known by many names. But, to anyone who lives in Portland, you know what area we are talking about in spite of the naming confusion. This is a very popular and trendy area to shop, dine, walk, and just hang out. Many restaurants, coffee shops, and specialty retail shops and boutiques line the two main drags of NW 21st and NW 23rd Avenues. You'll also find some great bars, spas, salons, and local markets . . . all with a creative flair.
The Pearl District offers urban living at its finest. If you work downtown and enjoy city life, this is the place to be for an easy commute (walk or take the Portland Streetcar, MAX train, or TriMet bus to work and play). Located along the Willamette River in an old warehouse district, the neighborhood offers a feeling of urban historic charm. With a seemingly constant array of new loft-style development underway, the neighborhood is alive with a sense of growth and change. Lofts and townhomes are the norm for residential living. The bustling streets are lined with upscale shopping boutiques, art galleries, unique antique and home interior stores, and the requisite coffee shops and restaurants.
Undoubtedly, Hawthorne is one of the most unique and popular areas in Southeast Portland. The area is known for its wonderful restored Old Portland homes, liberal residents, and fun and funky feel. Hawthorne Street is lined with unique restaurants and shops, and has a definite Portland-local flair. Like the Hawthorne District, the Belmont Street area is a very popular area in southeast Portland. With a strong sense of individuality, Belmont has many locally owned coffee shops, markets, and distinctive shops and restaurants. Belmont Street is a favorite destination for Portlanders, whether it's for an afternoon at the Avalon, a night at the Blue Monk, or a cup of joe at the neighborhood coffee shop. This area has a nice mix of urban diversity, with a funky feel, and local color.
Sellwood feels much less "hipster" and "chic" than Mississippi, Alberta Arts, or the Pearl, but a definite, at-ease, anything goes, all are welcome feeling is present on these streets. Like most Portland neighborhoods, Sellwood and Moreland feel self-sustaining. Local grocery store New Seasons, many local coffee shops, and a few local coffee roasters make this community feel warm and a lot like its own small town. Walking the streets in Sellwood and Moreland invokes a "back in the good old days" feeling. This area is family-friendly, walkable, and livable with a strong sense of community pride.
The Alberta neighborhood can probably best be described as funky and fun. The residential area is caught in the controversy of gentrification, with many of the older houses spiffed up inside and out, and property values rising. Many homes express a unique and artistic flair that suits the neighborhood's nickname, Alberta Arts District. Alberta folks seem to prize their individuality, and you'll find a multicultural mix of locals and visitors. At first glance, the name Alberta Arts District may seem a little overstated when taking into account the number of galleries on the street. But when one discovers that nearly every business—from restaurants and bars to the finest in dress shops, with very little exception—functions as a gallery with a rotating roster of artists represented on their walls, one begins to understand the full nature of this community's devotion to art.
Welcome back to Portland: a bargain hunter's paradise. I hope you brought an extra suitcase! For those with a hankering to hit some thrift stores during your visit, I’ve listed a few of my favorites below. Each has its own unique qualities, but unfortunately, most are best reached by car. If you’ve got a means of getting there, I consider these to be worth the trip. You’ll notice that I’ve not included any vintage or consignment places on this list, only because that’s not my thing and I have little knowledge of what Portland offers in this regard. I suspect that there is lots to be explored in the way of vintage around town, however, and I’m sure the web has a wealth of info and suggestions. Happy shopping!
—Sandy Blake Boles '90
Red, White and Blue Thrift Store
19239 SE McLoughlin Blvd
Gladstone, OR 97027
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Notes: Excellent selection of clothing, shoes, household items, etc.; no dressing rooms; weekly sale color tag; cash only (ATM on premises)
Value Village (many locations, this is a favorite)
18625 SE McLoughlin Blvd
Milwaukie, OR 97267
Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Notes: Nice store with decent prices; weekly sale color tag; dressing rooms provided; on the way to Red, White and Blue—hit 'em both in one trip (but not on Sunday)!
Goodwill Superstore (many locations, this is a favorite)
1943 SE 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Notes: Gigantic store with tons of stuff; prices range from excellent (look for the weekly sale color tag) to so-so; helpful staff and nice dressing rooms
Goodwill Outlet (a.k.a. "The Bins")
1740 SE Ochoco
Milwaukie OR, 97222
Monday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Notes: This place sells the leftovers from the other Goodwill outlets, and everything except books and large items is sold by the pound. Stuff is rolled onto the warehouse floor in giant bins for folks to pick through. There can be a bit of a mob scene when a new bin comes out, and it's not a bad idea to wear gloves, as some stuff is pretty grungy. That said, there are terrific bargains to be had here, and it’s worth checking out if only for the experience. It goes without saying that there are no dressing rooms.
3557 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
This is a brand new boutique store within easy reach of campus. Expect a fancy-ish atmosphere with merchandise and prices that are a cut above. Lots of fun and vintage items here packed into an appealing shop full of hip shoppers.
Here are a couple of nice overviews of some area thrift stores:
If you become famished while exploring the sights, keep an eye out for one of the many food carts located throughout the city. Look up hours (which can be sporadic), locations, and the latest news at foodcartsportland.com. A good choice is to visit one of the "pods" that have multiple carts to choose from:
- SW Alder between 9th and 11th Ave.
- SW 5th Ave between Stark and Oak
- SW 3rd Ave between Washington and Stark
- SW 4th Ave between Hall and College
- SE 12th and Hawthorne
- SE 43rd and Belmont
- N Mississippi and Skidmore
- N Killingsworth and Greeley
All that rain makes for wonderful gardens. Here are some of Portland's premier gardens.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
This is an authentic Suzhou-style Chinese garden in the heart of downtown Portland at NW 3rd & Everett. Hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; cost is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors (62 and older), $6.50 for students (6–18 and college students with ID), free for those five and under. The best way to get there is to take public transit and avoid downtown parking. The garden contains rocks, buildings, and plants sent from Suzhou, a sister city of Portland.
Portland Japanese Garden
One of three gardens in Washington Park on Portland's west side, the 5.5 acre Japanese Garden consists of 5 separate garden areas: the flat garden, the strolling pond garden (a good trick that, a strolling pond!), the tea garden, the natural garden, and the sand and stone garden. Hours are noon–7 p.m. on Mondays and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday with guided tours at 10:45 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. included in entrance fee of $9.50 for adults, $7.75 for seniors and college students, $6.75 youth 6–17, and free for those five and under. The Japanese Garden is easy to get to by car, but parking can be a problem. TriMet runs a shuttle from the Portland Zoo MAX station.
International Rose Test Garden
Across the road from the Japanese Garden and slightly down the hill is the Rose Test Garden. It has 8,000 rose bushes representing 600 varieties, plus a stunning view of Mt. Hood off to the east. The garden was dedicated in 1924. It's open daily 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Admission is free.
Also in Washington Park you will find Hoyt Arboretum containing 187 acres of forest, 12 miles of trails, and 5,800 specimens from around the world, including more than 1,100 species. The arboretum grounds are open 6 a.m.–10 p.m.; the visitor center is open 9 a.m.–4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free. The entrance is 0.3 miles from the Zoo MAX station; there is parking at several locations in and around the arboretum. For $3 you can get a 90-minute docent-led walk; there are 1, 2, and 4-mile self guided walks. Visit hoytarboretum.org for more information.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Right across SE 28th Ave from Reed is the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, 9.49 acres of rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants. Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m., $3 for adults 10 a.m.–6 p.m., free for ages 12 and under. The garden includes paved and unpaved paths, fountains, and Crystal Springs Lake. See their site for more information.
If you desire to stray beyond the city limits, a few ideas for "Build Your Own O-Week" day trips include outings to Tillamook, Astoria, and Mt. Hood, including a visit to the newly renovated Reed ski cabin.