One Pass to See Them All: Portland’s Best Cultural & Historical Sites, Museums, Gardens, and Attractions

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Whether you’re visiting Portland from another city, or you live here and have a few days off to explore your own city, our friends over at Travel Portland can help you get the most bang for your buck while seeing some of the city’s most notable points of interest. They have created four different Attraction Passes that give you entry into all or a curated selection of Portland’s best museums, gardens, and cultural & historical sites. The passes are good for five days from the date of purchase, and can only be purchased online. The Attraction Passes cater to the needs of the traveler whether you want it all (the Big Pass) or just want a select few from the list (the Washington Park Pass,  the Downtown Pass, or the Garden Pass). Continue reading

Beyond Portland: Spring Break Traditions in Seaside, Oregon

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Falling in love with Seaside, Oregon was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. With its unique whimsical charm and old-timey character, it has become one of my family’s favorite weekend destinations. It’s the kind of place that has the ability to appeal to everyone due to the fact that there is just so much to do, see, eat, discover, and experience. It inspires us to explore, and we take great pleasure in devouring as much of Seaside as we can possibly fit into our multi-day stays. This includes expansive, open beaches, vintage and modern arcade games, boutique shopping, an indoor carousel, delightful restaurants, a 1.5 mile boardwalk affectionately nicknamed the “Prom,” and hotel accommodations ranging from large resorts to small beach bungalows. Incredibly, this treasured beach town in all its splendor is easily accessible by bus.

Our trip begins at Union Station in Portland, Oregon, where we choose the morning bus, departing at 9:30 AM (there’s also an evening departure at 6:20 PM). The scenic ride aboard the NorthWest POINT bus is a comfortable one, with reclining seats, foot rests, free wifi, and an on-board restroom. Once in Seaside, Continue reading

Portland’s top restaurants & chefs offer $29 3-course meals for Portland Dining Month

One of Portland’s most anticipated culinary events is Portland Dining Month. For the entire month of March, over 100 Portland restaurants will be offering three-course meals for just $29 per person. Some of the participating restaurants scarcely offer one entree at that price, let alone THREE courses! Now’s the perfect time to try some of those restaurants that everyone’s been talking about, or that have been on your foodie to-do list since you read their acclaimed yelp reviews.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a truly Portland event unless there was a non-profit beneficiary involved. If you book your reservation using the provided Open Table links for the various restaurants below, Portland Dining Month will make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank. 72 of the 100+ Portland Dining Month restaurants are participating in the Open Table reservation system, and you’ll find the complete list by clicking here. To see the complete list of all restaurants participating in Portland Dining Month, including each of their 3-course menus, click here.

All of the restaurants are accessible by public transportation, but featured below are 31 of my favorites, along with TriMet links to the nearest bus, MAX, and streetcar stops. Don’t worry if the restaurant you want to visit isn’t on my list; just use TriMet’s trip planning page to enter your starting location, then the ending address of your desired Portland Dining Month participating restaurant and you’ll get a detailed trip itinerary. Enjoy!


Acadia 1303 N.E. Fremont St., Portland, OR 97212

acadia

Photo by Pearl P.

4.5 stars on Yelp $$

Accessibility by bus:


Accanto 2838 S.E. Belmont St., Portland, OR 97214

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Photo by Feuy S. 

4 stars on Yelp $$ ~ Click here to make OpenTable reservations

Accessibility by bus:


Al Amir 223 S.W. Stark St., Portland, OR 97204

Photo by Al Amir on Facebook

4 Stars on Yelp $$

Accessibility by bus:

Continue reading

Holiday Ale Festival: Go by bus & let TriMet do the driving

Beer lovers, rejoice! It’s time for the 19th annual Holiday Ale Festival. Craft breweries from near and far come together for this celebration, boasting over 50 different holiday ales. Whether you like porter, red ale, IPA, or stout, there’s something here for everyone. And because the event is located in the heart of downtown Portland at Pioneer Courthouse Square, it’s also easy for everyone to get there using public transportation.

Tasting packages can be purchased at the door for $35 (CASH ONLY), and include a souvenir mug and 12 beer tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 each. One beer ticket gets you a 4oz “taster” size pour of beer, and a few limited release and special tapping beers require two tickets. You can get a full mug of beer for four tickets, however some limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may require double tickets. On-site food will be available for purchase and will be provided by Urban German Grill and Bunk Sandwiches. Check out the complete event program that includes the names of breweries and beers they will be sampling. Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters: Parts I & II

One of my favorite things in the world is giving gifts. I love to give gifts of all kinds, tangible and otherwise, to the special people in my life regardless of the time of year. So when the holiday season comes around, I revel in the experience of sharing joy, love, and gratitude, often in the form of buying gifts for my friends and family. One of the most satisfying things about giving gifts is achieving that delicate balance of what a person wants and what they will find useful … thoughtful presents with a purpose. Here you will find thoughtfully curated gifts for the public transit commuters in your life (or possibly your own wish list!).


Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100

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Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part II: $100 – $300

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Article by Stephanie Paris

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters $100 – $300

The items in this gift guide come with a personal recommendation from me because they embody attributes that I find desirable, and often times necessary, for someone who commutes primarily by bus. Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect gift, or just window shopping, the items listed here are worth perusing. So what are your “must-have” items for being out in the elements, or on a journey by bus? I’d love to hear your suggestions or tips in the comments below. Enjoy! (And if you missed it, check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100)


Keen Anchorage Boot, $130

keen_mens_anchorage_boots_32151_1Their words: “The Anchorage Boot offers the warmth and all-season traction of a winter pack boot. It boasts a handsome leather upper and an aggressive dual climate rubber outsole – enabling this hiking boot to stand up to harsh conditions with a clean look. 200g KEEN.Warm™ insulation. 4mm multi directional lugs. Dual climate non-marking rubber outsole. Gore stretch panel for easy on and off and added comfort. Injection molded EVA midsole. KEEN.DRY ™ waterproof breathable membrane. Removable thermal heat shield footbed. TPU stability shank. Waterproof nubuck leather upper.”

My thoughts: I chose to feature these because a friend of mine has them, and not only did he mention to me how comfortable they are, but they also look really great. Check out the link to Keen’s website to see a really cool feature where you can preview what the boots will look like when worn with a variety of pants. The Anchorage Boots are very sturdy, waterproof, and warm. Perfect for the upcoming cold, rainy winter.  Click here to buy the Keen Anchorage Boots.

Keen is local to Portland! (505 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209) Click here for the nearest bus stops.


LFLECT Reflective Knitwear, $138.89

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Their words: “A cozy and extra large scarf from our exclusive reflective knitwear collection, crafted using locally sourced wools and designed in a closed loop to ensure your scarf stays in place at all times. Large enough to be wrapped three times for a cozy snood style or twice for a loose gentleman look all year around. Its technology reflects light, ensuring you are visible when a car approaches. A trendy unisex design for all ages and particularly trendy to ensure grandpa is visible on the streets when walking the dog in the evening.”

My thoughts: Reflective knitwear is one of the best inventions ever. In normal light, there’s nothing unusual about the scarf. But when it’s dark and a bright light is shined on it (like the bus’s headlights as it approaches your dark bus stop!) the reflective bits in the scarf become super bright and ensure that you are seen. This is not only great for ensuring your visibility to bus drivers while waiting at a dark bus stop, but also to other cars if you have much walking to do on your route. In addition to the reflective knitwear, this British website has a ton of other really cool reflective products. At the time of publication, they offer free worldwide shipping on orders over $78. Click here to buy something from the LFLECT Reflective Knitwear collection. Continue reading

Sipping in Stumptown: Portland’s best wine bars and tasting rooms

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Little goes together as well as wine and not having to drive. Fortunately for Portland, the wines of our region’s local producers as well as those from around the world can be found at the copious urban tasting rooms and wine bars scattered throughout the city. Taking public transportation means that there’s no need for a designated driver, and everyone that wishes to imbibe can do so at their leisure.

The featured establishments in this article are just a few of my favorites, and by no means are the extent of what our city has to offer. Each listing includes the closest TriMet stops to its corresponding wine bar. Whether you choose to visit one of the venues below, or stick with a favorite of your own, take advantage of TriMet’s trip planner to enter your starting location and the wine bar’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary. Enjoy!


1. Ambonnay Champagne Bar 107 S E Washington St, Portland, OR 97214

Ambonnay

Photo by @AmbonnayBar

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$$

“Ambonnay is Portland’s first and only watering hole exclusively featuring champagne and sparkling wine. We offer an extensive menu of fizz, some by the glass, another 100 or so by the bottle. Our selection changes regularly. Whether you’re looking for a quick drink before dinner, a once-in-a-lifetime champagne experience, or just a place to hang with other bubble addicts, Ambonnay is here for you.” ~Ambonnay Champagne Bar

Accessibility by bus:


2. Coopers Hall Winery and Taproom 404 SE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

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Photo by Coopers Hall

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Coopers Hall is a winery dedicated to keg production, the first of its kind in Oregon. Our taproom and restaurant boasts 44 taps of wine, beer, and cider; with more dedicated to wine than any other location in the Pacific Northwest. The tap room serves rotisserie cooked meats and savory sides from Roscoe Roberson, former sous chef at Racion. Coopers Hall resides in a quonset hut structure built in the mid 20th century, a former auto body shop, with no confines between the winery and tap room. The spacious environment invites guests to get closer to all aspects of the wine making experience from grape to bottle. Coopers Hall is perfect for a night out drinking, dinner with friends, and also available for large events and private gatherings.” ~Coopers Hall

Accessibility by bus:


3.  Corkscrew Wine Bar 1665 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

Photo by Joshua C. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Corkscrew Wine Bar is an inviting gathering place in Sellwood-Moreland that’s been offering world class wine selections and friendly hospitality since its opening in 2010. The beautifully designed, warm, and cozy atmosphere is centered around wood panels, beams and interiors from a single reclaimed barn ~ providing old world charm with glowing candle-lit ambiance. The wine bar serves interesting and thoughtful wine glass pours, bottle selections, and three local beers on tap accompanied by a small plates. With a focus on small family owned vineyards using organic, biodynamic and responsible farming.” ~Corkscrew

Accessibility by bus:


4. ENSO Winery 1416 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by Ryan S. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“ENSO is an urban winery that hand crafts authentic old-world style wines that express both the moment they were created, as well as the moment they’re enjoyed. We have chosen to source grapes from the finest vineyards up and down the west coast. Three states. All states that we have lived in. And all states that we love. Our grapes come from Washington, California, and Oregon – and we absolutely love each vineyard that we work with. At ENSO, in addition to our wines, we keep a rotating tap of all Portland Urban Wineries and local beers. There is plenty to taste and try in our tasting lounge. We have our weekday aperitivo (aka Happy Hour) from 4-6 pm where we offer discounted prices on wines by the glass, beer by the glass, and charcuterie and cheese.” ~ENSO Winery

Accessibility by bus:


5. The Hop & Vine 1914 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

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Photo by Andrew C. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“The Hop & Vine is North Portland’s premier craft drinking destination. Our full bar features eight craft beer taps, an extensive wine list, creative cocktails and a local seasonal food menu. Our casual dining experience, artistic decor and beautiful large backyard patio makes us an excellent destination for small or large groups under an intimate vibe. The adjacent Bottleshop features more than 400 beers and wines, and over 40 types of vermouths and bitters … featuring local and craft beers, Willamette Valley and biodynamic wines as well as meads, ciders, and amaros. Our selection is carefully curated and constantly changing. Call or visit us to see what’s new or sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn about new brews and bottles, free tasting events, and specials.” ~Hop & Vine

Accessibility by bus:


6. Pairings Portland Wine Shop 455 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

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Photo by Pairings Portland

5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Pairings Portland is a wine shop, wine bar, and classroom dedicated to a new approach to wine.  Fun & approachability are front & center. We like to think of a glass of wine as one of the ingredients in your dish and we’ll help you find the wine that makes your food sing.   We offer wine by the glass and bottle as well as flights, classes, creative events, and custom offerings both at the shop and away. You’ll be amazed to discover it’s possible for anyone to feel like a Pairing genius!!” ~Pairings Portland

Accessibility by bus:


7. SE Wine Collective 2425 SE 35th Pl, Portland, OR 97215

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Photo by Joshua C. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“We’re making wine in the heart of southeast Portland! As southeast Portland’s only fully bonded and licensed commercial winery that performs custom crush services for both commercial and private brands, the SE Wine Collective’s production features state-of-the-art equipment and highly skilled and personable staff needed for everything from harvest crush, fermentation, blending, and ageing to filtration and bottling. Our urban wine collective brings together like-minded winemakers within Portland’s city limits. The SE Wine Collective is home to 10 Wineries.” ~SE Wine Collective

Accessibility by bus:


8. Taste on 23rd 2285 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97210

Taste

Photo by Leland H. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Were I inventing the perfect neighborhood wine bar, Taste on 23rd is how one version  might look. Tucked into one of NW 23rd’s many old Victorians, it’s a lovely and welcoming space with a nice center bar and several tables of various heights and sizes scattered about. The staff is so welcoming and friendly; you can tell when regulars filter in, but they’re just as happy to see you as to see them. You should become one!” ~Hannah L. on Yelp

Accessibility by bus:


9. TeSoAria Winery Tasting Room 4003 N Williams, Portland, OR 97227

TeSoAria

Photo by Marianne S. on Yelp

5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Come visit our Portland Tasting room and experience Founder/Winemaker John Olson and Chef Max’s Wine and food pairings. We currently have over a dozen TeSoAria wines to taste, including  two Live Barrels of wines that is currently ready to barrel taste. Wine is available by the flight, glass and bottle. Barrel taste and then experience the individual hand bottling process that you can participate in.   Our friends are always welcome and new acquaintances leave as friends! ” ~TeSoAria Winery

Accessibility by bus:


Article by Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Coopers Hall

Portland in a Glass photo by David Paris

 

 

Restaurants on the Route: Bus Line 19 – Woodstock/Glisan

The bus line 19-Woodstock/Glisan connects Mt. Scott, SE Portland, Woodstock, Eastmoreland, Portland City Center, Laurelhurst, and Gateway. This route is almost like a double route, as it starts out in SE Portland, travels all the way downtown, then all the way back out to NE Portland. There are so many fantastic restaurants along this route that I really spent some time discerning which ones would be included in this diverse collection of the best. Below are my current restaurant recommendations that made the cut.

The closest 19 bus stops are listed for each restaurant below. For additional trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the restaurant’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary.


1. Bun Bo Hue Restaurant 7002 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

Photo by Ben S. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“This place started my love affair with Bun Bo Hue. It’s that good! The namesake dish here is one of the most authentic and flavorful versions out there, the gold standard for Portland. The rich broth is spicy and tangy, and it comes with noodles and all the right meats. I usually get mine without the pork hock and the pig’s blood. It comes with a huge plate of veggies – most places don’t give you shredded banana flower, but they do here. It’s a hole in the wall eatery, so don’t go in with your fancy pants expecting much. Parking is in the back.” ~Caroline N. on Yelp

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


2. El Gallo Taqueria 4804 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97206

Photo by El Gallo

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“At El Gallo we maintain our commitment to offering local, sustainable products by frequenting farmer’s markets and sourcing our ingredients from local purveyors who share our commitment to high quality foods. We offer handmade tortillas, locally sourced meats, wild fish, and seasonally organic, locally grown herbs and vegetables.” ~ El Gallo

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


3. Otto’s Sausage Kitchen & Meat Market 4138 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

Photo by Otto’s Sausage Kitchen

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“After more than 80 years, Otto’s Sausage Kitchen is still using the same traditional recipes and handcrafted techniques to make delicious high quality sausage. The secret to Otto’s sausages are in the handcrafted artisan techniques, recipes, and of course the one of a kind smokehouse that have all been handed down for four generations. Every sausage that we create is gluten-free using high quality beef, pork or chicken.” ~ Otto’s Sausage Kitchen & Meat Market

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


4. Papa Haydn 5829 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Photo by Esther Y. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“Seasonal and local ingredients are used to create beautiful and delicious dishes with French influence. In 1978, Papa Haydn was home to Portland’s first espresso machine, and the lines of hungry diners were legendary. The limited menu of European-inspired pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads soon gave way to an expanded space with a full kitchen and a comprehensive lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch menu. A comprehensive remodel was finished in late 2007, with updates including a full bar, expanded kitchen, and a heated patio.” ~ Papa Haydn

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


5. The Brooklyn House Restaurant 3131 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

 

Photo by Brian Hines

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“We’re changing the name of the game from ‘local when possible,’ to ‘local, with a few exceptions.’ We have a long list of local produce farmers, dairy farmers, urban farmers, ranchers, foragers, cheese-makers, grain-millers, coffee-roasters, chocolate-roasters, meat-smokers, oil-pressers & -curers, wine-makers – all manner of artisan producers who have stood strong in a storm of industrial food destruction & proliferated the Slow Food Movement that allows our restaurant to exist.” ~ The Brooklyn House Restaurant

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


6. Urban Farmer Portland, 525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204

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Photo by Urban Farmer on Yelp

3.5 Stars on Yelp $$$

“Our menus reflect an emphasis on Northwest, sustainable ingredients and simple, straightforward preparations. We offer a range of beef options including grass-fed Oregon beef, pasture-raised, grain-finished beef, as well as corn-fed beef. Our beverage program extends the theme of local and sustainable with a 350-bottle wine list, beer selections from the Portland city limits and cocktails made with Oregon spirits. Focusing on sustainable practices, Urban Farmer creates a connection between the diner and our local farmers, ranchers, distillers and winemakers.” ~ Urban Farmer

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


7. Mi Mero Mole 32 NW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

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Photo by Anna S. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“In Mexico, guisados are cooked dishes, especially stews and stir-fries. In Mexico City, where urban life doesn’t always allow for a home-cooked meal, guisados are one of the most popular street foods.Our goal at Mi Mero Mole is to serve traditional dishes from Mexico City that Chilangos love at a reasonable price. Our tortillas are made fresh using ground nixtamal rather than commercial Maseca. Everything we serve, including our moles, salsas, rice, and beans, are made from scratch.” ~ Mi Mero Mole

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


8. Noble Rot 1111 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by Noble Rot

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“We are a neighborhood restaurant & wine bar. A great place to come and enjoy with your friends and family. Pop into the bar, watch the sunset on our outdoor patio or get comfy in one of our Blazer booths. The seasonal change is directly reflected in the NOBLE ROT offerings. From daily specials, wine flights and pours, NOBLE ROT will harmonize your experience in food and drink with the surroundings of the season. When our Rooftop Garden is flourishing, we grow the freshest ingredients and then carefully harvest, prepare and serve them with ingenuity. Nothing could be fresher.” ~ Noble Rot

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


9. EastBurn 1800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by EastBurn on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“At EastBurn, we have created what we believe to be the perfect Public House. We bring together honest food, the best drinks and great people in a fun atmosphere. It’s where Portlander’s go to meet. We have something for everyone with three different atmospheres between the pub dining room, the downstairs Tap Room and the 4 season patio. Enjoy a wonderful lunch, dinner or brunch paired with a local craft beer, wine on tap or cocktail crafted with love. Gather your friends around a fire table on the patio or opt for the tables with swinging chairs” ~EastBurn

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


10. Voodoo Doughnut Too 1501 NE Davis St, Portland, OR 97232

Voodoo Doughnuts

Photo by Holly Haze on Flickr

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“Here at Voodoo Doughnut, we make thousands of doughnuts every day, but availability may vary due to supply, the voodoo gods and gluttony. Doughnuts cost between 95¢ and up. They are hand made and come in all shapes and sizes and full of surprises. They are worth every penny. Contact us for your special order of wedding treats, birthday parties, business meetings, movie sets and theme parties.” ~ Voodoo Doughnut

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


11. Pambiche 2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

pambiche

Photo by Nate C. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“For over a decade, Pambiche has been nourishing Portland with traditional Cuban dishes that have been in the Maribona Family for generations. We serve Cuban comfort food straight out of grandma’s kitchen with an emphasis on fresh, natural, and healthy meals, just as she intended for us.” ~ Pambiche

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


12. Hanoi Kitchen 7925 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97213

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Photo by Momo B. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $

“Welcome to Hanoi Kitchen, where the best of Vietnamese cuisine is served! We offer specialty hot noodle soups, homestyle cooking, grilled bun dishes, and Grandma’s Banh Cuon. Hanoi Kitchen is family owned and operated. The very same dishes that we grew up on and cook at home in our family kitchen are certainly what we serve here at Hanoi Kitchen. So come on in and grab a table at Hanoi Kitchen, where everything is made fresh to order from our family kitchen to your table!” ~ Hanoi Kitchen

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


Article by Stephanie Paris, all quotes pulled from corresponding restaurant websites

Cover photo by Brian Hines.