Portland Essentials

See the best Portland has to offer in food, drink, entertainment and more.


Avalon Theatre and Wunderland Nickel Arcade
3451 SE Belmont St.
Arcade games that cost a quarter to play and second-run movies make this a great spot for adults and kids to run amok.

Oaks Amusement Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Roller coasters of varying degrees of fright give riders a thrill during the summer, and in the winter, skating on a wood floor becomes the main attraction. Regardless of the season, there’s plenty to see and do at this 103-year-old fun zone.


Last Thursday Alberta Art Walk
NE Alberta Street between 12th and 30th avenues
Since 1997, businesses on this uber-hip street open in the evening while street vendors hawk homemade books, paintings and jewelry. The neighborhood is overrun with pedestrians for at least a mile and the cops don’t seem to mind.

Portland Saturday Market
Southwest 1st Avenue and Burnside Street
The largest outdoor market in the country, held weekly under the Burnside Bridge, features vendors who sell tie-dye shirts, glass pipes and hemp clothing while a blues band plays in the background. There are also loads of falafel, tamales and Chinese food for sale.


Sauvie Island
Open mid-April through September, SI offers hiking, bird-watching, hunting, fishing, a 12-mile bicycle trail, fields of pumpkins, flowers and berries and the restored 1850s Bybee-Howell House. There’s also a clothing-optional beach.

Forest Park
Northwest 29th Avenue and Upshur Street to Newberry Road
With more than 5,000 acres of fir, hemlock and cedar trees, Forest Park is the largest urban forest reserve in the nation. Visitors can hike, bike, walk dogs and teach the kids about nature.


Chimney Park
9360 N. Columbia Blvd.
Your four-legged pal can run freely on more than five acres of grassy fields in this dog park on the north side of town. There are plenty of trees for shade and poop bags on hand.

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Cat’s Meow
3538 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
If it has a cat on it, you can probably buy it at Cat’s Meow. Socks, T-shirts, calendars and picture frames are just a sample of the feline frenzy at this shop.

Lounge Lizard
1310 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
If you swing like Sinatra, this is the home store for you. Their selection of new and vintage mid-century mod furniture can transform your house into a pad, baby.

The Recyclery
1417 SE 9th Ave. and Madison St.
This is a cycling town. Find two-wheel bargains here, where you can buy used bikes and bike parts, along with new rides.


Powell’s Books on Hawthorne
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
There’s a more famous location of this famous Portland store downtown, but locals hit the Powell’s on Hawthorne for their book needs. It’s a large store where you can spend an afternoon browsing.


Independent Publishing Resource Center
917 SW Oak St. Suite #218
Zines are a big deal in Portland. For $5 an hour (or $45-$100 a year), you can use computer workstations with high-speed Internet access, copiers, printers and a mimeograph to create zines and hand-bound books at the IPRC. If you’re more reader than publisher, there’s a library of more than 5,000 self-published works and daily workshops on topics ranging from flyer creation to writing a press release.


Jackpot Records
3574 SE Hawthorne Blvd. and 203 SW 9th Ave.
This small store has a big selection of new and used vinyl and CDs covering all genres: indie, jazz, punk, blues and avant-garde.

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