For many of us, shopping is a favorite pastime. If you enjoy it at home, why not discover what a new place has to offer while on vacation or while taking a break from meetings or seminars during a business trip?
Portland has plenty of places where you can shop till you drop. However, rather than sending you to a plain old vanilla mall, we offer the following ideas:
City Center / Pioneer Courthouse Square
In the City Center, there are plenty of shops to explore near Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Of note: Pendleton Park Avenue West – clothes, handbags, blankets and more are offered at this landmark outlet for a born-in-Oregon company with an amazing story.
From Pendelton’s website: “The history of Pendleton Woolen Mills is one of opportunity, exploration, and innovation. British weaver Thomas Kay laid the foundation when he arrived in Oregon in 1863. His expertise lives on in Pendleton’s tweed, flannel, and worsted wool apparel. Kay’s grandsons, the three Bishop brothers, opened Pendleton Woolen Mills in the early 1900s. They joined Kay’s weaving skills with stunning Native American-inspired designs in the Pendleton Trade blanket, a benchmark for beauty and quality for over 100 years. Family-owned and operated for more than six generations, the uniquely American story of Pendleton Woolen Mills continues today. Pendleton has thrived under the direction of the Bishop family. Today the company owns and operates five facilities, manages 50 Pendleton retail and outlet stores, and publishes apparel and home direct mail catalogs. For many years, Clarence’s sons, C.M. Bishop, Jr. (Mort) and Broughton (Brot) Bishop, acted as co-executive officers. Today, their children have assumed management roles in the company. John Bishop is president, and Peter Bishop is an executive vice president. This family thread has continued to produce Pendleton leadership with a legacy of hands-on management for six generations – “Warranted To Be A Pendleton.”
From Pioneer Courthouse Square, walk one block west to Yamhill and 5th Ave where you’ll find an indoor mall with shops, food, and a movie theater. The Apple Store is across the street. Two blocks west on Yamhill is the Microsoft Store.
Of note: the architecture is a thing of beauty; a place to wander on a hot day in an air-conditioned space.
Nob Hill / Alphabet District (NW Portland)
Small stores (some locally operated and others chains) dot 23rd Avenue. On 23rd and two blocks east on 21st are 92 pubs, restaurants and bars along to fuel you on your shopping adventure.
Of note: Aria Gin and Bull Run Distilleries, 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop a for beer, wine, and hard cider tasting, and The Meadows, a resource for high-end salts, chocolate bars, wines & bitters, plus fresh-cut flowers.
Keeping Portland Weird: The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is an oddities museum, art gallery, ice cream parlor and gift shop all rolled into one.
Getting there: walk to 10th and Yamhill and catch the NS Line Portland Streetcar to the Marshall stop on 23rd and begin your walk. Or, make your way to Burnside Street and take the #20 bus to the 23rd Avenue stop and start exploring.
Mississippi Avenue (NE Portland)
A hipster neighborhood with a comfortable, easy-going, good food and plenty to keep you occupied for a few hours. The Portland Monthly offers 15 favorite shops.
The New York Times wrote: North Mississippi Avenue in Portland delivers a hipster experience as reliably as the rain. The street’s commercial district, which runs five blocks from North Fremont Street up to North Skidmore Street, has coffee-roasting equipment, saltwater aquariums, chandeliers made with recycled wine bottles, jewelry cast from animal sex organs and possibly the best corned beef hash ever fried. Click here for more of the story.
Of note: Paxton Gate – a taxidermist’s paradise: From a stuffed musk ox to a bottled pig fetus, this store might be a substitute for a trip to the natural history museum. Though it’s not for the squeamish, the store also offers pretty things like framed butterflies, precious stones and (living!) plants. — Source: The Portland Oregonian; She Bop – from the website: Evy Cowan and Jeneen Doumitt opened She Bop in November of 2009 with the objective of creating an adult boutique specializing in non-toxic body-safe toys, exceptional books, female- and queer- friendly DVDs and quality sensuality products. She Bop gives Portland an adult atmosphere that goes beyond the traditional sex store experience by actively pursuing a commitment to sexual education and conscious business practices while also offering a fun, safe, comfortable and sex-positive environment for people of all genders, sexual orientations, and social backgrounds, and The Rebuilding Center – from the website: “We offer affordable used building and remodeling materials with the goal of promoting the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials — a non-profit resource to strengthen the environmental, economic and social fabric of local communities.” The huge warehouse is a must-see stop.
Getting there: walk to SW 6th Avenue and Taylor Street and catch the #4 bus with a destination sign, “Division/Fessenden to St. Johns.” The trip is 20 minutes.
Alberta Arts District
The Alberta Street is the heart of an arts, restaurant, and shopping district approximately 20 blocks long. According to Wikipedia, the area around Alberta is becoming very popular with yuppies as well as hipsters, bohemians, hippies and other groups associated with the counterculture. Alberta Street accommodations available to travelers range from hostels to five-star hotels.
Of note: you could easily spend a day here shopping, eating and exploring 1/1/2 miles (20 blocks). We love Tin Shed, a favorite local cafe with outstanding food. Since dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio — and it’s not usually to be in the dining area with six or seven dogs at a time — if you don’t like dogs, you don’t want to come here. You can, of course, request a table inside, where dogs aren’t allowed.
The Pearl District
This former industrial warehouse district has been turned into a haven for up and coming tech workers with lots of upscale condos and apartments.
Of note: our Pearl Pub Crawl walk will keep you busy for half a day. The area’s three parks — Jamison Square, Tanner Springs Park the Fields Park — are must-sees where you’ll get a flavor of the Portland good life. Coffee bars and dessert stops (Via Delizia, Cool Moon, Nuvrei, Ovation) abound. Best pie in Portland: Tilt, NW 13th Avenue and Everett Street.
Getting there: walk to Yamhill and 10th Ave. and catch the NS, A or B Streetcar lines. Note: only the NS goes to the Alphabet District. The A Line takes you into the Pearl, crosses the Willamette River and brings you back across the Tilikum Crossing and back downtown. The B line goes counter-clockwise and takes you across the Willamette over the Tilikum and brings you into the Pearl District across the Broadway Bridge and back to Pioneer Square (get off at 11th and Alder) and walk about four blocks to Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Multnomah Village (SW Portland)
This tiny shopping district has a quaint village feel to it. Shops and restaurants will keep you busy for half a day.
Getting there: Walk to SW 5th Avenue and Morrison Street and board a #12 bus to Barbur/Sandy Blvd. to Tigard TC (Transit Center). The trip takes 20 minutes.
Sellwood (SE Portland)
Sellwood is known for its antique shops.