Check out these recommendations from your local experts.
Portland is a green city, and we’re not just talking about sustainability. The luscious greenery of Washington Park (one of the city’s largest and oldest parks) is not to be missed—neither is the park’s Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Zoo, Arboretum, or Forestry Museum. Easily accessible from downtown, Washington Park is a premier Portland destination. To get there by transit, walk north from the Hilton to Pioneer Courthouse Square, and hop on the Red or Blue MAX light rail line towards Beaverton/Hillsboro (board on Morrison St). Get off at the Washington Park/Oregon Zoo stop. Visit the Explore Washington Park TMA website (explorewashingtonpark.org) for information on how to get to the park and get around once you’re there.
Get ready to check out the full 4 T Trail multimodal experience off your bucket list. The “4 Ts” stand for trail, tram, trolley, and train—did we mention it’s an aerial tram?! Start your excursion by walking from the Hilton to Pioneer Square where you can catch a MAX train to the Washington Park station. From there, make your way to the Marquam Trail which leads to the city’s highest point, Council Crest. Follow the trail to the Oregon Health and Science University to catch a free ride on the aerial tram down to the waterfront. Hop on the streetcar (trolley) to complete the loop back to downtown Portland. Visit 4ttrail.wordpress.com for more information.
The City of Books
When in Portland…buy some books! Portland is home to the world’s largest used and new bookstore in the world. Taking up an entire block downtown, Powell’s City of Books has something for everyone. If you tire of browsing the endless shelves, grab a coffee, catch up on email, or watch the street scene through the windows in the downstairs café. Powell’s is a 10-minute stroll from the Hilton; walk north until you reach Burnside St where you will head left until you reach the store at Burnside and 10th Ave.
Looking for a gift to bring home or some tasty treats? Make your way to the Portland Saturday Market. The market can be found along the waterfront and is open every Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4:30 pm. To get there from the Hilton, walk north and turn right on Alder St, take a left on 4th St, turn right on Ankeny and walk down to the 2nd Ave.
The Hilton is also right by the Saturday Portland Farmers Market. Located in the Park Blocks on Park Ave and Main St, the Farmers Market is a perfect spot to stop for lunch and try some fresh produce. Not in town on Saturday? Check out the Wednesday Portland Farmers Market at Park Ave and Salmon St. More information at www.portlandfarmersmarket.org.
The Willamette (pronounced Will-AM-it) River, which divides the east and west sides of Portland, is lined on both sides by paths and recreational activities. Take a short walk or bike ride from the Hilton down to the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Turn left at the waterfront path, and after 1 mile, cross the Steel Bridge to the east side. On the east side you will discover the Eastbank Esplanade. Spanning 1.5 miles, the Esplanade includes a floating walkway and overlooks. When you reach the Hawthorne Bridge cross back over to the west side to complete the loop (about 3 miles).
Take a break from the bustle of the City and enjoy the relaxing Lan Su Chinese Garden. Located in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown District on 3rd Ave and Everett St, the open-air garden contains lush botanical plants, beautiful architectural designs, and traditional art. Tickets are $9.50 and the garden is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Portland is famous for its funky food carts, dining scene, and numerous breweries. From the Hilton, head up to 10th Ave and Alder St to check out one of the major food cart locations (or “pods” as they are referred to by locals). A map of all food carts can be found at www.foodcartsportland.com/maps. For dinner, locals recommend Nel Centro, Higgins Restaurant and Bar, and the Picnic House. After dinner, take a stroll to one of Portland’s many breweries. The Deschutes Brewery is a 15-minute walk from the Hilton and is another great place for dinner.