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3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

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Sacramento, CA
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3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

We are coming up for a 3 day first time visit to Portland.

Trying to decide what the "don't miss" activities would be.

Thinking of doing the Epicurean Walking Tour and maybe the Science Museum? Any suggestions or opinions.

Will have 3 full days to explore. Also - we'll be staying downtown - will we need a car??

Thanks!!

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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1. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

With kids? If so, ages?

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

What do you like? Outdoorsy stuff, urban stuff? Do you want to see the Coast or the Columbia Gorge? Interested in shopping? Tell us more so we can help!

Sacramento, CA
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3. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

No kids - just me and the husband. It's actually his birthday getaway.

We like just about everything. Art, food, wine, music, hiking, nature, history, museums.... We would like to stay pretty close in to the city of Portland. Just don't want to drive too much (if at all). We love the water - but visit the coast quite often in Northern CA - so that it not a high priority.

Thanks!!

Edited: 12 February 2010, 03:03
Sacramento, CA
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4. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

Not interested in shopping though. Except maybe a farmer's market or something of that nature....

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

Typical "don't miss" activities for Portland are Powell's Books, International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park, Japanese Gardens (across the street from rose gardens), Saturday Market, more recently, Voodoo Doughnuts...... Wouldn't need a car for any of those. But you would for the Columbia River Gorge, which is probably the biggest "don't miss" in the area.

My personal picks for "don't miss" are the dining scene; lots of great restaurants here. And Portland Farmers Market (but it doesn't open until March 20). If you're here March 9, you could see the Kings get beat by the Blazers. ;-)

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

Basd upon your "likes", I'd also suggest the Columbia River Gorge for one of your three days. Car rental companies have offices downtown, so you could leave from there.

http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2141/

Sacramento, CA
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7. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

Thanks for all the great suggestions - most of them are right up my alley! I think our biggest problem will be to fit it all in!!

You said to "not miss" the dining scene - any particular place you'd "not miss" - we are kinda "foodies" but don't like pretentious places.

Sacramento, CA
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8. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

that's a great link - thank you. I think we will spend a day exploring the Columbia River Gorge. It looks beautiful! Probably will wait to see what the weather brings...if it's nice will do some hiking - if raining heavy, at least a nice drive to take in the sights. Just got done hiking in the Costa Rican rain forest last month - that was enough hiking in the rain to last awhile. :-)

Portland, Oregon
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9. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

As for one of those "don`t miss while in Rose City" items, I personally would recommend food carts:

http://www.foodcartsportland.com/

and ZwickelmaniA :

http://oregonbeer.org/zwickelmania/

Cheers

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: 3 days in Portland-first time - what to do?

Pretentious doesn't do well in Portland, so no worries there. If you're staying downtown, Higgins would be easy to reach on foot. Most others would require a streetcar or a bus ride, though not a long one. The streetcar would take you into the Pearl District, where Ten 01 and Fenouil would be good choices, then on into NW Portland, and Wildwood, Paley's Place, or Caffe Mingo. Of those, either Fenouil or Paley's Place would be great for a celebratory meal (probably wouldn't want to wear jeans, but no need to dress up).

My current favorites are on the east side of the river, so you'd probably want to take either a bus or cab. But, any/all would be worth it: Le Pigeon, Castagna, or Toro Bravo. Sel Gris is another, if it's reopened (recently damaged from a fire next door).

By the way, when are you coming?