Portland Walking Tours

Portland Ranked #1 Best City for Food, Beer, Coffee & More!

November 20th, 2015

We can’t help but feel proud when Portland makes it onto another top list. In fact, we’ve made so many top lists we could be on a top list for the city that’s made the most top lists. Some of them are an obvious assertion of what Portland is all about, while others are a little more surprising. Here are a few that will either confirm or challenge what you think of P-Town and its unique traits, with explanations on why Portland is ranked #1 best city for food, beer, coffee, strip clubs, and more.

#1 Top Green U.S. City


While walking down the streets of Portland, the vibe of sustainability and eco friendliness surrounds you. Not only are we thoughtful about our convenient garbage can placement and our recycling and composting practices, but you might even see a few solar panels atop the buildings.


Photo courtesy of Sam Churchill on flickr


#1 Best Beer City


Simply put, we LOVE beer and we’ve got A LOT of it! According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, Oregon is #1 in breweries per capita. There are currently 58 breweries in Portland, and 84 in the Portland metro area.


Photo courtesy of Danielle Griscti on flickr


#1 Best Coffee City


We also LOVE coffee and have A LOT of that too! The only thing better than a warm cup of coffee on a cool autumn day is knowing that the beans used in a Portland coffee shop were likely sustainably sourced, locally roasted, and perfectly prepared.


Photo courtesy of Adam Sawyer


#3 Quirkiest City in America


Quirky, eccentric, outlandish, and of course weird, P-Town has been called many things, and we’re totally okay with that. People truly make this city their own, whether they’re scarfing down a Voodoo Doll doughnut or riding a bike with 13,000 fellow naked people in the World Naked Bike Ride. “Keep Portland Weird” is a mantra we vivaciously support.


Photo courtesy of Paul Kline on flickr


#3 Best Places for Business and Careers


Some might be a little shocked to learn that we’re #3 on a “businesses and careers” top list. The show Portlandia even makes fun of us by saying that “Portland is a city where young people go to retire,” suggesting that our young generation is not employed, and by choice. But keep in mind we do have six large colleges providing quality education and training, we are a city that loves to support our local businesses, and an increase in tourism to our awesome city has contributed to the success of our local businesses as well.


Photo courtesy of ANDREA JANDA on flickr


#1 Highest Number of Strip Clubs Per Capita


Who would have thought?! We are very diverse and quirky and that pertains to our strip clubs too. Want a strip club with a vegan menu and has you tip the dancers using $2 bills? You got it! Only in Portland.


Photo courtesy of Brett Neilson on flickr


#3 Most Bikeable City


Rumor has it that a lot of Portland peeps are upset that we didn’t take first place for most bikeable city. With huge packs of bicyclists at rush hour, bike shops in every neighborhood, and even the new Tilikum Crossing, the only bridge in the country dedicated solely to light rail, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians (without automobile traffic), it sure feels like we should be #1.


Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation on flickr


#1 City With the Most Food Trucks


Yes, yes, yes!!!! Portland has A LOT of food carts from Italian to Mexican, Vegan to Paleo, we’ve got it all! If you don’t know which one to choose, come on the Flavor Street Walking Tour with us and try samples from 7-9 different food carts, all in one afternoon! Order tickets by calling 503-774-4522 or online at portlandwalkingtours.com. Warning: the food you’ll sample will blow your mind.


Photo © Portland Walking Tours

As you might have guessed, one of the best ways to get the real insider’s scoop on what makes Portland so unique is by taking one or more of our seven different tours, guided by a Resident Expert. Because when it comes right down to it…

“We Know Portland!”

Collaborative article by Adriana Bordea and Stephanie Paris

Fall Farmers Markets Provide Thanksgiving Inspiration

November 18th, 2015

Food, glorious food! The bounty of the fall season is upon us as we head into the holidays with Thanksgiving just right around the corner. As Portlanders, fresh, local, sustainable, and delicious food is always on our minds, but never so much as at this time of year. Good thing several farmers markets are still open a little while longer, with some markets staying open year round, because what’s more fun (and yummy) than supporting our local food industry? We’ll give you the 411 on where to shop for The Big Meal, as well as seasonal goodies in general. Fall farmers markets in Portland are sure to provide a bounty of Thanksgiving inspiration!

You can get pretty much all of the main ingredients for Thanksgiving at the farmers market. Name it and it’s probably here: turkey, potatoes, cranberries, chanterelle mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and more. It is definitely winter squash season and you will see quite a variety of those. How about hearty crops like kale, cabbage, celery root, and Brussels sprouts? Yup. And don’t forget root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, and beets. Bread for stuffing and cheeses for hors d’oeuvres are plentiful. Pumpkins, pears, and apples . . . yes please to homemade pies! And more. Definitely more. You’ll find artisan cheeses, cured meats, bread and pastries, pastured eggs, specialty meats like goose and rabbit, pickles and preserves, wine and liquors, as well as non-edible gifts.

We’ll see you there, because we love everything about shopping at our local farmers markets!


Photo courtesy of Stephanie Paris

Lloyd Farmers Market
Open year round (except Dec 22 & 29)
10 AM -2 PM
NE Holladay St between 7th Ave and 9th Ave

People’s Co-Op Farmers Market
Open year round
2-7 PM
3029 SE 21st Ave

Portland Farmers Market at Shemanski Park
Closing Nov 25
10 AM – 2 PM
South Park Blocks between SW Salmon and SW Main St

Portland Farmers Market at Portland State
Open year round – closed Dec 26
9 AM – 2 PM
South Park Blocks between SW Hall St

Portland Farmers Market in King Neighborhood
Closing Nov 22
10 AM – 2 PM
NE 7th Ave and Wygant St

Montavilla Farmers Market
Thanksgiving market Nov 22 10 AM -2 PM
Dec 20th Stock up market 11 AM – 1 PM
7600 block of SE Stark St

Hillsdale Farmers Market
Ends Nov 22; also open Dec 6 and 20
10 AM – 2 PM
SW Capitol Hwy and SW Sunset Blvd

More info at portlandfarmersmarket.org

Article by Natasha Kelly


Ain’t Misbehavin’ Provides Delightfully Spirited Musical Fun

November 16th, 2015

Ain’t misbehavin’… well, maybe just a little in this performance of the Tony award winning musical anthology at Portland Center Stage by the same name as the famous Fats Waller song. The show spent almost four years on Broadway and features 30 songs either written or recorded by the legendary jazz musician who was a major part of the exuberant Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s. Other tunes like The Jitterbug Waltz, The Joint is Jumpin’, and Squeeze Me will make you want to get out of your seat or at least vigorously tap your toes!

The super talented cast with many Broadway credits themselves is part of a production that has a new spin to it. Normally set in a nightclub like Manhattan’s Cotton Club with only 5 characters, this production has expanded to 11 actors and takes place on a rotating set representing different living and performing spaces. Words like high energy, effervescent, brash, sassy, sultry, and infectious have been used to describe this show. Doesn’t that just make you want to jive and swing step your way to the theater? We thought so. That’s why we wanted to tell you about this fantastic show which only runs through November 29.

Recommended for ages 12 and up because after all, there is some misbehavin’ going on and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

What: Portland Center Stage presents Ain’t Misbehavin’

When: Tues-Sun 7:30 PM, Sat & Sun 2:00 PM, Thurs at 12:00 noon, through November 29

Where: Gerding Theater at the Armory, 128 NW Eleventh Ave

Price: Adult tickets $30-$74

Order tickets at: http://securesite.pcs.org/single/psDetail.aspx?p=9049

More info at: pcs.org/misbehavin

This event was featured on the Big Red Arrow Hot Sheet! Check it out to find more fun things going on in the Rose City.

Article by Natasha Kelly

Portland VegFest: Vegan & Vegetarian Food, Fashion, Fitness, Films & Fun!

November 12th, 2015

Something big is about to hit Portland at the Oregon Convention Center this weekend and we couldn’t be more thrilled, especially since we have so many fellow vegetable lovers here. Our mouths are watering as we speak. Presented by Northwest Veg comes the 11th annual Portland VegFest which includes everything you could think of from fitness and exercise to fashion and health, all plant-based of course, talks with experts who know their stuff, and most importantly vegetarian and vegan food everywhere you turn! There will even be films playing including “PlantPure Nation” and “Cowspiracy” which discuss topics surrounding this lifestyle. We need some popcorn here, butter-free of course! And don’t forgot, kiddos are welcome too, so “lettuce all turnip” to the Portland VegFest!


photo courtesy of Portland VegFest on Facebook

Event Details

What: 11th Annual Portland VegFest

When: Saturday November 15th, 2015 and Sunday November 16th, 2015

Where: Oregon Convention Center at 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Price: Adult $8, Group Rate (10 or more) $6, Seniors (62 and over) $5, and Student (ID Required) $5. Check website for a dollar off coupon!

Order tickets at:


More info at: nwveg.org

This event was featured on the Big Red Arrow Hot Sheet! Check it out to find more fun things going on in the Rose City.

Article by Adriana Bordea

Discover the Best Food Carts in Portland

November 5th, 2015

Step into Portland, Oregon and one thing will be noticeable right away; we have a lot of food carts… 600+ and counting! Even though we might not be the ones that started them, we have definitely perfected them. Not only can you find an array of tastes and smells from Thai to Mexican and everything in between, we also have food carts that are perfect for those with dietary restrictions such as vegan and gluten free. And the best part…at most food carts you can get a meal for under $10. Now that’s a sweet deal! The most useful tip we give our guests to find the best food carts in Portland is if you see a line at a food cart, that usually means it’s good!


© Portland Walking Tours

But remember, food isn’t the only thought that goes into starting a food cart. It has to catch the public’s attention, which sometimes means pulling out all the stops. Some Portland food carts portray the most unique and perfect looks such as a dump truck, 50s diner with pink flamingos, science lab, and an old school bus. The name is often catchy too. We can’t help but notice the carts that have the most fun with a play on words, like Steak Your Claim, Mac and Trees, ChickPeaDX, Anything’s Pastable, and Steaks Fifth Ave. Also important is a good slogan, like that of the Grilled Cheese Grill: “Come by for a taste of your childhood, unless your childhood sucked, then we’ll let you have a taste of ours.”

For a detailed understanding (and taste!) of some of the best food carts in Portland, join us on a fun adventure on the Flavor Street Walking Tour! Sample food from 7-9 different carts at the biggest food cart “pods” in downtown Portland. You’ll also learn about the history and hear personal stories from the founding community of the most influential food cart scene in the country. The Flavor Street Walking Tour is offered year-round, and our fall/winter schedule includes tour times on Fridays and Saturdays at 1:30 PM. Advanced tickets are recommended, as the tour often sells out.

Purchase your advanced tickets at portlandwalkingtours.com, call us at 503-774-4522, or visit our box office indoors and under Pioneer Courthouse Square (701 SW 6th Ave) in the hallway between the visitors information center and the KGW news studio. We look forward to having you join us on this tasty adventure!

Article by Adriana Bordea

Portland Art Museum’s New Exhibit Provides an Enriching Indoor Experience for Outdoor Lovers

October 14th, 2015

Here in Portland, nature often takes center stage. With magnificent landscapes and mountain views, green spaces galore and parks aplenty, Mother Nature is truly in her glory in the City of Roses. With so many exciting outdoor activities and recreational pursuits available, people might not realize (or just forget!) that Portland offers many outstanding options for enriching indoor experiences as well. A visit to the Portland Art Museum (PAM) is one such option, and a special upcoming exhibit called Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection will entice indoor and outdoor enthusiasts alike.


Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest, 1903, courtesy of Paul G. Allen Family Collection

Showcasing the development of European and American landscape painting over a period of 500 years, Seeing Nature features 39 paintings that translate the wonder of nature into pictorial form. The paintings were collected by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, who has been a major philanthropist in the Pacific Northwest region. This special exhibit has been five years in the making, and since it premieres in Portland on October 10 before any other city on its tour (including Seattle which has to wait until 2017 — shhhh), that gives us the unique privilege of being first to see all of these paintings together!

The big guns will be here: O’Keefe, Hopper, Cezanne, Canaletto, Cézanne, and Turner, for starters. If you are a fan of Monet, you are especially in luck as five of his works spanning 30 years will be on view. If you are drawn to the magical city of Venice, you are going to be happy to see multiple masterpieces with that setting by different artists. How about comparing the more literal representation of Thomas Moran’s Grand Canyon with the more personal interpretation by David Hockney? There will also be a rare opportunity to view a landscape painting by Gustav Klimt, the man who created one of the most celebrated paintings the world has ever seen in The Kiss. Whether documenting everyday surroundings or making meaning of dramatic vistas, these artists show nature in a light that will inspire.

And perhaps the next time you are gazing at Mount Hood from afar or admiring the beauty of a single rose, you will enjoy your natural surroundings with the fresh perspective gained from your experience of Seeing Nature.

Fun facts about PAM:

1)  It is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest and the seventh oldest in the U.S.

2)  It is family- and budget -friendly with free admission for children 17 and under, free for everyone on First Thursdays after 5 pm, and just $5 on Fridays after 5 pm.

3) Brian Ferriso, the director, is a formally trained landscape painter.

For more information, visit www.portlandartmuseum.org.

Article by Natasha Kelly


Top 10 Fall Activities in Portland

October 12th, 2015

Summer has come to an end, and whether or not you’re still in denial about that, we are not even close to running out of fun things to do in Portland. In no particular order, here are our favorite Top 10 Fall Activities in Portland that you could do solo, with a friend, or with your family.


Photo courtesy of The Pumpkin Patch

1. Get scared witless at a Haunted House
We’ve got a lot of them and we can assure you, they are super scary. You will actually feel like you’re in a horror movie. Villains, chainsaws, blood, and screaming included.

2. Meander through a Corn Maze
For all you kids at heart go check out “The Maize” at The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island, and trust us, you are bound to get lost more than once. And don’t forgot the best part…taking a hayride down to the pumpkin patch and picking the best and biggest pumpkin!

3. Cheer on the Portland Trail Blazers
No more preseason, Portland Trail Blazers officially start the 2015-2016 NBA Season in Rip City on Oct. 27th, and we couldn’t be more excited!

4. Go Ghost Hunting
The Beyond Bizarre walking tour is offered year-round, but somehow seems even more spooky in the fall. Portland Walking Tours will equip you with a ghost hunting device and give you the lowdown on the hauntings in Portland.

5. Binge watch scary movies/TV shows
For those of you on a budget there’s nothing better than spending the night in with friends and watching some classic scary movies while chowing down on candy and popcorn. We won’t judge you.

6. Watch the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Watch people race across the lake at Tualatin Commons in what else but BIG pumpkins, we’re not kidding you! Llamas, kettle corn, and fancy carved pumpkins is only a taste of what will be there.

7. Go Running
Yes, it’s getting to be the holiday season again so why get a head start on burning off some of those holiday calories while rocking a sweet costume!

8. Watch the creation of art at Portland Open Studios
A weekend full of being beyond inspired by seeing local artists in their element as they create art. And don’t forget, holiday gift-giving is right around the corner so why not buy a piece for a loved one.

9. Visit The Spirit of Halloweentown at Mt. St Helens
Exactly how it sounds and more as you enter this town where the movie Halloweentown was shot, and the witch herself “Marnie” is joining in the fun! Yes this is a real place and only an hour away

10. Make a huge leaf pile and go crazy
Why not grab every leaf you can find and make the most humongous leaf pile ever! The various colors of fall, the sounds of crumpling beneath your feet, and of course the pure innocence of it all equals laughter at its finest.

Article by Adriana Bordea

Want a fun wine tour? We’ll throw in the beer, cider, and cocktails for free!

October 7th, 2015

Guess what? Thrillist named Oregon “Booziest State” in the nation. Beer Connoisseur gave Portland the title Best Beer City in the World. And there is an official craft distillation revolution going on in Portland where handcrafted, locally-distilled spirits are available for the first time since Prohibition. To top it off (no pun intended), hard cider is having its moment as the latest fastest growing alcohol trend with sales up 100% from last year. So when we here at Portland Walking Tours thought about offering a fun wine tour, we realized, why not throw in all of our liquid assets? It is an embarrassment of riches that we would like to share, and we love the idea of a walking tour with beer, wine, cider, and cocktails all mixed in (pun intended). We call it We Got Tipsy in Portland, because with all of those different tastings for the first time on one tour, that happy state is bound to happen. And that is how our newest tour was born.


Photo courtesy of Adam Sawyer

We’re all about fun, and we’re also all about giving you the opportunity to become smarter without even realizing you’re learning. Because intelligence is so darn attractive and becoming the go-to person for picking out a good cider or a spirit is going to make you cutting edge among your friends. I mean, hey, while you’re imbibing something truly delicious why not learn about all the things (and we don’t just mean ingredients) that go into making alcohol taste so great in Portland. As your bartender, aka tour guide, introduces your taste buds to the variety of alcohol here, you’ll learn how to really taste these products, and that knowledge will feed your appreciation and curiosity long after the tour ends. We’ll also give you some great snacks, because we would never let you go hungry in Portland.

By the end of the We Got Tipsy in Portland walking tour, you’ll know how and why this local industry ends up on so many best-of and award winning lists. This is so much more than just a fun wine or beer tour. It’s the only tour in town that gives you the best beer, wine, cider, cocktails, and food, all in one dynamic tour. And we promise, what happens in Portland, stays in Portland. Cheers!

The We Got Tipsy in Portland walking tour runs every Saturday at 1:30 PM. The tour begins indoors and under Pioneer Courthouse Square (701 SW 6th Ave) at the Theater on the Square. Advanced tickets required. Click here for more information or to buy tickets to the We Got Tipsy in Portland walking tour!

Article by Natasha Kelly

Two Extraordinary Weeks of Style: Portland Fashion Week & FashioNXT

September 30th, 2015

Gorgeous clothes, famous designers, beautiful models, runways, VIP lounges, after parties . . . where are we, New York Fashion Week? Nope, this is Fashion Week in Portland where there are not one but two different main events celebrating the city in style: Portland Fashion Week (Oct 1-4) and FashioNXT (Oct 7-10).

Wait, fashion is so big in Portland that we have two different main events? Yup, it isn’t just plaid, hiking boots, and Gore-Tex anymore. Sure, the lumberjack look will always be a part of Pacific Northwest attire, and you can see local activewear brands like Nike as a prevalent part of street style. But there is an entire community of independent designers creating and selling their own fashions in a way that is unlike any other city. Proof that the fashion industry is big in Portland: there are more Project Runway winners from the Portland area than any other city in the television program’s history. This does not surprise anyone who knows how creativity, innovation, and DIY pride are an integral part of Portland’s heartbeat. As Michelle Lesniak, winner of Season 11 stated, “Portland has strongly established itself as the most fertile hotbed of emerging talents in the fashion industry.” In other words, we have become a hub. Yeah Portland!

So of course we need two big fashion events to showcase all the buzz and excitement that the fashion industry represents here. And we know you want to be a part of it all.


The first event, Portland Fashion Week, is the 3rd longest running fashion week in the U.S. at 11 years old.  “Keep Portland Pretty” is their slogan, and they don’t just talk the talk of eco-chic, they walk the walk — on the runway, of course. They have earned the title of the world’s only Carbon Negative Fashion Week and the World’s Greenest Fashion Week. They were also the first to feature 100% sustainable fashions and plus sized models. Their mission is to “enhance the region’s apparel design and retail economy by marketing Portland as the preferred platform from which to launch a sustainable apparel or accessory collection.”

We love how they’ve planted nearly 8,000 native trees and this year will be using only eco-friendly cosmetics and hair styling products. We also love that they are committed to featuring local designers, food carts, and libations. Their four-night lineup at 333 NW Industrial Street in the shadow of Montgomery Park will feature sustainable fashion, prêt–à–porter (ready to wear), swimwear, urban influences, bridal, accessories, and hair & makeup. We can’t wait. There is even going to be a special Voodoo donut in honor of Portland Fashion Week® for all of October. It doesn’t get more Portland than that.


FashioNXT, the second big event of Fashion Week, is in its third year and focuses on “what’s next in fashion” — anything fashion forward, innovative, and cutting edge. It is being held under a tent in the open air of Station Place in the Pearl District, evoking the experience of the classic New York Fashion Week tent shows at Bryant Park. This is not just “what’s next” but “who’s who” in local, national, and international fashion. Project Runway aficionados take note: winners and all-stars including locals Michelle Lesniak and Seth Aaron as well as Viktor Luna and Mondo Guerra will be showing their Spring 2016 collections along with designers from Shenzhen (China), Montreal, New York, South Dakota, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Can we just say wow?!

The four-night lineup also promises excitement when the big reveal of two contest winners occurs after the showcases of all the finalists. The Wearable Technology Fashion Competition “encourages designers to make technology wearable in a way that stimulates the public’s imagination.” This is where innovation will truly take center stage. And UpNXT, a contest that supports an emerging designer development program, provides the winner with a generous amount of funding, media exposure, boutique accounts, and much more. We love that FashioNXT supports and nurtures designers as part of their “what’s next” mission.

So mark these two Fashion Week events on your calendar, dig way back into your closet for those fancy duds you almost forgot you had, and spend a few evenings of glitz and glamour checking out cutting edge and eco-friendly fashion in Portland.

These events were featured on the Big Red Arrow Hot Sheet! Check it out to find more fun things going on in the Rose City.

Article by Natasha Kelly

Pop-culture Dominates Portland at the 2015 Rose City Comic Con

September 18th, 2015


Where can you find the original Princess Leia, over 250 artists from around the world, discussion panels with well-known celebs, a Red Cross blood drive at the “vampire cocktail lounge,” and of course fellow comic enthusiasts in spectacular costumes? Only at the 2015 Rose City Comic Con! We know Portland, and we know that an event like this brings out the quirkiness and nerdiness in the best of us, and it’s also one of the reasons we are proud to be keeping Portland weird. This Portland comic convention is in its 4th year, and is bringing in some big names, including Caroll Spinney who was a Sesame Street puppeteer playing Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird. So many memories! Whether you’re a hardcore fan of comics, gaming, sci-fi, cosplay, anime, or fantasy, or if you’re a newbie curious about this community, get yourself over there and expect to have a blast!

What: Rose City Comic Con

When: Saturday September 19th, 2015 – 10AM to 7PM

Sunday September 20th, 2015 – 10AM to 5PM

Where: Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Tickets: Purchase tickets online at rosecitycomiccon.com/tickets or see a list of where to save money when you buy your tickets locally at rosecitycomiccon.com/buy-local.

This event was featured on the Big Red Arrow Hot Sheet! Check it out to find more fun things going on in the Rose City.

Article by Adriana Bordea


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