Portland Walking Tours

See Why PDX is the #1 Beer City in the Country at the Portland Fruit Beer Festival

June 8th, 2016


Being the #1 beer city in the country, it feels like we have a beer festival every weekend. And you know what? We don’t mind it one bit. One festival we are proud to have is the first and largest of its kind in the world, and now is in a bigger and better venue. The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is back for its 6th year! This event focuses on bringing the very best and even more selections than ever before of fruit beers and ciders. Also included will be local favorite food vendors, and DJ’s spinning some tunes while you take in the sun and sip away. And the best part, you won’t need a babysitter for the kiddos since the event is family friendly! For nonalcohol-drinkers there will be Hot Lips fruit juices and sodas.

WHAT: 2016 Portland Fruit Beer Festival
WHEN: Friday June 10th (11:30am-9:00pm), Saturday June 11th (11:00am-9:00pm), and Sunday June 12th (11:00am-6:00pm)
COST: $25 per person, includes a branded Govino 16oz cup and 12 drink tickets
WHERE: North Park Blocks in Portland (entrance at NW Davis between 8th Ave and Park Ave in Portland, OR 97209)
WHY: To drink in the number one beer city of course!

Check out fruitbeerfest.com for more details.

Article by Adriana Bordea

The Benson Bubbler: A Refreshing Piece of Portland History

May 9th, 2016

No doubt you’ve noticed the elegant bronze water fountains in many locations downtown, and perhaps you even know that they are called Benson Bubblers. So what’s the deal behind these iconic pieces of Portland history that still flow reliably today? Let us tell you the true tale!

Benson Bubbler

There once was a guy named Simon Benson who was born in Norway and immigrated to Wisconsin with his family when he was 16. In 1880 he moved to Portland with his wife and children and proceeded to take over the Pacific Northwest timber industry by storm. In fact, as a lumber baron he became so wealthy that he was officially one of Oregon’s first millionaires. What did he do with his money? He used it to help others and make the world a better place.

In 1912, to try to prevent his workers from becoming drunk at lunchtime in the saloons, Benson gave the city of Portland $10,000 to create 20 water fountains. Read more »»»

5 Great Meals Around $5 Each for the Frugal Portland Foodie

April 8th, 2016

In most cities, including our own Portland, we know it can sometimes be difficult to find inexpensive dining options that also embody the flavors and essence of a great meal. Most would agree that high quality and sustainable foods are the most desirable choice, yet some of us just do not have the funds. Good news! We found some food spots in Portland where you can actually get a meal for around $5, not including tip of course. You heard us right! And some of these restaurants are actually outside of downtown which means you’ll be hitting up the spots of devout locals. You’ll be a true Portland foodie by the end of your expedition, and without even breaking the bank! Read more »»»

March is Portland Dining Month!

March 17th, 2016

In case you hadn’t heard, we eat well in Portland. Really well. Our local food scene is so celebrated that food aficionados worldwide have showered our talented and passionate chefs with an abundance of attention, awards, and accolades. Our heads have swelled up with pride at how delicious and recognized our culinary scene has become. So while we’re not hungry for positive comments about our restaurants, we are always hungry to try new places and re-visit some of our favorites. Enter Portland Dining Month, the perfect way to make this happen (and here’s the key) affordably! Here’s the skinny (we couldn’t wait to make that pun): 3 courses for just $29 at some of Portland’s best restaurants during the entire month of March. Seriously, we’ll take seconds and even thirds of this sweet deal!


Photo courtesy of Travel Portland

Read more »»»

Sip into Spring with a Local Tasting Event: Cider Rite of Spring

March 16th, 2016

Even though Fall has passed us and Spring is popping up all around us, there is still one thing that has stuck around in our minds that we can’t let go of…drinking some hard cider of course! Not only is drinking cider commonplace in the blustery season, it’s readily available and enjoyed year-round in Portland. And the best part — this upcoming weekend you will get the chance to sip, learn about, and enjoy some of the best ciders all in one place at the Cider Rite of Spring, voted best northwest cider festival by SIP Northwest Magazine. Just remember, it’s one day only so get your tickets now!


  • What: Cider Rite of Spring Presented by The Northwest Cider Association
  • When: Saturday March 19th, 2016 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM (*age 21+ only)
  • Where: Tiffany Center, 1410 Southwest Morrison Street, Portland, OR 97205
  • Price: $30 at the door, $25 in advance (*not including ticketing fees), and $20 for NWCA members (*not including ticketing fees)
  • Tickets: Click here to purchase advanced tickets.
  • Click here for more information.

Don’t forget, if you’re still in the mood for some cider and wouldn’t mind some other brewed, fermented, and distilled options including beer, wine, and cocktails, we’ve got you covered! Join us on the We Got Tipsy In Portland Tour which is offered every Saturday at 1:30 PM. To purchase tickets, gift certificates, or for more information, visit portlandwalkingtours.com or call 503-774-4522.

Article by Adriana Bordea


Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Tourist Attractions in Portland

March 15th, 2016

You think you really know Portland, right? Maybe not as well as you thought. There is so much more to discover other than the usual touristy spots. What speaks most true to the city are the hidden gems placed in between our neighborhoods. Maybe while exploring the outer city limits you might even discover a hidden landmark you didn’t know was there. Below are just a few that make Portland oh so adorable.

The Wishing Tree
Location: NE Morris St and 7th Ave


Photo courtesy of Jason Houser on Facebook

Read more »»»

Nature in the City: Parks and Green Spaces in Downtown Portland

March 10th, 2016

Portland is a green city. We mean that literally. Green spaces are so accessible and plentiful, even downtown, that nature feels very immediate. Parks are an integral part of our day-to-day life here … in fact there are over 275 of them – accounting for over 37,000 acres! It’s easy to find one and sometimes they are even just a few blocks away from each other. Oh how lucky we are!

Some parks have been around for a while and have interesting histories and stories attached to them. Some are newer kids on the block. Some have water features. Many have public art. Whatever your fancy, the juxtaposition of urban surroundings and green oases in Portland is just plain wonderful. Here’s the lowdown on some of our downtown favorites, and may we add that on our Best of Portland walking tour, you will see and learn much more about a number of these parks and (teaser), even see the world’s smallest park!

Chapman and Lownsdale Squares


Photo courtesy of brx0 on flickr

These two side-by-side squares in front of the Courthouse were named after notable gentlemen who settled in Portland in the mid-19th century. Back then, only men could gather in Lownsdale, while women and children were segregated to Chapman. In keeping with the gender distinction, Chapman even features all female gingko trees! And while significant statues representing war memorials and the Oregon Trail are in the squares, it is a huge elk fountain between the two that is talked about the most. Its inaccurate rendering and position blocking traffic has been the subject of much controversy. Go visit it and see what you think! Read more »»»

Local Hot Spots to Experience Portland’s Legendary Music Scene

February 17th, 2016

Since we “stole” the “Keep Portland Weird” motto from Austin, we’ll let them call themselves the Live Music Capital of the World. But we not-so-secretly think we might be able to take them on in that category as well. Portland’s live music scene is extremely robust, and there are a plethora of venues that offer a wide range of settings to hear local as well as national and international acts. There really is something for everyone to discover and enjoy at any given time. We’ve chosen some of our favorites, in no particular order, but make no mistake, there are lots more throughout this very musical city. Just follow your ears!

1. McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
Downtown’s West End


Image courtesy of Crystal Ballroom on Yelp

The most famous attribute of this enormous, historic grand ballroom is its floating or mechanical dance floor which is purported to be the only one of its kind in the country. Even if you only went to feel what it’s like to “dance on clouds,” it would be worth it because let’s face it, everyone is going to ask if you have been to the Crystal Ballroom. Oh the things this elegant music palace has seen (and heard!) in its over 100-year history. All kinds of legends have come there since the 1960s when it became a must stop for acts like Ike and Tina Turner and the Grateful Dead. Nowadays you can find the ballroom filled with the sounds of rock ‘n roll, hip hop, swing, and more. And for additional onsite fun, the little sister of the Crystal Ballroom, Lola’s Room, is located on the second floor, directly below the Crystal where you can experience 10-foot screen MTV videos in the celebrated ‘80s Video Dance Attack. Read more »»»

Love Is in the Air in Portland: Creative Ideas for Valentine’s Day

February 11th, 2016

Still looking for something to do with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered with five of our top picks for a fun, romantic, and creative Valentine’s Day.

1. Date Night Double Feature


Image courtesy of funhouselounge.com

Enjoy not one but two shows centered all around love at Funhouse Lounge. A comfy circus themed bar which has various performances per week is performing “Date Night Double Feature” which discusses love’s cruel effect on us. One show will even have performers spilling secrets to the audience, and the other show is about a girl looking for her prince charming in all the wrong places. This story sounds too real! Performances are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door and run through February 26th at 7:00 PM at Funhouse Lounge (2432 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214). Read more »»»

The Year of the Monkey: Lan Su Chinese Garden Re-opens Just in Time for New Year’s Festivities!

February 8th, 2016

How does the song go? “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” Well, in Portland we did the opposite — in the year 2000 a beautiful walled Chinese classical garden opened to the public on a site that was once a parking lot. Right in the middle of the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood, occupying an entire city block, the beautiful Lan Su Chinese Garden is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. Built by artisans from Suzhou, Portland’s sister city which is renowned for its Ming Dynasty gardens, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is an oasis of calm and inspiration created by the harmonious blending of nature, art, and architecture. Trust us, as soon as you enter the gates you definitely feel like you have left the cares of the modern world behind. We highly recommend a visit.


Photo courtesy of lansugarden.org

We have been missing the garden for several months while it was closed and undergoing some renovations, but we are so happy to announce that it is opening its gates once again on February 8 . . . just in time for a very special New Year’s Celebration of the Year of the Monkey. Over the course of 15 days, many fun events are happening, starting with a jam-packed day on February 8 when each visitor will receive a hong bao, a traditional lucky red envelope. Also on this day, the first 100 visitors will get the opportunity to roll oranges and coins over the threshold of the front door to bring forth prosperity in a tradition called “Roll in the Wealth.”

There are so many wonderful activities planned for bringing in the Year of the Monkey that we can’t possibly list them all here, but if any of these sound intriguing, be sure to get yourself to the garden: folk art demonstrations, calligraphy workshops, lion dances, puppet shows, martial arts demonstrations, feng shui talks, and wishing tree activities. Capping it all off are four nights of lantern viewings on February 19-22 where you can see the magnificent splendor of 150 red lanterns hanging from pavilions and 250 floating lanterns on newly renovated Lake Zither as well as a dragon procession and a lion dance. Lions and dragons and lanterns, oh my!


Photo courtesy of lansugarden.org

Chinese New Year is the most popular time of year to visit the garden, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly encouraged. What’s great is that all New Year’s events are included with admission except for the Lantern Viewing Evenings. And, the garden is just a few blocks from the starting location of our Underground Portland Tour, so a stop at the garden either before or after your tour would be a wonderful addition to your itinerary.

We wish you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Article by Natasha Kelly

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