Local hikers know this: while spring brings flowers and summer a warm reprieve from rain, the very best time to hike in Oregon is fall. During this all-too-fleeting shoulder season, the air is crisp, not sweltering, wildlife busily makes hay (or gathers nuts) while the sun still shines, and determined late blooms still appear here and there, alongside trees newly ablaze with color.
“It’s a refreshing change after the summer,“ he says. “The days that we have blue skies are a good time to soak it up before it gets too rainy.”
Here are five Barker-approved hikes.
Location: Forest Park
Distance from downtown Portland: 3 miles
Trail length: 8.4 miles
Even in summer, when Forest Park is crowded with Portlanders trying to escape city life, the centrally located Maple-Wildwood Loop tends to be less thronged. In fall, look for bunches of bluish-purple Oregon grapes, our state flower. Look, but don’t taste; this native fruit is face-twistingly tart. (It’s much sweeter cooked, or perhaps jellied.)
Location: Washington Park, near the Oregon Zoo
Distance from downtown Portland: 4 miles
Trail length: Varies
There is no one right way to explore Portland’s living tree museum. Whether you want to relax or challenge yourself, there is a trail for everyone. Looking for some guidance? On Saturday, October 21, you can take the Fall Color Tour. But, if you want to wander by yourself, we recommend the southern urban terminus of the Wildwood Trail, where you can see the dramatic hues of the small but mighty Franklinia altamaha, or Franklin tree, decked out in fragrant white flowers.
Location: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Washington)
Distance from downtown Portland: 29 miles
Trail length: 2 miles
The refuge trail is a great place for viewing wildlife, particularly the many migratory birds that pass through this rich wetland ecosystem from September through December. (To quote the journals of one Captain William Clark, passing through here in 1805: “I slept but very little last night for the noise kept up during the whole of the night by the swans, geese…brant (and) ducks on a small sand island…they were immensely numerous and their noise horrid.”) There are more tranquil attractions here, too—witness the refuge’s numerous Oregon white oaks, whose fall leaves turn copper as their branches grow heavy full of acorns. If you’re lucky (and quiet), you might even spot a coyote or the adorable red fox.
Location: Columbia River Gorge (Washington)
Distance from downtown Portland: 70 miles
Trail length: 9.4 miles
Desperate to get back to the Columbia River Gorge? There are a few trails that were left undamaged by the Eagle Creek Ffre, including this challenging loop, which not only boasts three gorgeous waterfalls but also, during fall, a fringe of yellow maples bordered by huge green Douglas Firs. If you go before the weather gets too cold, you can also see wild roses lining the trail.
Location: Indian Heaven Wilderness (Washington)
Distance from downtown Portland: 105 miles
Trail length: 3.3 miles
Warning: this trail is steep; you’ll climb 1,000 feet in two miles. But there’s a benefit to the climb: spectacular views of Mt. Rainier once you reach 5,100 feet. On the trail, look for plentiful larches, which in summer resemble regular evergreens; come fall, however, their needles turn a golden yellow. Also look for bushes filled with huckleberries—they can be picked until mid-November.
The Classic Brewpub: Ancestry Brewing
Southeast Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood can feel something like Northwest Portland circa 2005: low-key, but with signs of imminent growth everywhere you look. Opened last summer in the ground floor of a newish condo building, Ancestry embraces all these qualities. On weekday afternoons the Tualatin-based brewery’s second site is decidedly “Sunday Funday,” with locals leafing through newspapers while sipping on one of the pub’s 23 draughts or digging into a heaping burger, while unleashed dogs sprawl in the sunshine on the sidewalk. 8268 SE 13th Ave
MUST DRINK: The Legion Session IPA, a bright, easy-drinking vision of Portland’s signature style —MP
The Science Lab: Labrewatory
Taste something you love at Labrewatory? Too bad—it’s never coming back. The North Portland spot, a project from brewing equipment maker Portland Kettle Works, stocks its taps with experimental one-offs, made in collaboration with brewers from near and far. And, somewhat stunningly, the approach succeeds more often than it flops: a recent visit yielded a well-balanced farmhouse saison; a slightly spicy stout pepped up with Mexican chocolate and cinnamon, and a lovely, low-ABV yuzu sour. The décor is modern farmhouse dungeon: lots of salvaged wood and steel, with a few nods to science, including metal-ringed Edison bulbs that recall atomic particles (or, according to a friend, “bondage orbs”). 670 N Russell St
MUST DRINK: The taplist is always changing, so order whatever looks weird—say, a blond sour aged in tequila barrels and finished with Sencha green tea—and cross your fingers. —RJ
The Slabtown Surveyor: Breakside Northwest
A city gets what it needs when it needs it; right now we need a perch to watch Slabtown transform. Breakside’s high-ceilinged, glossy-finished new outpost rallies this Northwest pocket’s rapidly growing population of residents and workers: when the sun shines, the garage doors swing up, bar-side talk turns to real estate, and the surrounding construction sites just seem like scenery. Meanwhile, sparkling seasonals flow—the piquant, muscular Rhymes With Blood Orange IPA, for example, packs a zip code full of citrus. 1570 NW 22nd Ave
MUST DRINK: The IPA-heavy list rarely disappoints. If it’s still on tap, try June’s Rainbows & Unicorns, a session IPA that glimmers and shimmers with pineapple and peach. —ZD
The Wheatless Walk-Up: Moonshrimp Brewing
Convenience has never been a hallmark of Portland craft. But scoring a bottle of Moonshrimp is not easy even by local standards. Opened last April, the tiny two-barrel operation sells 22 oz bottles from its walk-up window on the side of a lime-green building in Southwest and only on Tuesdays. (You can also find Moonshrimp at a few select bottle shops in town.) In his defense, owner Dan McIntosh-Tolle says he likes to “see things differently.” Where others see a man in the moon, he sees a shrimp. (Hence the name.) After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, McIntosh-Tolle whipped up an addictive, adaptable gluten-free recipe using water, vegan beet sugar, and millet, yielding fruity, wine-like “ales” similar to brettanomyces—“Brett”—beers. 8428 SW 22nd Ave
MUST DRINK: The Starlight White Ale, a crisp, dry ale with slightly tangy, orange notes. —MN
The Industrial Outpost: Sasquatch Brewery and Taproom
Owner and brewer Tom Sims has been pouring classic Northwest ales at his Hillsdale brewpub since 2011. But after opening this 4,000-square-foot, 15-barrel, 22-tap expansion in industrial Northwest this spring, Sims and head brewer Mike Paladino plan a renewed assault on Portland’s beer scene, sallying forth with lagered beers, barrel-aged ales and ciders, and, soon, bottles. Clean white tiles and dark woods bestow a lively modern vibe on the space, with an outdoor patio in the works. Local artist Chris Bigalke painted a bright, wall-size mural to honor the tasting room’s best feature: its location. With the Aspen and Wild Cherry trailheads just minutes away, Sasquatch hopes to become the post-hike destination for thirsty Forest Parkers. 2531 NW 30th Ave
MUST DRINK: The Grapefruit IPA, a tart citrus spin on the Northwest classic, signaling Sasquatch’s experimental mood. —MP
The Drive-By Surprise: Ross Island Brewing
In the scrum of rush hour, car commuters flow past the drab cinderblock structure just southeast of the Powell Boulevard bridgehead. That’s fine; brewmaster Carston Haney (formerly of Alameda Brewing) seems to be banking instead on Brooklyn neighborhood foot traffic. Varied locals sip his remarkably well-balanced British styles in a five-month-old taproom awash in quirk: all vintage frontiersman accoutrements and air plants. Do the mounted wooden paddles presage a coming flood of interest? 730 SE Powell Blvd
MUST DRINK With notes of chocolate and coffee, Ben’s Porter is a can’t miss. —RD
The Northern Reaches: Royale Brewing & Garrison Tap Room
Hard by the train tracks down a dead-end street north of NE Lombard, in a ramshackle building that also includes a metal workshop and a theater, Royale Brewing’s industrial-feel tasting room sits snug against its 15-barrel brewhouse. Hours change with the day and the season, but Mondays can bring a flock of pedalers headed to or from the bike races at nearby PIR, with numbered racers enjoying a discount on pints of Royale’s dependable classics (a Bavarian-style pilsner, a golden Fat Unicorn pale). Five miles away, Royale’s Garrison Tap Room, abutting the Sudra and 87th and Meatballs on the main drag of St. Johns, is an indoor-outdoor spread with picnic tables and a clear-roofed patio (kids allowed outside only), the garage door–style windows open for a clear view of the sportsball on the TV and projector screen inside. 55 NE Farragut St (brewery), 8773 N Lombard St (Garrison)
MUST DRINK: The citrusy seasonal Willamette Stone Summer Ale, a cloudy wheat number with Meridian hops and just the right amount of tang —MS
The Patio of Dreams: Wayfinder Beer
Crowds already flock to this Central Eastside brew complex from Double Mountain cofounder Charlie Devereux and the dudes behind Sizzle Pie and Podnah’s Pit—with nary a sip of house suds on tap. From the brawny tap hall’s huge, crazy-angled cedar deck and hearty roster of wood-fire-grilled comfort grub to 16 taps of German-inspired brews—it’s a hoppy pleasure palace. But by summer, Wayfinder brewmaster Kevin Davey (Gordon Biersch, Firestone Walker) finally gets to show off his own beers, primarily clean German- and Czech-style lagers as well as IPAs to start. (A pale lager and IPA dropped in early June.) “I trained in Germany ... I’ve got lager street cred,” laughs the brewer, who ran the popular lager operation Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham, Washington. “Expect to see some great traditional beers. It’ll be like a trip back to Europe.” 304 SE Second Ave
MUST DRINK: For now, guzzle a Snufflefluffagus, the brewery’s hop-dizzy “Dank IPA” collaboration with Zoiglhaus. —KC
The Portland Art Museum is featuring a major new exhibit on well-known architect John Yeon. For more information on both Yeon’s architectural legacy as well as his roll in conservation click here.
Portlanders don’t need to travel far to get out for spring break – though there are plenty of good day trips around the region. Instead, consider sticking around the city, taking advantage of all Portland has to offer.
With miles of beautiful hiking trails, several top-notch attractions and activities for kids and adults alike, Portland can be a spring break sanctuary, requiring little expense and little trouble getting around: many places on this list are free and several are accessible by public transportation. From spring flowers to LEGO art, here are 10 local excursions for the break.
Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian
It’s never a bad time to visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, but this spring is an especially good time to go. Last month the museum opened its spectacular new LEGO exhibit, “The Art of the Brick.” Featuring large-scale work by acclaimed Oregon-born artist Nathan Sawaya, the exhibit features a 20-foot tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, reproductions of several famous works of art and Sawaya’s famous sculpture “Yellow.”
2. Portland Hikes
When people talk about hiking around Portland they’re not usually talking about the city itself. It’s a shame, because Portland boasts a wide network of incredible hiking trails, from the 30-mile Wildwood Trail in Forest Park to the nine miles of trails atop Powell Butte. Locals might want to visit the lovely Marquam Nature Park in southwest Portland, or tackle the 11-mile Marquam Trail hike from Forest Park to Willamette Park.
3. Oregon Zoo
Even if you’ve spent a lot of time at the zoo, there’s actually a lot that’s new to see at the popular Portland attraction. Last month marked the grand opening of the Oregon Zoo’s new education center, while new polar bear cub Nora is still making a splash. The zoo will also host a spring break day camp from March 27 to 31.
4. Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
March 24 marks the opening of the always-colorful Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in 2017, a month-long display of blooming tulips at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn. The 40-acre farm lets visitors wander through and take pictures with the flowers, offering wine tastings, cow train rides and fresh-cut flowers to boot.
5. Oregon City
Oregon City isn’t at the top of many travel bucket lists, but it’s a great afternoon trip for Willamette Valley residents or Oregon history buffs. The McLoughlin Promenade walk is a good way to tour the city, going from the lovely main street up the famed Municipal Elevator, past overlooks of Willamette Falls and the Blue Heron Paper Mill, and to the historic McLoughlin House.
6. Fort Vancouver
One of the most popular national park sites in the Pacific Northwest, Fort Vancouver is also by far the most convenient to get to from Portland. Set along the northern shore of the Columbia River, the historic park is a throwback to the pioneer era, complete with blacksmithing demonstrations and reconstructed quarters from the fort’s time of prominence in the Oregon Territory
7. Stiegerwald National Wildlife Refuge
Head across the Columbia River, then drive west past Washougal in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and you’ll find a wildlife wonderland that’s definitely worth your time. The Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is home to deer, beavers, turtles, toads and more than 200 species of birds. Bring your binoculars and hit the trail, where the animals aren’t exactly shy.
8. Portland Japanese Garden
It’s an exciting time at the Portland Japanese Garden, which on April 2 will open its new Cultural Crossing expansion, including several new garden spaces, a castle wall, Umami Tea Café and several other buildings for educational and shopping purposes. The old garden area will still offer the same tranquility and beauty as always.
9. Umbrella Festival
Highlighting Portland’s colorful underground circus community, the annual Umbrella Festival will run from March 30 to April 2 at the Alberta Rose Theatre in northeast Portland. Every day offers a different show, ranging from youth-oriented and family-friendly shows to performances aimed at adult audiences only.
10. Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
Located just southwest of Portland in McMinnville the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is a great local excursion for all-ages, featuring a hanger full of air and spacecraft, as well as a waterpark, theater and educational events. On March 31, the museum will host a spring break model rocket day camp for kids.
By Kelly Clarke 1/23/2017 at 4:34pm Published in the February 2017 issue of Portland Monthly
The Heathman Hotel’s Lobby Tea Court Lounge, with its wood paneling and crystal chandeliers, was long a fusty-wonderful spot for British-leaning dainties and drinks. But when chef Vitaly Paley revamped the grand downtown hotel’s restaurant to launch Headwaters last fall, he also set about lending a distinctly Russian accent to its cobwebby weekend prix fixe tea service, plucking inspiration from his own Belarus childhood.
Nowadays, the once staid chamber is cheered with bright matryoshka-patterned tea towels and towering silver samovars. A squadron of mismatched antique teapots lines the Heathman’s grand staircase. With aplomb, servers pour steaming pots of eight fragrant teas, including the Georgian Caravan blend, a robust homage to classic Russian black teas from Portland’s cult Smith Teamaker. Next up: three-tiered stands groaning with pickled, cured, and baked Eastern treats, and a cavalcade of sweets, including Grandma Paley’s own dynamite sour cream–walnut cake. It all adds up to a rare special-occasion lunch that pleases all comers.
“When I think of English tea, I think of crustless cucumber sandwiches and ladies in bonnets,” muses Paley. “When I think of Russian tea, it’s for everyone.”
For more information:
Russian Tea Experience
Headwaters at the Heathman Hotel
Noon and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays; reservations only
1001 SW Broadway
In November, the American Institute of Architects Portland announced the results of their annual design awards at a gala hosted at Revolution Hall. Among the 14 selected projects were buildings designed by ZGF Architects, which was nominated firm of the year by Architect Magazine, and Waechter Architecture, a company with no shortage of AIA awards.
The jury consisted of renowned Boston architecture experts Mariana Ibañez of Ibañez Kim Studio, Tim Love of Utile Design, and Elizabeth Whittaker of Merge Architect. Mayor Charlie Hales also selected four projects, including a micro house designed by Fieldwork and a modernist apartment building designed by Works Progress.
Check out who won what in the slideshow above.
Have you ever visited the South Waterfront’s quarter-mile public park designed by Portland/Seattle based landscape architecture firm Walker Macy? If not, the views are quite spectacular and a welcome escape from the city. — at South Waterfront Park.
Trends come and go but one that is sure to stay is the use of tile. Transform a room’s “vibe” by incorporating simple hues in intricate patterns, or go the bold route and use a dramatic color in a simple pattern.
Artistic Tile has a beautiful white gloss circular mosaic in glass
Shift the mood by creating a “backsplash” to your fireplace like this photo, using navy blue FireClay tile