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How to Spend an Extra Day in Portland, Oregon

The Pacific Northwest gem offers wonder in every direction

by Hunter Braithwaite

August 14, 2023

Portland, Oregon / Photo: Courtesy of Wasim/Adobe Stock

Minutes from secluded coastlines, old-growth forests, vineyards and flower farms, Portland offers natural wonder in every direction. Also known for being a prime incubator for small and medium-sized businesses, the city is enjoying an upward trend in post-pandemic job recovery. Add in a burgeoning arts scene and dining that balances farm-to-table and global fusion, and your extra day might turn into a week or more. There’s no better time to visit than August, when the art biennial Converge 45 opens at 15 sites across the city, with works exploring nature, culture and everything in between. The message is clear: Head to Portland and keep your eyes peeled.

Pearl District

Powell’s Books / Photo: Courtesy of Kuda Photography

Abutting Old Town, the Pearl District means breweries and Powell’s City of Books. And it means galleries. Start with Adams and Ollman, which showcases folk and contemporary artists. End at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, whose owner also founded Converge 45. Ask for Liz. She’ll tell you where to go next.;;

Woodlark Hotel

Woodlark Hotel / Photo: Courtesy of Woodlark Hotel

A reinvigoration of two historical landmarks, downtown’s luxurious Woodlark Hotel combines Portland’s pioneering past with baroque grandeur. Opened in 1908, the Woodlark deserves its place on the National Register of Historic Places. And you deserve a few nights’ stay.

Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

At The Twilight’s Last Gleaming, 2021 / Photo: Courtesy @Hank Willis Thomas and Jack Shaman Gallery, New York/Aaron Wessling Photography

For Converge 45, Portland collector and patron Jordan Schnitzer is opening his foundation’s warehouse to host the massive “We Are the Revolution” exhibition. Curated with biennial artistic director Christian Viveros-Fauné, the show features more than 100 works by 32 artists including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Kara Walker.


Kaan / Photo: Courtesy of Eva Kosmas Flores

Named after the sugarcane of chef Gregory Gourdet’s childhood, this live-fire spot won the 2023 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, bringing the tastes of Haiti and the rest of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora to the heart of Portland. Don’t miss the twice-baked griot pork, coffee-rubbed smoked rib and chili mango tuiles filled with coconut-lime sherbet.

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum / Photo: Courtesy of Nina Johnson

Boasting 42,000 works including Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and Vincent van Gogh’s The Ox Cart, the world-class Portland Art Museum is an encyclopedia of art history. It also has an eye toward tomorrow, as its new PAM CUT Center for an Untold Tomorrow pushes cinematic storytelling into multiple dimensions.