Downtown Portland is the city centre of Portland, Oregon, in the United States. It sits on the west bank of Willamette River, offering visitors much to see and do. There are verdant parks and a cultural district abundant with theatres and museums. The city centre is also famous for its colourful farmer’s markets and lively annual festivals.
Take a scenic walk along the riverside and admire the city skyline. Tom McCall Waterfront Park has a riverside park trail which incorporates the Oregon Maritime Museum. Springtime in the park sees the trail bloom into a sea of pale pink cherry blossoms. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy live music, watch dragon boat races during the Portland Rose Festival, take a picnic or browse a market. Oregon Maritime Museum is set on a sternwheel steam tug, the last one in operation in the United States. Visitors can tour the engine room, discover maritime artefacts, and learn all about Portland’s history on the seas. Other notable landmarks of Downtown Portland include Pioneer Courthouse Square which hosts over 300 events each year. Also unmissable are the Portland Art Museum and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, one of the most photographed buildings in the city. Shoppers will enjoy browsing farmer’s markets and vintage shops of Downtown Portland. Dining out is also a treat in the city centre. From budget burger diners and bakeries to fine dining South American grills and Italian trattorias, Downtown Portland has it all.
Downtown Portland is ideal for walking or cycling. Streets and landmarks are easily navigated and simple to find on the grid system. Bike friendly streets are signed in green with the words “bike route”. Public transport consists of MAX Light Rail services, buses and streetcars. All the Light Rail and Streetcar routes operate through Downtown Portland. Taxi and Uber are also available.
Explorers Lewis and Clark sailed along the Columbia River just north of Portland in 1805. News of their exploration led others to venture into the area, and settlements began to take shape. The advent of the railroad, lumber and steel industries brought wealth to the city. During the 1970s, Portland became renowned for its progressive urban planning. Downtown Portland of today is well laid out and peppered with parks and plazas, its cultural and maritime heritage evident at every turn.