Welcome to Portland Oregon, or known as Bridgetown by locals. With 12 bridges crossing the city and its majestic
landscapes under Mt Hood, Portland is the business center for the state of Oregon and its largest city. It’s definitely not what you would expect. Nestled on the Willamette River (It’s pronounced Willamette, dammit – they rhyme!) it has the 30th largest port in the US. The slogan here is “Keep Portland Weird” but really it’s a pretty normal city with an eclectic vibe.
Accommodations – When I stay in Portland for a business trip, I forgo the National chains at the expense of my miles to stay in one of the many boutique hotels. There are plenty of them and provide a nice experience for my stay.
My favorite and highest recommendation is McMenamins Crystal Hotel in Downtown. McMenamins is a name known throughout the Pacific Northwest for its quirky but uniquely Northwest culture. A Microbrew, winery and hotel all in one stop. After a day in the board room, Data Center or writing on white boards, I enjoy my locally made microbrew with comfort food that is uniquely Oregon.
Another favorite is The Nines — One trip I had in Portland the company set me up at the Nines for a Luxury suite. This boutique hotel is as artistic as the city that it sits in. This hotel has a Restaurant and bar on the roof called Departure with some of the best views inside the city.
Not to be mistaken as 3rd place I also recommend The Rose. This boutique hotel sits right near the waterfront park with great views of the river. Hotel staff along with its throwback to the 60s decor make this hotel uniquely Portland.
Eats and Meetings
Portland is a foodie city. It is said that Portland is the land of milk and honey, along with coffee, tea, beer, wine, ice cream, cheese, salmon, olive oil, berries, corn, apples potatoes watermelon and many other locally sourced foods. The Chefs in Portland pride themselves on using local resources often organic, humanitarian raised and a version for every diet. If you want Gluten Free, Organic, Paleo or any other diet, there is a restaurant for that. There is probably also a food-cart for that. Portland has food carts all over the city with some of the best restaurants in town serving food out of their food cart as well as their brick & mortar building.
With Portland having so many great places to eat and hang out, I have really had to narrow the list down for this post.
– Noble Rot comes in at the top, both physically and metaphorically for my recommendations for a Dinner meeting. This
“East Side” restaurant and wine bar can accommodate small groups of up to about 15 guests. Sitting on the 4th floor on the East bank of the river it overlooks back at the West Bank business district. Not only is it one of my favorite night-time views of the city, the food is amazing. Reasonably-priced comfort food with a Portland twist or a steak dinner that competes with some of the steak houses in the city. All the staff is incredibly knowledgeable about wine from around the world but if you’re visiting the Northwest, I highly recommend some of the top bottles from this region. Warning, don’t come here in a rush. This is the place to go to take your time, talk and enjoy people, food and wine. This very Portland-cultured experience will be sure to impress anyone you are wining and dining. With any large group you should always make a reservation here. This place is usually packed.
– Ringside Steakhouse and El Goucho Steakhouse are 2 restaurants I will tie together. Both are great Steakhouses with uniquely Portland vibe. If you are looking for an upscale restaurant to impress even the hardest food critics, either of these will do that job. Both restaurants have a dress code so be sure to check out their websites before going. Reservations are always needed.
– McMenamins — If its just you and your crew looking to down a few? My “go-to” MicroBrew and food is McMenamins. As I said earlier in the accommodations, this is a casual and uniquely Northwest experience. No dress code and no reservations needed. Open up Google maps because in Portland you are probably just a few blocks from one of the many bars and restaurants they have throughout the city.
Looking for Sushi? Try Bamboo Sushi in NW. It’s a certified-sustainable sushi restaurant (some say the worlds 1st). You can also casually look around the NW district for a flavor of your choice.
Transportation – Portland has great Public transportation. To be honest you never need a car in this city.
–MAX is the city’s light rail. It goes to most areas of the city including from the
airport. You can find the MAX and trolly maps here
—BikeTown bicycles are sponsored by Nike and they are everywhere. Just download the app and jump on a bike to get to any close destination or to stroll around the city to see it from a unique perspective.
–RideShare: Like most places today there is always plenty of Uber, Lyft or Taxi cabs.
–Car Share: Car2Go, Zipcar and Getaround all have presence in Portland for a quick car on the go.
Quick excursions – If you are spending time in Portland working for a couple of weeks and have a day off or two, here are my top things to do or see in Portland and the surrounding areas.
–A day trip to Seaside. Oregon’s Pacific coast is always a great way to spend the day.
—Take a wine tour. Either get on one of the many tours that leave Portland or drive yourself out to the vinyards in Dundee or Newberg. If you only have time for a close stop I recommend Cooper Mountain Vineyard just outside of the suburbs on the
West Side. In the summer they usually have live music on Friday nights.
–Ski on Mt Hood. It’s only about an hour east of Portland. Some years you can even ski year-round.
–Hiking is a big deal in Portland. There are plenty of small or large hikes to go on. Inside the city you can hike in Washington Park or drive out to Multnomah Falls for a well-traveled tourist hike.
–Portland is also a perfect city to loiter in our Pioneer Courthouse Square and drink local coffee while watching people. It’s called “Portland’s Livingroom” for a reason.
I hope you have found this post useful. If you have your own experiences while on a business trip feel free to comment. Also, if you would like any assistance in setting up your travel to Portland, feel free to contact me.
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