Explore: Downtown Portland
 

Downtown Portland: Welcome to the Heart of The Rose City

 
The heart of a metropolis says much about its people, its culture and values. If it reflects anything at all, Downtown reflects the city’s unique blend of art and culture, history and vision, old money and new beliefs.
 
 

Downtown Portland At-A-Glance

Scattered among its grid-like streets are verdant green spaces, public art, food carts, retail stores, a world-class urban university and some of the most well-known and -loved restaurants in the city. Described as "compact and cozy," visitors and new residents will quickly become familiar with Portland's recognizable landmarks and easy-to-navigate layout.

 

 

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Also referred to as Portland’s Living Room, Pioneer Courthouse Square is adorned with playful art work and regularly plays host to gatherings of all sorts. From Flicks on the Bricks to Portland's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, when it isn’t decked out in festival style, this brick-built urban park is a popular lunch and people watching spot.

 
 

 

Pioneer Place

This shopping mall is located in the heart of downtown, filled to the brim with upscale brands such as Coach, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton and more. Of course, plenty of more affordable merchants nestle between the luxury retailers, making this a destination for all. The mall comprises four separate buildings connected by underground paths and skywalks, making the shopping experience even more of an adventure than it was before.

 
 

 

PSU Famers Market

Famous for its huge range of booths and offerings, the Portland State University Farmers Market operates year-round. Vendors supply shoppers with fresh ingredients of all types, as well as lunch on the go, delicious desserts, beverages and more. Nestled in the Park Blocks within the PSU Campus, this is Portland Farmers Market flagship venue complete with music, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, food education and other attractions.

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South Park Blocks

Running through Portland State University and replete with public art, these 12 blocks are cited by the New York Times as "at the heart of the city's cultural life." Located along Park Avenue from Salmon St. to Jackson St., the Park Blocks are beloved for their gracious shade in summer and protection from rain in winter, courtesy of trees overhead. While they won’t protect you from a downpour, they do offer lovely walking paths and views of some of the city’s oldest architecture.

 
 

 

RiverPlace Marina

Sitting on the Eastern edge of Downtown, tucked along side Tom McCall Waterfront Park, RiverPlace and Esplanade offer beautiful riverside views, marina access and several fantastic dining options. Take in the blue views from Three Degrees, Thirst or McCormick & Schmick's... or simply enjoy a stroll along the Willamette river. 

 
 

 

Nel Centro

1408 SW Sixth Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
503-484-1099
nelcentro.com

Italian-flavored restaurant Nel Centro is respected not only for its delicious fare inspired by the Italian and French Riviera, but also for its gorgeous dining experience. Located near Keller Auditorium, this is an excellent stop on the way to a show or concert.

 
 

 

Departure

525 SW Morrison Street
Portland, Oregon 97204
503-802-5370
departureportland.com

Perched atop The Nines, an upscale hotel in Downtown Portland, Departure is just what it says … a departure from traditional restaurant fare. A combination of Asian ingredients and cooking techniques with an American flair, this popular restaurant is a flavor experience you can’t find anywhere else.

 
 

 

Portland'5 Centers for the Arts

Last but not least, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts – the name a play on the fact that there are five centers – is one of the city’s economic engines as well as a combination of its best destinations: the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Dolores Winningstad Theatre, Brunish Theatre, Antoinette Hatfield Hall and Keller Auditorium. These, along with Downtown’s many other historic and cultural landmarks, are well worth booking a trip for or planning a day among the skyscrapers of this fair city.

 
 

Urban Digest features the influencers and institutions who shape our communities. We craft visually immersive stories that capture the very best in residential architecture and design. Our essays on urban development, arts and culture offer intelligent perspectives you won't find anywhere else.  And our guides highlight the enduring landmarks that form the foundation of our cities.