Get excited - this year’s Craft Brewers Conference is going to be hosted by the beautiful and quirky city of Portland! If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to take a few extra days outside of the conference to check out the incredible beer scene and walk around the city. But with such limited time, how do you fully take advantage of a city that has been ranked the 11th weirdest in the country? Lucky for you, we’ve provided you access to Kinnek’s wishlist of top unique sights and scenes in the PDX area. Enjoy!
Things to Do
Excited about Furious 7? Check out some real live drag racing at the Portland Raceway! The raceway is also home to the longest running night motocross (every Thursday), motorcycle and bicycle racing, and even charity runs.
- Drag Racing Tickets $9, every Wednesday
- Motocross Racing Tickets $8, every Thursday
This unique music festival features artists in Funk, Jazz, R&B and more all under the umbrella of Soul. Spread out over 2 weeks and 7 venues across the city of Portland, it is an affordable, relaxed way of experiencing music.
- All access passes are $145 but individual shows typically go for $25-$40, and sometimes as cheap as $8.
Celebrate Spring by enjoying 40 acres of tulips! Attend the daily wine tasting, hop on the wagon ride, pick up some bulbs at the gift shop and or sign up for photography class. On weekends, the tulip farm also hosts wooden shoe making demonstrations, a local crafter marketplace, pony rides, and even a paint ball gallery.
Get your game on at this awesome arcade for adults. PBS Portland has bowling lanes, a ping pong lounge, karaoke rooms, foosball, and of course 80’s arcade games to bring you back to childhood. But now that you’re over 21, there’s also 4 bars to choose from with alcoholic milkshakes and gourmet punches like The Paper Tiger Club Punch. When you get the munchies, pick up one of their mouth-watering sandwiches or gastro-diner dishes.
Can you imagine having a daily commute in the sky? Built as an ambitious alternative to a 4-lane urban freeway, Portland’s one-of-a-kind aerial tram allows thousands of people access from the heart of Portland to the Oregon Health and Science University at the top of Marquam Hill. Soaring over Portland at 22 miles per hour, it scales 3,300 feet in linear distance in a mere 4 minutes. At the top lies the largest enclosed sky bridge in North America, where you can see views of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. There are also a multitude of beautiful forest trails, so this is a great opportunity to take a hiking day trip. You can also request a personal tour of the tram’s behind-the-scenes operations!
Didn’t get your fill of beer on the floor of CBC? Check out Beergasm! This event, held at Green Dragon Gastropub, will host 16 breweries, each serving up two specialty beers. The venue will also host live music and a variety of local food carts. All proceeds from the event will go to Keep A Breast Foundation, the leading organization focused on providing support for young people with cancer
- In advance $25, at the door $30
Visit a nearby hop farm
Oregon is home to 14.2% of the country’s hop production, second only to Washington state. Many of them are just 40 minutes down the road from the Portland, so why not stop by and take a look around? If you’re lucky you may be able to catch a tour. Here are just two of the many locations you can check out.
- Oregon Hops - Email if you would like to set up a tour with local growers.
- Rogue Farms - Tours are free and available Saturdays & Sundays at 3:00pm. Contact the Farm at (503) 838-9813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour.
Local Brewery Tours
Do double duty with these brewery tours that also allow you to get your daily dose of exercise! Both end with a complimentary beer, so why not?
This one-of-a-kind art event features over 20 craft brew tastings paired with custom art commissioned exclusively for this event. This year it is hosted by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Victory Brewing Company and beers will be featured by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Company, and more. All proceeds benefit the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.
Looking for a high quality meal for a low cost? Get your grub on at one of Portland’s 500+ local food carts. These carts can easily be found throughout the city, with a large number centralized downtown. With a wide selection of international flavors, you’re sure to find a cart to whet your appetite.
Unless you’re from the pacific northwest, you’ve probably never heard of Burgerville. The food chain owns over 40 restaurants in Oregon and Washington, traditionally serving burgers and shakes. Burgerville makes a conscious effort to operate sustainably - all of the company’s electricity is produced by windpower and they recycle all of their cooking oils. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, order off the secret menu - carte blanche access means even the kitchen sink is fair game.
- Original burger $1.49, cheeseburger $1.69
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House is one of the oldest coffeehouses in the city. Named after Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the famous late-19th century composer, the whole coffeehouse has a classical music theme and frequently hosts live classical music. All tables are named after classical composers, some of which are “haunted" by random vibrations or even levitations. In fact, the whole mansion-venue is reportedly haunted. Though frequently referred to as “spooky,” many regulars seem to prefer the term “eclectic.”
Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most iconic tourist locations in all of Portland. While most famously known for its bizarre assortment of toppings, the shop also provides legal wedding services complete with a catered reception of coffee and doughnuts. So whether you came to CBC to commit to a new bottling line or holy matrimony, stop by Voodoo Doughnut.
80s Dance Party
Don’t forget to pack your spandex and your leg warmers! Friday April 17th celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 80s Video Dance Attack in Portland at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom. Relive the decade that redefined pop music and big hair.
The Peculiarium (2234 NW Thurman St) is one of the last remaining curiosity shops in the country. Lavishly decorated with taxidermy animals, including a “75 million-year old” giraffe, the museum is also an education on the sasquatch, zombies, and aliens. If you get hungry on the tour, there’s a wide variety of insect flavored sweets to tide you over.
If you’re going to Portland, you have to check out The Unipiper, one of Portland’s biggest local celebrities. He rides a unicycle, plays the flaming bagpipes and has been spotted dressed as Gandalf and, most famously, Darth Vader.
Mill Ends Park
The city of Portland is home to Mill Ends Park, the smallest park in the world (452 sq inches in area). What it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Legend (AKA Oregon Journal columnist and park founder Dick Fagan) states that the park is the only leprechaun colony west of Ireland and is home to head Leprechaun Patrick O’Toole, who is of course only visible to Fagan. The park has also been host to a butterfly swimming pool, a miniature Ferris Wheel, annual St. Patrick’s Day Festivities and even a flash mob demonstration for Occupy Portland attended by plastic army men. With spring right around corner this charming little park and its antics is a site that simply cannot be missed.