i remember when i thought omsi was cool in its location by the zoo. since it moved to the waterfront about 10 years ago, it is more than impressive! visit their regular exhibits, their new ones, and their theaters. they have the dome shaped omnimax with huge film, stargaze in the other auditorium, or take a tour on the submarine! if you have litte ones with you, there's a place for them too!
PROS: lots of fun cool things
CONS: can be a little spendy, but worth it
this skate arena is in a nice neighborhood, and offers lessons, free skate sessions, and anything else offered by an arena. they also host many youth competitions and hockey games. there are other ice arenas in portland, but this one is the most connected to the community.
PROS: good skating, good prices
laserport is a pretty cool laser tag arena/pizza place and arcade. honestly, the games are a little expensive at $7 for a 15 minute game. If you are an adult, and you want to play too, keep in mind you'll be firing mostly on little kids. they recently changed locations, and that was a vast improvement
this place houses the city's finest orchestra, and other venues like ballet, concerts, and sometimes even stand-up comedy! i personally saw ray charles once, up close, and almost personal! the prices for the tickets of course vary with the venue, but orchestra tickets are practically nothing, and good for a night to just sit and unwind.
PROS: variety of venues
CONS: hard to find parking
this place is pretty terrific. they have the tower apartments, which are cheaper than the plaza apartments, but still nice. air conditioning is in each apartment, the plaza has washers and dryers and large windows. the tower has apartments that have chef style counters in the kitchen, and a homey feel. extra perks are housekeeping, pool, hot tub and spa, and it is conveniently located in downtown portland.
PROS: good prices (for downtown), nice people
CONS: kind of squished in between buildings
fresh produce, homemade pies and treats, and just generally good farmer's fun, farmer's market is a seasonal event in the park blocks. I personally have tasted homebrewed soda pop, fresh apples, and juicy pears. It's all organic, and most likely a good deal cheaper than shopping center produce!
PROS: great taste, great prices
this place isn't really that big a deal. they have good massages, and your own room to shower off in first, but really, you could do better for the money. they have gift certificates that make good stocking stuffers, and the location is pretty local.
PROS: good massage
CONS: people like ambiance too
this catholic shrine is absolutely beautiful. it doesn't matter if you are religious or not, you are bound to appreciate the many acres of trees, the beautiful grounds, church, and decorations. a beautiful statuette is set into the side of a rocky hill. give a five dollar donation to ride the elevator to the top and visit the glass fronted meditation chapel overlooking portland. at christmas, they have lights and celebration!
PROS: very cheap, very beautiful, very surprising
CONS: none--even in the rain, it's cool!
actually, it's not really that big a deal. mediocre food on a mediocre boat. the trip up and down the river is nice, and the best time to go is in warm weather, so maybe you can sit outside. but the boat itself is not exactly magnificent with the interior. anyhow, they have a full bar and live music (although the drinks are more expensive than in a club), but go ahead and give it a shot.
PROS: a nice change of pace
CONS: too much money for too little effort on their part
this is a nice little place in the pearl district that serves the most fabulously delicious gelato! it's all homemade, and there are many different flavors to choose from. Gelato is kind of like ice cream, only smoother and creamier! you gotta check this place out! open decently late, too!
PROS: delicious desserts
CONS: a little pricy