Downtown , Portland’s thriving cultural center, sits below bustling Burnside Street, Portland’s main thoroughfare, bordering the west bank of the Willamette River. Pioneer Courthouse Square serves as the neighborhood’s cultural and transit hub. Upscale shopping emporiums like Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue and upscale restaurants are a short walk from the square. South along Broadway is the Cultural District, home to the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society Museum and dozens of galleries. Tom McCall Waterfront Park sits along the river, providing tree-lined paved paths dotted with sculptures and fountains. At the top of the park is the Portland Saturday (and Sunday) Market, drawing visitors and locals alike to sift through bustling craft stalls and snack on ethnic food.
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Book a Portland hotel in either North Portland or Nob Hill and you’ll be staying in one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods. Northwest of downtown, sophisticated cafés, wine bars and boutiques line Northwest 21st and Northwest 23rd avenues. Elegant 19th-century Victorian homes and tree-lined streets make the neighborhood delightful for strolling. Southwest is Washington Park, the city’s playground. Come to see the formal floral displays in The Japanese Garden, marvel at the International Rose Garden or wander through the rainforest at the Oregon Zoo.
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North of Burnside along the river, Chinatown and Pearl District bristle with energy. A maze of Chinese grocery stores and restaurants unfurl as soon as you pass through the elaborate Chinatown Gate. The main attraction, though, is the Portland Classical Chinese Garden, a tranquil oasis designed to evoke the wild mountains of China. A few blocks west, craft-lovers can drop in on the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Bordering Chinatown to the north, hip Pearl District is night-life central, with sophisticated wine bars, amiable brewpubs and upscale eateries. During the day, the well- heeled browse the stylish boutiques and galleries.
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Laid- back East Portland showcases the city’s diversity. In the northeast, an alternate vibe pervades much of Irvington, especially around Broadway and 15th Avenue, where a jumble of inexpensive restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques abound. In the south, Reed College is the hub of the Hawthorne District. Bustling university life prevails on Hawthorne Boulevard, where students browse the counter-culture shops and music stores. Antique lovers will find a plethora of trinkets and furnishing within the emporiums in Sellwood Antiques District, south along the Willamette River.
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Across the river from Chinatown and the Pearl District, Rose Garden stands proud as the home of the Portland Trailblazers basketball team. The venue also hosts big concerts and sporting events, including the U.S. Figure Skating Championship. Also here is the Oregon Convention Center and Lloyd Center Mall, where three floors of department stores and chains draw bargain shoppers. South, near the Burnside Bridge, a bustling night life keeps the neighborhood lively.
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