Portland is a very interesting blend of cultures. You have everything from the upper crust, highly educated and successful people of Nob Hill (aka Snob Hill) to the homeless "Crusties" (crusty punks) living houseless on the streets and bathing in the public fountains. Some interesting and different things I ran across on the west coast:
Self serve water...in every eating and drinking establishment....and it's free.
Clearing your own table (not in the finer dining establishments).
Way too many smokers.
Dogs everywhere.....even in restaurants.
More people riding bikes than driving cars.
The best crafted beers I have ever had.....and they are everywhere.
A disproportionate number of people with no indoor living arrangements.
Food carts and PODS. You can walk a full city block and purchase food cooked and served from campers renovated into kitchens. And the food is GOOD. And every possible culture is represented.
Strip clubs everywhere - I actually heard a female employee outside her club having a smokes say "You know, I don't like clothes. I really don't like clothes at all".I guess she is in the right line of work.
Great places to eat all over the city.
For the number of people with no or low income, the shopping was very pricey
Great public transportation. Street car for local runs $1 for 2 hours. The bus $2.50 for further trips.
VERY FRIENDLY PEOPLE
DO Powell's bookstore
DON'T Voodoo donut. Who in their right mind would stand in line for a donut, let alone an overpriced tourist scam? In a very nice box.
DO Tin Bucket, an awesome bottle store of craft beer and growler sales. Their beer selections rock.
DON'T take a taxi. You can walk anywhere
DO Tugboat Brewery and Bailey's Taproom on Broadway - great beer and atmosphere.
DON"T spend your whole trip in the city. The coast, wineries and hiking are a short drive away and you can rent a car for about $20/day.
DO rent a car from Dollar car rental.
DON'T park it at your hotel. There are parking lots everywhere, they are safe and cost $10 - $15 dollars a day.
DO the test rose garden if you are there in the summer. Touristy but beautiful..
Walk everywhere, taste everything and take a lot of photos!
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