I joined the Secrets of Portlandia walking tour on my first morning in Portland as I had no idea where to start and thought this would give me a good introduction to the city. I was not disappointed in the slightest! Eric, our guide, was fantastic and gave an interesting, humorous and engaging commentary throughout the 2 hour walk - a mixture of history, popular culture and insights into the life of everyday Portlanders. We visited, among other places, Pioneer Square, a farmer's market, the Portlandia statue, and ended up near Voodoo Donuts where I just had to try the bacon maple donut! He also gave great recommendations of things to do and places to eat and drink after the tour and during the rest of our stay - I was really glad to visit the Portland City Grill bar/restaurant on the 30th floor of the US Bancorp tower, recommended by Eric for the stunning views over the river and mountains.
Though this is advertised as a free walking tour, it is well known that the guides work for tips and I was a little disappointed by some of my fellow travellers that they did not leave a tip - you're not pressured into giving money, or into giving a specific amount, but this is how these guys make a living and considering you could pay upwards of $20 for other, more impersonal tours, they are worth every penny!
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