Vibrant cities form around rivers, and Portland is no exception. That’s why we decided to open Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel on the Willamette River. Its prime location and water views give it a resort vibe in downtown Portland. And in a city known for its vibes, aka keeping things “weird,” there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures, quirky cafes, farm-to-table foods, and exceptional art.
Steps from our hotel, here are some of our favorite things to do.
Pedal To The Metal
Nicknamed Biketown, Portland has been ranked as the #1 biking city in the country seven years in a row by Bicycling Magazine. So, it’s safe to say Portland is bicycle-friendly.
You can find complimentary bikes parked right outside Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel to ride Portland’s nearly 400 miles of bikeways. We recommend traversing the Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People. This two-mile round-trip bike ride may only take thirty minutes, but you’ll want to stop and take in the spectacular sweeping views of the Willamette River.
Dip Into Coffee & Donuts
Portland is a donut destination. Sugar fiends come from far and wide to sample the famous Voodoo Doll creation from Voodoo Doughnuts. While Voodoo is just six blocks from the hotel, we also recommend Coco Donuts. Their Japanese-style mochi donuts and apple fritters are worth the 15-minute walk.
Afterward, head to Little River Cafe by the RiverPlace Esplanade for a taste of Portland’s fantastic coffee culture. Here they use K & F Coffee Roasters for the freshest organic beans.
Shop Big and Small
A roughly 15-minute walk from RiverPlace Hotel will lead you to Pioneer Place, where you can take advantage of Oregon’s no sales tax. This downtown mall includes big brand names like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tory Burch, alongside smaller, local stores.
When in Portland, shopping small is encouraged, so head to Made In Oregon for the perfect souvenirs. Inside Pioneer Place, vendors here sell locally-made souvenirs and food like Pendleton blankets, hand-made fudge, and pine-scented candles.
Enjoy The Open Water
Water sports are a year-round activity in the Pacific Northwest. When the sun’s shining during the prime summer months, rent a Yacht Tub boat. Part boat, part private pool, it’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon floating in the river.
And when the temperatures drop, book an evening aboard a Portland Spirit cruise for a three-course meal and an evening of dancing and live music as the city passes by. For panoramic views of Portland’s skyline from the water, you can rent a boat with the Electric Boat Company and cruise around at your own speed.
Wine and Dine
This foodie capital is known for its top-notch restaurant scene and farm-to-table fare. King Tide Fish & Shell at Kimpton RiverPlace is a seafood lover’s dream. Inspired by the Pacific Northwest waters and Nikkei cuisine, the menu here has everything from fresh-caught king salmon to oysters galore. Its deliciously creative cocktail menu featuring South American-style drinks is worth a stop alone.
If you’re in the mood for famed regional wine, try Oregon Wines on Broadway. This 20-year staple in downtown Portland features locally-grown wines, bubbles and pinot noir flights.
Go Chasing Waterfalls
Hiking the verdant forests around Portland is a much-loved pastime for locals and visitors. And no trip to Portland would be complete without a visit to Multnomah Falls. Just 30-minute drive from downtown Portland, this 2.2-mile hike rewards you with picture-perfect views of the surging waterfall.
If you’re game for more misty trails, opt for the 5.4-mile route to Wahkeena Falls and pass by half a dozen cascading falls.
Where to stay: Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel