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Best Hidden Gems in Portland

By: Cityseeker
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Union Way

Established in the summer of 2013, Union Way is the narrow pathway that connects West Burnside Street and Southwest Start Street in Downtown Portland. This narrow alley is home to around nine stores and eateries, making it a wonderful shopper's destination. Clothing stores like Steven Alan, Marine Layer and Self Edge, wellness shop, Spruce Apothecary are some of the outlets that line this alley. Gourmands can splurge at Little T Baker, Boxer Ramen and satiate their sweet tooth at QUIN. Enjoy a shopping spree as you walk from Ace Hotel to Powell's Books store, located at either end of Union Way.

Portland, OR, United States
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Architectural Heritage Center

The Architectural Heritage Center of Portland is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the architectural heritage of the city. The center itself has one of the most extensive collections of architectural elements and artifacts to be found in the entire United States. Take a tour of the museum and marvel in their eclectic exhibitions of artifacts from different ages, times and places. Browse through their extensive research library for articles you need in your thesis or sign up for one of the walking tours of the city's heritage buildings which are regularly organized by the center.

Portland, OR, United States
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Tanner Springs Park

Constructed over the wetlands that were present before the industrialization of the Pearl district, Tanner Springs Park is a quiet getaway from the busy industrial region. This park was built in 1998 and was designed by ace landscape architect Atelier Dreiseitl. The ponds and streams in the park were designed by Herbert Dreiseitl who painstakingly perfected the sound of water to give the visitors a feeling of tranquil when here. Another notable feature of this park is its eastern wall which features distinctive designs made with ancient railway tracks and glass paintings and give this park its uniqueness. The park being a quiet place, you can enjoy some me-time here or practice yoga with other fitness enthusiasts who frequent this place.

Portland, OR, United States
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Upright Brewing

Located in the basement of the Leftbank Building, the Upright Brewing Company is a delightful beer-producing gem headed by beer maestro Alex Ganum. This ingenious micro-brewery is inspired by the rustic tradition of French and Belgian farmhouse-style beer making, to which Ganum provides its own Pacific Northwestern twist. An adjacent tasting room invites beer mavens and enthusiasts alike to participate in pairings and tastings, accompanied by live blues music. This brewery is also part of a celebrated beer tour around Portland.

Portland, OR, United States
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Lovejoy Fountain

Three hundred yards from Pettygrove Park, you will find this favored fountain named after Asa Lovejoy, the railroad developer who lost the coin toss against Francis W. Pettygrove for the right to name the city. Wading in most of Portland's fountains is permitted. Here, in both the upper and lower pool, as well as on the steps and stepping stones, wading is a great to cool off on warmer days. Bay area architect, Lawrence Halprin designed this treasured water attraction.

Portland, OR, United States
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KIVA

The brainchild of Kiva Lane, KIVA is a unique place to get rejuvenated or just hangout over a great cup of organic tea and delicious food. It comprises of a day spa and cafe under one roof, yet both are distinct in their appearances. Get transported into a world of serenity in their spa. With elements of Indian and Balinese designs, candles and Middle Eastern music playing in the background, it features four treatment rooms and a foot sanctuary. Throughout KIVA, you will see the beautiful harmony of the eastern and western cultures. Feet are the most overlooked part of the body. Get them beautified and relaxed in the foot sanctuary with various styles that will delight you. Get pampered by their massages, facials and body treatments that are not only blissful but will also give you a glow. Enjoy great food prepared fresh daily as per your order in their cafe or take a sip of fragrant tea, coffee or smoothie.

Portland, OR, United States
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Historic Belmont Firehouse

The history of the Portland fire department dates back more than 150 years. The department came into existence in the 19th Century and has been serving the community of Portland since. The Historic Belmont Firehouse is a testament to the heritage of firefighting in Portland. The firehouse building has undergone renovation many times but still manages to hold on to its historic charm. Inside the building is the Jeff Morris Fire Museum, which has displays of many kinds of firefighting equipment. Unlike other museums where touching exhibits are strictly prohibited, you can touch and handle several of these artifacts to understand how they work. Some interesting elements include the Jeffers Sidestroke Handpump Fire Engine from 1859 and the Hose Cart from 1860. Timelines of the milestones of the fire department's history adorn the walls and an audio guide is also available for those who want additional information.

Portland, OR, United States
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Multnomah Village

Tucked into the historic town of Multnomah, this shopping destination resonates with the pulse of Portland. Only 10 minutes away from downtown, these old streets fill with shoppers and course with activity. Antique shops intermixed with trendy restaurants and Victorian homes crowd the hilly neighborhood. Popular items around here include coffee at Village Coffee and, of course, antiques. Credit card acceptance varies by establishment in Multnomah Village.

Portland, OR, United States
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Elk Rock Island

Formed by a volcano that erupted around 40 million years ago, this gorgeous island is known for its jagged rocks. Explore this natural wildlife habitat and stroll along its hiking trails that wind around the bay, where blue herons feed and sturgeon swim in some of the deepest waters of the Willamette River. The island has seven different habitats, including Emergent Wetland, Riparian Forest, and Willamette Valley Grassland. See if you can spot a bald eagle's nest in one of the trees!

Portland, OR, United States
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