Contiributor: SAA Host Committee Member Katrina O’Brien, World of Speed Collection Manager
SAA’s 2017 Annual Meeting is coming to Portland and between session meeting, poster events, workshops, and networking, Portland is ready to make you feel at home while offering adventure.
In and Around the Oregon Convention Center
The Oregon Convention Center will be the center of the archives universe during ARCHIVES 2017: alike/different—and it’s easy to get to! Hop on the MAX blue line (http://trimet.org/) from the Hilton Portland. Walk the five blocks from the DoubleTree. Or, if you’re staying somewhere else, rent a bike from one of the many kiosks around town (https://www.biketownpdx.com/).
Cross the street and stop by Citizen Baker (http://www.citizenbaker.com) for a coffee, warm breakfast, or artisan sandwich. After a day of soaking up conference happenings, grab a beer and rethink “bar food” at Spirit of 77 (http://www.spiritof77bar.com). The Pacific Northwest’s own Burgerville (http://www.burgerville.com/about/) serves up a mean burger, fries, and shake. Forgot some essentials? Lloyd Center mall is just a few blocks away, along with a host of eateries, stores, and a FedEx Kinko’s just down the street. Around the corner, the Moda Center is Portland’s premier sports and concert arena. (Bruno Mars will perform there on July 23 and Neil Diamond’s 50 Year Anniversary World Tour lands there on July 28.)
Ask any Portlander where she lives and it goes something like this: “North Portland,” “Outer Southeast,” “Inner Northeast,” “The Pearl,” “Alphabet District” (which make up the Northwest), or “Downtown” (aka the Southwest). The Willamette River divides east and west and Burnside Street divides north and south. Each neighborhood has its own unique charm – and all are worth visiting.
The eastside may be easily cartooned as “Portlandia” (there are plenty of quirky boutique shops, eateries, drinkeries, and personalities in this area), but a walk down Mississippi, Alberta, Vancouver, Broadway, Hawthorne, Belmont, or Foster offers you a unique experience—whether you find yourself in a gluten-free bakery, succulents shop, teahouse, comic book store, or sake bar.
Downtown? It’s where culture moves seamlessly among high rises, clubs, gardens, theaters, and museums. Night or day, there’s an adventure for you. Walk through the Lan Su Chinese Garden; find the smallest park in the world, Mills End Park (rumored to be inhabited by leprechauns); or play vintage video games at Ground Kontrol. Within a few blocks’ radius (all close to the Hilton Portland), there’s the Oregon Historical Society, Portland Art Museum, Central Library, and Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Whether on the eastside (via Eastside Esplanade) or westside (via Tom McCall Waterfront Park), explore the Willamette River running through the city or any of the 500+ food carts throughout Portland (http://www.foodcartsportland.com/). Check out Travel Portland (https://www.travelportland.com) for lots of ideas about what to do and see in each neighborhood.
Beyond the City
After all the learning and networking events, treat yourself to a getaway outside of the city. Head to the western edge of Portland and make your way to Forrest Park (http://www.forestparkconservancy.org/), the largest urban forested natural area in the country. Just a little farther along is the historic Pittock Mansion (http://pittockmansion.org/), with one of the best panoramic views of Portland.
Trek east on I-84 and make your way to Multnomah Falls. There’s a reason why most locals put it on their to-do list for out-of-state visitors. Drive south into the Willamette Valley to explore a treasure trove of award-winning and hidden-gem wineries and tasting rooms (http://www.oregonwinecountry.org/). Pick a direction and you’ll find a worthy destination, whether Mt. Hood to the east, Astoria to the west, Salem to the south, or Vancouver to the north. Some might call it “the beach,” with towns like Rockaway Beach and Canon Beach but Oregonians call it “The Coast”—and it makes for a wonderful day trip. Whatever you have in mind, Travel Oregon (http://traveloregon.com/) is a great resource for finding your perfect adventure.