Top 20 Portland Oregon attractions

Pearl District

The trendy Pearl District is full of cool shops and eateries.

You can find it between 9th and 15th Avenues, north of downtown Portland (with Burnside Street on its south boundary, and Naito Parkway on its north boundary).

The Pearl District is a sophisticated hub of restaurants, cafes and shops, gentrified in the 1990's from a former industrial, warehouse district.

Enjoy no sales tax when you eat out or shop!

10 best things to do in the Pearl District

1. Visit cool coffee shops in the Pearl District.

Start your morning in the Barista coffee shop on 13th Avenue, inside the old Gatsby Building.  

This refurbished warehouse has a rustic feel and is brimming history.  Explore the upstairs levels to see old photographs when it was used as a warehouse for a department store.   

2. Enjoy craft beer at Portland's famous brewpubs.

Visit one of the famous brewpubs in the Pearl District, like Deschutes Brewery (pictured below), Von Ebert Brewing, or 10 Barrel Brewing

3. Explore shops and parks along bustling 11th Avenue.

The best street to explore in the Pearl District is 11th Avenue. It extends 14 blocks north (or 0.5 miles), from Powell's City of Books up to Fields Park. Below is the beautiful French Quarter Linens on 11th Avenue.

4. Visit the largest independent bookstore in the world.

Powells Books is a Portland institution and the biggest independent bookstore in the world. It's on 11th and Burnside. 

5. Catch a show at the The Armory theater.

Keep walking up 11th Avenue to the Portland Center Stage at the Armory. This historic building is the site of many excellent theater productions like Guys and Dolls and the Twelfth Night.  Peek inside the magnificent lobby of this restored building. 

The Deschutes Brewery is just across the road, extremely popular with locals and one of the best brewpubs in Portland. 

6. Take the kids for summer fun at the Jamison Square splashpad.

Continue a few more blocks up 11th until you reach Jamison Square in the Pearl District. This city park has a fountain and tidal pool popular with kids in summer.  There's also a lovely grassed area to hang out on, and an ice-cream shop across the road.

The splashpad at Jamison Square gets super busy in summer, and kids love to frolic in the tidal pool (in the picture below, this is an unusually quiet day!).

7. Relax at tranquil Tanner Springs Park.

Continue another 5 minutes north up 11th Avenue to the more tranquil Tanner Springs Park.  Tanner Springs has a beautiful wetlands area with a boardwalk, and overlooks a spring with koi and turtles.  

8. Visit the playground or stroll around the path at The Fields park.

Another block north up 11th Avenue in the Pearl District is The Fields.  The Fields has an adventure playground, sandbox, dog park, and large recreation field, overlooking the Willamette River and old mill.

There's also a sandbox for kids to play in.

9. Pick up some beautiful stationery at Oblation Papers & Press

Walk north up 12th to Oblation Papers & Press. This local business has handmade paper, custom letterpress, journals, greeting cards and pens in a beautiful, boutique-like store.

10. Explore Portland's incredible food scene at trendy restaurants.

The Pearl's 13th Avenue has a fabulous cluster of restaurants.  Andina is one of the Pearl's best restaurants and has superb Peruvian food in an upscale setting. Another great option is Irving Street Tapas, with tapas and cocktails in a fun atmosphere.  Brix is just off 13th on Hoyt Street, and serves delicious comfort food in a stylish interior.  The trendy Mediterranean Exploration Company has delicious small plates, and The Star Portland is your go to place for pizza in a stylish setting.

What hotels are in the Pearl District?

There are a handful of hotels in the Pearl District.  These include the Residence Inn by Marriott, Canopy by Hilton Portland, and Hampton Inn and Suites

Just south of Broadway there are a larger selection of hotels in downtown, many walkable to the Pearl District.

More Restaurants & Shopping in Portland Oregon

Review this attraction