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Being a Tourist in Our Own City: How We'd Do Portland

— By: The Team at Nau

It’s become too easy for Portlanders to make a game of complaining about the new swells of summer tourists. We tend to avoid the traps that attract them, but now we’re done complaining. The tourists visit our city for many of the same reasons the rest of moved here, but we think we can do what they do even better. So, we’ve decided to play this game of tourist in this culture-rich town of ours instead and spent the weekend getting out in it, with a little gear and a 35mm camera around our necks. We laced up our hiking boots, rolled up a slight jacket and slipped it into the backpack, then booked the last available room at the Ace, just in time.

In the morning, we rose ready for the day, floated down to the lobby where we sipped on a Stumptown cold brew and made a plan that started with grabbing a split twelver of Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk and Passionfruit Cocoa Nibs around the corner at Blue Star Donuts. We had no problem blowing the cacao dust right off the shoulder patches on our tees.

Blue Star donuts FTW.

As one of the most sustainable cities in the U.S., Portland makes it pretty easy for us to get around without a car. So we zipped down to Old Town on some Lime electric scooters, backpacks on tight, and helmets, of course. We didn’t want to be one of those tourists without a helmet. We rode along the Willamette through Waterfront Park to do perhaps the most touristy thing of all—we snapped a few pics of that iconic White Stag Portland Oregon sign. Who knew being a tourist in our own city would already feel this good?

Later, we grabbed the 20 bus up Sandy Blvd to peruse the zine library during open hours at Outlet PDX, and made sure we signed up for risograph workshop with the studio’s proprietor, then meandered over to Project Object to check out the new show at the rotating pop-up gallery of local feminist activist artists. We each bought a print knowing a percentage of each purchase benefits a local domestic violence shelter.

A crew of creators were assembled for a partnership with Stay Wild Magazine for this adventure. Read more at

Next up, we took a load off next door on the patio at Provodore Fine Foods. Their Flying Fish Oyster Bar, which is located inside the market, serves the finest oysters on the half shell in town, and we needed a bit of fuel if we were going to make it out to happy hour at the Oregon Zoo.

After hopping on the Max, we made it to the zoo just in time to join a few other friends and watch elephants cool off with a pool party while we sipped a round of Rogue’s Condor Kolsch. Rogue is a local brewer that uses the proceeds from its kolsch to help protect the endangered California Condor.

It was about time we got outside, so we loaded up our friend’s wagon for a short drive to Forest Park to catch a few early evening vistas. Forest Park is an enormous gem of urban conservancy, a park 8 miles long with 70 miles of hiking trails just a few minutes from downtown Portland. It’d be a true shame to not put our natural U.V. protected tees to the test in the early evening sun above the city with a few friends on a day like this, and the Fireline Trail #7 is the perfect trail for it. It’s a moderate 3 mile loop hike with a gorgeous view of Mt. St. Helens, and a few family dogs to pet along the way.

We enjoyed hikes in Forest Park and also Multnomah Falls, because, well, it’s gorgeous.

Afterward, we headed back into town to make it to our reservations under the tent in the parking lot at Paley’s Place for a cannabis-infused themed pork dinner called High-on-the-Hog. We stuffed ourselves on cannabis-fed whole roasted pork and a heaping serving of summer vegetables.

A day like this needed a recap nightcap, a round of Day Trip cocktails at the Multnomah County Whiskey Library. We clinked our highball glasses and properly toasted our city. Then we walked back to cash in our chips in our room at the Ace, stopping only for a minute to take our chances on an Oregon Lottery Powerballl ticket at the convenience store next door. We leave the world better than we found it, so that late night impulse dollar went to help support Oregon’s parks. Plus, we always need something lucky to slip into the hand welt pocket of our Daytrippen chinos. It’ll stay safe there.