Oregon Brewers Festival

Hey Portland!  We’re back and ready for another round of 365 great things to do in Portland!  This season is packed with some great things to do in Portland and we’ve even decided to expand our horizons and add some new activities around Oregon.  Whether you are native to the area or just in town, there is always something going on in the Pacific Northwest, and we’re here to bring them to you- 365 days at a time!

This sunny weekend,  join me and over 80,000 other beer lovers at the Oregon Brewers Fest – celebrating 24 years of hand crafted beer.  This year’s line-up is better than ever, with live music, yummy food options, beer memorabilia, vendors, and LOTS AND LOTS of beer.

It’s going to be a nice weekend so grab your sunglasses and sunscreen, and head to Tom McCall Waterfront Park to enjoy a great time with friends and family.

The event will go from July 28th (today) through July 31st.  Thursday through Saturday hours are 12:00pm-9:00pm and on Sunday from 12:00PM-7:00PM.  

There is a root beer garden for people underage, so they are welcome to enjoy the event with parents.  

The best news is the event entrance is FREE however to consume tasty beverages a $6 mug purchase is required and wooden tokens cost $1 each.  The cost of a tasting is 1 token or four for a full mug of beer. 80+ beers, 80,000+ attendees- sounds like fun to me!

Have fun Portland, happy summer, and please drink responsibly.  
Neighborhood: Downtown Portland
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Main entrance at S.W. Oak Street and Naito Parkway

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Day 365!!: Nike, Inc.

Well, today is a very bitter-sweet day for 365:  We have reached our final day of our year together; capturing all of the great things that Portland is known for.  On our final day, we wanted to suggest something, maybe THE thing, that we have, that no one else does.  It’s a symbol known worldwide, and something our rainy town can be proud of: NIKE.  Nike is the world’s largest sporting goods company, a symbol, a brand, a lifestyle, and something near and dear to Oregonians because the World Nike Campus is right here in the Portland suburb of Beaverton.  We’d like to celebrate this year with you, and thank you for all of your support this year.  Cheers to our final post of the year, read it… c’mon, just do it.

The company was started in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, and officially took on the name Nike is 1978.  Nike is the Greek goddess of victory, a symbol synonymous with this famous brand.  The signature Nike “swoosh” was created in 1971 by Portland State student Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design major, who provided Phil Knight with freelance work at $2 per hour.

Today, Nike employs over 30,000 people worldwide, and effects millions more than that. Not only has it become a staple in the athletic community, but in the Oregon community as well, both for it’s rooted history and its symbolism.

I’m a HUGE Nike fan.  I love the marketing, I love the look of the gear, and I love the fact that Portland is a name known all over the world for our attachment to this brand.  

If you’ve never gone and visited the Nike Campus or the downtown NikeTown, I will suggest you include it in your places to see before you are ever truly considered a Portlander.  I attended the BCS Football Championship game in Arizona this year and I can’t tell you how excited I was to see a Nike billboard with an Oregon Ducks football player.  There’s just a certain feel about how Nike portrays a message, and I can say it made me extra proud to be an Oregonian.

The original Nike World Headquarters officially opened its doors in June 1990. By 2001, the original campus had doubled in size with the addition of six more buildings. Today, there are 17 buildings named for legendary athletes. All together, the buildings on campus total slightly more than 2 million square feet or just about 35 football fields.  The main entry to Nike World Campus is at One Bowerman Drive, honoring legendary University of Oregon, Olympic Track and Field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman. In addition to the 193-acre campus near Beaverton, Portland is also home to the first Niketown, also opening in 1990. 

When you walk into Niketown, you’ll be amazed by the innovation, construction, and the great service!  Whether you’re looking for shoes, athletic equipment, or that perfect training outfit, all designed to make you feel like a champion.  There’s so much culture here that even if you aren’t in the market for sporting goods, taking a stroll through the store is well worth the trip.  

There are too many unforgettable sporting memories attached to this majestic brand, and as a true Oregonian, I’m proud to have such a world-renowned entity, right in our very backyard. 

Nike Campus:
1 Bowerman Drive
 Beaverton, OR
 (503) 629-3354 ‎
Click for a map
Downtown NikeTown:
930 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97204
Click for map


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Day 364: Open Mic Nights

It’s our second to last day, Portland! Can you believe it?  I don’t know about you, but all this rain is making me want to sing the blues.   What better thing to do on any given night, than head out to some of Portland’s finest establishments, and try your luck at the various open mic nights!  Join me Portland, and sing the blues!

Alberta Street Public House:

We’ve featured businesses on Alberta Street numerous times, the street has so much livelihood and character!  And the Public House is no different.  Great food, a good vibe, and an even better Wednesday night! Wednesdays are mic nights at the House, every Wednesday at 7:30!  If you love to sing, then come here to belt your heart out. If not, I can guarantee that the entertainment will be enough to satisfy.  Their happy hour here is amazing- $1 off wells and micros, and $3 food M-F from 5-7:45. Check them out!

1036 Northeast Alberta Street
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 284-7665
click for map

Slim’s Restaurant and Lounge:

Check out mic nights at Slim’s on Tuesday nights!  Come down and play a set for an awesome audience!  If you don’t play, sing along, and enjoy the great Portland talent!  The beer is flowing and the food is tasty!  Slims is one of my favorites for a night of entertainment!

8635 N Lombard St
Portland, Oregon 97203
(503) 286-3854
click for map
Buffalo Gap:

Buffalo Gap is another 365 favorite- we’ve featured it alright for its live music scene!  But, they don’t just have professionals come in and play; Anyone can play here, Tuesday nights!  Every Tuesday in the attic, bring your friends and enjoy the unpredictable atmosphere! Anything can happen on Open mic night!  Audience gets to pick the favorite, so come on down and try your luck.  Best part about this Open Mic?  There’s a $50 prize for the winner!

6835 Southwest Macadam Avenue
Portland, OR 97219-2313
(503) 244-7111
click for map

There’s so much to do in our beautiful city, why not try it all?  It’s time to step our of our comfort zones and try new things, there are so many opportunities that Portland has to offer, it’s just up to us to live a little and experience them.  Start today, 365ers! Cheers!

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Day 363: Rhythm Traders

We are really getting down to the wire, Portland!! Only 3 days left!  What an amazing journey it’s been.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and business owners,  had tons of support from fans and from Sari (the best sidekick in the entire world), and had the opportunity to do and see some truly amazing things that I never knew existed.  Portland is an amazing place and, one that I hope to be a part of for the rest of my life.  Speaking of amazing, today’s post is just that at more.   Day 363 is for my great friend and business owner, Caton Lyles.  

Caton is one of the many great instructors at Rhythm Traders, and someone I am truly blessed to know.  Caton is a drum veteran and has been all over the Portland music scene for his amazing percussion talents.  Caton teaches drum classes all over Portland, but my time with him has been spent at the Rhythm Traders located on Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard.  The shop offers several types of drum lessons in private and group settings.  I take the African class where you can choose from Dejembe, Conga, Ghanaian, and many more.  They also have a Latin class and free workshops available!

I have been playing the Dejembe for a little over 2 years now, and I strongly suggest it for anyone who’s looking to expand their music skills.  The best part is, you can learn at your own pace.  They offer drop-in classes that are $12 each or a block of 5 classes at $50.  They supply the drums, so all you have to do is show up!  Be sure to check the class schedule on site below and/or Caton’s personal website.

All of the instructors are extremely helpful and break down the essentials to ensure you can drum with ease.  

If you’ve never thought of taking up a class like this, I suggest you get out of your comfort zone and give it a go.  Drumming has many documented medical benefits including stress reduction, chronic pain reduction, depression reduction, and immune system boosting.  

Here’s to the final countdown, and my friend, Caton! Get to drumming, Portland!

Neighborhood: Northeast Portland
3904 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
Click for map

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Day 362: Mill Ends Park- World’s Smallest Park

I am constantly amazed at all of the things the Portland has been recognized for during its existence as a city.  We employed the first female police officer, we have the second largest copper statue, and who would have known, but we are also home to the WORLD’S smallest park.  In fact, it’s so small that you might not notice it at all.  Head into downtown Portland, for a gaze at Mill Ends Park.

The legend of the park tells of a man named Dick Fagan. He returned from World War II in 1946 to write for the Oregon Journal. Each day he would peer out of his office window at a chunk of concrete reserved for a light pole installation.  When the light pole never arrived,  in its place weeds began to grow. Not appreciating the weeds, Fagan decided to transform the fixture into a flower bed for all to enjoy. 

Fagan told folktales of a leprechaun colony that occupied his little flowerpot, including a head leprechaun that only Fagan could see by the name of Patrick O’Toole.  He went on to include these tales, and O’Toole, in many of his writings.  In honor of the stories of leprechaun park,  Mill Ends Park was named and dubbed an official park on St. Patrick’s Day in 1976. It was made in honor of Fegan who passed away in 1969.  

The park is located in the median strip of SW Natio Parkway and Taylor Street and serves as a monument for several Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.  

Check out Mill Ends Park, and then you too can say that you’ve witnessed the smallest park in the world.

Neighborhood: Southwest Portland
Southwest Natio Parkway
Portland, OR 97204
Click for map 

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Day 361: Vault Martini Bar

Our final countdown begins!  There are only 5 days left until we’ve completed the entire year together! Have no fear, Portlanders, 365 will be back! And with a whole new  on angle, on things to do in Portland.

More to come in the next couple of days,  but for now, on to today’s suggestion:

Portland is well-known for so many things.  The bridges are breathtaking, the breweries are bountiful, and our waterways are few many cities are graced by.  However, the best part about Portland, is its people.  

Today’s thing to do: People watching at one of my favorite Portland spots, Vault, located in the Pearl District  

Aside from it’s first-class people-watching atmosphere, the martini’s at Vault are a close second to this attraction.  They have over 44 versions of the classic martini, many of which are made from one of their house infused vodkas.  

During the colder months, cozy up to the fireplace and nibble on a some of the great menu items, and for this summer, be sure to gaze outside at the hustle and bustle on the streets from one of their comfy lounge seats, or kick back on the street side seating, and get right in on the ongoing action!  

I have some pretty unforgettable Portland memories at Vault, and I’m pretty sure every single one of them has included my staple drink – the Habanero Martini.  It’s made from pineapple-habanero infused vodka, and they are so good that you might just have to have another.

Enjoy the sunshine this summer, and some Portland people-watching to boot! Check out Vault.

Neighborhood: Northwest Portland – Pearl District
226 NW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
click here for map

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Day 360: KidFest 2011

All of the April showers are surely to bring May flowers and there are signs that it’s working all over town.  The Dogwood Trees are in bloom and lots of colorful arrangements of flowers everywhere you turn and people are beginning to get out and enjoy the sun breaks.  One great event you and your family can take part in is the Kidfest happening April 16th-17th at the Portland Expo Center.

The event is marked as the Northwest’s largest family expo and there’s no shortage of things to do.  There’s fun for the whole family including exhibits for babies, kids, teens, and even the parents.

This years event will feature live music on 3 stages, a rock wall, zip line, petting zoo, and lots of interactive fun.  Make sure you check out the safety clinics and the opportunity to buy a bike helmet for $5.  And who could forget the Easter Egg Hunts and pictures with the Easter Bunny himself!  There’s ton of prizes for the entire family.

Gates open at 9am on Saturday and Sunday and admission is $10 per child (parents admission is FREE with a paid child).

Check out the website for stage line-up and scheduled events throughout the expo.

Enjoy a day with the family and support healthy, active kids.

Neighborhood: North Portland
2060 N Marine Dr
Portland, OR 97217
Click for map


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