Traveling To Portland with Kids

Welcome to Portland! We’re so glad you’ve decided to come to this magical land of coffee, donuts and beer. 

Of course, Portland isn’t limited to these more adult-inclined treats. (Yes, including donuts in there. Wait until you try them.) It’s also filled with kid-friendly fun. We’ve got family -friendly museums, playgrounds, music, nature explorations, restaurants, and more.

We’ve gathered together some of our tried-and-true favorites here. Take a look, and above all else – have fun! 

There’s a reason there are tried-and-true spots that visitors like to take their kids: they’re great! We’ve got the best-known and best-loved spots to take your family here, whether you want to explore, relax, or chow down. 

For the tourist who likes to travel like a local. Here’s where you’ll find the local parents with their kids. From nature walks to our favorite coffee shops, you’ll find them here. 

No matter how well-behaved your children are, we all know how stressful it can be to go out to eat with kids–especially when dining out in a different place. No need to worry at these kid-friendly restaurants. You’ll find friendly staff, understanding customers, and–of course–delicious food!

What’s a trip to a new city without visiting a local museum or two? Portland’s got lots of them, and they are world-class. You’ll find more than just the standards here–we’ve got the slightly weird too. (Vacuum museum, anyone?)

Portland has more than 10,000 acres of parks–so there’s plenty of places to blow off some kid energy. But which one to choose? From crazy spider-web like structures to natural play areas, these are some of the best playgrounds around. 

There’s something to do every day of the year here in Portland! From festivals to farms to arts & crafts and yoga, you’re sure to find something that will fit your family’s needs. 

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

21 Vital Restaurants on SE Division/Clinton

Where to eat in Portland’s #1 food neighborhood

The Southeast Division Street and Clinton Street neighborhood is one of Portland’s most formative food neighborhoods — a culinary enclave fronted by iconic restaurants like Pok Pok, Ava Gene’s, and Bollywood Theater. It’s where adventurous chefs and eaters joined forces in the 2000s to make little-known street foods a citywide sensation, and often, it’s where true flavors are born before being repackaged and sent to Portland’s West Side.

You could easily spend days perusing the array of restaurants and bars — not to mention the food carts. This map, featuring everything from breakfast and brunch to dive bars, will get you started. Just remember to save some room for ice cream.

Check out the link in Portland Monthly Magazine:  https://pdx.eater.com/maps/se-division-best-restaurants-portland

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

The Portland Japanese Garden Gets a Gorgeous Upgrade

Superstar architect Kengo Kuma is behind the $33.5 million expansion, which elevates our city’s garden to rival those of Japan.

The Portland Japanese Garden—a go-to destination since 1967—now greets visitors with intensely aromatic Port Orford cedar and a broad, sloping roof. A few steps into the new welcome center, a zigzagging maze of granite boulders funnels water from high up in the shrouded hill above, topped with a castle wall and traditional teahouse.

This is the Cultural Village, the centerpiece of the garden’s $33.5 million recent expansion designed by superstar architect Kengo Kuma. Kuma—whose projects include the Shanghai Tower in China and an in-progress national stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—upgraded Portland’s garden to rival those of Japan.

“The gardens in Japan are just gardens, with no additional features,” he says. “They are not beautiful, and they are very small. This is the new model for future gardens in Japan.”

Six decades ago Portland became a sister city of Sapporo, Japan, stoking widespread interest in Japanese culture and an eventual mayoral decision to build a traditional Japanese garden in the city. The project opened on the site of the former Washington Park Zoo, comprising five separate garden spaces on five and a half acres. Until recently, despite annual visitor counts skyrocketing to more than 300,000, the garden had seen few additions. Landing Kuma to oversee the makeover launched in 2015 was an architectural (and PR) coup for a treasured but arguably sleepy local institution.

The new Japanese tea café, Umami, teeters daringly on stilted foundations near the edge of the hill. (It has sister locations in Tokyo and Paris, also designed by Kuma.) The teahouse will serve an array of green tea varietals—from genmaicha to matcha and organic sencha—and locally baked goods.  The new Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center is accessible by a ring of sliding screen doors slatted with thin strips of cedar, each spaced at differing intervals that Kuma himself measured to the millimeter, to give the appearance of a floating, living roof. Inside, thick, solid slabs of white oak also seem suspended in air as they ascend the new learning center—framed by yet more lineated pieces of cedar, hinged to walls like fossilized rain.

“The buildings are important,” Kuma says, “but the spaces between are sometimes more important than the buildings themselves.”

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

Do not miss a visit to the Columbia River Gorge

The Gorge

The Gorge

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

PDX Urban Barn Guesthouse in the Build Small, Live Large ADU Tour

 

A tour for people interested in learning more about ADUs and meeting

the homeowners, builders, and designers who built them.

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**The next city-wide ADU tour is scheduled for September 9th and 10th, 2017**

More information will be posted about the tour by May, 2017. https://accessorydwellings.org/adu_tour/

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

38 Essential Portland Restaurants

http://pdx.eater.com/maps/best-portland-restaurants-38

It's time to update the Eater 38, the list of highly elite restaurants that define what it means to eat in Portland. The Eater 38 encompasses the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, whether you're looking to drop serious cash or to magically transform a few bucks into a meal.

As happens every three months, a few places must depart and a few restaurants must be added to the 38; here they are with a brief explanation of why:

  • Kayo's Ramen Bar makes the list for leading the current ramen-splosion, and Biwa steps down after its recent change in venue and narrowed focus on omakase (the new Biwa is really new, which puts it on the current heatmap)
  • Likewise, Chef Naoko leaves the list for the moment, after its beautiful expansion, as it dials in its new seasonal bento offerings
  • The Appalachian supper club Mae joins the 38 for many obvious reasons centering on that fried chicken
  • And Davenport makes its return to the list for veteran chef Kevin Gibson's upscale small plates, while Clyde Common steps down. Gibson is a pioneer in farmer-driven cuisine in Portland and the Pacific Northwest

A recent update brought a big shake-up, and the list now only includes one restaurant by any one owner, chef, or restaurant group, for the most part. Additionally, it highlights outstanding restaurants in a variety of dining genres, whether Mexican restaurants, Pacific Northwest cooking, or sandwiches. Finally, because many Portland restaurants are opening further away from city center, the Eater 38 includes restaurants across the city's many neighborhoods.

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

Renewable Power Savings from the Guesthouses

Our eco buildings' electric utility participate in PGE's Renewable program including Green Source, Green Future Solar, Clean Wind and Habitat Support.  Our 2016 renewable power purchase of 6,926 kWh helped prevent 10,498 of CO2 entering the air.   That translates to 11,714 miles not driven.  We're pretty proud of that.

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

PDX Eco Cottage featured in People Mag's online Home & Travel

"Design lovers will appreciate that this adorable and colorful home on offer from TripAdvisorRentals, took home the award for best small house in the 2014 Sunset magazine Small Space, Big Dreams contest. Foodies, will appreciate it's location, nestled near Portland’s restaurant row, Division Street. You’ll have to resist making yourself a little too at home and moving in for good."

 
 

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

The Days are Getting Longer

The sun is lasting longer as we move toward spring and the Urban Barn has a sweet private patio that we hope will get a lot of use when the warming continues.  We've had a number of families with small children and women's retreat getaways enjoy their stay at the Barn.  We're hoping to hear if there's anything we can do to make a stay even more comfortable.  Please comment here if you have any thoughts.

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

Comfort Food

Portland Monthly has come out with a piece on comfort food from Mac and Cheese to modern xurros to some of the best ramen in the world!  With damp and cold weather upon us, these hit the mark.

https://www.pdxmonthly.com/videos/2017/2/7/video-8-portland-comfort-food-classics-to-devour-right-now

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi

We're up and running

PDX Urban Barn was a vision in owner Susan's mind after creating PDX Eco Cottage in 2013.  The idea of a self sufficient and fully stocked private vacation rental in, what is considered, Portland's most interesting and culinary-rich neighborhoods, inner SE Portland, right in the middle of Hawthorne St., Division St. and Clinton St was finalized with the completion of the Barn in fall of 2016.  Architect Jack Barnes - http://www.jackbarnesarchitect.com/ - designed two compact and unique environmentally sustainable ADUs (auxiliary dwelling units) using up to date industry standards for energy efficiency, durable design, minimized toxicity and economic sustainability.

The Urban Barn was inspired by the 121 year old actual barn that was replaced.  The scale and decaying beauty of that barn, longtime a neighborhood wonder since it was barely standing after much neglect was used in the design of the new structure.  Susan is mindful of the 'McMansions' that have replaced the older homes in Portland and wanted a building that was in homage to the original and scaled to fit in with the area.

Each ADU can be used individually or together by a group or families to explore the neighborhood offerings including restaurants, food carts, bars and pubs, parks and museums and music venues like the Aladdin Theater.  

Susan Moray

Susan has lived in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood for over 23 years originally hailing from L.A. and living for a few years each in NYC, Maui and the eastern Sierra Mountains. Hospitality is in her DNA, having previously managed vacation rentals in Nicaragua and on Maui. She's a passionate backpacker, fly fisher and cyclist and gardener, growing perennials and organic vegetables.  Susan loves to eat and seek out new fine dining opportunities as well as unique food trucks and she's happy to share them with you. During your stay, she can lay low, offering privacy or be a resource for your intro to Portland's many interesting offerings. For inspiration, these evocative words speak volumes to Susan. " Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray"......Rumi