Travel

Downtown

Establishment neighborhood
The Society Hotel
203 N.W. 3rd Ave., Downtown
Located in Portland's hip Old Town, this hotel-hostel hybrid exemplifies historic preservation at its best. Several years ago entrepreneurs Jonathan Cohen, Jessie Burke, Gabe Genauer, and Matt Siegel gave the neglected 1800s building–which was originally built to serve as a safe haven for sailors, then it became a Japanese-owned hotel–a new lease on life. They preserved the space in its entirety, ultimately creating a place that works for travelers and visitors of all backgrounds–and budgets (many of the rooms are either communal or share a bathroom). We love the downstairs café for its excellent coffee and beer and communal vibe.
Quin Candy
1025 S.W. Stark St., Downtown
https://goop.com/destination/rhode-island/newport/ Situated in the shopping alley Union Way, next door to the Ace Hotel on Stark and the famous Powell’s Books on Burnside, Quin is a candy boutique filled with caramels, chocolates, lollipops, gummies, and more, made in-house by a small, skilled staff. Candy-maker and owner, Jami Curl, sticks to locally-sourced ingredients like Oregon-farmed nuts and berries, caramel and chocolate made from fresh cream and butter, coffee flavors from locally-roasted beans, and extracts from locally-sourced fruits and vegetables. With its no-nonsense philosophy, Quin is perfect for health-conscious parents and their kids (or anyone with a sweet tooth, really). There's a second location on Ankeny Street.
Union Way
1022 W. Burnside St., Downtown
This little shopping arcade, lined with minimalist light wood and marked by rustic beams overhead, actually connects the West End (a.k.a. the Ace Hotel) to the Pearl District (a.k.a. Powell’s) with a few great gems in between. On the far end is the Portland hiking boot staple Danner, alongside Self Edge, a cool-kid shop that sells specialty denim from Japan and other far-flung parts of the world. Walking through, you’ll also find Quin Candy, an artisanal candy shop with Portland-exclusive flavors, and Spruce Apothecary, CANOE’s gorgeous take on a beauty shop—while it’s not exclusively clean lines, they carry some of our favorites, like Ursa Major, Fig + Yarrow, and Coola. There’s also excellent ramen, a cute little bakery, and a really great Steven Alan.
Imogene + Willie (Closed)
1306 W. Burnside St., Downtown
When childhood friends-turned-married couple Matt and Carrie Eddmenson brought their warm, inviting Nashville shop to Portland, everything we loved about the original came along with it: from their top-notch selection of jeans, including their own in-house line of American-made Japanese selvedge denim (his and hers), down to the friendly, knowledgeable service and community-centric events. Adding to the Americana ambiance is the wooded interior design, featuring a cedar-lined pine dressing ‘hut’ they blowtorched, sealed, and treated with a Japanese wood-preserving technique.
Cacao
414 S.W. 13th Ave., Downtown
Specialty chocolate has exploded in the last ten years, and this sweet little shop, which is somewhat of a requirement on any walking tour of Downtown, dedicates its shelves to the very best varieties from around the world. The knowledgeable staff will walk you through finding something that perfectly suits your tastes (or a friend’s, as this is a great place to shop for gifts). Kids will freak out over their decadent, creamy, house-made drinking chocolate.
Kimpton RiverPlace
1510 S.W. Harbor Way, Downtown
The cool thing about the Riverplace (and what sets it apart from other Portland hotels) is that it’s right along the water, so many of the rooms have great views of the river. The décor is modern, but warm and comfortable, with details like leather headboards, flannel throws, and a stone fireplace in the lobby. It’s also good for families, with a decidedly un-stuffy, kid-friendly vibe and ample suite options for those traveling with a brood.
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