Plastered across the city of Portland is the phrase “Keep Portland Weird” and that rings true as you explore all that the city has to offer. Portland is known for its coffee houses, eclectic art, unique food, and outdoor spaces providing a destination where any traveler can find something that fits their interests.
Whether you are looking for unique food and sweet treats like Voodoo Doughnuts, a Portland staple, or outdoor adventures like paddle boarding and hiking, you can find something that will inspire you to keep coming back for more.
New to the city of Portland and located downtown is the Moxy Hotel, which like many businesses across the country, opened and closed during the pandemic. The space is funky and fun with hip modern art, classic industrial rooms, and a fantastic bar that happens to be the lobby space. Guests can even request a record player for their room or get their room ‘flocked’ by the hotel staff only to find it decorated with pink yard flamingos! It is a fantastic hotel that can set you on the right foot as you explore “The City of Roses”.
Shine Distillery & Grill
Also located in the city of Portland is Shine Distillery & Grill, a gay-owned distillery and restaurant located in the Williams District that has made some incredible “pandemic pivots” that have allowed them to remain in business and provide for the community. Quickly after COVID-19 hit, Shine Distillery caught the attention of the world as it began producing hand sanitizer, sharing the recipe with distilleries across the country and giving it away to the community. The food and drinks are incredible especially their daily mac & cheese with a Butterfly Knees cocktail to pair with it. It’s a great spot to meet locals and experience great food that is true to Portland.
Finally, Portland is known for the gorgeous scenery and landscapes that surround the city and one such place is Rooster Rock State Park. The Park is home to the first official clothing-optional beach in the US where you can enjoy the cool water, hike to explore the surrounding nature, and have a really great time. Another outdoor space any traveler must experience is Washington Park which is home to the International Rose Test Garden with more than 10,000 individual rose bushes that bloom from May to October each year. Also located in Washington Park is the serene Portland Japanese Garden, a place of inclusivity, anti-racism, and cultural understanding.
If ever you find yourself in Portland, you must visit Darcelle XV Showplace, the oldest continuously running cabaret in the United States, and experience the incredible drag show. The long-running show includes performances by Poison Waters, Alexis Campbell Starr, Bebe Jay, Cassie Nova, Syra St. James, Summer Lynne Seasons, and Darcelle XV, the Guinness World Record’s “Oldest working drag queen”. It is an incredible show that will have you entertained the entire time.
Will & James meet Darcelle XV, the world's oldest working drag queen
No matter what you are looking for, you can find a vibrant LGBTQ+ inclusive activity or venue throughout the entire city that will leave you wanting to visit time and time again. The city is the best kind of “weird” where travelers from all walks of life will feel seen and supported.
Watch the Portland episode of our YouTube series Get Back Out There below.