The Benson’s Guide To Portland
Things We Love About Portland
We don’t just work at our downtown Portland hotel we live and play here too. These are some of our favorite spots near the Benson Hotel you won’t want to miss while you’re in town. We’ve highlighted a few well-known attractions such as the Pearl District, which is near our hotel as well as a couple of local gems you may not have heard about, but we think are well worth a visit. Need more hints about where to go and what to do around our historic hotel? Just ask! We’d love to give you the inside scoop.
Portland Art Museum
Conveniently located on the historic Park Blocks in the center of downtown Portland, the Portland Art Museum is the seventh oldest museum in the United States and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The museum houses a large and wide-ranging collection of artworks that complement Native American culture.
Oregon Museum of Science & Industry
Founded in 1944 and one of the nation’s top ten science museums, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a world-class tourist attraction and educational resource that puts the “WOW!” in science for the kid in each of us. 5 unique exhibit halls, 8 hands-on science labs, Kendall Planetarium and more!
Portland Center for the Performing Arts
The Portland Center for the Performing Arts is your premier arts and entertainment venue in the Pacific Northwest. Nationally recognized as one of the top 10 performing arts centers in the nation, the PCPA hosts every type of event imaginable from music, theater, dance, and lecture performances.
The Pearl District
Our hotel is located on the cusp of the vibrant Pearl District. Once dominated by factories, the Pearl is now home to some of Portland’s most exciting art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, bars, Portland Center Stage and Powell’s City of Books. The area is located just north of downtown between West Burnside Street on the South, the Willamette River on the North, NW Broadway on the east and I-405 Freeway on the west. Walking distance from The Benson, in the heart of it all.
The Rose Quarter is a 30-acre sports and entertainment district located in Portland’s Lloyd District, on the east bank of the Willamette River, just east of downtown Portland. Home to the best NBA team in the country (the Blazers, of course), the Rose Garden is also host to the Winter Hawks, concerts, performances, tradeshows, and a whole lot more. Just a mile away, The Benson is the ideal place for you to stay! Park your car with us, hop the MAX to the Rose Garden and enjoy your event.
Just a short bike, bus, or drive away you’ll find Washington Park: a gorgeous landscape with 400 acres of trees, gardens, playgrounds, and other attractions. Not only does this park house the renowned Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, Hoyt Arboretum, World Forestry Center, International Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden and more—it has over 15 miles of trails for you to explore!
Powell’s City of Books
This famous bookstore is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world—and it’s a place every book lover should experience. It occupies a full city block, three short blocks from The Benson. Avid readers may find themselves engrossed, spending hours perusing the shelves!
This indie doughnut shop is a Portland darling. Opened in 2003, it’s become famous for its amazing, outlandish creations. Like bacon on your doughnut? This is the place for you –just a few short blocks from The Benson!
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is affectionately known as the City’s “living room.” With more than 26,000 people passing by the Square each day, and thousands more visiting directly, it is the single most visited premier outdoor venue, hosting over 300 events a year!
Food Carts Portland
Some of Portland’s best dishes come in to-go containers. Peckish for Peruvian? Tantalized by Thai? Just want a good taco? Food carts have you covered. Just blocks from The Benson, you’ll find a staggering selection of lunch items (and sometimes breakfast) that are as appealing to your wallet as they are to your taste buds.
Live Music in The Palm CourtJul 1, 2016 — Jul 31, 2016
Wednesday 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
July 6, 13, 20, 27
Oregon Zoo Summer Concert SeriesJul 2, 2016 5:00 pm — Sep 11, 2016 10:00 pm
In 1979, the Oregon Zoo became the first in America to host a summer concert series. This year, Oregon’s “wildest” outdoor concert series celebrates 37 years of bringing you world-class artists for a night of music and nature from June to September. It wouldn’t be summer in Oregon without an evening of great music at the zoo!
July 2 – Neko Case / K.D. Lang / Laura Veirs with Andy Shauf
July 3 – An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
July 16 – SOLD OUT: Phillip Phillips & Matt Nathanson
July 22 – UB40 ft. Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey 2016
July 23 – The B-52s
July 29 – SOLD OUT: An Evening with ThePianoGuys
July 31 – SOLD OUT: Flogging Molly
August 4 – Ziggy Marley Live!
August 5 – Pink Martini ft. China Forbes & Storm Large with special guest Ari Shapiro
August 6 – Pink Martini ft. China Forbes & Storm Large with special guest Ari Shapiro
August 19 – Fitz & the Tantrums: Get Right Back Summer Tour
August 20 – Lord Huron, Trampled by Turtles
August 28 – From the Buena Vista Social Club: Omara Portuondo & Eliades Ochoa
September 2 – NeedToBreathe presents Tour de Compadres
September 9 – Jake Bugg
September 11 – Joe Walsh
For all shows, the doors open at 5:00 pm and the show starts at 7:00 pm. You can easily catch the Red or Blue MAX Light Rail to the Oregon Zoo stop if you’re staying in Downtown Portland at The Benson Hotel.
Portland Farmers Market at the SquareJun 20, 2016 10:00 am — Sep 26, 2016 2:00 pm
Every Monday, from June 20th through September 26th, shoppers can grab fresh produce and lunch while listening to a variety of live market music at Portland Farmers Market. More than 30 farmers and food artisans will call Portland’s Living Room home each Monday from 10:00am – 2:00pm selling the freshest summer fruits, vegetables, flowers and hot food items.
Concerts in the ParkJul 5, 2016 6:30 pm — Aug 18, 2016 5:00 pm
The 2016 Portland Concerts in the Park series kicks off July 5th and runs throughout July and August at parks across the city at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Here is sampling of some locations at iconic Portland spots as well as ones nearest The Benson Hotel:
MONDAYS: Denorval Unthank Park @ 510 N. Shaver Street – 5:30 p.m.
July 11 – Grupo Condor (performs “Legends of Mexico”)
August 15 – Obo Addy’s Legacy Project (interactive, dance and rhythms from Ghana)
TUESDAYS: Mt. Tabor Park @ SE 69th & Taylor Street
July 5 – World’s Finest (Americana, ska and jam)
July 12 – The Strange Tones (surf-tinged blues with a James Bond twist)
July 19 – Ken DeRouchie Band (muddy nominated blues)
July 26 – Pure Vida (high-energy salsa and timba)
WEDNESDAYS: Dawson Park @ N. Stanton & Williams Ave.
July 6 – Soul Vaccination presented by Legacy Emanuel Medical Center (NW premier funk and soul band)
July 13 – Hank Shreve Band (rockin’ blues and soulful originals)
July 20 – Sabroso (Latin to funk and everything in between)
July 27 – Andy Stokes (traditional R&B)
WEDNESDAYS: Willamette Park @ SW Macadam & Nebraska St.
July 6 – Freak Mountain Ramblers presented by National College of Natural Medicine (home-brewed mountain rock n’ roll)
July 13 – Malea & The Tourists (Portland’s dynamic swing, pop, variety band)
July 20 – The Back Alley String Band (bluegrass, Americana, and original acoustic music)
July 27 – Reggie Houston’s Box of Chocolates presented by Oregon Health Science University (fine sax with strings attached)
THURSDAYS: Wallace Park @ NW 25th & Raleigh St.
July 7 – Castletown presented by SELCO Community Credit Union (energetic Celtic folk rock)
July 14 – Geno Michaels & Soul City (neo-soul, R&B, funk)
July 21 – Caleb Klauder presented by SELCO Community Credit Union (Americna, honky tonk)
THURSDAYS: Couch Park @ NW 20th & Glisan St.
August 11 – Folsom (fun-loving, classic Americana)
August 18 – Tezeta (funky soul and jazz inspired by Ethiopia’s golden age)
FRIDAYS: Lovejoy Fountain Park @ SW 3rd & Harrison
July 22 – Jujuba (danceable Nigerian afrobeat)
July 29 – The Shanghai Woolies (hot jazz-age pop)
There are even more concerts and locations to be enjoyed!
Noon Tunes Summer Concert SeriesJul 5, 2016 — Aug 30, 2016
This noon-time Summer Concert series features a variety of local musical talent and is curated especially for Pioneer Courthouse Square by 101.9 Kink. In addition, local sports teams and organizations such as the Portland Trail Blazers and Portland Thorns will be on site with games, activities and more! The lineup is as follows:
July 5 – John Nilsen & Swimfish
July 12 – Morgan Alexander
July 19 – Teresa Topaz
July 26 – Supraphonics
August 2 – Aventine Circus
August 9 – Tigers of Youth
August 16 – The TriTones
August 23 – CORNER
August 30 – GEO4
It’s easy to see this concert series when staying at The Benson Hotel. Pioneer Courthouse Square is blocks away in downtown Portland.
Music on MainJul 6, 2016 7:30 pm — Sep 7, 2016 10:00 pm
The Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and ArtBar & Bistro are proud to present the 11th Annual Music on Main outdoor concert series from July 6 to September 7, 2016. The free concerts are held in downtown Portland on Main Street, between Southwest Broadway & Park Avenue, next to Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
On Wednesday evenings starting in July, Portland’5 takes advantage of the lovely summer weather in Portland to present the free outdoor concert series. The concerts feature popular local and regional musicians playing a diverse collection of music.
The 2016 series features country, jazz, blues and world music including North Indian bhangra and cumbia music. The free concerts are open to the public and run from 5pm to 7pm – tickets are not required. The ArtBar & Bistro will be serving seasonal fare and delicious libations starting at 4:30pm. Tables are reserved for food and beverage patrons.
July 6 – Orquestra Pacifico Tropical
July 13 – Logan Brill
July 20 – Kathryn Claire and Big Bridges
July 27 – Garcia Birthday Band
August 3 – Eyelids
August 10 – The Yachtsmen
August 17 – Mary Flower and the BBQ Boys
August 24 – Red Baraat
August 31 – Redray Frazier and Mic Crenshaw
September 7 – Pepe and the Bottle Blondes
*Performers subject to change. In case of rain or extreme heat, Music on Main concerts will be held in the rotunda lobby of Antoinette Hatfield Hall, located next to Main Street at 1111 SW Broadway Ave., Portland, Oregon 97205.
Summer Arts on MainJul 6, 2016 11:00 am — Sep 7, 2016 2:00 pm
Every summer, the streets of downtown Portland become a popular destination for locals, including downtown-area workers, tourists and residents. One reason for the increased foot-traffic is the free Summer Arts on Main series produced by Portland’5 Centers for the Arts.
The series, presented every Wednesday from 11am to 2pm between July 6 and September 7, includes free music (and other miscellaneous) performances, children’s activities and outdoor booths featuring local artisans selling handmade crafts. Begun in 2004, the event has evolved into a rite of summer for downtown Portlanders, offering a wide range of family-friendly activities along Main Street between SW Broadway & Park Avenue. Adjacent to the Portland Farmers Market on the South Park Blocks and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Summer Arts on Main has helped transform this swath of downtown into one of the most popular areas of the city.
Wednesdays, July 6 – September 7, 2016, 11am – 2pm
Located on SW Main Street, between SW Broadway & Park Avenue
(next to Antoinette Hatfield Hall, 1111 SW Broadway Ave., Portland, OR 97205)
Noontime Showcase Schedule:
July 6 – JT Wise Band
July 13 – Unit Souzou Taiko
July 20 – Pendulum Aerial Arts
July 27 – John Dover trumpet
August 3 – Marty Mendenhall – Jazz Singer
August 10 – The Rhythm Jerks
August 17 – Smut City Jelly Roll
August 24 – Beat Goes On – marching band
August 31 - 56th Army Band
September 7 – Vanport Jazz Band
Performances run from 12pm to 1pm and are subject to change. In the event of rain or extreme heat, this event will take place in the Antoinette Hatfield Hall rotunda.
Summer Movies in the ParkJul 7, 2016 8:00 am — Aug 18, 2016 5:00 pm
Don’t forget your coats and even extra blankets because as soon as the sun goes down it can get chilly. Pre-movie entertainment begins at 6:30pm, including live performances by local musicians and free popcorn. Movies begin at dusk.
July 7 - Dead Poets Society @ NW Park-Ankeny to Glisan Street
July 10 – The Sandlot @ Woodlawn Park (NE 13th Ave & Dekum)
July 15 – Star Wars – The Force Awakens @ Irving Park (NE 7th Ave & Fremont St)
July 17 – Avengers: Age of Ultron @ Denorval Unthank Park (510 N Shaver St)
August 18 – Jaws @ Elizabeth Caruthers Park (3508 SW Moody Ave)
More movies and locations found here.
Portland TimbersMar 6, 2016 8:00 am — Oct 16, 2016 5:00 pm
Cheer on the Portland Timbers during Home Games at Providence Park!
Wednesday, July 13 – 7:30 p.m. – vs. Montreal Impact
Sunday, July 17 – 12:00 p.m. – vs. Seattle Sounders
Saturday, July 23 – 12:30 p.m. – vs. LA Galaxy
Sunday, August 7 – 1:00 p.m. – vs. Sporting Kansas City
Sunday, August 28 – 2:00 p.m. vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Saturday, September 10 – 7:30 p.m. – vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, September 17 – 3:00 p.m. – vs. Philadelphia Union
Sunday, October 16 – 4:00 p.m. – vs. Colorado Rapids
For more information and tickets click here.
Oregon Brewers FestivalJul 27, 2016 12:00 pm — Jul 31, 2016 7:00 pm
One of the nation’s longest-running craft beer festivals, the
The Italian Girl in Algiers is a right hook directly to the male ego… You’ll cheer for the audacious Isabella, who crosses the Mediterranean and rescues her fiancé by putting his captor’s entire entourage down for the count. Rossini’s knockout comedy features music of enormous vitality, wit and beauty, centered on the feisty and independent Italian girl at the heart of the story. Sung in Italian with projected English texts. On five Friday evenings in July and August, the Pioneer Courthouse Square will be transformed into Portland’s largest outdoor movie theater for the entire community to enjoy! The movie series will kick-off on Friday, July 22nd and continue through August 19th on five Friday nights accompanied by live pre-movie entertainment provided by 101.9 Kink. The first annual Portlandia Mermaid Parade is happening on Saturday July 30th, 2016, along the northern section of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and it is a FREE family friendly, gender neutral, and body positive event celebrating ocean mythology and water festivals from around the world, and all things mermaid! Over 100 critically acclaimed local and national authors will be featured at the 8th Annual NW Book Festival at Pioneer Courthouse Square, sponsored by 9 Bridges. Pepe Aguilar is considered by critics of all major newspapers and magazines in the United States as a real star of Latin music. Pepe has garnered an impressive amount of awards: six Grammys and three Latin Grammys, thirteen Univision Lo Nuestro Awards – including the coveted “Excellence Award.” Adding to his credits Pepe has received several Latin Billboard awards, including a special recognition for his musical legacy. Fifteen of his recordings have reached the top of the Billboard charts. In 2012, Pepe also received his very own star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, alongside celebrities from all corners of the planet.
The Italian Girls in Algiers
Jul 22, 2016 7:30 pm — Aug 6, 2016 10:00 pm
Flicks on the Bricks
Jul 22, 2016 7:00 pm — Aug 19, 2016 11:00 pm
Portland Mermaid Parade
Jul 30, 2016 12:00 pm — Jul 30, 2016 4:00 pm
Northwest Book Festival
Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am — Jul 30, 2016 5:00 pm
Aug 5, 2016 8:00 pm — Aug 5, 2016 11:00 pm
The Italian Girl in Algiers is a right hook directly to the male ego…
You’ll cheer for the audacious Isabella, who crosses the Mediterranean and rescues her fiancé by putting his captor’s entire entourage down for the count. Rossini’s knockout comedy features music of enormous vitality, wit and beauty, centered on the feisty and independent Italian girl at the heart of the story.
Sung in Italian with projected English texts.
On five Friday evenings in July and August, the Pioneer Courthouse Square will be transformed into Portland’s largest outdoor movie theater for the entire community to enjoy! The movie series will kick-off on Friday, July 22nd and continue through August 19th on five Friday nights accompanied by live pre-movie entertainment provided by 101.9 Kink.
The first annual Portlandia Mermaid Parade is happening on Saturday July 30th, 2016, along the northern section of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and it is a FREE family friendly, gender neutral, and body positive event celebrating ocean mythology and water festivals from around the world, and all things mermaid!
Over 100 critically acclaimed local and national authors will be featured at the 8th Annual NW Book Festival at Pioneer Courthouse Square, sponsored by 9 Bridges.
Pepe Aguilar is considered by critics of all major newspapers and magazines in the United States as a real star of Latin music. Pepe has garnered an impressive amount of awards: six Grammys and three Latin Grammys, thirteen Univision Lo Nuestro Awards – including the coveted “Excellence Award.” Adding to his credits Pepe has received several Latin Billboard awards, including a special recognition for his musical legacy. Fifteen of his recordings have reached the top of the Billboard charts. In 2012, Pepe also received his very own star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, alongside celebrities from all corners of the planet.