The Benson’s Guide To Portland
Things We Love About Downtown 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 our Portland hotel you won’t want to miss while you’re in town. We’ve put together The Benson Hotel local guide and 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.
Waterfront Blues FestivalJul 4, 2019 10:00 am — Jul 7, 2019 1:25 am
Since 1988, Oregon Food Bank has produced the Waterfront Blues Festival to raise funds and awareness to fight hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. As Oregon Food Bank’s largest annual fundraising event, this Portland flagship festival has become a treasured tradition for locals and visitors alike; it is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi and the second-largest blues festival in the nation. Since its inception, the festival has raised close to $10 million and over 1,000 tons of food to fight hunger in the region.
Portland Craft Beer FestivalJul 4, 2019 12:00 pm — Jul 7, 2019 5:00 pm
Helping to kick off Oregon Craft Beer Month, the Portland Craft Beer Festival is held at the Fields Neighborhood Park featuring the broadest selection of local beers, ciders and wine crafted from Portland breweries. Check out more on their website.
Antiques & Collectibles ShowJul 13, 2019 9:00 am — Jul 14, 2019 5:00 pm
Billed as America’s largest antiques & collectibles show, this event features 1,400 vendors with furniture, movie memorabilia, estate jewelry, paintings, toys and more!
The Big FloatJul 13, 2019 10:00 am — Jul 13, 2019 6:30 pm
This annual event is a fundraiser for the Human Access Project. Open to all ages, the Big Float begins with, naturally, a parade. Floaters gather at Tom McCall Bowl Beach, then carry or wear their floatation devices and march south along Waterfront Park to the put-in point at Poet’s Beach beneath the Marquam Bridge. Floaters will paddle down river and land on the west bank at the Tom McCall Bowl. Here, Portland’s grandest downtown beach party will be held – complete with music barge and live bands, food carts, beer/wine garden, sponsor booths, and a kids’ activities area. For more information on Portland’s The Big Float
Cathedral Park Jazz FestivalJul 19, 2019 5:00 pm — Jul 21, 2019 9:00 pm
As the longest-running FREE Jazz Festival west of the Mississippi River, Cathedral Park Jazz Festival celebrates its 39th year with three days of world-class music. The Festival begins Friday night with dynamic Blues, R&B, and Soul. Saturday and Sunday will feature multiple styles of Jazz in all their glory. Keep checking the website to see who is performing this season.
Oregon Brewers FestivalJul 24, 2019 12:00 pm — Jul 27, 2019 9:00 pm
Portland Oregon’s Waterfront Park hosts the 32nd Annual Oregon Brewers Festival July 24 – 28, 2013!
Pouring more than 80 different craft beers from around the country, the Oregon Brewers Festival is the quintessential celebration of craft beer! On a sun soaked July afternoon, there’s no better place to sip suds with friends along the banks of the Willamette River, with the Portland skyline as a backdrop to the west and Mt. Hood towering in the east. Whether you prefer Belgians or Blondes, Pales or Pilsners, Saisons or Wits – come to the Oregon Brewers Festival, and see for yourself why it’s one of the world’s best loved craft beer festivals.
Portland Vintage Racing FestivalJul 25, 2019 11:00 am — Jul 28, 2019 5:00 pm
Prototype, formula cars, sports racing and production/GT cars from marques such as Lotus, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Porsche and Corvette, principally from the 1950s, through the 1980s, will converge on the Portland International Raceway for safe and fun vintage racing during SVRA’s annual Portland Vintage Racing Festival. Visit their website for more information.
Flicks on the BricksJul 26, 2019 7:00 pm — Aug 23, 2019 11:00 pm
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 26 and continue through August 23th on five Friday nights accompanied by live pre-movie entertainment provided by 101.9 Kink.
2019 Move Schedule:
July 26th – The Karate Kid (1984) (PG)
August 2nd – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) (PG)
August 9th – Crazy Rich Asians (2018) (PG-13)
August 16th – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (PG)
August 23rd – Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) (PG-13)