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.
Christmas at Pittock MansionNov 25, 2019 — Dec 31, 2019
Walk through the historic Pittock Mansion for a Pittock Mansion Christmas, decorated for the holidays by professional designers and volunteers, with live holiday music in the music room. Learn more.
Holiday Toy DriveNov 29, 2019 — Dec 19, 2019
Benefiting the Children’s Cancer Association, The Benson Hotel is accepting gifts of new, unwrapped toys, games, arts & crafts for children of all ages. Learn more.
Christmas TrainNov 29, 2019 — Dec 15, 2019
Take a one-hour ride along the Willamette River and meet Santa on the decorated Holiday Express train, Portland’s own version of the Polar Express. Learn more.
Drive-Through Holiday Light ShowNov 29, 2019 — Dec 29, 2019
Billed as the largest light show in the Northwest, Winter Wonderland features 250 colorful light displays and many fully animated scenes that spectators can enjoy from the comfort of their own vehicle. Learn more.
Lights at The GrottoNov 29, 2019 — Dec 30, 2019
The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights features a walk among lights, choirs, carolers, a petting zoo, puppet shows, and hot chocolate. Learn more.
ZooLightsNov 29, 2019 — Jan 5, 2020
1.5 million LED lights are used to transform the Oregon Zoo into a winter wonderland of lighted trees, animal silhouettes, and moving sculptures. Learn more.