Powell's Books downtown is by far my favorite thing about Portland. It's the largest independently owned bookstore in the country (it takes up an entire block!)
It's so great to go into this huge bookstore to find a book (or several books) and sit down in the cafe and read with a cup of joe on a rainy Portland day. You can find any book imaginable new or used (and usually cheap)! You can find some really cool novelties as well. My favorite memories of Portland are in the cafe at Powell's reading a book, drinking a coffee on a rainy day. It's the only place where I like to be in the rain, and as anyone knows it rains a lot here.
First Christian Church
They must be a very Religious lot of folk around the Park Blocks, for there are a number of Churches here. This picture is of the First Christian Church, on the corner of East Park Street and Columbia Avenue.
Skip the umbrella
If you pop open an umbrella, almost instantly you scream "I'M A TOURIST". Portlander's are known for sucking it up and bearing the rain.
It does rain a lot, but remember there aren't the storms you get in the South or even Northeast. Mostly overcast with sprinkles, with the occasional good downpour.
But really, how long are you going to be outside that you need one!
Get ready for the rain!
Let's face it, no one plans a trip to the Pacific Northwest expecting to see much sun! Like Seattle, Portland is known to be one of the cloudiest and wettest cities in the US - not because of the amount of rain it gets, but because of the number of days with rain. On average, it rains over 150 days a year in Portland, and one pretty sure way of telling visitors and locals apart is by looking at who's carrying an umbrella :op Most locals don't mind braving Portland's light drizzle on their way to work but to be honest, being slightly wet all the time gets old really fast! Since there was no way I was going to let a little rain stop me from exploring the city, I was really glad I'd decided to pack an umbrella and waterproof boots. So unless you're absolutely desperate to fit in, I'd say that the best way to enjoy Portland is to dress for the occasion!
Cathedral Park: Great Parks of Portland
Portland is sometimes known as The City of Bridges, and the visitor to Portland is sure to view several of these engineering feats, especially in the Downtown area where no less than eight bridges converge, spanning the width of the Willamette River.
The focus of this travel tip is Cathedral Park and the St. John's Bridge, though aficionados of bridge construction & engineering should research other offerings, like Portland's Steel Bridge, the only double-deck bridge with independent lifts in the world.
Cathedral Park is on the East shore of the Willamette River, in the North section of PDX, and is both a park and a neighborhood. The neighborhood owes its name to the most prominent landmark, Cathedral Park, which in turn is named after the cathedral-like columns of St. Johns Bridge. Although a little off the beaten path from downtown, the Cathedral Park area is accessible via public transportation and offers a unique perspective, in addition to grass covered lawns which are pet-friendly and perfect for playing Frisbee or an afternoon picnic.
Several events are held at Cathedral Park throughout the summer, such as the Portland Pirate Festival (Sept) or Symphony Festival (Aug). A visit to Cathedral Park may also be combined with exploration of Forrest Park (by car); its north western expanses are connected across the Willamette by the St. Johns Bridge.
Great photo opportunities are to be had all around the park and especially from the pedestrian walkway spanning the St. Johns. This traveler is surprised by the striking similarities between this Portland gem and that "other", more famous bridge in San Francisco, CA.
Cathedral Park is a sure "Off the Beaten Path" recommendation, not only for its eye catching St. Johns Bridge, but for also as a slower pace, fun-in-the-sun zone for all ages.
PDX is home to many community and public recreation areas, but Cathedral Park receives my vote as one of the Great Parks of Portland.
Additional details may be viewed on the website provided below.