Portland Tourist Traps

  • bacon maple bar- took me 2 days to eat
    bacon maple bar- took me 2 days to eat
    by ricknkat
  • Official donut of Portland- Portland Creme
    Official donut of Portland- Portland...
    by ricknkat
  • Captain (Crunch) My Captain
    Captain (Crunch) My Captain
    by ricknkat

Most Recent Tourist Traps in Portland

  • mbachakam's Profile Photo

    Use lockers in portland

    by mbachakam Written Aug 20, 2011

    Greyhound or Amtrak stations in Portland have locker facility.But about how much time you can use them is not clear.I visited there many times but i never use lockers. You should contact www.bookingwiz.com for flight related problems.
    After 9/11 it is not so simple to use lockers in U.S.A.or other.
    Best of luck

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Business Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    China Town: it isn't a shopping area just yet

    by glabah Written Jun 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I can't count the number of times I have run into tourists from out of town asking about how to get to Portland's China Town, because they wanted to go to "all the great shopping".

    Portland's China Town is not a shopping district. It was named Chinatown because it was where the Chinese workers for the railroad, and later for the early highway efforts, lived. It was not an extremely pleasant place to live, and even today is a hangout for homeless people.

    There have been some considerable efforts at trying to gentrify the area, and so while there are a few minor places of interest, plus one major item of interest in the Classical Chinese Garden that was opened to the public in 2000, China Town is still not the huge tourist attraction that people from out of town seem to think that it is.

    Unique Suggestions: If for some reason you *have* to go to China Town as a tourist, you are probably going to the Classical Chinese Garden as part of an organized tour of some sort. This really is a very pleasant place amid the once horrific mess of what was once Portland's China Town. This is well worth a visit, and should be enjoyed to the fullest extent possible.

    But, there's a good reason they have a wall around the entire garden to block out the surrounding neighborhood.

    Another possibility is that you are going to China Town because you have to go through there to get to the train or bus station. Virtually all of the homeless characters that you see wandering the streets in this part of down are quite harmless, but are just mentally ill enough to be obnoxious: for example, they wander down the street yelling things at random, or beg for money. Just be mentally prepared to for the obnoxious nature of the people you may run into on the street here.

    Fun Alternatives: If it is shopping that you want, the place to go depends a bit on what you are wanting to find.

    Made in Oregon Stores are scattered through the state, and there are several in the Portland area. The primary one is in the Galleria shopping center near MAX. As the name implies, they feature items from around Oregon. There are also several in a few of the shopping malls.

    Saturday market may be a tourist trap or a tourist mecca, depending on what your expectations are. There are a number of local artists that sell their works here.

    Hawthorne Blvd in southeast Portland has a number of stores along it, but most of what is there really isn't intended for tourists. It is generally a place for Portlanders to go to find eccentric stuff from all over the world, and if it is local material you are after this is the wrong spot.

    The Real Mother Goose, also right next to MAX, features a number of high-end artworks, and many of them are somewhat local in origin.

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  • ricknkat's Profile Photo

    A unique donut experience

    by ricknkat Written Sep 8, 2009

    total tourist trap but worth a little wait in the line. Really enjoyed the clever names for the specialty donuts. I didn't order the C*#ck and Balls but I think I saw one in the display case...

    Unique Suggestions: Try to go early in the AM to avoid long lines

    bacon maple bar- took me 2 days to eat Official donut of Portland- Portland Creme Captain (Crunch) My Captain Count Chocula

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Portland Walking Tours “Beyond Bizarre” Tour

    by glabah Written Apr 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I will openly admit that I have not gone on this tour. Portland Walking Tours used to have a reasonably good reputation, but in recent years some of their tour offerings have not exactly been up to reasonable expectations.

    Their "“Beyond Bizarre” tour certainly has a bad reputation in terms of being a tourist trap:
    is one example.

    Unique Suggestions: Just be prepared for it to be a disappointment for the price.

    Fun Alternatives: Depends on your budget. Walk over to Waterfront Park and get tickets for the Portland Spirit dinner cruise? Opera, concert or ballet? Really, downtown Portland has much to offer, but the gentrification in recent years has certainly taken away any "haunted" old buildings that are open for touring.

    Try Portland Walking Tours regular historic downtown tour instead, or one of the other options that are more factual and less drama and false information.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    by IncogNeat-0 Updated Mar 30, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Timeline: March 2008

    If you want to see Chinatown, your best bet is to go to San Francisco. It is true there are enough asians in the metro area to support a lively little freebie weekly, "The Asian Reporter," but most of the readership is probably occidental anyway. It is also true that it was at one time possible during Chinese New Year celebrations to walk atop firecracker shards all the way from Salmon or Taylor on 4th to what is now referred to as Chinatown without ever touching the ground, but that is no longer the case.

    All the best asian restaurants are in the burbs, and so are most Americans of asian descent. There may be a few Asian cultural associations scattered about the landscape, such as the Korean club/lodge on the #20 bus line, the Filipino community center on the #15 bus line, or the Japanese Superstore Uwajimata in Beaverton, but local Asian Americans almost totally interface with the greater occidental community.

    WW II may have had something to do with that. More then 4000 (4400?) Japanese Oregonians were rounded up & sent to concentration camps. After, their property essentially stolen, there was nothing to come back to, so they spread out. Other Asians, I guess, followed suit.

    The silly "Gateway To Chinatown" on NW 4th & Burnside is more a shame then a sham, and was when it was installed. The Classical Chinese Garden on NW 3rd & Everett is a fairly recent addition, and may be the only thing there worth seeing, but is of no historical significance.

    A few new apartment/condo residences have recently been built nearby, presumably to draw some of the older folk back to old Chinatown. It may be working. Some Asian American elders have begun gathering daily at the downtown "Loaves & Fishes" for a free lunch & chance to mingle with like minded folk 60 or older; on SW 11th Main.

    The place to stop & shop near old Chinatown is the Oregon Leather Company @ 110 NW 2nd Avenue. Doesn't look like much from the outside, but some good custom work & local products can be had on the inside.


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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    View Points where Nothing Can Be Seen

    by glabah Written Oct 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Portland has a number of hills, and a number of them have view points established on them. On a good day, you can see Mt. Rainier all the way up in the Seattle area from Portland. Views of Mt. Hood are also common and some of Portland's most popular post cards feature downtown Portland with Mt. Hood in the background.

    Unfortunately, as the picture shows, air pollution in Portland can sometimes be very bad, and these view points quite useless since you can't see more than a few miles at best. In recent years the number of good days has been cut significantly due to population increases and other problems that change the air quality.

    Furthermore, the particles in the air cause some significant problems with taking photos. You might see Mt. Hood just fine with your eyes, but due to the wavelengths of light cut out by the air pollution frequently when you take a photo these days Mt. Hood simply vanishes - unless you have the proper filters for your lenses.

    Unique Suggestions: If you can, try to plan your visits to these view points around the weather.

    The air is much clearer after it rains and washes all the garbage out of the air. Thankfully, it rains a lot here. However, while it is raining you won't be able to see anything either.

    The best time to avoid the pollution problem is to visit these places when it is a sunny day, but rained heavily the day before (or even better just that morning) so that all the garbage in the air is gone. However, it may not be possible for you to plan your visits around the weather to such a great degree.

    Many of these places are interesting to visit even if you can't see much, but they are much better if you can see the mountains and other land marks that are pointed out on the signs.

    Fun Alternatives: The further out of town you go, the better view you will have. Frequently, the further east you go the better due to winds caused by the Columbia River Gorge.

    Rocky Butte near Interstate 205 is usually good on sunny days, and Powell Butte Park normally also has a good view on sunny days - though you can not see Mt. Rainier from Powell Butte due to Mt. St. Helens being in the way from this angle.

    Even further east, Troutdale and Gresham have some locations that have good views of Mt. Hood, but not as many high places so the views are not quite as spectacular.

    If you are going to visit the Columbia River gorge, one great viewpoint is Angel's Rest which can be accessed from the old Columbia River highway. (The signs will point to "Historic Highway" or "Historic Columbia River Highway" but most of us locals just call it the "old highway".)

    Great View Point but no view during pollution days View of Downtown during High Pollution Day Terwilliger Blvd View Point: benches view of what?
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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  • TashieKitten's Profile Photo

    Saturday Market--Good and Bad

    by TashieKitten Updated Jul 6, 2005

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    I'll probably be branded as evil for saying this about Saturday Market because it is a really cool place. I just want people to be aware that they should shop around.

    Saturday Market can be fun (located under the Burnside Bridge every Saturday and Sunday, May through October) and you can get lots of neat things there, hand crafted soaps, spoon art, etc. but beware that you may find something similar for less money at a place like Target. yep, Target. And if not Target then something similar at another booth at the Market.

    Unique Suggestions: If you go and think you're going to buy something, look at EVERYTHING first. Many vendors will carry the same or similar items. Try the food. It's greasy but usually yummy. There are also VERY clean restrooms available.

    Fun Alternatives: Shop around. Check out all the stalls. Compare prices.

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    by xeberus Written Nov 27, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Portland Shanghai Tunnels were originally intended for transporting goods from boats on the Willamette River to the basements of shops through tunnels and interlinked cellars, so workers didn't have to deal with the muddy Portland streets and the rains. But eventually, the story goes, they became a route for human trafficing. Men were forced into slave labor on ships and women into white slavery. After being abducted into the basements of buildings, captives were smuggled on to boats and often never heard from again. All very interesting. The problem? The tours that I took were the "haunted" tours. The tour guide mixed fact with overly embelished ghost stories so liberally that when not grimmacing at the hokie stories I had to try to sort out for myself fact from fiction. In the long run, I feel that the fact suffered from being mixed with embellished stories of ghosties and things that go bump in the dark. Other tours are also available, but I've not experienced them. You can check out the website: http://www.members.tripod.com/cgs-mthood/shanghai_tunnels.htm

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    A Bite of Portland - truly bites

    by Shaft28 Updated Aug 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Such potential to be a good time, but I was completely disappointed with "The Bite".
    Local foods included the Safeway Chinese food counter- that isn't even on the food chain is it?
    Honestly there were a handfull of good vendors, but I'd say 75% were fair to poor. It is like the organizer went out of their way to get restaurants that did not represent Portland or downtown.
    The food was bad and the entertainment was just ok. We lasted less than an hour total.
    By the way, all the wine vendors were nice but honestly I can say Oregon does beer right- not wine.
    The Bite bites.

    Just waiting to suck. The Oregon Special Olympics deserve better than this, they could make so much more money...

    Unique Suggestions: Stick to the Pinot wines and only eat the food from vendors with long lines. Short lines mean bad grub...

    Fun Alternatives: Head to Mount Hood or the Coast. Need to stay local, check out 23rd street.


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    The RoseGarden Arena.

    by crazyk Written Apr 30, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    B.Y.O.B. Actually, don't, because the alcohol moniters will confiscate it for themselves because it's like $50 dollars for a beer here.
    This arena was one of the most expensive in the country when they built it and they have to pay for it somehow. Once you enter, it has this giant vacuum that just sucks your money dry.

    Unique Suggestions: Find someone rich and sponge off them.

    Fun Alternatives: Sorry, only one professional sports club in this town.

    Who stole my wallet?

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    More like a scam

    by archan4698 Written Feb 5, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When my friend came to visit me in Portland once, I couldnt meet him at the train station and he told the cabby a address without NE, SW, NW, SE designation, as their are duplicate addresses without this 16th and glisan NW or NE etc etc. However his location was a hotel, and 90% chance it was in downtown but instead the driver got on the bridge and went across to the other side of the river and drove around and then said "oh is it in downtown, Sw?"

    This is the only time I have heard of it, and my friend was alil buzzed at the time from some train beers but make sure to add the NE, SE, etc to avoid confusion or hassles.

    Fun Alternatives: Just be precise:)

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  • Shaft28's Profile Photo

    End of the Oregon trail

    by Shaft28 Written Jan 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unless you are a 3rd grader or a 75 year old retiree, there is no reason to go to the End of the Oregon Trail.
    Not worth the price, hokey/cheesey/just bad show that you pay for and the tourist gift are a bit of a rip off.
    Not enough true history, the "act" as if the tour guide is from the past and he is pretty lame.
    Just boring.

    Unique Suggestions: Be a 6 year old.

    Fun Alternatives: Multnomah Falls!

    End of the Oregon trail, and your sanity

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  • Waterfront park

    by mirthful Written Jan 2, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a great tourist trap. In the Summer there is always a festival going on here. If not there is the water fountain you can watch kids rnning in and out of. On weekends Saturday Market visitors pour out onto "hippy hill" and
    watch the drummers. Everyone from Business men to Bums are out here.

    The great things is it offers a great place to walk and relax after a long day at work.

    Another tourist trap is the Rose Garden a beautiful haven to "stop and smell the roses"
    with a great view and yes they still have plays and concerts up here that are fun to visit.

    Unique Suggestions: Most the time when I go to these tourist traps I go there to relax and get things off my mind. Of course another way to help with this is stopping by a local brewerie and having a pint before or after.

    Fun Alternatives: If the outdoors is not your scene then another tourist trap is the Lloyd center. sorry to say not al it is cracked up to be but if you do not like shopping you can still ice skate.

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Portland Tourist Traps

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