Where to Stay:
What started in 1912 as a Lipman-Wolfe department store is now home to the sophisticated 5th Avenue Suites Hotel in downtown Portland. While the building has since been renovated, many of the original details, like high ceilings and picture windows, have been preserved. You can even unleash your inner artist at evening wine receptions where you’ll be provided with paint, brushes, and a canvas to create your own Portland-inspired masterpiece (506 SW Washington, 888-207-2201, www.5thavenuesuites.com). Stay in step with the city’s pedestrian-preferred approach at Hotel Lucia. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s just a short walk from everything you need. This stylish boutique hotel offers extra-comfy beds and pillow menus, plus added bonuses like a permanent exhibit of Oregon native David Kennerly’s black-and-white photography (400 SW Broadway, 877-225-1717, www.hotellucia.com).
Where to Eat
Even if they didn’t serve the best pizza in town, Old Town Pizza could survive on charm alone; exposed-brick walls, stained glass, and antique sofas make this cozy spot perfect for a beer and a slice. Don’t be surprised if an unexpected guest joins you for lunch—this favorite local haunt is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Nina (pronounced Nigh-na), a 19th-century call girl (226 NW Davis, 503-222-9999, www.oldtownpizza.com). For a more upscale—and phantom-free—business lunch, nosh on sophisticated American fare at Paragon. The cool, loungy feel of this restaurant and bar, located in the happening Pearl District, is only outdone by the fabulous food, like the jerk chicken sandwich or roasted mushroom ravioli (1309 NW Hoyt St., 503-833-5060, www.paragonrestaurant.com). Higgins offers guests a French feel with Northwestern flavor. Chef Greg Higgins uses local ingredients like mushrooms, wild salmon, and fine wines to create innovative dishes that are served in a casual, bistro-style setting (1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070, www.higgins.citysearch.com). Good things come to those who wait at 3 Doors Down. Reservations are only taken for parties of six or more at this old-world Italian joint, and with food this good, be prepared to pass some time with a mint julep at the bar. But once their famous vodka penne hits your lips, you’ll have long forgotten the wait (1429 SE 37th Ave., 503-236-6886).
What to do:
Don’t settle for house merlot when wine country is less than an hour away. For a complete list of area wineries where you can tour and taste, visit the Portland Oregon Visitors Association website at www.pova.com. You can take in the gorgeous vineyard views from the air thanks to Vista Balloon Adventures (800-622-2309, www.vistaballoon.com). If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, pound the pavement on the Leif Erickson Trail, Wildwood Trail, or any of the many scenic paths that wind throughout this top-rated running and cycling city. For a less strenuous stroll, peruse the Saturday Market in the Old Town District—an open-air bazaar of about 250 artisan booths on SW First Avenue under the Burnside Bridge. See live entertainment and stop by the international food court for a snack (www.saturdaymarket.org). Spent from shopping? Catch a concert at Doug Fir, a swanky, log-cabin-inspired restaurant and lounge (830 E Burnside, 503-231-9663, www.dougfirlounge.com). After the show, escape to the Orient for drinks at The Sapphire Hotel. The Asian-inspired interior, deep red décor, and dim lighting make for a sexy stay at this brothel-turned-bar (5008 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-232-6333, www.thesapphirehotel.com).
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd.