About Portland, Oregon
As most of you know, DBSA usually holds Chapter Leadership Forum in conjunction with the DBSA National Conference. However, this year DBSA is not holding a national conference so we have instead scheduled CLF to occur right before the annual Alternatives conference. DBSA’s Chapter Leadership Forum will be held from 10am – 5pm on Wednesday, October 10th at the University Place Hotel which is about a ½ mile from the Alternatives conference hotel. Alternatives will kick off their conference with a welcome reception the evening of October 10th and run through Sunday, October 14th.
What’s more - Portland, OR is known for its relaxed, “come as you are” lifestyle and welcoming environment – just like our DBSA support groups! What a perfect location to recharge our batteries and learn new tips and skills from one another!
What sets Portland apart is a thriving culinary scene, a passion for sustainability, and fierce pride in the local, artisan communities—all set against a backdrop of spectacular Northwestern beauty. These qualities (and more) have made Portland a favorite destination for travelers from all over the world.
Here are some things you may want to check out while you're in Portland.
From local boutiques to farmer’s markets to outlet malls, Portland is full of fun and unique shopping opportunities.
Powell’s Books—W. Burnside & 10th, Downtown
Powell’s is a must-see for any book lover: a 3-story bookstore that stretches over an entire city block! We love Powell’s for its amazing selection of new, used, and rare books and its helpful and knowledgeable employees. With an on-site café and nooks and aisles that encourage you to browse, read, and explore, don’t be surprised if you accidentally spend an entire afternoon here.
Portland Saturday Market—Waterfront Park, SW Naito Parkway, Downtown
Since 1974, Portland Saturday Market has been the place to find handmade jewelry, clothing, and art. Every Saturday and Sunday from March until December, artists set up booths and sell directly to customers. Saturday Market also features a variety of food carts and performers.
Portland Farmers Market—SW Park Blocks, Downtown
On Saturdays from March through December, farmers and food vendors gather to sell fresh produce, flowers, meats, cheeses, sweets, and beyond. A favorite of visitors and natives alike, the market is one of the largest and most vibrant in the country. In addition to the main market on Saturdays, each neighborhood has its own smaller market during the week—our downtown market is on Wednesday, right down the street in the Southwest Park Blocks on the PSU campus.
Bordered by West Burnside and the Willamette River, the Pearl District is known for its high-end boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. The Pearl is easily reached from University Place by streetcar or light rail.
Across the river in the North and Northeast quadrants of Portland, the Mississippi and Alberta districts are ground zero for everything young and hip in Portland. Filled with small shops, edgy art spaces, and interesting food carts, these neighborhoods have seen an incredible revitalization in the past 10 years.
The Hawthorne and Belmont neighborhoods form the heart of the inner Southeast Portland shopping district. Home to cafes, bookstores, clothing boutiques, and restaurants, Hawthorne and Belmont offer classic Portland charm.
Just south of the Hawthorne and Belmont districts, Clinton and Division streets are filled with vintage and secondhand stores, neighborhood bars, and bike shops. Visitors walking from Hawthorne should make sure to take a route through Ladd’s Addition, a maze-like Portland neighborhood that’s known for its well-kept rose gardens.
Located in the center of downtown Portland, Pioneer Place features stores such as J. Crew, H&M, Juicy Couture, and Apple.
Directly accessible from downtown Portland via MAX, Lloyd Center has 130 stores and 35 restaurants, as well as an indoor ice rink.
Located just outside of Portland, Washington Square has hundreds of shops and restaurants, including Lush, Pottery Barn, The Body Shop, and Williams-Sonoma.
Located outside of Portland, but directly accessible via MAX, Clackamas Town Center features a wide array of stores, plus a 20-screen movie theater.
Woodburn Company Stores are located approximately 30 miles outside of Portland, and feature outlet versions of stores such as Nautica, Banana Republic, Bass, and Calvin Klein.
From arts and crafts to stars and planets, Portland’s museums cover all the bases.
Sitting just outside the Portland State University campus, the Portland Art Museum has been curating incredible collections since 1872. The museum’s holdings stretch from ancient to modern art, with a notable Native American art collection. The Portland Art Museum also features a busy calendar of lectures, events, and special exhibitions.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry— or OMSI, for short—is a place for visitors of all ages to explore, learn, and play. With an IMAX theater, a planetarium, interactive exhibitions, and a real submarine, adults and children alike will enjoy visiting OMSI.
Just across the street from the Portland Art Museum is the Oregon Historical Society, a place to explore Oregon’s long and interesting history. Exhibits highlight everything from popular music to politics to Oregon’s geological past.
The Portland Children’s Museum is the perfect way to engage Portland’s smallest visitors. Museum exhibits join learning and fun in a casual, colorful atmosphere.
In partnership with the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Craft explores the past, present, and future of the studio craft movement. The museum also features rotating exhibitions and a retail shop dedicated to Pacific Northwest craft and design.
From literary lectures to symphonic sounds, Portland’s cultural offerings are widespread.
Portland Center for the Performing Arts
Portland Center Stage
The Oregon Symphony is one of the largest symphonies in the nation, performing for over 225,000 people per year.
Established in 1989, the Oregon Ballet performs five ballets each year, ranging from seasonal classics to edgy new favorites.
Popular with Portlanders for nearly half a century, the Portland Opera combines classic and modern opera with innovative set design.
PICA encourages the exploration of contemporary art by facilitating workshops, lectures, residencies, and exhibitions. The centerpiece of PICA’s programming is the annual Time-Based Art Festival, a week-long festival of contemporary visual and performance art.
On the first Thursday of each month, downtown Portland’s art galleries hold open houses, often with wine, music, and live performances.
Literary Arts facilitates the Portland Arts & Lectures series, which brings key authors and thinkers to Portland.
The Artists Repertory Theater performs experimental, contemporary plays, as well as innovative takes on familiar classics.
Gardens & Parks
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world, and Portland’s efforts to join urban living with natural landscapes have produced spectacular parks and gardens all over the city.
A peaceful retreat in the heart of downtown Portland, the Lan Su garden features gardens and architecture that reflect China’s landscape and culture. The gardens are also home to a traditional tea house.
Tucked into Portland’s West Hills, the Japanese Garden is an authentic 5.5-acre space filled with ponds, pagodas, bridges, and a sand and stone garden.
Located directly below the Japanese Garden, Portland’s International Rose Test Garden holds over 700 varieties of roses and provides spectacular views of downtown Portland.
Located near the Japanese and Rose Test Gardens, the Hoyt Arboretum is a living horticultural museum, home to over 1,000 species of plants from around the world. The 187-acre Arboretum also provides over 12 miles of trails, which are free and open to the public.
Densely forested and stretching for over 8 miles, Forest Park is one of the largest urban forest reserves in the United States. The park is home to 70 miles of trails, making it popular with hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners.
Located downtown near the Southwest park blocks, Fox Tower plays first-run features, and is often the first theater in town to play new independent and foreign films.
On the 3rd floor of the downtown Pioneer Place shopping center, the Pioneer Place theater plays first-run features.
Housed in a former Swedish mission, the Mission Theater plays second-run films, hosts concerts and lectures, and serves food and alcohol.
Steps away from Powell’s Books on Southwest 10th Avenue, the Living Room theater shows first-run foreign and independent films, and serves dinner, drinks, and dessert.
Located across the river on East Burnside, the Laurelhurst Theater shows classic and second-run films, and serves food and alcohol.
Located in the Concordia neighborhood in Northeast Portland, the Kennedy School is a renovated elementary school. The theater shows second-run films, serves food and alcohol, and features couches and armchairs instead of standard theater seating.
Inspiring fierce loyalty (and occasionally, crushing disappointment), the Blazers are Portland’s professional basketball team. The Blazers play at the Rose Garden Arena, which is quickly and directly accessible from downtown via MAX.
Known for their rabid fanbase—called the Timbers Army, recognizable by their green scarves—the Portland Timbers are our major league soccer team. The Timbers play at Jeld-Wen Field, located on Southwest 18th in downtown Portland.
Portland’s all-female roller derby team joins grit, athleticism, and pure entertainment at their monthly matches. The Rollers hold their matches at the rink in Oaks Amusement Park, located in Southeast Portland.
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