By Gary Duff | December 6, 2018 | Lifestyle
Need a quick getaway? With its growing portfolio of hotels, fine dining options, and cultural hot spots, Portland has become one of the West Coast's hottest travel destinations. For a breather this weekend, take a short flight north to the City of Roses.
With help from these Portland locals, you'll quickly know where to eat, drink, play, and stay on your visit.
Name of Location 1: Jackrabbit
Why You'll Love It: Opening Jackrabbit was my homage to Portland, a city I truly love. It has such an amazing history and I wanted to celebrate it in all its glory. With so many local artisans and amazing local foods it was such a joy to build this property from the ground up with woods, artists and craftspeople from the region. We wanted to create a environment filled with fun, delicious food and conviviality. Every day the goal is to give the feeling that everyone can sit down have a drink, a great meal and feel comfortable in a beautiful setting.
Name of Location 2: Hat Yai
Why You'll Love It:This is a must stop for me every time I am in Portland! The fried chicken, curry and roti is a must, plus I cannot miss the Thai ground pork with turmeric, lemongrass, kaffir, and Thai chili. The feeling is so casual, fun and it's a joyous space to eat in with family and friends.
Name of Location 3: Han Oak
Why You'll Love It: What can I say other than this is such a special place. Peter Cho and his family have created a environment that is one of a kind. It really feels like you are in their home because you are. The food is so delicious and so is their beverage program. This is a fun and lovely way to have dinner and is distinctly a Portland experience you can't get anywhere else. I love the delicious dumplings, the perfect kimchi or the tasting menu.
Name of Location 4: Le Pigeon
Why You'll Love It: The dining room is the perfect, intimate size and the menu is always inventive. Gabriel Rucker's food has always been distinctly Gabriel's—there is no one else like him. He marches to the beat of his own drum and his fearless style of cooking has never missed in my opinion. It's my favorite place to be re-inspired by a chef's love of the craft.
Left to right: Bill Stoller, Melissa Burr, LaRue Stoller.
Number of Years in Portland: 41
Name of Location 1: Stoller Family Estate in the Willamette Valley
Why You'll Love It: I have worked at Stoller Family Estate for 15 years and just completed my 16th harvest. Even though I’m here more often than not, I never tire of the view of the vineyard from the Tasting Room.
Name of Location 2: Abigail’s Hideaway at The Duniway
Why You'll Love It: I love the “secret garden” type experience. The views are amazing, and The Jackrabbit offers great food and drinks.
Name of Location 3: Higgins
Why You'll Love It: Higgins is a Portland icon. Their menu is NW seasonal food with an extensive wine list. I love their bar; its antique wood everywhere, an incredible bar menu (think house cured meats, oysters, and lots of good bubbles) and for me the perfect place to go for a festive night out with a group.
Name of Location 4: Portland City Grill
Why You'll Love It: There's an incredible panoramic view of Portland, great cocktails, and romantic. Beautiful place to have a drink or meal and show off the city to out of town friends.
Number of Years in Portland: 22 years
Name of Location 1: The Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University
Why You'll Love It: The PSU Farmers Market has been around since 1992, longer then I have lived in Portland. I think that makes it very special. Portlanders have always been proud of our maker DIY culture and shopping local.
What I love about the market is how proud the farmers and vendors are of their bounty. You can literally taste everything from fresh wild salmon to hot sauces and the best cheeses Oregon has to offer. In the true spirit of Portland the market is also socially responsible, doing their part to feed people in need.
I highly recommend guests of the Duniway check it out when wandering the city. Trust me it’s not to be missed and for those guests that want to explore more, our concierge is happy to book a private tour to get to know the farmers and walk away feeling a little more connected.
Name of Location 2: Powell’s Books
Why You'll Love It: Powell’s books is the ultimate playground for book nerds and urban explorers alike. True to the spirit of old Portland, it’s still independently owned and has something for everyone. I have been fortunate enough to hear local female authors Cheryl Strayed, Courtenay Hameister and Chelsea Cain read excerpts from their books on any given day.
At the Duniway we know a thing or two about female authors as well given our name sake Abigail Scott Duniway wrote a few books herself and for those reasons we choose to purchase are curated book collection in our suites directly from Powell’s.
Name of Location 3: Darcelle’s XV
Why You'll Love It: My absolute favorite spot in Portland is Darcelle’s XV! It is a must do for everyone. The cabaret style drag bar opened in 1967 and is owned and hosted by Darcelle XV (Walter Cole) the Guinness Book of World Records title holder for “The Oldest Working Drag Queen” who just turned 88 years old! The performance is hilarious and glamorous and I always bring visitors to the club. I would say Darcelle is hands down the most generous individual I know, always giving back to the people of Portland and is probably the most beloved person in the city. It was an honor featuring Darcelle in our “Whose on the Couch” social media serious last Pride Month.
Name of Location 4: Pioneer Courthouse Square Echo Chamber
Why You'll Love It: Pioneer Courthouse Square located just a block away from The Duniway, is affectionately referred to as Portland’s living room. The square is made up of brick inscribed by Portlanders who donated $15 in the early 80’s to help pay for its construction. There is a miniature amphitheater with enough room for one person to stand in, if you stand in the right spot a whisper becomes a loud echo, but you are the only one that can hear it! I am not going to tell you where in the square it is because that takes the fun out of it and part of being an Urban explorer is exploring!
Number of Years in Portland: 16 years
Name of Location 1: The Duniway
Why You'll Love It: I toured the Duniway shortly after the remodel while I was a General Manager at a competitor and immediately had hotel envy. The attention to detail in the localized interior design was stunning. During the tour my mind raced on how much fun I would have activating all the beautiful spaces found in the lobby, guestrooms, and the outdoor roof top, Abigail’s Hideaway. I pursed the General Manager position shortly after the tour concluded and have been so pleased with my decision to do so. What I didn’t know until I started was how wonderful the staff is at the Duniway. We offer the perfect style of service; a warm, caring, and authentic to Portland style that I just know our guest will love!
Name of Location 2: Hilton Portland
Why You'll Love It: The Hilton Portland is very dear to my heart. I started my Hospitality career at the Hilton Portland working as a Front Desk Agent. When I returned 15 years later many of the same smiling faces were there to welcome me back. The Hilton Portland recently went through a beautiful transformation, I barely recognized my old surroundings, the front desk, where I once worked was now gone and the entire lobby space had been transformed into one wide open space with communal tables for work stations, an active lobby bar, and gorgeous modern décor.
Photography courtesy Andie Petkus