Blog, Portland Travel

Downtown Portland’s Winter Blah-Buster Supports the Arts!

Dec 28, 2011

Oregon Ballet Photo Credit: Don Van Wart

Lets face it.  The middle of winter can be a bit….well……blah.  So what better way to spice things up than to take advantage of special offers that grant affordable access to Portland’s vibrant creative arts scene!  We think it is pretty cool that Downtown Portland promotes the performing arts in our city with the successful Blah-Buster promotion  kicking off in February 2012.

For more than a month, arts groups including Portland Center Stage, Oregon Children’s Theater, Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Oregon Symphony will offer two-for-one tickets for events throughout the city.

Full details will be available later this year at www.downtownportland.org.

Other Winter Events Coming Up:

Portland International Film Festival – February 9-25, 2012
The granddaddy of Oregon film events, the Portland International Film Festival packs 100 films from 30 countries into a busy two weeks every February.

Oregon Seafood and Wine Festival – February 3-4, 2012
Scheduled smack dab in the middle of the Dungeness crab season, this upscale festival celebrates both the bounty harvested from the Pacific Ocean and the state’s vineyards. More than 130,000 square feet (3,962 square meters) at the Oregon Convention Center allows plenty of room for festival-goers to wander while enjoying great food, wine and live music.

Travel Oregon and Sustainable Travel International Announce Innovative Travel Philanthropy Program

Dec 19, 2011

Travel Oregon, in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, is proud to introduce the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund. The first statewide program of its kind, this fund will support sustainable tourism development in Oregon by connecting businesses and travelers to projects that improve the environment, support local culture and enhance the destination for future visitors.

Participating businesses throughout the state can raise funds for projects via an optional $1 donation from customers. All projects selected as beneficiaries of the fund protect Oregon’s natural assets and/or support communities in a way that improves their appeal as a destination.

“Oregonians have a rich history of stewardship of the land and love of community,” said Kristin Dahl, Travel Oregon’s Senior Manager of Destination Development. “This program is a natural fit as we will raise funds to directly improve and enhance Oregon communities. We expect this to result in enriching experiences for visitors and participating businesses.”

The Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund will work with lodging properties during the initial phase of the program, which lasts through 2012. Other types of businesses, such as restaurants, tour operators and retail stores, will be invited to participate in the next phase. Individuals and corporations can also contribute directly to the fund.

The fund will support one project from each of Oregon’s seven tourism regions. Examples include: supporting agritourism in Eastern Oregon by developing new point-of-sale options for local food products; creating a new recreation trail from the town of Rogue River to the Rogue River Valley, provided by The Rogue River Greenway Foundation; and in Portland, the Living Highways Project will plant and maintain over 5,000 trees along I-205, as part of the Greenspace Initiative. For more information and to view the full list of selected projects, go to: www.traveloregonforever.com/giveback

“We chose these projects because they represent some of the best work being done to steward the environment, build community and showcase the food and culture that make Oregon a great destination,” said Jon-Paul Bowles, Sustainable Travel International’s Vice President of Destination Stewardship.

Travel Oregon
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state’s $8.7 billion tourism industry. www.TravelOregon.com

Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International’s (STI) forward-thinking solutions strengthen the positive impacts of tourism worldwide, with a clear focus on the bottom line. The STI team specializes in connecting constituents across the value chain in order to effect change in the industry. As a result, STI partners with destinations and multi-national corporations to advance their sustainability efforts, and offers small to medium-sized businesses a suite of turnkey sustainability management tools.
Ultimately, STI’s programs help tourism businesses safeguard the authenticity of the destinations
they serve, helping to protect their natural and cultural heritage, while contributing to local
economic development.

Your Holiday Shopping Itinerary

Dec 16, 2011

The Santa House at Bridgeport Village Photo Credit @Bridgeport Village

I know there are many of you who have not finished their holiday shopping right? The Washington County Oregon Visitors Association has created a helpful shopping itinerary to help you take advantage of tax-free holiday shopping! Here is how you can finish all of your holiday shopping in a single day:

Start off at Washington Square located near three of Portland’s main roadways (I-5, HWY 217 and HWY 26). With five major department stores, 170 distinctive shops, nationally recognized restaurants, such as the Cheesecake Factory, and a large food court, Washington Square is a shopper’s paradise. This shopping center even boasts Oregon’s largest Nordstrom.

Next, visit Bridgeport Village, (walking distance to our hotel) one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier fashion and lifestyle shopping centers. Consisting of 500,000 square feet, the center offers one of-a-kind boutiques and well-known brands including crowd pleasers such as the Apple Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and J. Crew. Stop and have lunch at one of the dozen delectable restaurants, whether it is at a popular national chain or a one-of-a kind eatery.

Tea aficionados flock to the Stash Tea Retail Store, which features hundreds of varieties of loose-leaf and bagged teas made with leaves from around the globe. As one of the first internationally recognized tea brands, Stash Tea remains to be one of the pioneers of Oregon tea.

Another option for the power shoppers: Take a drive down HWY 26 to 4 The Streets of Tanasbourne. Mixing European charm with shopping center convenience, this is a great place to meet for dinner. Enjoy tax-free shopping at more than 50 fabulous shops, or grab something to snack on at Buffalo Wild Wings or P.F. Chang’s before searching for great buys at Macy’s, REI, Abercrombie & Fitch or Coldwater Creek.

An entirely different option is Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton. This sister location to the famed Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland is an ideal addition to a Washington County shopping itinerary. At 32,500 square feet, filled with new and used books, appearances by noteworthy authors, and a knowledgeable, book-loving staff, this bookstore is a haven for bibliophiles.

For more shopping ideas and a map to these locations, download the WCVA Shopping Guide.

Annual Holiday Attractions in Downtown Portland

Dec 14, 2011

Portland, Oregon comes alive during the holiday with these annual events. Spend a few days here and you will see why Portland, Oregon is one of the best travel destinations in the country!  There are too many local holiday events to mention in one blog post so visit downtownportland.org and plan your own outing.

Festival of Lights at The Grotto – Through Friday, December 30, 2011.. Closed Christmas Day
The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The 2011 festival features nearly 170 indoor holiday concerts and an amazing display of more than 500,000 lights. illuminates the largest choral festival A petting zoo, puppet shows and seasonal food and beverages also highlight the event.

Parade of Christmas Ships – December 8 – 20, 2011
This year marks the 57th year for the Christmas Ship Parade on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in Portland, Oregon. This fleet of 55-60 brightly lit boats has staged performances on the Willamette and Columbia rivers during the holiday season. Visit the Christmas Ships website for dates, times and best viewing locations.

ZooLights Festival – Through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24 & 25)
The Oregon Zoo becomes a holiday fairyland as one of Portland’s largest light displays blazes to life. More than a million sparkling lights transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. Decorated train rides, kids’ activities, and music by community groups.

From great coffee to beautiful lights to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Portland will be merry this season!

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