Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

Spend The Day in Portland Uptown

Nov 16, 2016

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Also known as Nob Hill, Northwest Portland or the Alphabet District, Portland Uptown is one of the city’s most alluring neighborhoods. With everything to offer from renowned rose gardens to world-famous ice cream shops, the sightseeing opportunities in this community are endless! Below, we’ve picked out the best of what Uptown has to offer and packed it into one fun-filled day for the entire family. Follow the carefully planned itinerary, or mix-and-match to create your own Uptown adventure.


Ken’s Artisan Bakery makes pastries like no other, served alongside delicious and local Stumptown coffee. Stop in for one of their raved-about croissants or morning buns, but make sure to get there early – customer favorites sell out fast! The café also sells delicious salads and sandwiches, so pick some up for a picnic lunch later at the zoo.

Rose Garden

Coffee and pastry in hand, head to the International Rose Test Garden for a stroll among their 7,000+ bushes. Best viewed in April through October, the garden was created during World War I to preserve the European rose species that could be destroyed by bombings. Admission is free, although donation boxes are located throughout the grounds.



After seeing the roses, hop on the Washington Park and Zoo Railway to ride through Washington Park to the Oregon Zoo. Drawing more than 1.6 million visitors a year, the zoo is Portland’s most popular paid attraction. Pay a visit to the Great Northwest exhibit, one of the only of its kind, and Packy, the famed elephant born here in 1964. Unpack your sandwiches from earlier, and have a picnic among the animals in one of the zoo’s many lunch spots. 

Pittock Mansion

Just a short drive away is Pittock Mansion, former home of Portlander pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock. Built in 1914, the house became a local landmark when it was purchased by the City of Portland in 1964. Since then it has been perfectly restored and preserved, a standing testament to the changes Portland underwent over the lifetimes of its builders. Visitors can choose between taking a self-guided tour or a guided one, each of which take between 30 to 60 minutes.

Forest Park Hike

After your tour of Pittock Mansion, step outside to Forest Park, the country’s largest forested city park. With over 70 trails, it’s easy to lose yourself among the trees, forgetting you’re just blocks from city life. A local favorite is this short loop through the Audubon Sanctuary, home to more than 40 different species of birds.


Having worked up your appetite, head back down to civilization and to Paley’s Place, where Pacific Northwest cuisine is served in an intimate Victorian home. Chef and owner Vitale Paley changes the menu regularly to reflect seasonal ingredients, and the wine list, featuring wines exclusively from Oregon, Washington and France, is extensive.


Just a few blocks over from Paley’s is Salt & Straw, a “farm-to-cone” ice cream shop that features one-of-a-kind flavors like Mimosa Sherbet and Pear with Blue Cheese. Awarded “Best of the West” by Sunset magazine, it’s a gastronomic and unique dessert you won’t want to pass up.

Movie Night

Still not tired? Pay a visit to one of Portland’s most unique pastimes, a “brew-and-view” movie theater. Cinema 21 is a 20’s-era movie theater that serves beer and wine alongside old favorites and new releases.


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