When you're visiting Portland, Oregon, you'll likely looking for a full-on Pacific Northwest experience that might include heading out to renowned Cannon Beach, taking a day trip to the Columbia River Gorge, having a few world-class meals in the Pearl District, checking out the city's famed microbreweries and coffeehouses, and visiting one of the best bookstores in the United States, Powell's Books. But books aren't the only cool things to shop for in Portland. The city is known for several special shopping streets that are worth a visit. And there's a bonus: You won't pay any sales tax. Here's a list of the best places to check out the merchandise.
Shopping all of Northwest 23rd Avenue in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Portland in one go would be a feat. A good plan is to start near Burnside Street and work your way down. Northwest 23rd Avenue was named one of the country's best shopping streets by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 for a reason. What you'll find is upscale shopping for the home and yourself. When it's time to refuel, stop into one of the streets many restaurants and coffeehouses.
Alberta Street, the centerpiece of the Alberta Arts District, is pretty long, but much of the shopping is between Northeast 15th and Northeast 25th avenues. The artsy nature of this street is reflected in its stores. You'll find Portland-designed clothes, lots of art galleries, used furniture, and other stuff worth browsing. If you're into vintage or vintage-inspired finds, this is the place to look. You'll find them in shops like Tumbleweed, Amelia, and Frock, which also have locally designed and made clothing pieces. You'll also find books and art prints for sale on Alberta Street. Duck into one of its unique bars to rest after you've done all the shopping you can afford.
North Mississippi Avenue isn't a huge shopping destination, and parking isn't generally an issue. One strategy would be to park near the Fresh Pot at 4001 North Mississippi, grab a cup of Stumptown, and walk down and around from there. North Mississippi has a bounty of boutiques that sell clothing, home furnishings, and gourmet treats for both you and your pet. Besides great shopping, this main street in the Mississippi District is known for its restaurants and music venues. So make a night of it after a little shopping around.
Go shopping on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard if you're interested in books, music, shoes and boots, jewelry, vintage and antique pieces, and items made by local Portland artisans. Must-do stops are Powell's Books on Hawthorne, Powell's Books for Home and Garden, and Jackpot Records Hawthorne. And check out the clothing boutiques for just the right accessory to make your look special and one-of-a-kind. Most of the shops on Hawthorne are concentrated between Southeast 34th and 39th avenues.
The Northeast Broadway neighborhood is across the Willamette River from downtown Portland. The best shopping on the street is centered on the intersection of Northeast 15th Avenue and Broadway. Street parking can be a challenge, but there is a parking lot just south of Broadway on Northeast 14th Avenue. You'll find loads of small shops stocked with books, flags, jewelry, wine, and resale items.