I happen to like Kimpton hotels (small boutique type), there are 2 here right in downtown in a great location. www.kimptonhotels.com/hotels/hotels- po rtland.aspx There's also the Hotel Modera, University Place Hotel and the Ace Hotel, a younger 'hip' kind of place. They are all in the downtown area with easy access to transportation, entertainment, shopping and restaurants
The Ringside on Park & Yahmill (also a location in NE) is a pretty decent steakhouse. The Portland City Grill is a good option as well...it's on the 30th floor of Big Pink, great view. They each have websites and you'd probably want to make reservations at either location.
I'd say you have to factor in your personality. As NEVERGIVEUP states the zoo is great, if that's your cup of tea. I'm afraid the Portland Spirit was a let down for me, although at Christmas it is much better when the boats are all decorated with lights. For me, the boat thing was a been there, done that too many times. Pittock Mansion is another great stop, if you like that sort of thing.
I don't mean to offend any one. We all have different tastes. Here's a few ideas. . . If you like to hike or even if you don't, I'd say you HAVE to head a few miles east and see Multnomah Falls. You can hump up the trail to the top or just stand at the bottom in awe. If you love flowers, the Rose Garden. To find your Zen go to the Japanese Gardens (NOTE: the rose gardens & Japanese are right next to each other). Also the Chinese Garden is great if this is a time of relaxation. If you're into people watching, don't miss Pioneer Square. If you like ANY type of art go to the Portland Art Museum. Bibliophiles drool uncontrollably at Powell's Books. To make sure you remember your trip, hit the Saturday Market (you don't even have to buy anything, although I guarantee you will). If you're a beer lover, you might hit a Mcmenamin's where you can also catch a cheap flick. Stroll with your sweetie at Waterfront Park (to burn off the beer). Science nerds (and Tom Clancy fanatics) should visit OMSI. My brother never misses a chance to hit the Portland Outdoor Store when he visits. . . ah, you get the idea. It's a great city that has it all--outdoor fun, culture and shopping!
GAYEMC-I would like to keep it around $150/nt for the hotel. As far as dining goes - probably a good steakhouse or Italian for his birthday dinner. He also love microbrews so I'm sure he'd love to spend some time drinking a beer.
NEVERGIVEUP69-We've done the zoo and I agree, it's a great place even for us big kids. Pittock Mansion - have to check that one out. Thanks!
Christy, let me know what kind of price range you are looking at for a hotel, what kind of food you like, and what kind of musts (indoor, outdoor, art, history etc.)and I'll try to give you some ideas to look at.
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