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Perfectly Portland: The Pearl District

It’s no secret that Portland is an odd city. In Portland, you won’t only find someone dressed as Darth Vader riding a unicycle; you’ll also see a whole bunch of people ignoring that cyclin’ dark lord because to them, it’s just another Tuesday. If that last sentence was too weird for your tastes, it’s possible the Pearl District isn’t for you. Because out of all the impressive Portland neighborhoods, there’s no area that embraces Portland culture better than the Pearl District. What are the requirements for embracing Portland culture? A simple desire to keep Portland weird is all you need. 

But what makes the Pearl District Portland’s most appealing neighborhood? The answer varies from traveler to traveler. Shopping fans will appreciate the Pearl’s huge collection of novelty boutiques. Exercise fans will enjoy the niche gyms that dot the Pearl District. Foodies can feast on food from every ethnicity prepared by some of the most famous chefs in Portland. And of course families will feel sunnily toward the luscious parks and popular attractions that surround the Pearl District. For a look at five of the best attractions in Portland’s Pearl District, simply read on. 

Enso Float

There’s no one right way to de-stress. If video games help you unwind, play them. If baking lets you forget the pressures of the day, get out the flour. But if you haven’t tried submerging your body in an 8-ft. tank full of saltwater and floating in silence for an hour, this is your chance. Enso Float provides a floating experience that promotes mindfulness, relieves stress, and cleanses your body. The float tanks are also referred to as “sensory deprivation chambers,” which sounds a lot scarier than it is. Essentially, a sensory deprivation chamber seeks to remove as much stimuli as possible. When you’re in an Enso Float tank, you’ll be in complete silence and darkness – the salt in the water will keep your head above the water even when you’re entirely still. The lack of stimulation allows your body and mind to enter a stage of relaxation you may have never experienced before. You might even find it more relaxing than finding animated treasure or pulling cookies out of the oven.

Powell’s City of Books

The pearl of the Pearl District is Powell’s City of Books. If you’re in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, it would be criminal to not stop at Powell’s for some browsing. Given that Powell’s is the largest bookstore in the world, “city” really is an appropriate modifier for this humongous shop. Powell’s has texts on every imaginable subject, ranging from manga and comic books to World War II biographies. Even if you’re not a reader, Powell’s is an impressive sight. Plus, you can always stop in at the shop’s delightful coffee and pastry café for an espresso while the nerds explore.

Portland Center Stage at The Armory

Portland Center Stage is a historic theater building with two stages inside. The venue is dedicated to inspiring the Portland community by bringing important stories to life in creative ways. The theater is the largest one in Portland, and it’s considered one of the top 20 regional theatres in the country. Distinguished performances, gorgeous sets, and top-notch directing bring over 150,000 people to The Armory every year to appreciate what Portland Center Stage is putting on. Portland Center Stage prides itself on grappling with difficult and uncomfortable subject matter, resulting in powerful and personal performances from actors. Portland Center Stage at The Armory hosts classic shows, Broadway productions, and contemporary works. Go check out one (or more) of their delightful and thought-provoking performances!

 Black Pedal Brewing Company

Look, any given Portland neighborhood is going to have a wealth of impressive breweries for you to peruse. You’d be lucky to make it four blocks without coming across a new brewery in the Pearl District. This recommendation is really intended for those folks who want a quieter experience. Black Pedal Brewing Company is a low-key pub that lets visitors enjoy a drink in peace. Black Pedal only has 50 seats, so it’s never going to get insanely crowded. They offer a large range of delicious beers and ciders, as well as specialty drinks. Although kids are not allowed in Black Pedal Brewing Company, you can embrace your inner child while you’re there by playing a game of Connect Four on a gargantuan board. 

YoYo Yogi

Mind-bending. Body-stretching. Soul-searching. YoYo Yogi is a local destination that very few non-native Portlandians will know about. This wonderful yoga studio is the perfect place to recover yourself if you have a couple more beers than you intended at Black Pedal Brewing Company. Get your body and chakras aligned to start your day in the Pearl District off right. YoYo also offers mindful meditation and hot yoga for the sauna fans!

Are you starting to feel the magic of the Pearl District? If not, don’t sweat it! Once you arrive in the Pearl District, you can simply feel the difference. So what are you waiting for? Go have fun getting weird in Portland’s Pearl District!  

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