Welcome back to our Bibliotourism feature! This is where we share with you some of the world’s top destinations for book lovers. Today we are heading to the Pacific NorthWest to check out Portland, Oregon.
Portland is nestled in the Pacific temperate rainforests. Go on a trip to the forest and inhale the fresh scent of cedar to refresh your soul. Once you’re finished taking in the natural splendor, come back and check out all the city has to offer. Portland has incredible food culture and a music scene like no other.
It does get rainy and when it pours, duck into a coffee shop for a while with a good book. Portland has one of the most bookish cultures we’ve ever seen in a city.
Did you know that Portland has a mobile, bike-powered library as part of a homeless outreach program? Street books encapsulates why Portland is great for bibliotourism. Combining a love of books, bikes, and social justice is how they do it in the PNW. Check out our top 5 reasons to visit book-loving Portland!
1. Carrie Brownstein
Carrie Brownstein is our favorite cool girl. You might know her from her role in Portlandia where she co-stars with Fred Armisen. Portlandia features comedic sketch after sketch of satire that cuts to the core of Portland’s culture. She’s a huge cultural icon in Portland. She even wrote a tour guide and cookbook about her favorite city!
Portland is where Carrie Brownstein calls home. That’s reason enough for us to want to check out all Portland has to offer. It’s where the hipster trend (think craft beer and handlebar mustaches) started out. Something about Portland is inspiring for creative types. You can also check out her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.
We love a good pun. Wordstock is Portland’s book festival that takes place early in November. This year, Wordstock saw 100 authors presenting 48 onstage events! Book and writer festivals bring us closer to the people who wrote our favorite books. They connect us to a community of book lovers and give us a glimpse behind the curtain at the industry. You can join in the Lit Crawl through the city as you tour Portland!
Portland is home to dozens of incredible independent bookstores! Wander through neighborhoods like the Pearl District, Nob Hill, and Hawthorne. You are sure to find a handful of bookstore jewels! It’s Powell’s Books in downtown Portland that grabs all the headlines.
Powell’s Books has been around since 1971 and is consistently listed as one of the city’s top attractions. You could spend an entire day flitting through the stacks. They have over a million books. We recommend grabbing a Voodoo doughnut and Stumptown brew coffee to fuel up before you embark on your shopping spree.
One of the best geek chic places to visit in Portland, aside from the Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, is Floating World Comics. This place is a local favorite and is full of inspiring comics, art, and music. Portland’s bookstores are designed for those who have a deep love of books and Floating World Comics might cater them the best. They do everything they can to make the best of your reading experience! So drop by and ask for a recommendation or just browse their awesome collections.
5. Help Keep Portland Weird
Portland is a city that embraces the fringe. It’s a great vacation spot for writers and book lovers to be inspired by creative energy. There are tons of weird things to explore around PDX. There’s a juice stand where you can blend your own smoothie by using a bike powered blender. Portland takes their bike culture seriously.
Food in Portland is also very committed to being the vegan, locally-sourced, and gluten-free capital of the world. All of this weirdness is encouraging for us bookish types. You can be yourself in Portland and guaranteed someone will be “weirder” than you on every block.
Have you visited Portland? What awesome spots did you visit?
YouTube Channel: Travel Portland
Featured image via Aaron and Andrea Bennett