New Pilots on the block: A guide to Portland

By Lulu Heffernan | August 31, 2022 5:05pm
by Brie Haro / The Beacon

Moving to a new city, let alone a college campus, can be an overwhelming experience. With its relatively smaller size, acclimating to the University of Portland campus can be easier than discovering the city beyond The Bluff. As students begin to explore Portland, it can be tough to figure out what to do first. 

Here are some starter items to add to your Portland bucket list:

Powell’s City of Books

Located downtown in the Pearl District, Powell’s is a good way to kill a couple hours, and maybe get lost inside too. Powell’s has nine different rooms full of books, including a rare book room. If your room is in need of more decorations, you can buy posters that will fill your off-white dorm walls. 

VooDoo Doughnut

If you applied to UP then you’ve probably been told you need to go to VooDoo, which has a fun variety of doughnuts. One classic doughnut from Voodoo is the VooDoo Doll. Filled with raspberry jelly and having a pretzel stake in it, this doughnut looks, but doesn’t taste like the doll associated with its name. A popular spot to take photos with your doughnuts is in front of the “Keep Portland Weird” mural located on the back of Dante’s

International Rose Test Garden

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. The rose garden would be a good option for a more relaxed day. Depending on the weather, the roses should be in bloom up until October. You can explore over 600 types of roses and expand your visit to the entirety of Washington Park.

Portland Saturday Market 

The Saturday market is a good way to explore more of the downtown area along the waterfront. There are many vendors so it’s easy to spend the whole morning there browsing. The market is a good spot to try some new food, look at jewelry, clothing, art and other niche items. 

Forest Park

Exploring the Forest Park area is a great way to get off campus and spend time in nature. Students can sign up through Outdoor Pursuits to join an excursion to the park.

St. John’s Food & Beer Porch

Within walking distance, St. John’s Food & Beer Porch is a pod of food carts about a mile from campus. The food carts are especially good if you’re with a group of friends who can’t decide on one place to eat. The carts serve a variety of foods including sushi, italian and vegan options.

Cathedral Park 

Cathedral Park is another stop close to campus. This is where you can see the St. John’s bridge or have a picnic on the grass while the weather is still nice. On the way there, you could stop by Cathedral Coffee for a drink and a pastry. From the park, it’s easy to explore the St. John’s neighborhood after your visit.

Stay tuned for a Beacon guide to public transportation.

Lulu Heffernan is the Living Section Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at