Pearl District activities

The arts take center stage in this urbane neighborhood adjacent to downtown.

Children Playing in the Fountain at Jamison Square in the Pearl DistrictKids play in the fountain at Jamison Square in the Pearl District.

With the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, plus a key museum and the city’s biggest theater company, the Pearl District offers arts-lovers myriad options — but beer aficionados and playful tots are covered, too.

Arts & culture

If you have to choose one time to explore The Pearl, make it First Thursday. On the first Thursday evening of every month, the doors of many Pearl art galleries stay open late for this popular gallery walk, which attracts art lovers and people-watchers alike with free exhibits and refreshments. From April – October, the First Thursday Street Gallery fills three blocks of Northwest 13th Avenue (between Hoyt and Kearney streets) with work by local artists.

The Gerding Theater at the Armory, a striking monument to green renovation, houses Portland Center Stage, which presents dramatic works and workshops year-round. Drop-in visitors can check out the historic building and grab a bite at the Armory Café inside.

There’s a reason Powell’s City of Books is universally loved by locals and visitors alike. The iconic, independently owned bookstore is larger than most city libraries, occupying five floors and an entire city block. Among the nine color-coded rooms, on-site coffee shop and huge assortment of locally made gifts, even Kindle converts can go gaga. Read more about Powell’s >>

Breweries & pubs

The Pearl District is the perfect spot for a leisurely pub crawl. Rogue Distillery & Public House serves beer brewed on the Oregon coast and rum distilled on-site, and Deschutes Brewery & Public House has 18 taps that include organic and gluten-free offerings.

Be your own designated driver — make that pedaler — on the BrewCycle, a zany, human-powered contraption that conveys up to 15 riders between pubs and breweries in the neighborhood.

Kid-friendly fountain

Jamison Square draws scores of families thanks to its tide-pool-like fountain — a rocky waterfall feeds a shallow basin that empties and refills every few minutes, providing an ideal setting for splashing. This kid-pleasing park also features a convenient location on the Portland Streetcar line and impressive public art, in the form of modern “totem poles” designed by Kenny Scharf.

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