What do many of Portland’s hottest restaurants, the Northwest’s largest convention center and destinations like kid-friendly OMSI and the Rose Garden arena have in common? They’re all located just across the Willamette River from downtown — and they’re all on the Portland Streetcar Central Loop. Opened in September 2012, the line expands the streetcar system, which also runs from Northwest 23rd Avenue through the Pearl District and downtown to the South Waterfront, across the Broadway Bridge to Portland’s eastside. Here are a few must-stops.
Broadway & Ross
(North Weidler St./Broadway & Ross Ave.)
Just east of the Broadway Bridge, the Leftbank building is home to Upright Brewing, one of city’s most talked-about microbreweries. A five-minute walk to the south is the Moda Center, where you can catch an NBA game at the Portland Trail Blazers’ home court or take in a concert by the likes of Lady Gaga or Bruce Springsteen.
Oregon Convention Center
(N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. & Hoyt/N.E. Grand Ave. & N.E. Hoyt)
The environmentally friendly Oregon Convention Center is home to the annual Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale and the Portland International Auto Show, as well as dozens of other events each year. Across the street you can cheer on the Blazers at homegrown sports bar Spirit of 77.
Southeast Taylor Street
(S.E. Taylor & Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./S.E. Taylor & Grand Ave.)
Walk just four blocks west (toward the river) for dining and nightlife hot spots like clarklewis, where modern Pacific Northwest cuisine gets prepared in an open kitchen; Boke Bowl, home to wildly popular ramen dishes; and Bunk Bar with late-night eats and occasional live music.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
(S.E. Water Ave. & OMSI)
The end of the line (for now — the next expansion is set for 2015) is the kid-topia of OMSI, which offers 219,000 square feet of interactive, science-based exhibits, and the new Oregon Rail Heritage Center.