Devote at least half a day to exploring the shops, historical landmarks and public green spaces of the oldest neighborhood in the city.
Embark on a shopping, sightseeing and dining adventure when you visit Old Town Chinatown, Portland’s original downtown area. Visit traditional teahouses, wander through a botanical garden of native Chinese plants and enjoy a meal in the city’s oldest Chinese restaurant.
This riverside neighborhood dates back to the mid 1840s when pioneers William Overton and Asa Lovejoy purchased land that would become the city. A few years later, immigrants from Southern China flocked here during the California Gold Rush and settled.
The city’s oldest neighborhood also encompasses the Portland Skidmore/Old Town Historic District and the Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.
Enter the Old Town through the large and ornate China gate, which is flanked by a pair of golden lion statues. Start your exploration by browsing craft shops and art galleries such as Open Gallery, which specializes in contemporary works, and Deadstock Coffee, a coffee shop and art venue. During the weekend visit the Portland Saturday Market, an open-air arts and crafts market that has been operating for more than 40 years.
Stroll around the Lan Su Chinese Garden, a picturesque haven of plants and tree species native to China. Savor traditional Chinese teas in the two-story teahouse housed in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections. Pick up insights into Chinese culture and traditions by taking part in one of the regular activities, lectures or classes held throughout the year. Check out the events calendar on the garden's official website.
Break up your tour of the area with a meal in one of its restaurants and cafés offering authentic, traditional and modern Chinese cuisine. Among them are the Red Robe Tea House and Café and the Republican Café, Portland’s oldest Chinese restaurant, opening in 1922.
Stop at some of the neighborhood's historical landmarks such as the Skidmore Fountain, which dates back to 1888. The 19th-century Society Hotel was originally built to accommodate sailors.
Old Town Chinatown is well served by buses and the MAX light rail network. If you're driving, pay to park in nearby garages.