One of the best ways to become familiar with any one of Portland’s unique neighborhoods is to walk it. Walk it up one side and down the other. Walk it in early morning, at mid-afternoon, and in the evening.
That’s what we do, nearly every day. And we see something new on every walk. Walking and photographing Portland has become one of our favorite activities. We walk 5-10 miles across Portland nearly every day.
If you’d like to join us for our monthly walking tour across Portland Metro, check out PDX Women Who Walk on Meetup and hop onboard.
This wide Urban Loop (south on NW 11th Ave, west on Couch and Burnside, north on Westover, and then east on Northrup) takes you past three distinctive parks on the northern edge of the Pearl District (The Fields Park, Tanner Springs Park, Jamison Square), into the heart of the Pearl District, over the 405 freeway, past a bit of industrial grunge, along lower Northwest Hills with its impressive views, and back through the Northwest District to the Pearl.
For coffee and pastries, there are several good options. Today I lingered over an excellent macchiato at Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Portland’s alternative to Starbucks. This heart of the Pearl District location–one of several—is next door to Sur la Table on NW 11th Ave. and Couch St. Excellent coffee, friendly service, freshly baked pastries, and great location assure that it’s always packed with an interesting array of people.
Later, I stopped off at Anna Bananas NW Coffee on the north (quiet) end of 21st Ave. It’s a popular, laid back Portlandia hideaway (think Grandma’s living room with a few friendly nerds sprawled on the sofa). It’s easy to wile away an hour or so on the covered deck catching up on email or a good book.
It takes about an hour to fast-walk the 50+ block, 3-mile route. But why hurry when there are so many great photo opportunities along the route? On my early morning walks in Portland, the camera never stops clicking. On today’s route, I captured 125 images.
Seventeen of my favorites were routed to my Facebook photo album, Line Shape Form Texture Color. The rest of the best you can see in the photo gallery below.
Here’s the custom-curated, well-tested, regularly updated map and walking directions. Bookmark the Shared Map and follow the route on your phone.
Walking Portland: Pearl District-Northwest Hills Loop
The Pearl District and Northwest District (Nob Hill) neighborhoods abut each other on the northwest side of Portland (Portland Neighborhood Association Map).
- Start at NW 11th Ave & NW Overton St. (The Fields Park)
- Head south on NW 11th.
- At NW 11th Ave and NW Couch St. (starred), check out Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
- Turn right on NW Couch St.
- Turn left on NW 19th.
- Turn right on Burnside St.
- Turn right on NW 23rd.
- Turn left on NW Westover Rd.
- Turn right on NW 25th.
- Turn right on NW Northrup St.
- At NW Northrup St and NW 21st, (starred) check out Anna Bananas NW Coffee to your left.
- Continue on NW Northrup St. to NW 11th & NW Overton St. (The Fields Park)
To enable the Walking Portland slide show, click any photo in the gallery.
- To see all homes currently for sale in Portland’s Pearl District, check out Homes for Sale Portland: Pearl District.
- To see all homes currently for sale in Portland’s Northwest District, check out Homes for Sale Portland: Northwest District.
Copyright 2015-2020 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.