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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Alternative in Portland

Portlandia pokes fun at it, but the city where counterculture is a way of life offers an appealing plethora of hyperlocal restaurants, microbreweries, and DIY activities that anyone can enjoy.


1. Where to Stay

The lounge area on the rooftop of the Nines.   

Feel good about staying at a chain at the Courtyard by Marriott (from $109), the city’s first Gold LEED-certified property. The hotel practices sustainability with on-site renewable energy and recycled carpets without skimping on design: all 256 rooms feature large-scale photographs shot by local artists and big windows that maximize sunlight and downtown views.

Sleep in style at the Nines (from $184), housed in the top nine floors of the former Meier & Frank department store and decorated with prints by students from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, as well as Tiffany blue armchairs, damask wallpaper, and white satin drapes. Have drinks on the rooftop patio of Departure Restaurant & Lounge, where you can gaze at majestic Mount Hood while sipping pinot noir ($10).

Shack up at the Pocket House (from $125), a 435-square-foot cabin that sleeps five in the formerly grungy, now trendy neighborhood of Mississippi. The space blends a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic with ecofriendly features like a dual-flush toilet and energy-efficient appliances. Take advantage of the organic herb and vegetable gardens when preparing outdoor meals on the small patio.

Published on May 5, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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