The Pearl's biggest attraction is also one of the most-visited spots in Portland: the flagship Powell's City of Books. Spanning an entire city block (between NW 10th and 11th Avenues, W. Burnside and NW Couch Streets), Powell's bills itself as the world's largest independent bookstore. Galleries and other area businesses stay open late for First Thursdays (held on the first Thursday of each month), and at the Gerding Theater at the Armory (a looming fortress of a building at NW Davis, between 10th and 11th Avenues), the Portland Center Stage hosts some of the city's best theater.
For a leafier version of this condensed urban area, the Pearl offers three parks: Jamison Square (at NW Johnson, between 10th and 11th Avenues) has a cascading fountain and ebbing tide pool; the recreated wetlands of the one-acre Tanner Springs Park (NW 10th Avenue and Marshall Street) and the elegant North Park Blocks (between Glisan and Ankeny Streets), which date to the 1860s, feature tall maple, elm and locust trees, gracefully curving street lamps and a bronze replica of a Shang Dynasty sculpture (a public gift from a Chinese businessman) featuring a baby elephant perched on its mother's back.
Our guide, Jeff, was great - he was from Portland and knew the city and the general area very well and could answer all questions articulately. Jeff offered coffee and pastry - I suggest he take his guests to one of Portland's many great cafe's (and charge another $5 if necessary).
A fantastic insight into the heartbeat of what Portland is all about. Our guide Jeff could not possibly be improved upon...with any other company, anywhere. I am recommending it to everyone! Portlanders need to take this trip, no matter how well they think they know the area. A+++
Very well organized small group trip. Would recommend it to my friends. Will use it again when I visit the pacific northwest.