Within walking distance of downtown, this former warehouse zone next to the Willamette River is home to some of the city’s coolest and quirkiest shops and galleries.

1. Shop for swimwear at Popina

Photo courtesy of Popina Swimwear

Proudly proclaiming itself “the world’s greatest bathing suit shop,” Popina sells swimsuits inspired by old-school pin-up posters. Buy from a line of swimwear designed by owner Pamela Levenson, browse the accessories or enjoy a brew, or two, Kona Brewing Company beer is on tap.


2. Read at Powell’s City of Books

Claiming the mantle of “world’s largest independent bookstore,” Powell’s City of Books was founded in 1971 and is one of the city’s top attractions. It offers a variety of new and used books, but it’s not just a static store—it also hosts writing workshops, children’s story times and book clubs.


3. Discover local products at MadeHere

Photo courtesy of MadeHere

MadeHere brings together a wide spectrum of craft items from hundreds of local producers—people who weld, stitch, build and even brew. Swing by for everything from apothecary to stationery, bags to beverages, and jewelry to beard oil (a product used a lot in this hipster neighbourhood).


4. Browse housewares at Room & Board

Housed in a former tire warehouse built in 1924, Room & Board features a selection of sustainable furniture and home-decor items.


5. Play ping-pong and shop at Lizard Lounge

While ostensibly a clothing store, Lizard Lounge is a sprawling shopping space complete with comfy couches. It even has a ping-pong table.


6. Get inspired by art at Gallery 114

Photo courtesy of Gallery 114

Starting as an artists’ collective in 1990, Gallery 114 focuses on creative freedom, displaying works in a range of mediums, from video and photography to sculpture and painting. Exhibitions rotate monthly, with new shows revealed at a reception on the first Thursday of each month.


[This story appears in the May 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]