What to do during Winter Break

By Emily Davis

For students who are staying in Portland for winter break, there is so much to do and see around the city during this amazing time of year. Here is a list of  some of those things, from eating to drinking to holiday fun.

One of my favorite spots in town is the Pittock Mansion in Northwest Portland. The mansion was originally a private home built in 1909 for Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock. There are tours available for those who want to see inside the home, but the real attraction is the amazing view of Portland from the back garden of the mansion. One can see all over Portland. Several mountains, including Mt. Hood, are visible from various parts of the back of the property. Sunrise and sunset are also beautiful from this spot, and I would recommend going on a clear day to get the full experience. The grounds also boast spectacular gardens, so Pittock Mansion is awesome year-round.

For students who have cars, Multnomah Falls is a remarkable sight-seeing experience. The falls are northeast of the city, right along the Columbia River. The first time I went was in the middle of winter, and I was astonished to see most of the falls were frozen! This might seem like a deterrent, but I highly recommend it as it is truly a sight to see. The towering falls are also the tallest in the state, making it a memorable experience. Although the falls are currently closed due to fire damage suffered this past September, the lodge is expected to reopen in late December.

This event isn’t exactly during winter break, but very close. If you need a small break during finals, check out Stumptown SantaCon on Dec. 16. The event starts at 4 p.m. and goes until the evening, and is the perfect escape during finals. This event is 21+ and costs $10. I personally haven’t gone before, but I plan to this year — my friends who have gone in previous years have had the time of their lives! Stumptown is said to have 20+ venues available for party-goers, along with fire-pits, DJ’s and more. People are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday costume, so break out your ugliest christmas sweater and have a jolly time.

Everyone knows that Portland is a foodie’s dream. There are several places that I recommend, far too many to list here. One place, however, that I highly suggest everyone goes to at least once is Pine State Biscuits. I’ve been to the location on Division Street, but there are a handful of them throughout Portland. While you might have to wait in line for a while, it is totally worth it. Try the Reggie Deluxe — you won’t be disappointed!

While the winter weather can be harsh and dreary, nothing is more comfortable than snuggling in with a good book. One of my favorite spots in Portland, Powell’s Books, claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world, with several locations across Portland. The biggest store is located on W Burnside St. and is said to house more than one million books. Everyone will find a book that suits them at Powell’s, and hanging out to browse and read is a great way to pass a cold winter day.

While I have never personally been, I have heard that the Portland Saturday Market is a great way to spend the day. Located in Southwest Portland and extending into Sunday as well, the Portland Saturday Market has a lot to offer the eager shopper. There is food, drink and tons of vendors selling a bunch of handmade and beautifully crafted art and goods. The market is open rain or shine, which is good news during Portland winters, and is the perfect stop when bopping around town on the weekends. The market does close Dec. 24 to Mar. 1, so be sure to make it over there before is closes for the season!

These are some great spots in Portland that you should check out if you are here during winter break. Have fun!

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