Summer in a Cup
A Pimm’s Cup slides down as smoothly as a Long Island Iced Tea, but without the sucker punch. A classic version of the English cocktail, like the one offered by Echo Restaurant, starts with muddled cucumber shaken with Pimm’s Cup No. 1, a dark, herbaceous, but gentle 50-proof liqueur. Add in gin, fresh-squeezed lemon and lime, and ginger ale, and this concoction will brighten your day instead of blurring it.
2225 NE MLK Jr. Blvd; 503-460-3246; echorestaurant.com
Every Wednesday throughout August, the Pearl District’s Carlyle restaurant welcomes a limited number of diners into the kitchen for its Summer Kitchen Dinner Series. There, chef Jake Martin swings open giant bay doors, letting the cool summer breeze float over a rotating assortment of seasonal, French-inspired dishes served around an immense barn-wood table.
$145 per person; 1632 NW Thurman St; 503-595-1782; carlylerestaurant.com
A sunset viewed from the Marquam Bridge can be a soul-stirring (and possibly fender-bending) sight: the pink-hued sky meeting the hills’ dark curves; the skyscrapers casting their shadows across the Willamette. Enjoy the view from a safer perch at North Portland’s Overlook Park, where 12 acres of well-tended grass (and several picnic tables) on a bluff above the river make prime front-row seats for the sun’s daily final act.
N Fremont St & Interstate Ave; portlandonline.com/parks
Get a taste of what Oregon Ballet Theatre’s dancers do on August 29, when the troupe will rehearse outside its Southeast Portland headquarters. Members of the Oregon Symphony and local dancers, such as BodyVox, will also be on hand. Even better, the public event is free—except for the craft brews on tap in the beer garden, of course.
818 SE Sixth Ave; 503-227-0977; obt.org
Discover dozens of the city’s hidden historic staircases, which often wind amid some of Portland’s most stunning homes, by perusing the out-of-print Portland’s Little Red Book of Stairs at the Multnomah County Central Library. Our favorite ramble? The 80 stairs that cut through the terraced garden at 2864 SW Champlain Drive, in Arlington Heights. The ascent culminates in a postcard-worthy panorama of Mount Hood rising above downtown.
801 SW 10th Ave; 503-988-5123; multcolib.org
Downtown’s Hotel Monaco Portland offers two good reasons to ditch the summer road trip. The hotel’s “Mini DaVinci” package not only nets you four tickets to the Portland Children’s Museum, but you’ll also get four large canvases (and watercolors to boot) for the kids. Adults will enjoy the “Portland on Tap” deal, which scores discounts at Red Star Tavern, Bridgeport Brewing, and Deschutes Brewery.
$160–289; 506 SW Washington St; 503-222-0001; monaco-portland.com