Once a small farming community called Beaverdam and incorporated in 1893, this city just west of Portland houses its nearly 100,000 residents in suburban cul-de-sacs, sprawling former farmhouses, and new transit-stop condos. It’s also home to Nike’s sporty world headquarters and a good chunk of the Silicon Forest, with tech biggies like IBM and Tektronix. The MAX Red and Blue Lines ease commutes, but a car is handiest for exploring the Korean markets, sweets purveyors, and kiddie fun palaces of Beaverton and its outskirts.
Cheery Mo Cha Teahouse caters to icy cravings, from smoky-sweet bubble tea to giant plates of feathery Taiwanese snow ice topped with a rainbow of freshly-flavored fruit jellies. A few blocks away Mexican paleta emporium Ome Calli doles out handmade fruit pops, ice creams, and the fruit-spicy chamoyada—a chamoy and chile-salt sprinkled Slurpee on steroids.
In the metro area’s unofficial Koreatown, mandu and sundubu jjigae abound: try Nak Won, which wows with seafood pancakes, spicy octopus stir-fry, and all the banchan (snacky side dishes).
Meanwhile, strip mall stunner Yuzu traffics in some excellent Japanese pub food and sake—karaage (fried chicken) to yuzu-kissed black cod. Still hungry? House-made pupusas and tender mango and habanero chicken are on order at Gloria’s Secret. If there’s a cheerier restaurant in town than this lunch-focused pan-Latin American café, we haven’t found it.
Sweet-talk someone at the shoe company out of one of their coveted guest passes to the Nike Employee Store and feel like an instant local insider. The possible inspiration for the Onion story “Family Takes Rare Trip to the Good Mall,” Washington Square off of Highway 217 encompasses the state’s largest Nordstrom, an official Lego store, and the only Oregon location of Taiwanese dumpling phenomenon Din Tai Fung.
Once those dumplings are (well) digested, consider a stop at the local outpost of nationwide chain iFly for indoor skydiving. Other sporty spots to try? The Winterhawks Skating Center, indoor complexes PDX SportsCenter and the Tualatin Hills Athletic and Aquatic Centers. If it’s all too much, just nestle in with a good book at the main Beaverton City Library, where you can also check out a projector, a green-screen kit, or knitting needles from the Library of Things.