Portland has a longtime reputation as an enclave of hippie lifestyles and a hotbed of progressive politics, and if that’s the Portland you’d like to explore, come to the neighborhoods along SE Hawthorne Boulevard.
Rest assured that the idealistic early 1970s haven’t aged much around here. Stores purveying fine coffees, secondhand clothing, antiques, crafts, and books join cafés and galleries recalling the hip enclaves of Berkeley, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. A dense concentration of these establishments on Hawthorne Boulevard between 30th and 50th Avenues is catnip for a friendly population of idealists both young and old.
This is one of Portland’s most alternative neighborhoods, and unless you’re militantly right-wing, you’ll have fun exploring the shops, bookstores, and coffee shops along this iconic Portland avenue; take TriMet Bus number 14.
SE Belmont Street
Just a few blocks north of SE Hawthorne Boulevard is SE Belmont Street, another strip of hipster enterprises thick with bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment venues. One major hub is near the converted Belmont Dairy at SE 34th Avenue, a former milk plant now turned upscale grocery store and condo development; take TriMet bus number 15.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel