The essential guide to Viewpoint Collaborate in Portland, Oregon: Where to go, what to do, what to eat, and how to navigate.

Welcome to Portland for Viewpoint’s 2017 Collaborate user conference!

Next week kicks off our 2017 Collaborate user conference here in Portland, Oregon. We’re so excited to spend three days with all of you, talking, learning, sharing best practices, and exploring the future of construction management. We have incredible speakers, partners, sessions, and networking opportunities ready for you.

In addition to all the insight and inspiration we’ll have at the Oregon Convention Center, we know you’ll want to explore the Rose City. While many of you may have spent time in the home of Viewpoint’s global headquarters, we want to share what makes Portland so wonderful. Here’s a quick guide to prepare you for your time in Stumptown.

Mt.Hood visible from Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon.

A view of Mt. Hood and Portland, Oregon.

Be prepared

We’ve had a hot, dry summer but the wet weather Portland is known for is starting to make an appearance. Regardless of the forecast, bring a raincoat and be ready to layer. With autumn in full swing, expect brisk mornings, warm afternoons, and chilly evenings. Prepare for rain. But be ready for sun. Fall in Portland is beautiful and bright between showers.

Go explore

Portland proper is divided into quadrants: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast. Burnside Street divides North and South Portland, while the Willamette River divides the city by east and west. Created on a grid system, Portland is easy to navigate. Streets run east to west and avenues run north to south. The smaller the avenue number (ex: NE 2nd Ave.), the closer you are to the river.

The city’s transportation system is easy and very convenient. There’s MAX stop right outside the Convention Center for quick access. Check out these TriMet apps to help you track public transportation schedules in Portland.

Portland is a very pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city, and bike shares are abundant. Riding on sidewalks is a no-no, so stick to the streets when you’re cruising around town. With more than 11 distinct bridges, it’s easy to pop back and forth across the river. The new bridge, Tilikum Crossing, is the longest car-free bridge in the world.

Be advised, Portland’s new distracted driving law went into effect October 1. So keep those smartphones out of reach if you’re behind the wheel.  

Portland bike share.

Portland’s bike-sharing program makes it easy to explore the city on two wheels.

Go play

Located in the Northwest quadrant of the city, the 5,157-acre Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the U.S. An escape from the city, it boasts an extensive trail system for hiking and exploring.

Situated between the beach and the mountains, Portland is in the perfect location for some Pacific Northwest exploring. The Oregon coast is only an hour and a half to the west, while Mt. Hood is a little less than an hour’s drive east.

Eat and drink

Take a bite out of Portland’s epic food scene. We could list our favorite places, but honestly, the list would be too long! Thankfully, Eater serves up a nice list to get you started. For those ready to tackle the Portland’s hoppin’ beer scene, start here to get your Northwest fix. Portland is also packed with unique food carts in every neighborhood. Or, just ask a local. We’ll all have at least five suggestions for you.

Portland is also a doughnut destination with the world-famous Voodoo Doughnuts and Pip’s Original Doughnuts. However, to get a full doughnut fix of local favorites, follow this guide to Portland doughnuts. And no trip to the Rose City would be complete without a sweet stop at eclectic Salt & Straw or Ruby Jewel ice cream parlors. Are you ready for pear and blue cheese ice cream or maybe Dracula’s blood pudding in a waffle cone?

Salt & Straw ice cream.

Portland’s booming food scene serves up unique ice cream flavors.

Talk like a local

So you don’t have a cab driver looking at you sideways when you mispronounce a street name, here’s a primer to brush up on your Portland lingo.

  • Oregon: Organ, like your heart. Not Ory-Gone.
  • Willamette: Will-Am-Ette, not Willa-Mett.
  • Couch St.: Cooch, not Cowch.
  • Glisan St.: Glee-Sin, not Glih-sawn.
  • Weidler St.: Wide-Lur, not Weed-Lur
  • Pod: A gathering of food carts.
  • Timbers: Portland’s beloved MLS soccer team.
  • Thorns: Portland’s currently-competing-for-the-championship MLS women’s soccer team.
  • Blazers: Portland’s NBA basketball team.
  • Wine country: Refers to the Willamette Valley, not Sonoma, California.
  • The Gorge: The scenic Columbia River Gorge just east of Portland.
  • The coast: Always referred to as “the coast.” Not the beach or the shore.
  • The mountain is out: Mt. Hood is visible and not blocked by clouds.
  • The bridge is up: The Broadway, Burnside, Hawthorne, or Steel Bridge is in the up or open position to allow boats to pass under.

We can’t wait to kick off Collaborate 2017 with all of you next week! For more information and to discover everything in store at the conference, check out the agenda or drop us a line.

Posted by Greg Fry

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