Nightlife and Entertainment in Portland

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Portland is teeming with clubs, bars and entertainment that will keep just about anyone busy during their stay. A hub for microbreweries in the Northwest, independent bar culture is strong. With a city large enough to bring national touring acts and a culture that supports numerous performing arts, Portland is a great place to visit any time of year.

Bars and Clubs

There is a place for everyone here with numerous and diverse styles of clubs and bars. The Crystal Ballroom is a great venue that plays host to some of the hottest bands coming through town, as well as a dance club. Larger acts perform at the Rose Garden, and for an intimate jazz experience you can head to Jimmy Maks for dinner and dancing.

If you enjoy beer, you must check out at least one pub here in the heart of the craft-brewing explosion. Many of the area's brewpubs are family friendly, and a great place to go for a true Portland experience. Head to one of Laurelwood Brewing Company’s several locations for a meal and brew, checkout one of McMenamins numerous Northwest locations for a movie and brew or enjoy a couple of ales at Wiidmer Brothers. All family friendly spots, visiting a brewpub in Portland is truly a different experience from most places.

Performing Arts 

As the Northwest’s number two cultural center (Seattle is number one), Portland has highly rated ballet, opera and symphony orchestra, as well as countless theater companies. The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is home to the Oregon Symphony and numerous other performances, while Keller Auditorium houses the Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Portland Opera.

Portland Center Stage is the city’s largest professional theater company and performs around nine classic and contemporary plays during their season. The Artists Repertory Theatre is a good locale for more daring plays and the Broadway in Portland series at the Keller Auditorium is host to musicals throughout the year.

Summer is an especially great time to enjoy Portland’s nightlife. The Washington Park Zoo features a great series of live music performances throughout the summer that includes many mainstage acts, as well as local bands and performers. While the larger acts require an admission fee, many of the local bands and performing arts troupes are free.

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