Portland is full of opportunities for adventure and exploration. As a Portland State student, you can explore many parts of the city using the streetcar at no cost. The Portland Streetcar is free for all students with a PSU ID and can take you all over the city to places like Powell’s, OMSI and more.
The Portland Streetcar system has three main lines that run throughout the city. The NS line runs north and south covering areas from South Waterfront to 23rd contained within the west side of Portland. The A Loop runs east and west from the Pearl District through Lloyd District and OMSI. The B Loop runs counter-clockwise of the A Loop. All three pass through PSU, with stops at Urban Plaza and in the Park Blocks near Lincoln Hall.
Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum boasts a large collection of over 42,000 art installations from both public and private collections. Exhibitions and new art rotate monthly. There’s also a theater playing classic and genre films from NW Film Center that often correspond with the exhibitions.
To reach Portland Art Museum from PSU, take either the A Loop or NS Line headed north and get off at the Art Museum stop.
Home to brew pubs, food carts and restaurants, as well as the west bank of the Willamette River, South Waterfront is a more relaxed way to enjoy the river without the crowds. This slice of Portland offers a small waterfront park, a dog park, and walkways and benches overlooking the Willamette River. You can explore on foot or on one of the Nike bikes available for rent. Stop by the food carts, grab a coffee at Dolce Vita Bistro, walk along the water, or bike to Growler Guys, the only brewpub on South Waterfront with locally made craft beer.
To reach South Waterfront from PSU, get on the NS line headed south and get off at Moody & Gaines. You can start exploring from there.
Portland’s city center is filled with shopping, restaurants, coffee shops and local specialty stores. Check out Madewell, Anthropologie, Patagonia, and Wildfang if you’re into shopping. For specialty items, stop into Tender Loving Empire for local music and handmade crafts. Check out city center’s massive food cart pods for lunch. Across from the food trucks, you’ll also find Living Room Theaters, a movie theater and restaurant playing independent films. You can order your food and drinks and have them delivered to your seat.
Pioneer Square and Pioneer Place Mall are a short walk from the streetcar stop.
To reach city center from PSU, take either the A Loop or NS Line headed north and get off at 10th & Alder.
Powell’s is home to one million books and has become quite the must-see spot in Portland. The best part is it’s easy to reach from PSU. Enjoy a latte as you browse the many sections available. Powell’s also hosts many monthly events such as author talks and readings.
To reach Powell’s from PSU, take either the A Loop or NS Line headed north and get off at 10th & Couch.
Breweries, local coffee shops, and art are three of the most beloved aspects of the Pearl District. Head over to 10 Barrell and enjoy a beer on their rooftop beer garden; check out some art and vintage items at PDX Contemporary Art, or have coffee and pastries at Nuvrei or Barista.
To reach the Pearl District from PSU, take either the A Loop or NS Line headed north and get off on 10th & Glisan.
The Central Library is a landmark in its own right. The historical library was first built in 1913 and still maintains its Georgian architecture. It’s a great place to study, check out books and souvenirs, and rent rooms for events.
To reach the Pearl District from PSU, take either the A Loop or NS Line headed north and get off at the Central Library stop.
OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, explores a variety of natural science, industry and technology topics through interactive exhibits. In OMSI, you’ll find a planetarium, theaters and permanent and rotating exhibits. There’s also OMSI after dark, where you learn things like the science behind sex toys while drinking a beer or two.
To reach OMSI from PSU, take the B Loop headed south (Lloyd via OMSI) and get off on SE Water/OMSI. This stop is also where you’ll find Tilikum Crossing, Portland’s first strictly pedestrian and public transit bridge.
Home to Urban Outfitters, Lush, Mac, Levi’s and World Market, 23rd Avenue is a strip of restaurants, galleries, and shopping spots. You can get a haircut at Bishops, eat ice cream at Salt & Straw, have lunch at Papa Haydn and buy a new shirt at Urban Outfitters all in the same strip. There’s also Cinema 21, featuring independent and art house films.
To reach 23rd Avenue from PSU, take the NS Line headed north and get off at NW 23rd & Marshall.
Lloyd Center comes with a park, a huge promenade shopping mall, an ice skating rink and a movie theater.
To reach Lloyd Center, the midpoint of the A/B Loop, from PSU, take the B Loop headed south (Lloyd via OMSI) and get off on Grand & Multnomah.