Commonly asked questions
The schedule varies, and is based around when people would like to explore the city. Tours are held on most weekends, year round. I also can offer tours on weekdays, too, if we have a group of four or more people. My recommendation is to e-mail me with your preferences regarding a schedule, and generally, I can schedule a tour that will fit your needs and timetable.How much walking is involved?On most tours, the total walking distance is only about a mile, and there are plenty of rest stops. The bridge loop tour, however, entails about three miles of walking. On all tours, the focus is on exploration and discovery. Time is allotted for questions and discussion.
By all means. I am a former elementary and middle school teacher, and I frequently lead tours for school groups. The tours are great educational experiences, and they are lots of fun for all members of the family. When kids are on the tours, I will bring materials for hands on activities. The tours engage all the senses, and offer lots of opportunities for kids to really get involved.
Yes. The sidewalks in Downtown Portland allow wheelchairs to travel smoothly. When we enter buildings, elevators are also available. Dozens of people have attended the tours in wheelchairs, and there have been no problems with access.
Not necessarily. In Downtown Portland, there are plenty of covered areas where we can view the city in comfort. On rainy days, we often go inside historic buildings and hotels to find some of Portland's best hidden art and history. We can also ride on MAX, the public transportation light rail system, that runs through the heart of Downtown, if we want to take a break from the weather. (MAX is free in the Downtown area).
Absolutely. I have four different tours, but any could be modified or customized to meet your needs. I will be happy to work with you to meet your needs and schedule.
Yes. We generally stop at least once during the tour for a rest room and snack break.
I recommend that you send me an e-mail or call me at (503) 704-7900. We can discuss dates and times, and the type of tour you would like to take. Quite often, a tour can be arranged that will conclude at a restaurant, where you can enjoy lunch or dinner. The tours have proven to be fun and informative social gatherings for visitors, as well as longtime residents.
In all probability. The tours are designed to focus on elements of the city you may be missing. During the tours we look UP to find unusual elements of architecture, and DOWN, to find sidewalk art work. On the walks, people have often said, "You know, I've walked by this spot hundreds of times, but I never noticed that before!"
I will be posting the upcoming tours on this website, so you can check to see what's already scheduled. Also, you can contact me to see what's scheduled for the current day.
If you have time for only one tour, I'd recommend the Central City tour. That tour provides the best overview of the city, and focuses on the city's most well known areas: Pioneer Square, the Yamhill Historic District, a section of Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Ira Keller Fountain and the "Portlandia" statue.For overall beauty, the bridge loop tour is my favorite. The views of Portland's skyline as we walk over bridges is incredible, and walking along the 1,200 foot floating walkway is a unique experience.
I start the tours at locations that are adjacent to MAX light rail stops, and close to Smart Park public parking garages.The Central City and Cultural District tours usually begin at Pioneer Square, on the corner of SW Morrison & Broadway, in front of Starbuck's.The Old Town and Bridge Loop tours usually begin at the Skidmore Fountain, located at SW 1st & Ankeny.I can, however, meet you in the lobby of a Downtown hotel, if that is more convenient.
Yes. I have an interest in the Columbia Gorge and Mt. Hood, and I would be happy to talk with you about those areas. Within Portland, I can also recommend several city attractions that might interest you.I have a large group.
Yes. I carry a microphone that will amplify my voice. Also, I look to find quiet spots away from city noises whenever possible. I have led tours for groups as large as 60 people, and people have been able to hear well, and enjoy the tours.
Yes. I have led many bus tours, narrating as we drive through the city. I can also offer a combination tour, which includes a variety of walking and riding. I have also guided tour busses through the Columbia River Gorge, where we visit some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth. During these tours, I discuss the human and natural history of the Gorge, and we take walks to discover native plants and incredible waterfalls. The loop tour, which takes in the beauty of both the Columbia River Gorge and majestic Mt. Hood, is my favorite excursion.