The Portland nightlife scene is one of the biggest draws for travelers young and old. Portland bars offer something for everyone, no matter your preference. Take a walk down Morrison Street to find taprooms, saloons, dance clubs, sports bars and more. The city is making a name for itself as one of the hippest spots for music, so it’s no wonder that the nightlife scene is booming. It’s also home to dozens of gay-friendly nightlife spots. Gay Portland bars and clubs are staples of the nightlife scene in the city.
Finding fun things to do in Portland at night is a breeze if you know where to look. While most of Portland’s bars and clubs are centered around a few downtown blocks, some must-see spots are camouflaged as abandoned warehouses or hidden away in hole-in-the-wall locations. The best way to experience the Portland nightlife scene is to figure out which type of places you’d like to visit. You just might need to extend your trip to see it all!
Best Bars in Portland
Portland bars attract patrons from all around the globe for their diverse vibes. Whether you’re in the mood to catch a sports game while sipping on a cold one or prefer listening to live music from local artists, Portland has it all. In just a three-block radius, you can find dozens of taprooms, breweries, saloons and sports bars to satisfy your cravings.
Finding cool bars in Portland comes down to getting acquainted with the city’s famous neighborhoods. Each section is known for something unique and different. For example, locals consider the Hawthorne district as the home of some of the weirdest dive bars in the city. Central Eastside is another district popular among tourists for Texas-style saloons and western influences.
If you’re a sports fan, belly up to the bar at any one of Portland’s sports bars for awesome drink specials and a rowdy crowd of fans. Cheer on the Trailblazers while enjoying a craft beer or root for the Ducks with a plate full of bar food. The city has several team fan clubs for soccer, football, basketball and hockey.
Of course, some not-to-be-missed Portland bars are nestled into trendy hotels and chic boutiques. Because of Portland’s booming tourism, the hotel options are limitless. Hotel bars are ideal for grabbing a drink before hitting the town or whetting your whistle before catching your flight. In fact, some of the most popular bars in the city are found in hotels. What’s better than having a handcrafted cocktail just steps from your private room?
Best Clubs in Portland
Make your way into the top Portland nightclubs for booming music, laser light shows and ever-flowing cocktails. It might surprise you, but the nightclub scene here jockeys for the top position among cities like Vegas, Miami and New York. The diversity of the city’s clubs is one of the major attractions for tourists of all ages. From hip hop to electronic to soul, you can find it all in the City of Roses.
Locals frequent the best clubs in Portland for a variety of reasons. From urban underground to sophisticated elegance, there’s a spot for every occasion. The city is one of the best places to celebrate birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, anniversaries and wedding celebrations. Dress it up or keep it casual – Portland clubs feature a mix of vibes and ambiance. No matter which part of the city you visit, you can be sure to find theme nights and daily specials that make your visit even better. From ladies’ night to drink-specific specials, the city offers wallet-friendly options that let you enjoy yourself without breaking the bank. Plus, most clubs waive cover charges earlier in the evening. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, arrive before 8.
One of the city’s best characteristics is its diversity. It is a melting pot of cultures, traditions and philosophies, which is reflected in the many different types of clubs sprinkled throughout the city. Dance bachata and eat tacos one night, then dress to the nines and experience a Vegas vibe in a swanky, upscale club the next. Most of Portland’s nightclubs are 21+, but there are a select few spots that feature live bands during the day for people of all ages.
Gay Nightlife in Portland
If you’re looking for gay nightlife, Portland is the place to be. From drag shows and dinner theater to male strip clubs and dance parties, you can find it all in a relatively close radius. The gay nightlife scene is a staple of Portland; it is a young, progressive and forward-thinking city that takes pride in accepting everyone for who they are. These ideals are seen in dozens of LGBTQ-friendly bars, clubs and restaurants.
When you think of LGBTQ-focused cities, Portland might not be the first city that comes to mind. While it may not be as visible gay-oriented as San Francisco, for example, it is quickly becoming a top destination for those interested in visiting gay hubs. Most cool bars in Portland have some relation to the LGBTQ community. Nightlife is an integral part of the gay culture; gay bars and clubs were places of safety and sanctuary for many members of the LGBTQ community during times when they were being persecuted for their lifestyle. Portland beams with gay pride year-round, but it shines the brightest during the month of June when it hosts the annual Pride Northwest celebration.
The Portland gay district extends several blocks and features everything from dinner shows to dance clubs to karaoke. Looking for a gay-friendly comedy show? Portland has it. Want to have brunch with drag queens? Portland has that, too. No matter who you are or what you like, Portland’s gay bars are open and accepting and ready to offer you the time of your life.