Portland Expo Center

Portland Expo Center, or the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center as it is officially known, is one of the busiest buildings in Oregon's largest city. Found in the Kenton neighborhood northwest of Downtown, this multipurpose venue hosts all kinds of events and is commonly referred to as the region's prime gathering place. Consumer shows, many of which are based on green initiatives, are among the more than 100 annual Portland Expo Center events, as are conventions and meetings of various kinds. There is always something going on at the venue, and since there are more than 330,000 square feet of exhibition space available, the Portland Expo Center events can be quite large.

The Portland Expo Center was built back in 1920, and as you might suspect, major renovations have been executed over time to keep it up to speed with more modern venues of its kind. Five buildings that are interconnected comprise the complex, and surrounding these buildings is an ample campus. The exhibition space that is spread among the five buildings includes eleven versatile meeting rooms, theaters, class rooms, banquet halls, catering facilities, and 2,500 parking spaces. If you aren't interested in driving to one of the Portland Expo Center events, you can use the MAX Light Rail system to get there. The center is actually the northern terminus for the city's light rail system.

The Portland Expo Center events are extremely varied, and this has a lot to do with the impressive array of facilities that the center offers. Perhaps you'll be interested in attending a collector car auction, or maybe a home and garden fair will pique your interest. Other kinds of Portland Expo Center events include Portland's Largest Garage Sale, a Gun and Knife Show, and America's Largest Christmas Bazaar, to name a few. You might even try to arrange your own event there. The catering options can fit a range of budgets and tastes.

The Portland Expo Center is just minutes from the Portland International Airport, and if you are driving into town for an event, Interstate 5 provides easy access. Anyone who is looking for hotels near the Portland Expo Center can consider staying at one of the airport hotels. These hotels offer good rooms and good rates on the whole. As far as specific recommendations are concerned, the Residence Inn Portland North Harbor is one of the best hotels near the Portland Expo Center. All of the guest units at this attractive hotel are spacious suites that feature full kitchens, luxury bedding, and flat-screen TVs.

One of the other top-rated hotels near the Portland Expo Center is the Best Western Inn at the Meadows. While not as upscale as the Residence Inn Portland Expo Harbor, this inviting hotel has well-equipped rooms that feature microwaves, a mini refrigerators, satellite TV, coffee makers, and free Internet access. As is true of the Residence Inn, parking is free at the Best Western Inn at the Meadows, as is airport shuttle service.

When spending less on a hotel near the Portland Expo Center is the aim, the Days Inn Portland North is worth keeping in mind, as are the area motels, which include a Motel 6. If you like quirky hotels, then a stay at the McMenamins Hotel might be the option of choice. Much like the Best Western Inn at the Meadows and the Days Inn Portland North, the McMenamins Hotel is among the best cheap hotels in the area. It's certainly the most unique, thanks in part to its collection of theaters and bars.

The hotels near the Portland Expo Center aren't only ideal places to stay if you are in town for one of the center's events. The Kenton neighborhood is also home to the Portland International Raceway, not to mention a large statue of Paul Bunyan that was built in 1959 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Oregon becoming a state. Also found in the general area are a few good golf courses, including the two championship courses that can be found at Heron Lakes.

Image: Kat Cole (flickr)

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