Oregon Convention Center – Things To Do With Your Team

Portland is a city that’s known for being a little unconventional. So, it only makes sense that the Oregon Convention Center, located on the east side of the Willamette River in the Lloyd District of Portland, is a little unconventional as well.

As the largest venue in the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Convention Center provides guests with an exceptional experience by combining the alternative, the mainstream, and the traditional throughout its nearly one million-square-foot complex. The convention center houses 255,000 square feet of exhibit space as well as the largest ballroom in Portland at 35,000 square feet, but that’s far from all that makes it such an extraordinary facility.

The Oregon Convention Center also features an extensive array of public art throughout the building and the surrounding outdoor area, with works from over two dozen artists, many of which are based in the Pacific Northwest. The impressive collection includes paintings, plaques, glass and ceramic tiles, sconces, mosaics, bells, and parts of a large Douglas fir.

Even the convention center itself is a work of art, marked by twin spire towers that rise atop the structure. The two spires combine both form and function, serving as both the Oregon Convention Center’s most distinct feature and as a source of natural light for the building’s interior.

Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the Oregon Convention Center however is that it is one of only two convention centers in North America to be awarded LEED Platinum certification. This certification, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, indicates that from floor to ceiling, the Oregon Convention Center excels in sustainability.

There’s no question that the Oregon Convention Center is a remarkable facility that you and your team will wholly enjoy visiting. That definitely doesn’t mean that you’ll want to spend your entire trip to Portland at the convention center however. So, when it’s time to explore beyond the convention center’s beautiful 18-acre grounds, take your team to some of the fun and funky attractions and eateries that can only be found in a city that lives by a motto like “Keep Portland Weird.”


Things to Do

Moda Center

Located just minutes away from the Oregon Convention Center is the Rose Quarter, a sprawling, 30-acre sports and entertainment district that’s home to two multipurpose arenas and a large theatre, as well as a 40,000-square-foot convention facility and a large pulled space called the Rose Quarter Commons.

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The Rose Quarter’s largest arena, the Moda Center, is a 785,000-square-foot, 19,980-seat facility that’s the current home of the Portland Trail Blazers. It also hosts games for two other Portland teams: the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and the Portland LumberJax of the National Lacrosse League, as well as concerts, circuses, rodeos, ice shows, and more.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to attend one of these events during your trip to Portland, that’s great! Even if you aren’t, you can still enjoy a memorable experience at the Moda Center with your team by scheduling a group tour of the facility. A tour of the Moda Center will take you and your team behind the scenes of this impressive facility and is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Tours of the Moda Center are only available for groups of 10 or more and must be booked at least one week in advance. 1 N Center Ct St, Portland, OR 97227


Holladay Park

If you and your team are looking for a scenic place to spend an hour or two outdoors, take a short stroll over to Holladay Park, located a less than a half mile away from the Oregon Convention Center.

Named for Benjamin Holladay, a transportation businessman who eventually became known as the “Stagecoach King,” this quaint, four-acre Portland park features a sprouting fountain that’s a great way for kids to cool off on a hot day as well as paved paths, picnic tables, and three cast-bronze sculptures by local Portland artist Tad Savinar. NE 11th Ave & Holladay St, Portland, OR 97255


Lloyd Center

Lloyd Center is more than just a shopping mall; it’s a part of Portland history. When Lloyd Center first opened in August 1960 it was the largest shopping center in the Pacific Northwest and claimed to be the largest in the country. Back then it featured 100 stores and an open-air configuration.

Times change however and so did the Lloyd Center. In March 2015, the Lloyd Center underwent an extensive, 18-month renovation project. It currently offers 140 specialty shops, a 10-audiotorium Regal Cinemas, a food court, and even an ice skating rink where Olympian Tonya Harding first learned to skate at age three. 2201 Lloyd Ctr, Portland, OR 97232


Regal Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX

Going to see a movie is a great way for you and your team to spend a couple hours of downtime and Regal Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX is a great place to do just that. Located in Lloyd Center, one of Portland’s most popular shopping destinations, Regal Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX features 10 auditoriums, making it easy to see a movie that everyone will enjoy.

For a truly immersive movie-watching experience, attend a screening in an IMAX-equipped theater, which boasts movie screens that are 40 percent larger than the average screen as well as high quality audio and 3D projection technology. 1510 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232


Lan Su Chinese Garden

When you and your team visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden, located on the west side of Portland’s Willamette River just over a 15-minute walk from the Oregon Convention Center, you’ll all feel as if you’ve traveled halfway around the world and back in time to China as it was during the Ming dynasty.

A year-round wonder, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is an authentically-built Ming Dynasty-style garden. Covered walkways, bridges, pavilions, and a richly planted landscape frame a picturesque lake at the center of this urban oasis built by artisans from Portland’s sister city of Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province.

Public tours of the garden are included with the price of admission but if you plan to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden with a group of 15 or more, you can receive discounted admission rates by scheduling a private group tour at least two weeks in advance. 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209


Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Once the site of a freeway, Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a popular place among Portland locals to enjoy outdoor activities or just relax on the west bank of the Willamette River.

The park spans one and a half miles alongside the river and features a variety of unique landmarks like Salmon Street Springs, a fountain with 185 jets that spout multiple patterns of water from the ground, and the Japanese American Historical Plaza, which includes various artwork and sculptures that tell the story of Japanese people in the Pacific Northwest. 1020 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204


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Places to Eat


For over 50 years, Burgerville has been redefining the definition of fast food by serving up classic drive-through staples, all made with ingredients that are fresh, local, sustainable, and perhaps most importantly, delicious.

As their name suggests, the menu at Burgerville features a variety of mouthwatering burgers like the pepper bacon cheeseburger and the American Colossal, which is topped with American cheese, Burgerville spread, ketchup, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce, sandwiched between sesame seed buns. On their menu you’ll also find milkshakes, sandwiches, salads, vegetarian burgers, and more, as well as seasonal items that highlight the freshest and most flavorful Northwest ingredients.

One meal at Burgerville is all that it will take for you and your team to fully understand why this local chain is a hometown favorite for so many Portlanders. 1135 NE M L King Blvd, Portland, OR 97232


Nicholas Restaurant

Nicholas Restaurant has been owned and managed by the same family, dubbed “Portland’s first family of Lebanese cuisine” by Portland Monthly, since it was founded in 1987, so you know it’s got to be good. It’s also just a short walk from the Oregon Convention Center.

There’s something for everyone on their appealingly exotic menu, which features everything from classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean favorites like kebabs, falafel, and gyros, to more adventurous choices like m’ jadra, a slow cooked lentil porridge topped with caramelized onions, olive oil, and crushed cumin.

Even picky eaters and young children will enjoy dining at Nicholas Restaurant, since their menu and kids menu also includes some more familiar options like pizzas, burgers, and sliders, each with only a slight Middle Eastern twist. 318 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214


Russell Street Bar-B-Que

At Portland’s acclaimed barbeque joint Russell Street Bar-B-Que, they believe that good food starts with naturally raised meats and the freshest ingredients. This means that whatever you order there is sure to be one of the culinary highlights of your trip and will probably make you wish that they would open up another Russell Street Bar-B-Que in your hometown.

The inspiration for their menu is drawn from a variety of equally delicious sources: southern home cooking, Texas barbecue, and culinary traditions from the southeast seaboard.

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The menu at Russell Street Bar-B-Que features tantalizing appetizers like hush puppies served with a side of jalapeno honey mustard; satisfying entrees ranging from decadent smoked meatloaf smothered in tomato bacon gravy and paired with pillowy mashed potatoes, to lighter options like grilled tofu and smoked chicken with white barbecue sauce; and of course, plenty of sides. 325 NE Russell St, Portland, OR 97212


Michael’s Italian Beef and Sausage Co.

When it comes to finding food that’s as satisfying as it is affordable in Portland, Michael’s Italian Beef and Sausage Co. is the only place you need look. While the behind-the-counter attitude at this haven of hoagies and meatballs can be fast and furious, even downright curt at times, that’s all just part of the charm at this very un-Portland sandwich shop.

The specialty at Michael’s Italian Beef and Sausage Co. is a hot hoagie roll stuffed with your choice of Chicago-style Italian roast beef sliced thin and marinated in its own juicy gravy; freshly baked meatballs; or Italian pork sausage. To make your sandwich even more decadent, you can have it served “pizza style” with tomato sauce and provolone cheese or topped with a heaping scoop of their savory chili.

You can also settle for other delicious menu items like a chili dogs or a cold submarine sandwich of course, but those are hardly the main attraction at this unique Portland eatery. 1111 SE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97214


Portland is a city far from the beaten path, combining the unconventional with the extraordinary in a successful effort to “Keep Portland Weird.” In accordance with their proudly-touted unofficial motto, many of the things to do, sights to see, and places to eat there can only be found in one place: Portland.

So, during your team’s visit to the Oregon Convention Center, don’t be afraid to be adventuresome. You definitely won’t want to miss out on a fantastic opportunity to see some of what this charmingly quirky Northwest city has to offer.