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Help a mama on her first Portland visit

Casidy is planning a trip to Portland and has already check out tips from Portland in a Day.  Any tips on where to stay?

I'm a single mom planning on visiting Portland (and surrounding areas) end of August, with my 3yo son.  Any suggestions of good places to stay?  I'm looking for something really kid friendly: pools, parks, etc.  We're from Minneapolis, and this will be our first visit (with hopes of relocating), so any info is helpful at this point!

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A couple suggestions...the Inn at Northrup Station is really kid friendly (just avoid the oversized candy jars in the lobby!)and within walking distance to a great playground at Chapman Elementary School and several kid-friendly places to eat. The other place that might not seem so obviously kid-friendly, but that both my 2 and 4 year old love is the Embassy Suites at the Airport. It's got fantastic views of the planes taking off and landing, a greated heated pool, plus a big koi pond covered with multiple bridges to walk across, not to mention the free full breakfast and free "hospitality hour" every night with drinks for you and snacks for the kids. Plus it's right next to the new Ikea and I hear the kid's play area is supposed to be great.

I would stay at the Kennedy School....my brother and sister in law stayed there and loved it. Its also really kid friendly....an outdoor soaking pool, a funky movie theatre thats free to guests, kid friendly restaurant and just a very unique place, all the rooms are old classrooms and really cool with awesome murals on walls etc. Plus if you are there on a monday you can join the attachment parenting playgroup from 10:30 till 12:30 in one of the community rooms. My son loves going there for breakfast and movies.

If you want to stay in town and maybe try to avoid a car then I would recomend the Park Lane Inn and Suites (809 SW King Ave). It is right off of NW 23rd and you can eat and shop there, grab public transit to almost anyplace in town, etc. In the summer there is a special bus that does a loop through Washington Park including by the zoo, awesome playground, etc. A stop is a few blocks from the hotel. They have free parking or you could rent a car for a day at Enterprise which is just up the street if you need a car. The suites have a sitting area with a pull out, a table to eat at, a little kitchen and a seperate bedroom. A bunch of people stayed there for our wedding a really liked it. I think it runs around $120 a night. I think a light breakfast of yogurt, fruit, baked goods, etc. might be included.

I would avoid the inn rooms - they are across the street and not very nice - at least three years ago they weren't. The only downside that I can think of is that all the rooms have doors that open to the outside. None of our guests felt that was an issue and all felt safe.

I would also look at hotels in the Llyod District since there is great public transit and it is free to downtown. There are some suite style hotels there also.

There's a Residence Inn near Lloyd Center that would be great -- those are always kid-friendly, and big, and it's really close to the Max station so you can get anywhere you like.

There's also a guest house on Division and 35th that always intrigued me (I've never been inside) but its location is awesome, right across from Pix and the Hedge House, two blocks from Pokpok, another block to Mabel's (the knitting cafe) -- http://www.bluebirdguesthouse.com/. If you stay there let me know how it is! It's *really* cheap, too.

Speaking of really cheap -- if you're truly adventurous the hostel on Hawthorne would be the even better option. It's a Portland institution and always packed with international visitors and funky young Americans. It's a really cool house, with a green roof and a cobb building in the yard. Not to mention: close to everything (with a park a block away)! http://www.portlandhostel.org/

kennedy school is great, close the airport and parks and it's so portland.
as a fellow minneapolitan (i moved west four years ago) i would be happy to chat with you directly if you have any relocating questions.
(mkflotten@yahoo.com)

Get a private room at the NW youth hostel on NW Glisan and 18th. Clean, kitchens, private bathtubs. I just stayed there and it was the best!

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