Mississippi Neighborhood
Image by Jami Dwyer under Creative Commons License.

Oregon, Portland Guide (A): Mississippi Neighborhood

Low-key and bohemian, the historic Mississippi neighborhood in the north part of the city has experienced a recent renaissance, beginning in 1999. A small, but important, local center for independent music, restaurants, bars, and shops, visitors will enjoy Mississippi’s laid-back, diverse charm.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Mississippi Neighborhood
Guide Location: USA » Portland
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Rose Garden Arena   Widmer Brewery & Gasthaus   White Eagle Saloon   Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop   Bridge City Comics   Pistils Nursery   Miss Delta   Mississippi Studio  
Author: Jim Reynoldson
Author Bio: Jim Reynoldson is an avid traveler and writer who grew up on Oregon. He enjoys hiking, camping and sightseeing throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
1
Rose Garden Arena

1) Rose Garden Arena

Opened in 1995 and owned by Paul Allen, the Rose Garden Arena cost about $262 million to build. Allen owns the Portland Trail Blazers NBA basketball team, as well as the Seattle Seahawks NFL football franchise – after making his fortune co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates. The arena is home to the Trail Blazers, as well as hosting a number of minor-league hockey games of the Portland Winter Hawks, big-name concerts, rodeos, and other events. Named to reflect the “City of Roses” theme, the arena can seat over 20,000 people, depending on the seat configuration of the event. A one-of-a-kind set of adjustable acoustic panels lining the ceiling allow arena operators to cater the sound to the specific event – accentuating crowd noise for sporting events, while rotating the panels to maximize optimal sound settings for concerts.
Image by Cord Rodefeld under Creative Commons License.
2
Widmer Brewery & Gasthaus

2) Widmer Brewery & Gasthaus

Brewing what may well have been the most popular microbrew in the region, Widmer has established itself as a fixture on the local beer landscape. Founded in 1984 by brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer, the brewery has grown to become the largest in Oregon and the seventh largest in the nation. Kurt lived in Germany for two years and learned about beer prior returning home to start the Widmer Brothers Brewery with his brother – and today, their Hefeweizen has become among the most popular nationwide. A number of other beers – ales, IPAs, etc. – are also brewed here. Tours of the brewery are available on Fridays and Saturdays with advanced reservations, and the Widmer Gasthaus across the street offers great food and beers in the brewpub.
Image by kapital under Creative Commons License.
3
White Eagle Saloon

3) White Eagle Saloon

Officially called the White Eagle Saloon and Rock & Roll Hotel, this McMenamins restoration has a colorful history. First opened in 1905 and catering to migrants from Scandinavia, England, Russia and elsewhere working on the port docks, the White Eagle became a ruckus-filled place for blue collar boozing and prostitution. According to legend, the White Eagle was part of the Shanghai Tunnels lore – with drunken patrons being kidnapped and sold into slavery, after being transported to boats via the underground tunnels. Allegedly supplying a secret supply of booze even during prohibition, the White Eagle has gone on to become a popular brewpub and music venue – and legend has it that the hotel rooms above the bar are haunted.
Image by oati under Creative Commons License.
4
Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop

4) Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop

The Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop is one of the newcomers to the Mississippi neighborhood – just opening in July of 2010. This shop – founded by Lisa Herlinger - is a desert lover’s paradise, with an assortment of homemade ice creams, candy bars, and other confections. Using local, natural ingredients and recycling materials, Ruby Jewel is committed to sustainable practices. Items such as lavender, mint, berries, pumpkin, and espresso are from local producers. Five standard ice cream flavors – along with two vegan flavors and five rotating flavors – are incredible, including an amazing chocolate ganache. Ruby Jewel’s ice cream sandwiches are already sold in many U.S. states, and include flavors such as Dark Chocolate Mint, Lemon with Honey Lavender, Cinnamon Chocolate Espresso, and Ginger Pumpkin.
5
Bridge City Comics

5) Bridge City Comics

Michael Ring, a life long comic books enthusiast, founded Bridge City Comics in 2005. He earned his chops in the comic world working several years for the famous local Dark Horse Comics, the largest independent comic publisher in America – and producers of such comics-turned-movies as “Hell Boy”, “Sin City”, “300”, and “The Mask”. Today, Ring’s shop sells a variety of new and used comics and graphic novels – both major label and independent – in a city second to only New York in the number of people involved in the comic book industry. Bridge City Comics also hosts release parties, a graphic novel reading club and other literary events.
Image by Angela Doubleclick under Creative Commons License.
6
Pistils Nursery

6) Pistils Nursery

Located in an adorable green building, Pistils Nursery specializes in urban farming. The outdoor area in back has a wide assortment of plants and trees purchased from local nurseries, as well as operating their own organic nursery nearby. Keeping of urban chickens is another focus of the nursery, and the resident chickens explore the back area along with the customers. In addition, Pistils offers an array of workshops and educational resources on topics like keeping of goats, bees, composting, and garden design. Maybe it’s the pioneer history, but the city seems to have an ongoing love affair with returning to its roots, and urban farming is becoming very popular.
Image by Robin Zebrowski under Creative Commons License.
7
Miss Delta

7) Miss Delta

Miss Delta is a charming hole in the wall restaurant and bar that serves up a tasty array of Cajun cuisine. Tasty menu items such as gumbo, jambalaya, and jalapeno hush puppies are among the favorites. Brick walls and vintage artwork border the small, but homey, establishment. The happy hour menu is a bargain – with sweet potato fries, pork riblets, jambalaya, mac and cheese, and a number of other items coming in at $6 or less – and happy hour is offered twice daily (5-7pm and 9:30 pm to close), and all day on Mondays. Miss Delta is a wonderful place to enjoy some cold beer or a mint julep and some great food – and pretend to be in New Orleans.
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8
Mississippi Studio

8) Mississippi Studio

Mississippi Studio is the center of the music scene in the neighborhood – attracting many up and coming indie rock performers – as well as many established ones - to this homey venue. In addition to the concert venue and recording studio, an onsite restaurant and bar (called the Bar Bar) was recently opened, serving up a variety of beers and a simple food menu. Happy hour runs 4-7 pm daily. Mississippi studio is a great place to end this tour by taking in a show and having some beer. Regardless of whether or not you stay for a concert, you can finish the tour by catching the Tri-Met #4 bus, at a stop just a block south of Mississippi Studio, southbound into downtown.
Image by darklenzes under Creative Commons License.