City Landmark: Powell’s City of Books
No visit to downtown Portland is complete without a trip to the iconic Powell's bookstore. Powell's City of Books covers an entire city block in the heart of Portland. This local gem is distinguished as being the world's largest new and used bookstore while also being the perfect representation of the unique vibe of the city of Portland. Here is what you need to know about this landmark institution.
About Powell's City of Books: Powell's is a haven for book lovers. Here you will find 68,000 square feet of space spread out over three floors and nine rooms. It is easy to get lost in this massive bookstore, boasting over one million books. While it is fun to wander the 3,500 designated sections to see what strikes your fancy, you can also lean on the organized navigational system if you have something specific in mind. Every room includes a staffed information desk and computers to help you to find what you are looking for.
The Rare Book Room is home to a few thousand of the world's rarest books. This space is a real treat for literary lovers. This world-class shopping destination also sells a bevy of souvenirs, unique gifts, and other offerings that are reflective of the culture of Portland.
Be sure to check out the variety of lectures, educational events, book signings, and other special opportunities throughout the year.
History of Powell's City of Books: The storied history of Powell's began in 1971 when Walter Powell established the bookstore at the location of a former car dealership. Powell's approach was to offer both new and used books together in one location, allowing buyers to choose either a brand new book or a well-loved version at a lower price. It did not take long for visitors to fall in love with the concept.
Planning Your Visit: Powell's is open 365 days per year, ensuring that you never miss a chance to immerse yourself in this world of books. The bookstore is in the middle of the Pearl District, downtown, and the West End. You will find the main entrance to this massive store on the corner of Burnside and NW 10th Avenue.
Is there anything better than a bookstore coffee shop? The Guilder Cafe serves up a myriad of coffee drinks, tea, bagels, sandwiches, desserts, and more. You can spend hours in Powell's soaking up the cozy atmosphere with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Additional Locations: In addition to the main outpost, you will also find additional locations on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard and in the southwestern Portland suburb of Beaverton. The Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton expands over 32,500 square feet with approximately 500,000 books for you to peruse.
When looking for things to do in Portland, you would be remiss to not put a visit to Powell's City of Books at the top of your list.