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A Day In Midway

by Ann Ereline

The way to having a fun day is Midway. Our district – all 12 square miles of it – is filled with gems, big and small, to visit. So fight the temptation to drive straight through outer SE Portland and enjoy your day here.

Begin Your Day

A perfect start to the day is a cup of coffee or espresso and perhaps a pastry. Yes, we have a familiar chains, but the locals like the fast service and great coffee at Renaissance Café (1710 SE 122). Need more to start the day? Quite a few breakfast spots fill that bill, too. Why not stock up for the afternoon with a picnic lunch by picking up items from the district’s grocery stories or many ethnic markets. 

Take a hike!

Powell Butte Nature Park towers above Midway, so you’re not likely to miss it. But just in case, it’s main entrance is at 16160 SE Powell. The 612-acre upland park offers eight miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers. Some trails also accommodate horses and a paved trail is wheelchair accessible.

skatepark

If your love is botany, you can bask among slopes with Douglas Firs and big leaf maples. The park, while noted for birds of prey that hover over open meadows and wetlands, is home to a wide array of animals from rabbits and raccoons to coyotes and black-tailed mule deer.

Lesser known Kelly Butte Natural Area is highly visible off I-205 at SE Powell. The 181-foot high butte is a perfect bird-watching spot. The trails are less groomed here than at Powell Butte, so take your time. You’ll experience plenty of wildlife in a mile or two. Much of the natural area still isn’t totally survived, so consider yourself an explorer.

When Hunger Strikes

If you’ve packed a lunch, you’ll find plenty of parks where you can enjoy it. Or, you can check out one of Midway’s institutions, Pizza Baron. Both Division and 122nd are lined with great international eats from China and Japan to Mexico and American pub grub. 

Walk off lunch

Enjoy more flora and fau0b88b6bc211cf52a9885d94d9a8140c0na of Leach Botanical Garden at 6704 SE 122.  More than a mile of trails set alongside Johnson Creek lets visitors experience the changing Pacific Northwest seasons. Amid this “library of plants,” you’ll find the Stone Cabin and blue dinosaur. 

Need to work off more calories? Take yourself and your skateboard to Ed Benedict Community Park on SE Powell at 102nd. This city park includes the landscaped Memory Garden, a small but lovely gem in Midway. Perhaps just the perfect spot before you wrap up your day.

After dark? Don’t leave yet!

Duke’s Country Bar & Grill is Portland’s “#1 Country Bar.” After some ribs and a cocktail special or two, stick around for country dancing. If you want to see an act, though, get your tickets early because they sell out fast. Check out Duke’s website for a full calendar.

 


 

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