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Pioneer Courthouse Square

701 South West Morrison Street, Portland, OR 97205
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  • 98%
    Local Culture
  • 88%
    Budget Travelers
  • 77%
    History Buffs
  • 73%
    Trendsters
  • 72%
    Family Travelers
  • 58%
    Students
  • 58%
    Foodies
  • 58%
    Nightlife Lovers
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Member Reviews (34)Write a review

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  • Pioneer Courthouse SquarePro 2014
    Margot B
    Member of
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    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    + 7
    • Budget Travelers
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
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    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Sep 29, 2013

    Dubbed by marketers ad Portland's Living Room, and called "the Square" by everyone else. This red-brick square is popular with people who work downtown and with street kids, and it's a great place to people watch. There are often events and free concerts here on weekends in the summer, especially around Rose Festival time (early June). There is also a Max (light rail) stop (eastbound on Washington St, westbound on Morrison street). There's a Starbucks, too.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersLocal CultureTrendsters
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  • Pioneer Courthouse SquarePro 2014
    Yogic Traveler
    Member of
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    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    + 6
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • LGBT
    • Green Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    4 Feb 01, 2014

    From the square you are at the center of the city, the heart of the downtown. Big beautiful open space at the center of where the two sets of Max light rail trains meet. This open space is popular for performances and often at the center of city festivities!

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Pioneer Courthouse SquarePro 2014
    Eric Brink
    Member of
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    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    + 6
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    • History Buffs
    4 Aug 30, 2012

    Pioneer Courthouse Square is affectionately known as Portland's living room. The square is named after the Pioneer Courthouse, an 1875 federal building occupying the block directly east of the square. The square itself dates back to 1856, when the city purchased land which included the site as the location for Central School.

    On Morrison and Yamhill streets MAX Light Rail stops provide shelter. On the north side is an artistic feature, consisting of towering classical columns which progressively topple over like those of an ancient ruin. There are outdoor chess tables on some of the toppled columns; chess players frequently congregate there during the day. A cascading waterfall on the west side of the square frames the entrance to a public information center. The center of the square is arranged like an amphitheater, with a semicircle of approximately two dozen steps serving as seats when the square is used for musical performances or other events. And consist with the culture of Portlandia, the area is completely non smoking.

    Dozens of events are held here each year, including free shows during spring and summer, sponsored by local businesses. In 2006 the square played host to an all-city pillow fight, and later an all-city slumber party. Pioneer Courthouse Square is also a venue for speeches, political demonstrations, rallies and vigils. By Thanksgiving, a tall Christmas tree occupies the center of the square, with a tree-lighting ceremony held each year on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving. Another Christmas event in the square is Tuba Christmas. This is a celebration featuring nearly 200 tuba and euphonium players who perform a medley of holiday songs. An annual New Year's Eve celebration is also held there.

    The last time Gayle and I were in Portland, we stayed right across the street at The Nines. We witnessed a local band and dance performance, a charity run-walk the next Sunday Morning, and the energy of various folks passing through and hanging out. It's great spectator sport and I can't wait to discover what I'm going to see next.

    Recommended for:History Buffs
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Debi H
    5 Jun 29, 2014

    The hub of downtown Portland. You can catch the Max here or connect to anywhere downtown. Frequently you'll find musicians and other talented folk here.

    Recommended for:FoodiesLocal CultureNightlife LoversTrendsters
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Molly Freedenberg
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Wellness
    4 Oct 18, 2013

    With its big flat sunken pavilion surrounded by tiered seating, lots of little walls, and a couple of cafes on the corner, Pioneer Square is just begging for interesting street life, whether it's skate rates showing each other tricks, downtown suits eating lunch outdoors, or full festivals with amplified sound. Pioneer Square is definitely worth seeing, and it's also a great place to meet up (for travelers who want to explore different parts of downtown).

    Recommended for:Family TravelersStudentsTrendsters
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  • Pioneer Courthouse SquarePro 2014
    Frances Nguyen
    Member of
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 2
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    3 Oct 16, 2013

    Pioneer Courthouse Square is usually filled with an assortment of activities, whether it's a food market, film showings, and public concerts. Many people purchase food at the nearby food carts and sit along the steps (when the weather is sunny of course).

    Recommended for:Local Culture
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Molly
    Member of
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    Budget Travelers
    + 9
    • Family Travelers
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    • Wellness
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    • Backpackers
    • Luxury Travelers
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    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    3 May 05, 2013

    I've only been here once or twice, but when I do visit it's usually populated with people and events. It's a lively center for get-togethers and a sunny spot for activities. There's shops all around and food places everywhere (it's Portland, after all). I came here on a field trip once and really enjoyed the atmosphere!

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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Adrian
    5 Dec 25, 2012

    This square is a really nice place to hang out during the summer. It is always lively and full of people. It is also close to everything in downtown Portland. Would recommend it to anyone visiting Portland.

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  • Pioneer Courthouse SquarePro 2014
    Diane Austin
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 6
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • History Buffs
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    4 Sep 09, 2012

    The square is very popular during lunch for the locals. Street vendors provide food, the steps fill up fairly quickly on nice days and there was music or juggling or some type of entertainment each of the 5 days we spent in Portland visiting. Good example of Portland's emphasis on urban development for their citizen's use.

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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Robin Vincent
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    This has been called Portland's living room. It is a great spot in downtown to just sit and chill and people watch. There are a lot of events throughout the year that they have in this square and the Portland Visitor Center and Tri-met office is here as well.

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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Ant
    4 Jul 05, 2012

    Right next to the Nike Store, theres always a nice place to sit here. Last time I visited, there was a festival of some sort and they were giving out free cookies!

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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Shawn S
    5 Jul 02, 2014

    Portlands living room

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersFamily Travelers
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  • Pioneer Courthouse SquarePro 2014
    Nerds on the Road
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 4
    • Vegetarian
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • Adventure Travelers
    3 Jan 29, 2014

    A great place to people watch, and occasionally smell urine on the sidewalk.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersLocal CultureStudentsTrendsters
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Gary B
    5 Jan 05, 2014

    Many events are held here including outdoor concerts, festivals, etc.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersLocal Culture
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Jing M
    5 Aug 01, 2013
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Carol M
    5 Apr 27, 2013
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Syl Via
    3 Aug 10, 2012
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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Lauren
    3 Aug 06, 2012

    Not too much to do here especially in the spring when it is raining and cold.

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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Chris Brown
    5 Jul 28, 2012

    Any trip to Portland is worth stopping by the square, known as Portland's Living Room!

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  • Pioneer Courthouse Square
    Mega Hari
    4 Jul 05, 2012
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Description

Pioneer Courthouse Square is the most visited site in Portland, Oregon. More than 26,000 people visit the square each and every day. There are many different events occurring at the Square throughout the year. These events include concerts, protests, festivals and many other entertaining events. Sit, relax and enjoy your lunch alongside the waterfall and watch the many different kinds of people that pass by. The Portland Visitor and Information Center is located here, so you can find brochures and information about the upcoming events in the area to plan your visit more accurately.

OverviewEdit

4.0 out of 5
34 members' reviews
2,716 people visited Pioneer Courthouse Square

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