This map lists shopping, restaurants, coffee, hotels, cool bars, and other useful places in the festival area.

Photo by Matt Huntley

Photo by Matt Huntley

Portland Musings

by Miriam Garcia

Portland, Oregon is a point of genesis. A source of productivity. A profusion of inspired minds and passionate hearts call this city home. Craftivists, performers, and adventurers all exist in a constant swirl of collaboration and inspiration. This great creative current has made Portland a longtime destination and wellspring for belly and world dancers, burlesque, circus arts, and modern bohemians.

Perhaps that's why world famous musicians seek the stages of our tucked away theatres, where jaw-dropping performances by sought-after entertainers of every genre may be found every night of the week. The JamBallah NW festival is located at the gorgeous Artists Repertory Theatre building, making it possible while visiting to browse through flourishing handmade markets in the morning and meander through thick, lush forests in the nation's largest city park in the afternoon—all easily accessible through one of the most comprehensive public transportation systems in the world.  Did we say the MAX train stops practically outside our door?

A creative threshold and hub for sustainable-living, the city was thoughtfully designed into livable neighborhoods, each stocked with top-shelf bistros and taverns featuring local brews and regional wines. Culinary treasures are found in the city's myriad food carts and local eateries—a great number of which fill their menus with free-range, vegan and vegetarian delights, and many of which are within walking distance of the JamBallah event site. They won't cost you an arm and a leg either, especially with our spectacular happy hours, routinely touted as the best in the country by blogs and news sites.

Look for hotels, hostels and B&Bs in the city's artfully detailed craftsman homes and historic Victorian buildings, and enjoy the ease of our nationally-acclaimed public transport system. Don't forget pedi-cabs or bicycle rentals in one of the most cycle-friendly cities to be found. Given the time of year, you'll most likely be disappointed that it didn't rain when subjected to our sultry August evenings and bright and sunny skies.

After the festival, stay a few days to rejuvenate, hop on the Tillamook Wave bus and head to the majestic Pacific Ocean on the Oregon Coast, or grab a rental car (you won't need one for your stay at the festival,) and explore the scenic waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge or the vineyards and tasting rooms of the Willamette Valley—all within a two-hour drive of the city.