Why you should go to NATC Reason #5: The Shopping

We would be remiss if we did not remind you about one of Portland's most important selling points: No sales tax! On anything. Portland is nestled in Oregon, one of only 5 states with zero sales tax. You know what that means... shop til you drop! There are the obvious retailers to check out like Nike and Columbia. Likewise, it's a great time to consider large expenses. Luxury goods, furniture, electronics, even diamond rings are sales tax-free. To help you plan, TCA Board Member Elise Fujimoto has curated a list of her favorites.

1. Powell's City of Books. Get lost in the over 1 million volumes of books at Powell's. Their flagship location is in the heart of downtown Portland, in the Pearl District, and occupies an entire city block.  They host dozens of author events each year and offer daily tours of their store - including their rare book room.  Powell's is the perfect place to find omiyage for friends and family, or to splurge on a fun and interesting book for yourself. (Photo credit: Chris Booth, CC SA 2.0 License)

2. Nob Hill. The Nob Hill neighborhood, around the NW 21st and NW 23rd area, is a great place to stroll and shop.  Explore Portland boutiques with unique and quality products from artisan chocolates and designer pet products to vintage fashions and home goods.  When you've shopped and dropped, stop by one of the delicious eateries on 23rd (like Portland staple Salt & Straw) for a refreshing break! (Photo credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D., CC BY-SA 3.0)

3. Uwajimaya. This iconic Japanese American family-owned business lies 30 minutes outside Portland, in Beaverton (also home to Nike corporate headquarters), and is always worth a visit. Uwajimaya is one of the largest Asian grocery stores in the Pacific Northwest and supplies fresh produce, groceries, and delicious prepared food in addition to housewares, gifts, and clothing. Their Beaverton location also boasts a Kinokuniya bookstore and Beard Papas fresh cream puffs (yum!). If nothing else, pick up one of their adorable reusable grocery bags! (Photo credit: MB298, CC BY-SA 4.0)

4. Alberta Arts District. Embrace your funky side! The Alberta Arts District on the Northeast side of the city is made up of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants with fun and unique goods from art supplies and vintage dresses to footwear and tattoo parlors. (Photo credit: Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, CC BY 2.0)

5. Made in Oregon. Made in Oregon stores are scattered throughout Portland - including the Mezzanine area of the Portland International Airport (PDX) outside of security. Here, you can find everything from Portland made hot sauce and ketchup to Jacobsen Salt, Willamette Valley wines, and Tillamook cheese. (Photo credit: madeinoregon.com)

Our shopping expert, Elise, has some final words of advice: Be forewarned, you may get so engaged in shopping that  you lose track of time. Set your phone alarm to ring in time to get you back to NATC. Congratulate yourself for smart shopping. Need last minute omiyage? Grab a bottle of Jesse’s Famous Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce at the Made in Oregon store!