If you’ve still got holiday shopping to do, don’t panic! You’ve still got plenty of time to pick up the perfect gift for your loved one. But if you’re hitting that mid-December shopping slump, break through it by getting out and about in our beautiful city. For ideas to kick your brain into a higher holiday shopping gear, check out this guide to uniquely Portland gifts.
Artsy Gifts for the Creatives on Your List
Musician’s Essentials at Old Town Music—55 SE 11th Ave.
A musician’s wish list never ends, but you can help them focus on the big-ticket items by knocking out a few odds and ends on their list at Old Town. Guitarists are always losing their picks, but packs are cheap, and they make great stocking stuffers. An instrument or microphone cable is another basic music necessity—ten feet is a good starting length and should cost $20 or less. And like guitarists with picks, drummers can always use more sticks.
Craft Supplies at Scrap PDX—1736 SW Alder St.
If the artist in your life is more visually oriented, Scrap PDX is a cool store to find unique crafting supplies. This nonprofit recycles donated supplies and uses the profits to support educational and artistic programs for local kids. You can pick up a colored pencil set, sewing fabric, or scrapbooking supplies, depending on what medium the recipient likes best.
Miscellaneous Music at Jackpot Records—3574 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Records are once again dominating the world of retail music. Even those without a record player get a kick out of the art and collectable value of an LP. There’s no shortage of record stores in Portland, but Jackpot’s great for its $1 bin. Find a scratchy version of a favorite or an obscure title from a classic group. It’s also fun to get something totally random like an old comedy album as an offbeat gift—perfect for a game of White Elephant.
Get Outside and Play
Outdoor Gear at Next Adventure—426 SE Grand Ave.
NextAdventure has provided a local alternative to outdoor and sporting giants like REI and Columbia since 1997. Whether you’re buying for a climber, a kayaker, or a frisbee golfer, this place has what you need. The staff here is eager to help, so if you come in with a type of activity and a price range, they’ll help you find the perfect gift.
Sports Memorabilia at Hoody’s Collectibles—8602 SW Hall Blvd., Beaverton
Hoody’s gives sports lovers a place to geek out. The store’s specialties include signed cards and memorabilia. If you’re buying for someone with a favorite athlete or sports team, it should be easy to find a gift. Hoody’s lives and breathes sports, but it also stocks pop culture collectibles, so it’s not just sports fanatics who get a kick out of this Beaverton shop. If you’re looking to get rid of old baseball cards you have stashed in the attic, bring them in and Hoody’s will buy them.
Cyclist Gear at River City Bicycles—706 SE MLK Blvd.
If you’re buying for someone who bikes, stop by River City Bicycles. This shop has high-end gear that’ll impress any diehard cyclist, but it has presents for casual weekend riders, too. River City specializes in custom wheel sets, built by hand by the experts at the shop. Sets start at about $950, but that comes with a lifetime of free truing, three years of spoke replacements, and a year warranty on all parts. The shop also has a holiday special going right now—$150 off a tune-up through December.
They’re Called Gift Stores for a Reason
Trinkets and Mementos at Presents of Mind—3633 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Nearly four decades after opening its doors, Presents of Mind is still one of Portland’s most popular gift shops. The shelves of this small shop are packed tight with joke gifts, heartfelt mementos, and downright adorable knick-knacks. This is a great place to pick up something to show off your Portland pride, like a wineglass decorated with St. Johns Bridge or a retro Portland iron-on patch.
Gifts from Around the World at The Gold Door—1434 SE 37th Ave.
You’ll find The Gold Door just around the corner from Presents of Mind. It specializes in indigenous crafts, folk art, and eclectic jewelry from around the world. Get a friend excited for an upcoming trip by buying something from that region, or pick up a necklace that couldn’t be found anywhere else. When in doubt, pick up one of Gold Door’s more than 180 themed tarot card decks for a small, simple gift with beautiful artwork.
Wall-Worthy Gifts at Crafty Wonderland—808 SW 10th Ave.
This gift store offers the selection and variety of the other two shops listed here, but it focuses on local artists. More than two hundred local artists have their work at the store, which includes intricate postcards and wall-worthy prints for less than $20.
Second-Hand Clothes (but First-Rate Gifts) at Buffalo Exchange—1036 W Burnside St.
This thrift store chain has two Portland locations, one downtown and one on SE Hawthorne. You can always count on finding band tees and funny graphic tees on the racks. If you don’t know the size of the person you’re buying for, there’s also an accessories section with wallets and sunglasses. Buffalo Exchange accepts used clothes for store credit or cash, so bring in a few old shirts and sweaters and make your holiday shopping that much cheaper.
Gifts for the Home
Presents from the Past at Vintage Pink—2500 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Vintage Pink is one of Portland’s swankier antique shops. It has vintage furniture and appliances in top-notch condition. “Modern” chairs and lamps from the ‘60s and ‘70s will make you feel like you’re in 2001: A Space Odyssey. On the cheaper side of things, there’s a large selection of antique books and magazines.
Hip Home Décor at City Home—217 SE Taylor St.
This shop in Portland’s central east side is filled with decorations for around the home. Some are functional, like a solid wood breadboard ($24). Others are just for fun, like a framed set of botanical fern prints ($38). For something a little fun and a little functional, shop from their selection of bookends—they’ll keep the shelves tidy with antler or rabbit head designs.
Kid-Friendly Shopping Stops (With Something for Adults, Too)
Heroes and Villains at Things from Another World—2916 NE Broadway St.
Did you know Portland has one of the most vibrant comic book communities in the world? The indie comic powerhouse Dark Horse is based here, and local chain “Things From Another World” has three locations in the metro area. If you know which comic book movie the gift recipient liked best this year (there’s no shortage to choose from), then it’ll be a breeze to pick up an issue from that universe. Just last week, Marvel reprinted the second Fantastic Fourissue.
Gamer Goodies at Video Game Wizards—9712 SE Foster Rd.
This lovable little shop is a gamer’s delight. It specializes in retro gaming, but it stays up to date on all the newest hits. Pick up something on the PS4 for the kids, or help a friend relive his or her gaming glory days with a SNES. If you’re at a loss, “RedDead Redemption 2” is one of the most popular games for Xbox and Playstation right now (check with parents to make sure it’s ok in the house), and the newest installment of “Super Smash Bros.”is a must-have for Nintendo players.
New Parent Necessities at Posh Baby—916 NW 10th Ave.
This family-owned boutique features apparel, toys, and accessories for young children and their parents. Check to see if the family you’re buying for is already registered with the store. If not, take your pick between adorable clothes, functional accessories, or an encouraging gift for busy parents.
Just for Adults
Aisles and Aisles of Beer at John’s Marketplace—3535 SW Multnomah Blvd.
You’d be hard pressed to find a store with more beer selection than John’s Marketplace. Just need a six-pack of PBR to bring to the holiday party? John’s has you covered. Trying to stun a beer snob with something rare? It’s easily done by roaming the aisles here, which are organized by region. If you’re looking to wow, keep an eye out for wax-sealed 22s—a sure sign of something unique (and spendy). John’s also sells by the keg, if you’re buying for someone with a kegerator.
His or Her New Favorite Wine at Corkscru—339 NW Broadway
While John’s Marketplace is for beer lovers, Corkscru is for wine aficionados. The owners search the world for small production and hard-to-find bottles, with an emphasis on independent and mom-and-pop wineries. If you don’t know anything about wine, don’t worry! The staff is happy to help. You can spend big here, but you can also find something special for less than $20.
Become a “Cosmic Tripster” with the McMenamins Passport
From humble Portland roots, this versatile Northwest chain has spread to nearly every corner of the Pacific Northwest in recent decades. The McMenamins Passport helps guests make the most out of their meals, concerts, and hotel stays. Just having one in hand gets you perks like free tots and pint glasses. As you fill them up with stamps from McMenamins locations, the perks get better and better, with prizes like a full year of happy hour drink prices. You can pick one up at any McMenamins location for $30.
Don’t Forget About Our Furry Companions
Local, Sustainable Gifts for Pets at For Paws—3340 SE Division St.
This family-owned pet store is the perfect place to pick up a present for a friend’s cat or dog. They carry a wide range of natural food and treats. They even carry Kitties Gone Green Cat Litter, one of the only biodegradable litter products on the market(made exclusively from sustainable Oregon products). Pick up a bone or a catnip toy and the family pet is sure to cozy up to you during your next visit.
Only in Portland
The Weird and Wild at Paxton Gate—4204 N Mississippi Ave.
If you can stomach a full wall of framed insect corpses, this is one shop you absolutely need to visit during the holidays. The fascinating store is filled with high-end taxidermy, skeletons, and fossils. There’s something here for every price point, too. You can drop nearly $4,000 on an African Goshawk or spend just $5 on an alligator toe key chain. For those less eager to decorate with corpses, PaxtonGate also features more traditional home decor and plants.
With these ideas in mind, it’s time to hit the streets and get shopping! Keep an eye peeled as you walk from your car to the stores in this list, because you never know what window display will spark a whole new gift idea. Comment below if you loved any of these stores in particular, or if you found something new in the neighborhood. Happy holidays!