This weekend, Oregon's sixth-largest city will celebrate itself at Beaverton Celebration Day. If you're headed out for the 5k fun run or the first annual "Pooch Parade," figuring out where to eat, drink and park in Portland's third-favorite suburb can be daunting. Should you stop for a frappuccino at Beaverton Town Square or hope for a short line at the Cedar Hills Starbucks? Or is it worth heading all the way up to the Canyon Place Starbucks? Here are our picks for an afternoon at one of Money magazine's top places to live in 2010.
History! Walk the streets of downtown and drool over custom-made cakes through the windows of Beaverton Bakery (12375 SW Broadway St., 646-7136, beavertonbakery.com), which has been in business for almost a century. Or visit the historic Fanno Farmhouse (8405 SW Creekside Place, 629-6313), which was designed and built in 1859 by Augustus Fanning, a Maine-born seaman who was one of the first to settle in the city originally known as "Beaverdam." The family was driven from its lucrative onion-farming business in the 1940s because of onion maggots. Now it's a nice-looking house, and sometimes a preschool. There is a very large sign out front.
Nature! Beaverton's largest wilderness park is Tualatin Hills Nature Park (15655 SW Millikan Way, 629-6350), which has five miles of trails and a thriving newt population. But make sure to leave your dog in the street—with the other dogs in the Pooch Parade. This park does not allow dogs.
Nike! Sorry, the athletic-shoe giant is technically in unincorporated Washington County, not Beaverton. Also: "Nike World Headquarters is private property and not open to the general public."
Espresso ribs! Head to Decarli Restaurant (4545 SW Watson Ave., 641-3223, decarlirestaurant.com), a downtown trattoria that braises its short ribs with Beaverton-approved ingredients such as espresso and dried prunes. Or head to Hall Street Grill (3775 SW Hall Blvd., 641-6161, hallstreetgrill.com) for its rollicking middle-aged happy-hour scene, with gnocchi, chili maple pork jowl and $5 Manhattans.
K-Town!: OK, the neighborhood around the Beaverton Transit Center does have a great collection of Korean restaurants (especially Nakwon), bars (especially JCD, R.I.P. KimSatGot Pocha), markets and even a traditional Korean spa. Actually, Portland can't compete with that. Happy Beaverton Day, indeed.
GO: Beaverton Celebration Day, including Beaverton Farmers Market, a 5k fun run and walk, and the Pooch and Celebration parades, is 8 am-1:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 6. Free. For more details, see beavertonoregon.gov/parade.