Located along the Columbia Slough on the northernmost tip of North Portland, Kenton is known for its rich history, sense of community, local food, fare and nightlife.
Pre-1900, Kenton started out as a farming community before becoming a company town for the Swift Meat Packing Company in 1911. Kenton has since grown as a niche hub for small businesses and annual events that are a popular draw for citizens from all over Portland.
Kenton: A Charming Heritage Neighborhood in Portland
Kenton has preserved much of its historical charm, including its architecture and vintage storefronts.
The quiet, low-density and tree-lined suburbs of Kenton house a mix of quaint old homes and modern bungalows. A relatively small population with access to ample parks and greenspaces nearby makes Kenton particularly attractive to young families.
Shopping in Kenton, Portland
The northernmost section of Kenton features much of the neighborhood’s open greenspace, parks, businesses, retail district and nightlife.
Kenton’s Dining & Retail District
Located on the east side of Kenton Park, along N Denver Avenue between N Willis Boulevard and N Schofield Street, is Kenton’s boutique dining & retail district. Make an afternoon of foraging through vintage and retro facade bakeries, eateries, cafes, and boutique shops, or enjoy the nightlife at one of Kenton’s many gastropubs. The retail community is known for its local and sustainable fare, and for hosting Oregon’s popular Kenton Farmers Market from June through September.
Kenton’s Annual Street Fair
Held every year on the 3rd Sunday in May, Kenton’s Annual Street Fair is a community celebration that brings together local vendors, craftspeople, live music, food and fun activities for the whole family.
Portland Farmers Market
Held every Wednesday evening between 3-7pm from June 5 through September 25, N McClellan Street and Denver Avenue come alive with one of Kenton’s most notable annual events—the Portland Farmers Market. People from all over Portland make their way to Kenton to enjoy the live music, local food, sustainable fare, fresh produce and fun that awaits the whole family (the family dog is welcome too).
Things to Do in Kenton, Portland
Popular local attractions in Kenton, Portland include the Herons Lake Golf Club and the Portland Expo Centre which hosts ongoing shows and exhibitions throughout the year.
Dog-friendly public parks include the Historic Vanport, which allows off-leash play.
The following are just a few of Kenton’s most notable parks, attractions and annual events:
Nestled in the suburban area of Kenton, Kenton Park features a central grassy area that’s perfect for picnicking, nearby complete with paved walking trails, multi-sports courts, on-site washrooms and a universally-accessible playground and seasonal splash pad for kids. Leashed-dogs are welcome in the open grassy areas and walking trails.
Portland International Raceway
Portland International Raceway is Oregon’s destination for Motocross, drag-racing, NASCAR and its annual Beaches Cruise-In event. Celebrating its 24th year, this automobile-aficionado’s dream is held every Wednesday night from June through September, showcasing thousands of classic hot rods, cruisers and exotic sports cars. Attendees also enjoy a BBQ, drag race and live music.
Portland Expo Center
333,000 square feet of indoor convention space on 53 acres of land makes the Portland Expo Center Oregon’s biggest facility for hosting seasonal shows, craft fairs and exhibitions.
Schools in and Near Kenton, Portland
Kenton is served by Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Oregon. More than 49,000 students (80% of Portland’s school-age children) attend PPS schools. Portland schools are ranked here .
Located within Kenton are the Peninsula Elementary School, Portland Village School and the reputable De La Salle North Catholic High School: a private school known for its student diversity, safety, and college prep. Additional public and private schools can be found in the neighbouring districts of University Park and Piedmont.
Getting to and Around Kenton, Portland
The dining & retail district of Kenton is very walkable, and is accessible via the Kenton/N Denver Ave MAX rail station.
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