Local Getaway Northeast Portland and Kennedy School

Chalkboard with cursive writing

If you want to explore a new Portland neighborhood, look no further than spending time at Kennedy School. Kennedy is no ordinary school. The school initially opened in 1915 and was the primary neighborhood elementary school and community gathering place for 60 years. Sadly it had to be closed in 1975 due to disrepair. The McMenamins revived the campus in 1997 after winning a proposal to renovate the school into a unique hotel and entertainment experience, something the McMenamins are known for here in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. It is one of my favorite places to bring out of town friends to when they visit.


I am fascinated by this place that once stood as the neighborhood primary school in an era so long ago, where children once laughed and hurried through the hallways ready to learn. Now it's a place to reminisce about your school days but with a fun twist. You'll find a choice of 57 rooms to spend your nights. Some guestrooms were converted from a classroom with the original chalkboards adorning the walls, and others are literature-inspired. The school also has a restaurant, several small bars, a movie theater, a brewery, a gift shop, and even a chlorine-salt soaking pool. You'll find the walls filled with artwork, a gallery in its own right. 


After spending some time at the hotel, you are minutes away from downtown Portland and surrounding Northeast neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its unique personality, with small shops, bakeries, cafes, bars, eateries, art, and historic architecture. You can't go wrong venturing out into any of the Northeast neighborhoods - 28th Ave, Alberta, Beaumont, Cully, Lloyd, and Roseway.


As with everything these days, and the everchanging pandemic landscape, research the state and local travel advisories and be sure to call Kennedy school and visit the Kennedy website to find out more about what is available and open before making your plans. 


Happy Exploring!

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