“Keep Portland Weird” is a phrase that was painted on the wall of a local pizza place by our hotel…and it says so much about Portland! Portland is weird and quirky and artsy and beautiful and they own it!
Because my mom is a cosmetic laser trainer and travels all the time; training clinics and doctor’s office staff on their newly purchased lasers….she gets to travel and earn lots of travel points and rewards! So we used some of her rewards points and had a mother/daughter trip to Portland two weeks ago!
It was a short trip (Sunday night-Wednesday evening) so we had to make the most of our time to ensure we saw everything we wanted to.
Despite only being there a few days, I FELL IN LOVE WITH PORTLAND! It had all the best things of a big city: tons of things to do and see, so many great and unique eateries, amazing parks, quirky neighborhoods, etc……but it was so much better than most of the famous big cities I have visited! Mainly because it was clean, lush and green, the people were so friendly, and it was oh so quiet! Of course being the socal girl that I am….it helped that it didn’t rain while we were there :).
Here are just a few highlights and recommendations on where to eat and what to see when there….especially if its only for a short time! Prior to leaving I scoured blogs, Pinterest and yelp to make sure I hit great spots. Plan a trip there soon friends!!
- VooDoo Doughnuts – Famous for their crazy donuts
- Salt & Straw – Amazing & unique ice cream flavors (like Olive Oil)…plus this is in a cute neighborhood that I wish I had time to really explore!
- Tasty & Alder – Great breakfast biscuits! (although I still need to try Pine St. Biscuits)
- Veritable Quandary – The Bacon Dates app was on point, and everything was so delish here…but make a reservation!
- Cheryl’s on 12th – Not only did I chat and talk about babies with the actual Cheryl, but my mother and I shared drinks, chatted, and showed off baby pictures with a lovely couple sitting next to us. Oh yeah and the food was great…I had a fig & goat cheese sandwich!
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters – The best coffee…seriously so smooth and delish! You will find a number of cafe’s and bakeries around the city that promote that they brew Stumptown.
- Lovejoy Bakers – Grab a Stumptown coffee and a pastry and you can sit on their adirondack chairs and just relax..taking in the Pearl District!
- Petunia’s Pies & Pastries – Vegan Bakery…my mom was obsessed with the raspberry bars
- Ken’s Artisan Bakery – We had an amazing lunch here…the bread is so fresh and I love that goat cheese came on the salad.
- Andina – Peruvian Food (I recommend the cheese plate & quinoa crusted shrimp)
- Isabel – Yummy latin breakfast (I had the artichoke scramble)
- Lonesome’s Pizza – Open late and cheap delicious slices from a tiny speak-easy type window (Cash Only)
- Washington Park – There are endless things to do here. You can visit the zoo, rose garden, japanese garden, tree arboretum, children’s museum, etc. And the hiking…oh the amount of trails!
- Waterfront Park – This runs along the river which divides Portland and it is a great walk where you can take in all the gorgeous bridges!…just watch out for all the bikers!
- Keller Fountain Park – This is a fountain (although it didn’t have water when we were there) that just looks so cool!
- Powell’s Bookstore – THE bookstore in Portland
- The Pearl District – This was my favorite neighborhood to explore. It has a ton of cute shops, adorable homes and apartments, art installations and sculptures line the streets, and it is just oh so hip feeling haha.
- You can’t catch cabs in the city…just from the airport or if your hotel calls one for you
- The train/bus system is awesome but you can walk the city fairly easy (when you stick to one side…I.E. the Westside or the Eastside)
- Best months to travel there are August and September…a friend from there told me Don’t go in the fall!…you can seriously get just drenched by the rain!
- They offer great tours…like bike tours and brewery tours.
- If you do rent a car…there are lots of one way streets and you have to pay for parking pretty much wherever you go in the downtown area…but I didn’t find it was too hard to find a spot or too expensive.
- Traffic going in and out of the city can be rough so plan ahead when trying to catch a flight.
I MUST go back…and maybe I will bring the hubby along next time :).
My favorite cheat sheet/map that I found! We loved our stay at the Embassy Suites Downtown…the decor was so 1920’s art deco…and the accommodations were great!
No joke the cheese plate at Andina’s…the corn nuts!…so good
Our appetizer at Veritable QuandaryThese cinnamon/sugar puffs (like a beignet) come free as you wait for your meal at Cheryl’s on 12th!This is at Washington Park and there were just so many trails!….I was almost expecting Edward Cullen to walk out from behind a tree.
Lush lush lushThese are the drinking fountains that are spread around the SouthWest side of Portland…they are all around and the water constantly flows! Plus the water there tastes AMAZING!Keller Fountain Park…would have been so cool if it was flowing…but still so beautiful.Walking along Waterfront ParkVooDoo Doughnuts…the line can get cray so go when its slow!This place is so adorable and the vegan treats were delish!
Our lunch at Ken’s Artisan BakeryAt Lovejoy BakersOh you know…just a baby on a bench :). Such cute homes in The Pearl!Oh I love all the greenery!
There were a ton more places to see and eat at but there just wasn’t time (feel free to comment if you want more recommendations). So….looks like I will just need to go again. Until next time PDX!