So you’re planning a little getaway to Portland, Oregon? We had a chance to go for a long weekend, crossing off another city on our U.S. bucket list. I had heard so many wonderful things about Portland being a foodie town, and it was also said that Portland and Austin have many similarities and are sister cities. The pinot noirs coming out of the Willamette Valley have also gotten many accolades and gained notoriety, so I’m sure you can see the appeal that this city had on my curiosity.
I did a lot of research and had many great suggestions from some foodie friends that have been many times, so unfortunately we weren’t able to try out all the restaurants I had on my list, but I’m happy to say that we made a good dent 😉
Here’s a photo diary of our Portland trip, which includes where to eat in Portland, where to stay in Portland, and fun things to do in Portland.
Where to Eat in Portland:
There are no shortage of amazing restaurants in Portland, and I made sure to make reservations at any of the restaurants that would take them to ensure we had an in. I was impressed overall with all of the food, with Pok Pok being on the top of my list (head over to Whiskey Soda Lounge to have a drink while you wait). Some of the other can’t miss restaurants: Ava Gene’s, Ox, Expatriate, Castagna, Han Oak, Tasty n Alder, Roman Candle Company (bakery, open for breakfast & lunch), Beast, Longbaan, Salt & Straw (go for dessert, enjoy some of the best ice cream), Blue Star Donuts (for some of the best donuts in the Pacific Northwest)
Restaurants (top to bottom, left to right): the first two pictures are from a multi-course meal we had at Castagna, Pok Pok’s famed wings, the next two images are from brunch at Beast, then brunch at Tasty n Alder, the bone marrow spiked clam chowder from OX, Stumptown coffee while waiting in line for Voodoo Donuts, the carousel display at Voodoo Donuts, waiting outside in the line for ice cream at Salt & Straw, and the line outside Blue Star Donuts.
Where to Stay in Portland:
There are several places to pick from when you’re in Portland, from a hotel to an Air BnB. We opted to stay Downtown, because it’s walkable and there are so many restaurants that you can walk to when staying downtown. You’re also close to the Willamette River and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, where we happened to stumble by a small music festival (MusicFest) and got to watch and listen to Duran Duran from across the street! We opted to stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in the heart of downtown, and we absolutely loved it! The hotel has great amenities for guests like a complimentary coffee bar in the morning, as well as a fun, complimentary happy hour every afternoon with different local beer options and local wine choices. It’s also a dog-friendly hotel, and we loved the fun and quirky decor in our room. I’ll be happy to help you book your hotel stay here or at a hotel of your choice when traveling to Portland, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to Play
Where do I start!? There are countless things to do while in Portland, and the options we had were somewhat weather dependent. We opted to go in the fall, partly because the weather is slightly more temperate (we were there in late August/early September, and really lucked out with sunny weather and cool nights). Andrew also really wanted to go to a Portland Timbers game, so we went when they were in season and also lucked out because we got to see them play the Seattle Sounders, which is their biggest rival. Many of the activities we did took place downtown, like their Saturday Market, brewery tour (on bicycles!) around their Pearl District (there are over 50 microbreweries in Portland!), and the Portland Timbers game. Just outside of downtown Portland, you should also visit the Japanese Gardens, right next to the International Rose Test Gardens. Both of them can be walked in less than an hour and a half, and is absolutely worth it, both for the beauty of the gardens, as well as the views you can see of Portland. Last but not least, you can’t go to Portland without going on a Willamette Valley Wine Tasting, the Willamette Valley region produces some of the United States’ best pinot noir grapes, and there are countless vineyards in the area that offer tastings and tours (along with tour companies that will pick you up and drive you around). It’s just a 30 minute drive from downtown Portland, and it’s a must ;). Also, if you have time on your trip, it’s worth renting a car or booking a tour of the famed Columbia River Gorge, to see some incredible views of the gorgeous pacific northwest, as well as beautiful waterfalls including the popular Multnomah Falls.
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