I had never given much thought to the city of Portland, Oregon until my cousin and his wife moved there and started a vacation rental. Shortly after that I made my first visit to the area, and really enjoyed the city. My sister and her husband moved there about two years ago, and have recently bought a house. I have visited the area several times now and have considered moving there myself. Portland has gained in popularity over the past few years as well becoming the setting for many new television shows such as Life Unexpected, Grimm, Portlandia, and others. The weather is not everyone’s favorite. I remember my cousin telling me that many times when the sun comes out you can see people stop and stare at like they had never seen it before. I have seen this firsthand and it almost appears as if they are worshipping this new brilliant light of warmth. While Portland isn’t overly freezing it can be often overcast, cloudy or rainy. It does have its sunny times as well, but it definitely isn’t as sunny as California. I love the rain, and this hasn’t deterred me from visiting or thinking about moving there.
Here are some of my favorite things that I have done in Portland, Oregon:
1. Eat!: Portland is a foodies paradise! It is also well-known for its plethora of food carts. You can find every style of food imaginable like a veritable outdoor buffet of options. My favorite food cart so far is Savor Soups. They make some delicious soups and grilled cheese sandwich variations. I also like the Frying Scotsman he makes some delicious fish and chips and a sugar loaded fried mars bar that is to die for, but probably causes an instant cavity to form.
Another great restaurant in Portland is Screen Door. It’s sooooo tasty you will wish you could taste it everyday. They only serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and there is a guaranteed wait. We sent someone ahead to save a spot in the line. People were lined up 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before it opened.
2. Multnomah Falls: Just a short drive to this beautiful park is worth your time and effort. This gorgeous landmark is a nice outdoor activity for the family. If you want to climb to the top to look down on the falls it will take some effort. There are about 10 switchbacks mostly uphill. The workout is worth it for the view from the top and the feeling of accomplishment.
3. Powell’s Bookstore: No visit to Portland is complete without a visit to this famous bookstore. It covers an entire city block, and is full of hidden treasures.
4. Living Room Theater: Most everyone has been to a movie theatre at some point in their life, but theatres such as this one aren’t as prominent in some areas. At living room theater it is more of a ‘home-like’ setting. You are served a meal at either a table or at a chair with a side table in the theater before the film begins. This isn’t your run of the mill movie food (although they have popcorn as well). I love to enjoy a Margherita pizza, and a martini followed by a delicious seasonal crème brulee. The movies aren’t always mainstream, but they are all very good.
5. Get a birds-eye view of the city -Climb to the top…well ride the elevator to the top of this building and check out the city for free. There is a restaurant at the top (Portland City Grill), but if you don’t feel like eating or enjoying their happy hour you can try to sneak a free peak of the city below.
6. Visit the local downtown market: Portland is full of artistic, unique people with great ideas. The market is full of delicious food, crafts, clothes and more.
7. Portland Zoo – Who can resist the cuddly and cute animals? Not me. I love to visit this great zoo, and say hi to the various residents including the baby elephant, born about 2 years ago.
8. OMSI- This science museum is great fun for all ages. If you prefer to enjoy it without children they do have one night a month that is an adult only event.
9. Indulge: Don’t pass up on a famous Portland experience: Voodoo Donuts. Delicious creations…with some pretty sexy names. There are two locations.
10: Drink Up!: Portland is well-known for its variety of breweries, and beers. There are many locations to enjoy a great brew. We enjoyed the happy hour menu at Laurelwood Brewery. Another family favorite is Hop Haven bar, and Swift Bar. If beer is not your thing there are always some great coffee shops. We love Spunky Monkey for its delicious unpretentious coffee and food as well as excellent customer service.
If you can make it to Portland be sure and take the time to explore its many great spots and sights. I am sure you will find the discoveries will continue to be endless….
What is your favorite spot to visit in Portland?