I recently got back from a quick 3 day trip to Portland with my Mom. We are the type of travelers that leave at 9am and get back at 9pm. We go hard, this might sound like an easy thing to do but you learn a lot about someone when traveling with them and many can’t explore for this long. Oh and did I mention it was around 30 degrees with wind warnings the entire trip? It was greeaaaaat. Actually it was amazing because Portland was a dream and I want to take everyone I know there (well everyone who likes to eat so everyone).
Below is my recreated perfect day in Portland, don’t be surprised at the amount of food that we ate. It was cold and the walking made me want to EAT.
Some side notes to my Californian brethren: Seriously take advantage of the no sales tax, buy your essentials or Christmas gifts. Also it is cold, we got lucky and didn’t have to deal with rain, so come prepared.
Perfect Day in Portland
We stayed in a hotel downtown, it was nothing to write home about but did allow us to be pretty central to everything. So get on those walking shoes (I wore these) and get going.
Fuel up at Blue Star Doughnuts
We got 4 doughnuts between the two of us, which was far too many. The best of the bunch was the Old Fashioned Buttermilk (on the top left). This is a great opportunity for you to relax, drink some coffee and enjoy.
From here wander into Powell’s City of Books, you have been warned that it is easy to spend an entire day here. It is a maze of literary wonderment but we managed to only stay an hour before continuing on.
Next escape the city, wander over to the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Try to arrive right when a tour is starting. This is something I would normally avoid but it added to the experience instead. If you have time (like we did) stop into the tea shop, drink some tea, order some almond cookies.
Next hop on a bus, cross the river, and check out SE Division Street. This is a foodies heaven. Don’t miss it.By now its time for a late lunch. Either try out the food carts on SE Division St. and 28th aka Tidbit Food Farm and Garden. Or try the famous Pok Pok. Order an early afternoon cocktail with the flavored drinking vinegar (sounds weird but just do it).
Not photographed but greatly enjoyed, I recommend going to Salt and Straw after. Like I mentioned before, Portland is a place to eat and indulge so enjoy some Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Black Pepper ice cream. After continue walking along SE Division St. to the original Stumptown Coffee. Sip on a coffee, do it.
From here I suggest indulging even more but this time in beer. Take a bus back towards the Willamette River, stop in at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. Get a flight (or two), if you do want something to nibble on go for the Bread and Butter or Brussel Sprouts. Their Little Dog ale is great, you could also drink 5 and not feel too tipsy because the alcohol content is very low.
A late dinner should be included in this non-stop day. Head back into downtown and hit BrunchBox (they also have a cart). Closes at 10pm and opens early, this place is the best. Seriously the best meal we had while in Portland, we also stopped here for breakfast the next morning. Get anything with the Texas Toast. For dinner I ordered The Outlaw, but any burger that has onion rings and bacon I am going to order without hesitation. Even thinking about it makes me hungry and craving it. I can’t rave enough about this place. This hits the spot after a long day. If you have room order some Loaded Fries to share.
Now Sleep!!!!! This was a fairly busy day so get some rest. I understand not everyone will want to take such a long day so pick out the pieces that interest you most. If you don’t believe that this would be a normal day for me when traveling, I leave you with this… I walked 11 miles the first day I spent in Paris.