On September 11, 2018 my boyfriend and I traveled to Portland, Oregon. This was the first trip we took just the two of us and it honestly was so perfect! In SoCal it doesn’t get very cold in the fall and I always crave that crisp Fall air being bundled up in a cozy sweater. We decided early on in the year that we wanted to take a short trip to Portland. Why Portland? It was just a short flight and a place neither of us had been before…did I mention the cold weather?!
We stayed at this super cute Air BnB which admittedly was a lot smaller than we expected but it was so cute! We really only needed a nice place to sleep as we were out in the city pretty much from 8am until 11pm. So honestly, it was just what we needed.
I loved all of the thoughtful details the host put into the decor like all of the books on portland as well as local chocolate for us to eat and a mini fridge filled with local spirits. This place was also very Pinterest worthy! It was ideally located right next to a public transit line.
Since we were only there for a short amount of time we tried to do as much as possible off our list. My boyfriend was mainly interested in food places while I wanted to do all the sights!
WHAT WE DID
Powell’s Bookstore | this was a non-negotiable must do especially since we are both avid readers and honestly we spent 3 hours in this gigantic bookstore. We planned it out well and did it the first night we arrived right before dinner. If you love bookstores I would plan out a large chunk of time to explore the 5 floors.
Ground Kontrol | If you grew up playing in arcades this is heaven! We had such a fun game night after Powell’s with a few rounds of tetris and time crisis. There is a bar inside that serves only local beers and ciders.
Japanese & Rose Garden | The second day we trekked on up to Washington Park to go explore the Japanese gardens and they did not disappoint. It definitely was a workout going up into the mountain and all through the garden but the view was definitely worth it. There were so many gems we came across while walking the paths. The rose gardens are located just below and they are beautiful.
Pittock Mansion | On the mountain opposite from Washington Park is where this gorgeous estate is. It was quite the hike and I honestly had to take a few breaks on the way up. By the time we got to the top, the sun started shining and I started sweating…profusely. We initially went just to walk around the grounds but after sitting on a bench drinking water we decided to pay the admission and go inside. It was totally worth it! On the way down though, it completely poured on us.
WHERE WE ATE
Por Que No? | We went here straight from the airport (on the way to our Air BnB). The tacos were so good and we loved sitting outside in the gloomy weather. It was such a good start to our trip.
Mothers Bistro | This one was my pick! I had heard a lot about it from Pinterest and was insistent that this would be our splurge breakfast spot. It was soo good. I ordered the frittata (ah-mazing), my boyfriend ordered the salmon hash, and we both split a Belgium waffle with locally grown blackberries. We ordered a french press for coffee and sat at a table with a view of the city. I honestly still dream about this meal; it was perfect.
VooDoo Donut | While we were there we had to try this place because I mean…everyone talks about it. It was a really cool donut stop but we honestly weren’t too impressed with the donuts.
Blue Star Donut | This place on the other hand was our favorite! We actually stopped at one on our way to the airport and ate them on the plane. They were all so delicious and we loved how they leaned more on the pastry side than the donut side. Luckily one opened up near us in Los Angeles so we can always go get some without the use of a plane!
Poisons Rainbow | This was the main place my boyfriend wanted to go to so of course we did it the first night. The ambiance was really cool but sadly it no longer is in business. This bar was owned by the founder of Modest Mouse (my boyfriend’s favorite band) and it leased out the kitchen to a pizza place called Ranch Pizza. Honestly, the pizza was amazing! We both crave it all the time and have even tried to recreate it! The pizza place still exists if you are ever up there.
Salt & Straw | We loved the ice cream here and is definitely a must if you go. We actually lucked out because it was pouring rain when we got there and waited out the storm with scoops of peach cobbler ice cream. We recently got one of these in Downtown Disney so we pretty much go there all the time when we are craving a good artisanal ice cream!
I hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me! This was one of my favorite trips in the U.S. thus far. It was so much fun and I loved exploring a new city that was very different from where I live! Have you been to Portland before? I would love to hear about your trip in the comments below!