Portland, Oregon is a city known for its funky cultural scene, friendly locals, encompassing nature, and the historic and modern architecture, making it enticing for just about any traveler. The eco-conscious city offers countless forms of accessible public transportation, which is just one of the many reasons why Portland is a great destination for a long weekend getaway. Below is my guide with top picks for a trip to Portland:
The Nines Hotel is located conveniently in the heart of downtown Portland. The hotel is filled with art and has an interesting history that dates back to 1909. My favorite part of the hotel was definitely the rooftop which offers expansive views of downtown Portland, the Willamette River, Mt. Hood and Mount St. Helens.
The Portland Japanese Garden is an absolute must see when in Portland. There are a total of 8 public gardens spread over 12 acres, so make sure to get there early. While visiting the Portland Japanese Garden, I was told that “the garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and one of the foremost Japanese cultural organizations in North America.” It’s one of the top visitor attractions in Portland, so don’t forget to bring your camera!
The incredible Silver Falls State Park is Oregon’s largest state park and is known for its abundance of stunning waterfalls. The hike to enjoy all 10 waterfalls is moderate with an 8.7 mile long loop.
Powell’s Books is the world’s largest independent bookstore. Portland houses four different locations in the city, with one being inside the airport, but the flagship store is the main attraction. The flagship store, located in the Pearl District, takes up an entire city block.
Portland is known for its artisans and local makers. I discovered many different producers while in Portland from jewelry designers to distillers. My favorite jewelry line I found while in Portland was Betsy & Iya. The jewelry is inspired by color, asymmetry, contrast and balance. They have an adorable store in Portland selling jewelry, clothing, home goods and more.
Everyone will tell you to check out the food trucks in Portland, and they are definitely worth it! The Alder Pod hosts the largest number of food trucks, but I found my favorite truck (DC Vegetarian) at Third Avenue Pod. Little Bird Bistro is a chic and cozy French spot ideal for dinner. If you’re looking for something more casual and indoors check out Tacos Por Favor. Division Wines has a cute wine shop and bar, serving up delicious local wines and small bites.
If You Have Time:
Venture outside the city! I decided to head out to the coast for a night to check out Cannon Beach and a few other quaint coastal towns. Seattle is only a three hour drive, and you can make a scenic road trip out of the journey by veering to the coastline.
For information on current events in Portland, local tips, and to book a trip, visit Travel Portland.