Known as the “weird” city, Portland certainly lives up to it’s title, in the best way possible. What looks like a mini New York City situated on the Willamette River, there is a ton to do in & around Portland. Below are the can’t miss things that will make your time in the city extra fun, enjoyable & weird.
WHERE TO EAT:
Voodoo Doughnut: This iconic doughnut shop is easily our favorite sweet spot in the city. Their instagrammable pink box & quirky doughnuts are reason enough to check out this Portland staple but the taste will truly blow your mind. Our favorites were The Homer, Voodoo Doll, & Gay Bar. Pro tip: call & order a dozen ahead of time to beat the line & have some for friends!
Pok Pok: Likely the only other place in Portland that can pull a line similar to Voodoo is Pok Pok. This Thai staple has a few locations in the city & their mango sticky rice dessert (which we ordered as an appetizer, duh) is one of the best things we’ve ever tasted.
Eb & Bean: If you’re looking for a spot to cool off, eat some sweets yet not feel totally guilty about it then Eb & Bean if for you. Their vegan & organic FroYo is beyond delicious & don’t even get us started on their wide variety of delicious toppings. Our go-to is the vanilla or chocolate with raspberry magic shell & gummy bears. YUM.
Waffle Window: With two locations on opposite sides of the city, this cute spot is a must-visit. They offer a ton of both savory & sweet waffles that can count as breakfast, lunch, dinner & dessert. We recommend the Hot Fudge Sundae & Three B’s.
Pine Street Market: With a group who can’t decide on one cuisine to eat? Reallllly hungry & want a bunch of different things? This is the place for you. From ramen to ice cream, the city’s first food hall is one of our favorite spots. It’s even home to WizBangBar, the infamous froyo spot brought to you from the team behind Salt & Straw.
We didn’t get a chance to visit these spots but they were highly recommended: The Departure, Guero, Ava Gene’s, Bamboo SW, Por Que No, & Masu.
WHERE TO EXPLORE:
Mt. Hood: Even if you can only see Mt. Hood from afar, it’s worth it. This stunning snow-topped (even in the summertime) volcano is situated just outside the city. There are numerous hikes & sights to explore on the volcano & tons to do surrounding it.
Lavender Valley: Need to relax a bit? Explore Lavender Valley – quite possibly the most relaxing spot outside Portland. With stunning views of Mt. Hood, this field is covered in rows & rows of lavender. It’s easily one of our favorite spots in Oregon.
Lost Lake: We spent the morning canoeing at Lost Lake & had the absolute best time. It’s extremely calming & super fun all at the same time. The views are incredible & there is lots to explore here. If you’re looking to stay in a more remote location, they even have cabins right along the lake that you can rent.
Hood River: This adorable town offers tons to do. From windsurfing (which it’s known for) to boutique shopping, delicious restaurants & more, we highly recommend popping into Hood River for a day or two. Don’t forget to pop into some of the local fruit stands on the side of the road on the way in!
Cathedral City Park & St. John’s Bridge: Have a picnic or read a book under the St. John’s Bridge near Cathedral City Park. This stunning city escape is just steps from downtown Portland & is absolutely stunning. You can even go boating on the river!
We didn’t get a chance to visit these spots but they were highly recommended: Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Ape Caves, Columbia River Gorge (Cinder Cone Treehouse specifically), Cannon Beach, Tunnel Falls, Mt. Tabor Park, 4T Trail, Sauvie Island, Punch Bowl Falls, McKenzie River.
WHERE TO SHOP:
Powell’s Books: While we were expecting a more old-school styled bookstore, Powell’s is still a must-visit. It has nearly every book you could want & tons of limited edition, signed copies, & more exclusive books. You can easily get lost in here for hours. They have a few locations around the city & even a small gift shop with the best gag-gifts all in one spot!
Jacobsen Salt Co.: If you like salty & savory foods then this is a must-visit. One of the most reputable & delicious salt companies in the world has a massive store & factory in Portland where you can stock up on all the goods – even some candy if you’re more of a sweets person!
SE Hawthorne Blvd: This strip located on the east side of the river in Portland has some of the best vintage shopping in the country. From furniture to clothing & much more, you’ll be able to shop a wide variety of products at a wide variety of prices. It’s a fun way to see the “weird” side of Portland!
WHERE TO STAY:
The Benson: We got a great last minute deal on this place & would highly recommend it for anyone visiting Portland. It’s central location makes it easy to explore the city & the staff was beyond friendly. Plus the rooms were clean & spacious – what more can you ask for!
Cinder Cone Treehouse: While we didn’t get a chance to stay here it’s high up on our list for next time we’re in/near Portland. This literal treehouse is built into the woods just outside the city & is an incredible way to take in Portland & it’s surrounding areas.
PIN FOR LATER: