I finally forced myself to sit down and get this Portland recap together. In all honesty, this city is impossible to capture with just words and pictures.
Coming from SF (the alleged birth place of insta worthy cafes and Patagonia wearing hipsters….) I felt right at home. If you love coffee and beanies and bike riding, Portland is the place to be. I was most fascinated by how many AMAZING restaurants lined every street. We were there for 3 full days and it was nowhere near enough time.
There is something to love for every type of person in Portland. Hiking for the outdoors lover, food on food on food for the foodies, breweries and pubs for the beer lover and NO TAXES for the shopping lover (aka me…)
I will try and pull together a quick summary of how we spent our 3 short days in Portland!
-Landed at PDX airport and took an uber into downtown (everything in the city is fairly close so getting around is very easy)
-Ate dinner at Nel Centro which was the restaurant in Hotel Modera (where I stayed) The food was fantastic and like everything else in Portland soooo shockingly affordable!
– Started the day off with an amazing brunch at Mother’s Bistro. There are a few locations in Portland and come highly recommended by everyone who has been there. The brunch was fantastic and extremely filling. I loved the ambiance of the restaurant and how spacious it was. We got the salmon hash (most popular) the biscuits and gravy and the french toast.
-We tried to walk off the Brunch calories by hunting for the cool Portland sign that everyone takes pics at. Our uber driver from the night before said that the best view of the sign would come from standing on Burnside Bridge. He was absolutely right!
-We walked from Burnside Bridge to the Pearl district (which was my favorite) It is full of shops and cafes and the attraction that I was most excited for…Powell’s City of Books. If you love to read, explore or just stand in awe..this is the place to do it! I have never seen anything like it before. I spent hours exploring Powell’s and even ended up finding my uncle’s book in the fashion section (such an exciting moment)
-From Powell’s we headed to Voodoo dough nuts. It is a staple for tourists in Portland. To be completely honest, I thought the dough nuts looked cool but they definitely weren’t the best ones I had ever eaten. It was worth the trek for the insta-pic though…
-Next on the list was the Portland Aerial Tram. It is a $2.50 ticket to ride the tram, which we found out was a mode of transportation for doctors and students at the medical school. The base of the tram is one campus of the med school and the top of the tram ride takes you to another. Nothing exciting going on there, but the views are amazing! It was a clear day and we could see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood.
-For Dinner we headed to Bollywood Theatre which was probably one of the most amazing restaurants I have ever been to. The food and decor were beyond amazing! We ordered the Chicken Kati roll, Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji with a Mango Lassi. To be honest, I am very picky about Indian food and usually don’t eat it unless it is home cooked. This dinner surpassed all expectations!!!
-The last stop and something I was really excited about was the Multonomah Whiskey Library. I had read amazing reviews and heard only great things from friends who had been there…but low and behold I forgot my ID and they are extremely strict…soooo I did not get in. I was so sad, but now have a fantastic excuse to make another trip to Portland. (Warning: There is usually a 2-3 hour wait here, so people put their names down and grab dinner while they wait)
– I started the day with my favorite thing (Matcha and Bagels) After exploring on IG, I came across the cutest Japanese cafe. It is located right next to the Portland Museum, hence the name “Behind the Museum Cafe” The interiors were authentic and beautiful. There were all sorts of Japanese artifacts to observe and the Matcha was amazing! We also got a Matcha brownie and Lox Bagel. This cafe was a little pricier but still seemed affordable compared to the $8 Matcha that I drink in SF.
– Next we made our way over to the Zip car that we rented and started a long day of exploring. Some of our favorite stops along the way were St. Johns Bridge, Multonomah Falls, Stevenson Lookout, Solstice Pizza and some other places which we actually ended up blindly driving through (no clue what the names were) That was the beauty of our day. We just drove and drove with no map and loved enjoying the phenomenal scenery. We got lucky with the weather as well! Sunny and no rain! One caviat was that a lot of the water falls are closed in the winter / spring due to rain. Keep that in mind when deciding which hikes to go on.
-Saturday night was in interesting one. We had a dinner reservation at a fancy rooftop restaurant called Departure but decided last minute to trade heels and sushi in for sneakers and beer. We decided to go to a Portland Trailblazers game. Both Arj and I love basketball and decided it would be fun to experience a hometown game in a different city! It was a fantastic game against OKC and both of us were so happy we experienced it.
-Had a quick brunch at Nel Centro (again) and were impressed all over again. I had an early flight so I had to head to the airport soon after. I rarely say this, but I was not ready to go home. Usually after a vacation, I feel like I have seen a majority of the things I wanted to but this time was way different. I would have loved to spend a full week in Portland to explore everything that I missed.
Overall, it was an easy, affordable and fantastic trip! I will definitely be back.
(ps: I swear, the people in Portland are some of the nicest…which made us love it even more)
(keep going to see snapshots of my fantastic trip)