This past month was my first time to the West Coast and although I’m a die hard Ohio girl I have to confess that the landscape of the Pacific Northwest is unbeatable. Our first stop on the map was the good ole city of Portland, OR. My preconceived vision of what portland would be was beards, hipsters, and trees, and I was pretty much right. Its both weird, depressing, and successful all in one square mile… If you are traveling to Portland be prepared to get outside your comfort zone and experience Stumptown while meeting some of the nicest people around. Don’t be afraid to try new things and
If you want to be out in the fresh air, I highly recommend the International Rose Test Garden where there are over 550 species of roses! It’s like walking through a dream and is surrounded by acres of park to hike and explore. Get a self guided tour brochure from the gift shop and explore the gardens, or attend one of the many events held at the amphitheater throughout the year.
For shopping, I spent the day going to many of the small businesses around portland. Some I highlight in this post, The Meadow, a bitters, chocolate, and spice shop on NW 23rd St. Get perfect unique gifts for friends and loved ones and try samples of their bitters and chocolates. I loved my time there and though its a small shop, I could have spent all day sampling and discovering the thousands of ways to use salt.
They also have a location in New York City, so if you’re on the East coast there is no missing out on all this store has to offer.
Another great reason to go to Portland- Coffee. Though not as famous as the city of Seattle for its coffee, it too sells delicious varieties of the much coveted beverage. My husband loves Stumptown coffee which is a local coffee shop in downtown Portland. Sample their nitro coffee or get my personal favorite, a cafe Mocha.
Some other places to try in Portland. First stop, Voodoo Doughnuts. Yes, they only accept cash and there are usually long lines but it is totally worth the wait! Try their Old Bastard which
combines chocolate and peanut butter frosting and oreo crumbs) or their Maple Bacon donut (which is self explanatory and delicious) or even something as wild as their fruit loop donut! Their menu is intense, so when in doubt ask the workers for their suggestions.
It’s the perfect way to start the day! Next, try one of the many breweries in Portland or head to Tasty and Alder for a tapas style meal to share with friends along with a good beer.
If you get the chance, try to get out to Hood Forest National Park and spend the day hiking. We took one day to go out there and I wish we could have had more time! It’s so beautiful and totally worth seeing. I’ll share about our trip to Hood National Park in my next travel blog post, but for now enjoy the pictures of the city and feel free to comment with the fun places you’ve been to in Portland! Never stop exploring!