Portland, Oregon is a sleepy, smaller version of Seattle – it’s just a 3-hour drive away. It’s dreary and damp most of the year, but there are plenty of hipsters and classy cool places to keep you enticed and wanted to come back again and again.
Beautiful park with gorgeous amphitheatre regardless of season. One of the oldest parks in Portland that includes a zoo, forestry museum, arboretum, children’s museum, rose garden, Japanese garden, amphitheatre, memorials, picnic areas, playgrounds, public art, and acres of wild forest with miles of trails.
International Test Rose Garden: Part of Washington Park, the rose garden is a sight to behold when it’s the summer (think June) but it’s still worth a trip off-season. Just breathe the clean, crisp air and imagine. Acquired by the city in 1917, the garden has a fountain, paved paths, nice art and viewpoints, guided tours, and parking; it can be used for weddings too.
Sometimes, it feels like all farmers markets in the US are the same, but alas, that is not true. Check this one out to find out why! There are multiple locations given the time and the day.
A major tourist attraction because it’s huge and has been so in tune with Portland since 1971. As an independent bookseller, Powell’s hosts many literary events and is worth a peek inside if you’re not going to stay the whole time to read a book.
An old French Renaissance-style mansion built in 1909 as a private home for London-born Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana. Now, it’s open to the public and only $11 for adults.
5. Adidas Shoes
In the Portland Adidas Village, there are two giant Superstar Adidas shoes on display; the shoes are 15 feet long and are part of the “Left Right Project”. The address is 5055 N. Greeley Ave., Portland, OR.
A beautiful waterfall designed for old, young, and everyone in between. A quick drive and then you’re at the waterfalls that is free to visit and take pictures with. Super touristy and beautiful.
Prepare your swimsuits, good shoes, dry bags, extra clothes, and a towel! This super fun hike (the river is the trail! lol no trail, you walk in water) is close to the Multnomah Falls and includes climbing all over fallen trees, moving through small rapids, and wading through water up to your chest. You’ll need good shoes because the trees are difficult and super slippery. Keep the extra clothes and towel in the car for later. The scenic gorge located in the Columbia River Gorge area and it’s designated as a botanical area because of the unique aquatic and woodland plants.
Delicious brioche donuts cooked in rice oil that are based off a French recipe with cage free eggs, whole milk, and European-style butter. The photogenic donuts’ dough takes 18 hours to make and is made daily. Selections change daily and sell out quickly! Grab your gorgeous donut while you’re down there.
Featured on so many US television shows and having unique presentations and shapes of donuts, this famous (or infamous if you consider their donut names) joint will have you waiting outside the door. I got the tame but nice lemon chiffon crueller doughnut but the selection is there to find your dirty favorite. 😉 Note that my foodie friends like Blue Star over Voodoo.
3. Salt & Straw
One of the best, most famous ice cream shops in Portland. Super fresh ingredients and super special flavors.
4. Wiz Bang Bar
A soft serve dessert bar where you can take soft serve and then have them dip it in a smooth, robey chocolate cover. The little soft serve icon is incredibly cute. Also, this place is in a super hip and cool food court where you can grab your friends and chill out.
5. Ruby Jewel
I had my first Ruby Jewel at a student food shop at UC Berkeley and it was amazing. Two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean ice cream inside. It was one of the most amazing desserts I’ve had in my life, let alone a freezer case. They have tons of classic and very inventive, beautiful flavors like honey lavender ice cream on lemon cookies. I wrote fan mail and they featured me on their site. Love you Ruby Jewel!
1. Food trucks
($-$$, Multiple locations) Unlike other cities’ mobile food trucks, most Portland food trucks and carts stay put in groups dubbed “pods,” making it easy for tourists (and locals) to sample several cool street foods at a time. These street food settlements are all over Portland and some are quite immobile.
($, Multiple locations) Delicious chicken over rice. You cannot go wrong and it lives up to all expectation. It’s a must-eat in Portland. It’s recommended that you go to the main location though: 609 SE Ankeny St Suite C Portland, OR 97214.
($-$$) Have you ever had authentic Swiss and European food? Now is your chance! Swiss Hibiscus is a delicious, tasty, and homey restaurant that serves up the best Swiss you’ve ever had in the States.
($$) Great for brunch, homey and delightful but there may be a brunch wait. Mother’s aims for “mom’s cooking” like slow-cooked foods that take hours to prepare—hand-made dumplings, stews, roasts and braised dishes, but it also yummy french toast and eggs too.
($$) Upscale Novoperuvian cuisine. Expect Peruvian tapas & entrees, plus regional cocktails, presented in a warm, bustling room – check out their Happy Hour menu.
6. Toro Bravo
($$) Spanish-inspired tapas bar with a rotating menu of inventive small plates, wines, and a tasting menu.
($) Cheap Italian pasta. It’s a casual dining place. You ordered first at the counter and then they serve you.
8. Pok Pok
($$) Thai, Vietnamese, Pan Asian. Good for sticky wings and sticky rice. Named a top 101 restaurant by The Daily Meal. On my to-do list.
9. Bamboo Sushi
($$, Multiple locations) Claims to be the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world, offering the best fish, meats, and produce, it’s going to be super fresh fish.
10. Le Pigeon
($$$) Expensive French food. Named a top 101 restaurant by The Daily Meal. On my to-do list. Also, if you think that’s not expensive enough, you can try Beast ($$$$, French) – it’s another super fancy restaurant.
($) One of Portland’s oldest coffeehouses. It has it’s own Wiki! Recommended by my previous manager. Thanks! 🙂 on my to-do list.
($$) A super pretty cocktail bar that is, you guessed it, a green room. This is sure to be a great place to hang out and chill.
($$) A beautiful bar that rounds a corner with all its beautiful alcohol on display. It also serves breakfast and brunch.
($$) A New American bar that is saloon-style. It also offers amazing brunch.
($$$) It’s a fancy, expensive restaurant with a reasonable, nice cocktail bar area. Serves New American food.
Benson Bubblers are Portland’s iconic drinking fountains. Portland has 52 of the fountains and 74 one-bowl variations.
- 6:00pm: Leave Seattle
- 9:00pm: Arrive in Portland and check-in to the Benson hotel
- 10:00pm: Walk to The Green Room bar
- 2pm: Walk back to hotel and drive 35min to Multnomah Falls: Open. Expect crowds, bumper to bumper traffic on weekends, and limited parking.
- 4pm: Leave Multnomah Falls.
- 4:30pm: Pick up a small snack at Tabor Bread (closes at 6pm)
- 5:00pm: Drive around Mt. Tabor Park
- 6:00pm: Drive to Nong’s Khao Man Gai
- 6:30pm: Nong’s Khao Man Gai for dinner (11am-9pm): Must be 609 SE Ankeny St Suite C Portland, OR 97214 location
- 8:00pm: Go back to hotel and rest and change
- 10pm: Drive to the really pretty Victoria bar and potentially walk around to Interurban saloon-style bar and Quaintrelle bar
- Midnight: Strip club – Mary’s club
- 9am: Check-out and put luggage in storage
- 9:30am: Breakfast at Voodoo Doughnuts or Maurice (opens at 10am)
- 11am: Explore Pittock Mansion or International Test Rose Garden
- 1pm: Lunch and on-the-road snacks at Pine Street Market (food hall) or Alder St. Food Pod (food trucks)
- 2pm: Pick-up luggage, drive to Adidas shoes for photo opp
- 2:30pm: Drive to Cathedral Park
- 4:00pm: Leave Portland
- 7pm: Arrive back in Seattle
White Stag Sign
Click here for the JoYo Portland Guide map.