Portland! The city of roses, trees, and hipsters. Kirill and I went last month for our anniversary (after a quick stop at Cannon Beach). It’s got an interesting vibe and it’s cute. It has great street art and nice architecture. It’s almost New York-y with the fire escape buildings, but smaller. And it’s super green – I swear there was a tree every few metres.
One of the first things we saw was a middle-aged man with a ponytail wearing a tutu on our way to our hotel. The view from our hotel room was a giant mural of a sideways grandma. And during dinner the bachelorette party a few tables down forced a guy to get up and serenade them on the street. It’s definitely a memorable city.
I’m posting this later than I hoped, but I’ll try to write how to spend a day in Portland to the best of my memory. I missed a post in August because I went on a last minute camping trip, sorry!
8:00AM: Wake up at the Mark Spencer hotel. This isn’t an advertisement, I want to share the name because they have some of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in and they’re dog-friendly. Seriously, we went back to the hotel a few times just to chill on the bed. After breakfast we started our day walking around the Pearl District towards the riverside.
The Pearl District is adjacent to downtown and is a mix of residential buildings and cafes. It has some nice buildings but it’s pretty quiet. Downtown seemed the liveliest/most interesting area to me.
10:00AM: Start walking along the riverside. We started in an industrial zone that was kind of dead, but once we got closer to downtown it got nicer.
1:30pm: We walked the entire length of the promenade and made our way back downtown. We were close to the Keep Portland Weird sign so we decided to check that out. It’s right across from the famous Voodoo Donuts, but we didn’t go in because the line-up was insane. We probably would have had to wait an hour or more. So if you want to get Voodoo Donuts when it Portland you should go super early.
2:00pm: Head back downtown for lunch. In Portland there’s a whole city block of food trucks (Alder & Washington between 9th & 10th Aves) so we decided to eat there. There were a lot of Mexican, Chinese, Thai & Mediterranean options. I had some really good Lebanese (I think the truck was called Wolf & Bear or something similar) and Kirill had a gyro.
3:00pm: Head back to the hotel for a bit. It was pretty hot that day and we had walked a lot so we wanted to give ourselves a little break and freshen up.
4:00pm: Drive to the Pittock Mansion. When I was looking up things to do in Portland this spot never came up, but Kirill found it pretty much instantly when he searched it at the hotel. It has a great view of the city and is only a 10-15 minute drive away so even if you have to take an Uber it wouldn’t be too expensive. The mansion is also pretty great for photos. We didn’t go inside but it’s a nice place even if you just stay on the grounds.
4:30pm: Drive to Washington Park to see the Japanese Garden. The Pittock Mansion is just a bit above Washington Park so they’re good to see together. Unfortunately the Japanese Garden is not dog friendly so we went to the Rose Garden instead. It’s just a bit lower and it’s free (the Japanese Garden isn’t), and it has hundreds of sorts of roses in it. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled so many roses before.
5:30pm: Drive back to the hotel to drop off the car and chill on that dream bed a bit more before dinner.
6:30pm: Go to Mill’s End Park and find a place for dinner. Mill’s End Park is the world’s smallest park. It’s literally in the middle of a crosswalk. Apparently people have weddings there. I have no idea how, but that’s what the plaque on the street says.
7:00pm: Dinner! I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but they had good veggie burgers.
Side note, props to Portland for being so dog-friendly! It was such a treat to have Lady exploring the city with us, she was super excited to see so many new places. Portland made it easy with all the dog-friendly patios. In Vancouver dogs have to be tied outside the gates of patios, it sucks.
8:30pm: Go back to the hotel to get ready before going out. That night we had the best Uber drivers ever. On the way to the bar we had the sweetest old lady on the planet and on the way home we had a guy that had us laughing non-stop.
We didn’t stay out crazy late because we didn’t want to start our drive home too late the next day, but it was a fun night. We went to a bar with live entertainment is all I’ll say.
Thanks for reading! If you’re ever in Portland I hope I’ve given you some ideas on what to do 🙂
BLOUSE: GOLDIE LONDON | SHORTS: TOPSHOP | SUNGLASSES: ALIEXPRESS | SNEAKERS: CONVERSE