Portland, Oregon Travel Guide | Where to Eat, Drink and Stay in Portland, Oregon

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Editor’s note: We encourage our readers to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for up-to-date information on how to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Many people arrive in Portland with visions of Portlandia in their mind. And while Oregon’s biggest city certainly benefits from the vibe created by freethinkers, eco-warriors and laid-back crafters satirized by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s infamous show (super cute cafes!) , it’s worth keeping in mind that pop culture only tells part of the story.

Nestled in the Pacific Northwest just below the Washington state border, Portland enjoys relatively mild winters and temperate summers, so there’s rarely a bad time to visit, provided it’s don’t mind your seasons being served with a side of rain. The citizens are quite in touch with the environment, because no matter how far you stay in the concrete jungle, there is a quick escape into the wild. It’s an advantage that has helped the city attract some of the largest activewear and outdoor recreation companies in the United States. Need a jogging or cycling buddy? You can probably find one. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even cycle to Portland International Airport and leave your ride in a rack out front. (Just be sure to take a photo of the ugly/iconic rug as you leave.)

If your sense of adventure is more highball than hiking, you can find plenty to do without leaving the city limits. Window shopping in Alberta’s Arts District. Go from coffee at Smiths to tea and enjoy infusions at Tea Chai Te. Harness your artistic side at ADX Portland, a co-working space that offers tools for those wanting to learn wood or metalworking, jewelry design, or printmaking without the steep entry fee. (They also offer one-time learning courses, so check out their course catalog.) Finally, if all else fails, toast your trip and sample a local favorite, like Freehand Spirits or Vinn Distillery, which are owned by women. Chinese manufacturer on Distillery Row in Portland, or the LGBTQ-friendly Santé Bar.

You do not know where to start ? We have what you need. Here’s an introduction to some of the most interesting, Instagrammable, and downright fun spots in town.

Find the sign of the white deer

Are you even in Portland if you don’t break the city’s iconic welcome sign? After replacing everything from sugar to specialty products, it became the city’s local welcome sign after the city bought the property in 2009 and changed the lettering. If you visit around Christmas, be sure to snap a photo as the white stag magically transforms into Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Bonus: Voodoo Donuts is located just down the street. Do with this information what you want.

Go to Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion is an impressive 46-room estate located in the West Hills neighborhood of Portland. Even if you’re not an architectural chef with a taste for French chateau vibes and manicured flower gardens, it’s still a must visit for the city’s best vantage points and five major mountains. Cascade. (That would be Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Rainer, and Mount Jefferson.) Picnics are encouraged, so toast to a vibrant sunset or snack on a not-so-sneaky snack. while you enjoy the view.

Hike to the Witch’s Castle

There are many green things around the city. (No, we’re not talking about weeds, although that’s also legal.) Portland specializes in nature and local green spaces like Forest Park has over 70 miles of trails, so it’s entirely possible to go missing. in the wild at least for a bit. But you don’t have to fish for one Savage experience to refuel. For a less difficult but certainly rewarding walk through the woods, direct your feet to the Witch’s Castle. Located on the Lower Macleay Trail, the hike will take you about half a mile through the storybook-worthy woods (pictured) to the old sanitary facilities reclaimed by nature and steeped in local lore. (Not pictured, worth seeing for yourself.) Is this the scene of violent murders and witchcraft or just a local hangout that’s a nice place to rest your feet? Who can say?

Explore the Portland Japanese Garden

If dirty hiking boots aren’t your thing, get your fill of nature at Portland’s Japanese Gardens. The immaculately manicured 5.5 acre garden is a plant lover’s dream – lush and green in the summer, and a riot of red, orange and yellow in the fall. Slow your heart rate and breathe as you gaze into the Zen rock garden, marvel at ponds filled with koi carp, and stroll along paths lined with bonsai trees. Then rejuvenate with tea at Umami Café, a design inspired by Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera temple.

Eat as much as humanly possible

You don’t have to eat high-end food to enjoy memorable dining experiences in Portland. (Although given that chefs like Ripe Collective’s Naomi Pomeroy and Tusk’s Sam Smith call Portland home, you can certainly stock up on high-end fare.) For less expensive options, head to one of the many food cart modules in the city. . Taste traditional Japanese sandwiches at Katsu Sando, bite into a traditional Chinese pancake at Bing Mi or come face to face with local products at Farmer and The Beast.

Don’t forget the dessert! Portland is a city of donuts – and while you’re likely to upset a local, it’s worth stopping by Voodoo for one of its signature pink boxes. Just be sure to save room for Blue Star, which has made a name for itself with its complex “adult donut” flavors, which have included Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Cointreau Crème Brûlée and Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk. Finally, add ice cream to that obscene sweet buzz with Salt and Straw, a local favorite specializing in complex seasonal flavors, vegan options and unlimited taste testing. (COVID permitting.)

Instant street art

While you can’t always put a bird on it, Portland artists have managed to create masterpieces all over the place. While some have a permanent home, like the Velvet Underground/art fills the void tribute (SE 12th & Division street) or the Untitled flying old woman (412 SW 12th Ave), others can be an elusive find. For updated listings, and even a working map, be sure to check out Street Art in Portland.

Shop local at Powell’s Books

If reading makes you more attractive, then Powell’s might be the sexiest place in town. (Apologies to Portland’s vegan strip club.) The flagship location of Powell’s City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St.) is the largest independent bookstore in the world. Stroll through the block-sized store, snap a selfie of the iconic sign, and turn your reading list into an armful of books. Keep an eye out for her special events and cheeky staircase motivational posts. (Tracking example: “What do Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, Beatrix Potter and DH Lawrence have in common? They’re all self-published. Are you next?”)

Stay at a cute hotel

As one of the original homes of the Ace Hotel, Portland knows a thing or two about artistic digging. Snuggle up at the Hoxton, the second iconic British hotel property in the United States, which features artwork by local curator Upfor. Get back to elementary school with McMenamins Kennedy School, an Art Nouveau school building repurposed to house 57 hotel rooms and an on-site brewery. Or simply relax at Hotel Lucia (pictured above), an iconic hotel from 1909 with an Instagram-worthy modern lobby.

If you’ve fallen in love with Portland, book a trip here.



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