Portland is known for being a trendy, hipster-filled city with an abundance of food trucks, independently-owned coffee shops and of course, microbreweries.
A 6.5-hour drive away from Vancouver, it’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway.
While in Portland, there’s a few things you must do. Check out our top picks you have to check out during your stay.
People travel to Portland just for the food. It’s known as being a food truck city for good reason. You can indulge in delicious street food all over the city but especially between Southwest Alder and Washington Streets. It’s the largest collection of food carts and you’ll find tons of people here grabbing some grub for lunch. There’s also a plethora of amazing restaurants, like Ataula, the Original Dinerant and Paley’s Place, just to name a few. The Original Dinerant is situated in the Marriott hotel and was featured on the hit TV series “Diner’s, Drive-In’s and Dives” with hilarious host Guy Fieri. The menu features favourites like avocado toast, donut sliders and the classic chicken and waffles.
Sure it’s also food, but Voodoo Doughnut deserves their own section because the popular doughnut joint is a must when in Portland. Whether you love them or think they’re overhyped, it’s a place you must visit. Without fail, there’s always a line up outside their eccentric shop. Their doughnuts include bacon maple bar, the loop, oh captain my captain, a NSFW option and much more.
You won’t be able to visit every brewery Portland has to offer but you might as well try. Some brew pubs you definitely want to hit up are: Fat Head’s Brewery, Hopworks Bikebar, Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, Deschutes Brewery, Rogue Distillery and Public House, and Kells Brew Pub. If wine is more your speed, visit Hip Chicks Do Wine or Urban Crush Winery. Another cool spot for a drink is Multnomah Whiskey Library. The vintage style lounge boasts brick walls and features over 1,500 spirits and small plates.
The independent bookstore, Powell’s City of Books is a big deal for Portlanders. The landmark multi-level store sells both new and used books, as well as other gift items. This place is a must for avid readers, as there’s around a million books in store. Plus, it’s a great spot to people watch. You’ll want to get lost here, and you likely will despite getting a store map when arriving. Another popular spot is the Pittock Mansion, which is a French Renaissance-style Chateau nestled in the West Hills of Portland. It was originally built in 1909 and it’s brimming with history. Make a day of it by going on the trailhead to the mansion and then taking a guided tour.
Portland isn’t just for food and beers. There’s a lot of scenic spots to take in too. The International Rose Test Garden is located in the lush Washington Park and has over 7,000 rose plants, of over 550 varieties. Portland is home to a stunning and peaceful Japanese Garden, also located in Washington Park. For all the tree huggers, you must visit Forest Park. The beautiful park is a whopping 5,157-acres, making it one of the largest urban forests in the U.S. Last but certainly not least, you can’t make it to Portland without heading for a drive along the Oregon Coast and hitting up one of the many pristine beaches. Cannon Beach is a popular coastal city in the northwest of Oregon, featuring the iconic Haystack Rock, long sandy shores and breathtaking ocean views.
Besides eating, drinking, hanging on the beach and soaking up scenery—check out some of the other activities Portland has to offer. Try indoor skydiving at iFLY and soar through the wind tunnel in a fun and safe environment. Visit the Oregon Zoo, that takes up 64-acres in the West Hills. Looking for a movie night with a twist? Try one of Portland’s “brew n’ view” theatres which makes movies better by offering beer, and other pub favourites. Don’t forget to shop til’ you drop, the great thing about Portland is you don’t have to pay tax.
All-in-all, Portland has a lot to offer if you’re looking for a weekend getaway from Vancouver. Be sure to bring your stretchy pants though, your calorie intake will be in overload.
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