Portland is one of my favorite cities in the world because of the environment and food. Last weekend, we were able to visit Portland for the second time last weekend for a wedding on Mt. Hood. We spent more time in the mountains this year, but here is a short travel guide for the whole area.
Where to stay
In Portland, stay at the Ace Hotel. It’s a centrally located boutique hotel with a beautiful lobby and artsy rooms.
Try something new in Hood River and stay at Westcliff Lodge. Enjoy one of the glamping sites for the night. Hike a short distance through the beautiful woods to your own little oasis. This is camping for even the least outdoorsy people. If sleeping in nature with no electricity is not your thing, then stay in one of the rooms in the lodge.
What to do
Walk around town and visit the many unique neighborhoods. Portland has some of the coolest neighborhoods, each with their own flair and style. Jump on the train or bus and neighborhood hop during your visit. Pop in and out of the shops and
Visit Powell’s Books. Powell’s books is the world’s largest used and new book store. Step through the Rare Book Room too.
Between Hood River and Portland is a beautiful tourist destination, Multhnomah Falls. Hike up the falls to the famous bridge, or go all the way to the top. Either way, you will have an opportunity to get some beautiful photos.
In Hood River/Mt. Hood
Hike along the Columbia River and around the mountain. Take in the views from all angles.
Spend a day at the river. Rent a boat, kayak, paddleboard, or just jump in for a swim.
Visit the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area for beautiful views of the Columbia River.
Where to eat/drink
Portland has some of the best foodie spots with all of their local and innovative chefs and restaurant concepts. Here are some places to try out on your next visit to Portland.
My favorite restaurant in Portland (I have been 3 times in the 2 times we visited) is Tasty n Alder. I love that it is open for brunch every day, so I don’t have to wait until the weekend to enjoy a mimosa and my favorite foods. The menu is tapas style, meant to be shared. Order the chocolate potato doughnut, fried egg and cheddar biscuit, and bim bop bacon and eggs.
The Waiting Room is a beautiful restaurant that offers southern cuisine with Northwest ingredients and inspiration. Order the deviled eggs, cornmeal hushpuppies, confit pork belly, and any of the delicious rotating sides.
Portland does not have a variety of chain restaurants, which is one of my favorite things about the city. However, a local chain that all Portlandians support is McMenamins. Since 1983, they have opened many restaurants, pubs, hotels, movie theaters and more. They create their own beer, wine, spirits and coffee too. Colton and I visited several restaurants and pubs during our time in Portland, but one of my favorites is the Kennedy School. Check out this historic elementary school turned hotel, bar, restaurant and entertainment center. Walk the halls and pop in one of the several bars, or step into the cafeteria for the best school lunch or dinner of your life.
For a quick drink or a good meal, stop by Sidecar 11 on Mississippi Avenue. This whiskey bar has something for everyone on their menu. The mac and cheese is delicious.
If you are a fan of The Princess Bride, then you will love the menu at Victoria Bar. Colton and I were lucky enough to visit this bar on opening night. He was the first person to break a glass in the whole bar, true story. It’s a beautiful bar with delicious drinks, and right down Mississippi from Sidecar 11.
Another fun bar is Rum Club. Choose from one of their many rum cocktails or other craft cocktails on their menu.
Ruby Jewel is another fun ice cream shop. Get a cone, cup, or ice-cream in-between two homemade cookies.
Voodoo Donught is a well known hot spot and tourist attraction. Expect to wait in a long line for mediocre donuts. Yes, they are pretty and Instagram worthy, but all the locals will tell you to go to Blue Star Donuts.
If you make your way to Hood River, check out the cute downtown. There are a ton of little shops and restaurants. Stop by the Oak Street Pub for a drink on their patio. They have peanut butter beer, so I was happy.
Lastly, before you leave Portland, visit the House Spirits Distillery (in the airport or in town). For $15 you can try 4 or their 5 cocktails on a flight. It’s the perfect way to pass the time in the airport. They make their own spirits,
Have you been to Portland or Hood River? Do you want to visit? Leave me a comment below.