Portland + Hood River Travel Guide

August 1, 2017

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.

Cooler and jug of water

Morning view

What to do

In Portland

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.

I mentioned Salt and Straw in my Eating Your Way Through Los Angeles post. Colton and I have an obsession with this place. If you are in a state with one, go. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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.

We obviously like chocolate donuts. They tasted ok, but everyone we talked to says try Blue Star.

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.

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  • Olivia Stacey August 1, 2017 at 7:57 am

    I loved reading about your adventures in Portland and looking through your photos– so beautiful! I’ve never been, but can’t wait to check out a few of these places. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • San August 1, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Oh my, Westcliff Lodge looks amazing

  • Jessica@HappilyHughes August 1, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    This is an area I have always wanted to visit. Multnomah Falls is on my list of must-see places and your photos are just gorgeous. It looks like there are so many things I would love to do and see.

  • Chef Dennis August 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I have never been to Portland. But after seeing all of your delicious images its going on my must visit list!

  • Elaine August 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I also live in the Dallas area and have been following your Insta for about a month or so. I saw the pictures of your glamping experience and my fiance and I have decided to go to Westcliff Lodge for our honeymoon! Thanks for the great inspiration and hopefully we will see some of these places while we are there!

  • Adriana Lopez Martn August 1, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Portland is on my list of spots to visit this year so I appreciate all the tips. Love the Pacific Northwest. Your pictures are amazing I hope I can make it there this October. Cant wait to try those VooDoo donuts.

  • Beth Kondrick August 2, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Ooh all of this food looks so good! I have always wanted to try Voodoo Doughnuts! I would totally do that glamping tent stay too, it seems like my kind of camping, lol!

  • Julie Torres August 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    This place looks amazing and your picture is beautiful!

  • Akaleistar August 2, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I’ve never been to Portland, but I would love to go glamping!

  • Denay DeGuzman August 2, 2017 at 10:33 am

    The natural beauty of Portland is amazing! Two of my nieces, former Californians, now live in Portland. There’s just so much to love about that whole area. I need to go glamping at Westcliff Lodge in Hood River! The fun accommodations remind me of Yosemite’s Curry Village.

  • Candy Rachelle August 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

    We lived in Eugene, OR for two years about three years ago and visited Portland about every other week or weekend. The one place I hate I never visited was Mt. Hood. My fiance has been there several time for the snow. Hopefully when I go back to visit Eugene, I can pay Mt. Hood a nice visit.

  • Dyana August 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Portland’s scenery is breathtaking! I’ve never been out of the U.S. but one day I would like to put on my big girl panties and travel to different places. Your photography is beautiful! What camera do you use?

  • Jane Davidson | Typically Jane August 2, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I was just in Portland and talking about Powell’s a little bit on my blog today too! LOVE that city! And OMG those glamping sites! That is SO going on my bucket list!

  • Deanna August 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I love the tent!! It looks so peaceful and tranquil! I need that. Your photos!! WOW! I never imagined Portland to be like this!

  • Divya August 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Of all the places you mentioned, I have only been to Voodoo. I definitely need to plan a trip there soon! So much to do/see! (AND EAT!)

  • Roxy August 2, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Portland is such a great place to visit! I’ve been a couple times and there’s so many places to go!

  • Lee Anne August 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Love Portland! All these pictures are so pretty, looks like a great time.

    Lee Anne

  • Rachel Ritlop August 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Oh wow you got some great pics! Looks like you had a great time!

  • Andrea @ The Petite Cook August 3, 2017 at 12:40 am

    What an incredible place! And the food looks totally amazing! Gotta put Portland to my travel wishlist 🙂

  • Elise Cohen Ho August 3, 2017 at 12:47 am

    I so want to go glamping. I imagine that it is incredibly fun and elegant all at once.

  • Amber August 3, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Wow that place makes camping look fun. Haha. Great pictures!

  • Carol Cassara August 3, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I will gladly stay in Portland Hood River any day! It’s beautiful out there and your tent just made it more awesome! Everything there is picturesque! It’s definitely worth going to.

  • Vicki August 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    We must check out the food scene in Portland! Wow, everything looks so good. The scenery and lodging look quite relaxing too!

  • Allison August 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Omg now I really really really want to go to Portland! I’ve been to Portland, Maine but clearly need to visit the other Portland!

  • Lauren August 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Let me know when you are in town next! I can show you some other local faves 🙂 Thank you for visiting and writing this awesome post! Also, what camera do you use?

  • Maryanne | the little epicurean August 3, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Great travel guide! I would totally try glamping. Looks fun!

  • Ashley August 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    My husband and I have been talking about making the drive to Portland! Bookmarking this for when we are there!!! I want to check out Tasty n Alder. It looks so good!!!

  • Sheryl August 4, 2017 at 6:38 am

    This is an absolutely fantastic post and I don’t even know where to begin commenting. The cocktail flight here is beautiful as are all of your outdoor photos. Also, thanks for being someone who is honest about a food you tried. I think too often bloggers search for “beautiful” shots and aren’t honest about the taste. I have friends in Portland and need to make plans to visit.

  • Melissa August 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Portland is on my list of places to visit and this glamping property looks amazing. I will definitely keep this in mind when I finally make it out there.

  • Kate August 19, 2017 at 7:55 am

    This trip looks like an absolute dream! I’m practically booking my ticket. I could absolutely handle that type of camping. And those mountains look so majestic. I might copy your entire itinerary here.

  • Sarah August 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Gorgeous pictures and helpful tips. Portland is on my list and will definitely try to get out of the city now too.

  • Tarah Vongbouthdy August 20, 2017 at 12:18 am

    We live in Portland, so its always fun to see what visitors like to do! There is so much to see and do in Portland and Hood River!