I’ve been waiting to go on a trip to put together a travel guide for you guys, and so when I went to Portland, I knew that my first blog post when I got back would be a Portland travel guide.
Portland is a great city that has risen in popularity over the last several years. It’s known as the “City of Roses” or “where young people go to retire”. If you’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, Portland is a great place to start (and you can easily couple it with Seattle and Vancouver!).
Now, as a disclaimer, everyone might be in a city for different reasons and want to see different attractions. I’ve been to Portland quite a number of times before this trip, so I have my fair share of recommendations, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to see.
Without further ado, here are my must-see spots in Portland.
1 // Powell’s Books
Powell’s Books is a Portland institution. It’s a bookstore that takes up a full city block (think of Macy’s in NYC). After visiting Strand in NYC, I just had to make sure I stopped at Powell’s on this trip. Each room has a different grouping of both new and used books, perfect for any bibliophile. If you are planning on stopping, give yourself some time to explore as there is a lot to see. I ended up purchasing one book, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Last Tycoon”. I have been on the hunt for this book for a while and the only place I have been able to find it is Amazon. So when I came across it in Powell’s, I just had to buy it!
2 // White Stag Sign
This is an iconic Portland landmark. Just Google “Portland Oregon” and chances are it is the first image that will pop up. I’m a sucker for a good yet basic Instagram photo so I really wanted to make a stop at the sign while I was there. It’s located right on the Willamette River so you can’t miss it.
3 // Seafood, specifically sushi
Since I live in Colorado, it’s very rare that I get my hands on some fresh seafood, so I just had to partake when I was in Portland. My sister and I decided to go for some sushi. We went to this fun little place called Sushi Ichiban where it was set up like a traditional sushi restaurant, complete with a train where you could pull plates of sushi off of it to eat. Not only that, it was so inexpensive (the good kind, not the kind that will give you food poisoning — I didn’t get any so I can vouch for it). For less than $10, I got six pieces of sushi, a BBQ pork bun, and some miso soup.
4 // Donuts
Portland is known for Voodoo Donuts. If you haven’t been, it’s a donut shop filled with wacky donuts, both in looks and in flavors. Seeing as we have one in Denver and I’ve already been, my sister and I thought it would be a good idea to try a different shop. We settled on Blue Star Donuts, where the quality of the donuts is emphasized over the quantity. It featured five flavors to choose from. I chose one flavored with chocolate and bergamot, and it was amazing. It also had something I’ve never seen before: nitro chai! Think of cold brew, but instead of coffee, it’s chai concentrate. I tried it and it was amazing. Someone please take the idea to Starbucks.
5 // Crown Point
We didn’t end up making it up to Crown Point on this trip, but I have been there in the past. It’s an awesome lookout point to the Columbia River, which naturally separates Washington and Oregon. In the summertime, it’s so green and beautiful. If you have some time to drive a little outside of the city, it’s worth the trek.
6 // Oregon Coast
Ok, so it’s not really “Portland” per se, but if you want to venue an hour outside of the city, you can hit the Oregon Coast. Be warned: it’s a cold beach since it’s the North Pacific, so swimming won’t necessarily be in the cards. But if you just want to see the water and walk on the sand, you can do that no problem.
7 // Aerial Tram
In Portland, there is an aerial tram you can take not only to get a great view, but travel from one area of town to another. Little did we know that it would take you right into the OHSU health center at the top. If you want a good view of the city without much effort, I highly recommend taking this unconventional mode of transportation.
8 // Multnomah Falls
If you are driving to Oregon, along the Columbia River, you will find Multnomah Falls. It’s 600 feet of picturesque waterfalls surrounded by scenic hiking trails. So if you are in Oregon for the outdoors, Multnomah Falls is definitely a place you should stop.
Now, I know I didn’t cover everything there is to see and do in Portland and in the surrounding areas. But if you are in some need for some ideas of things to do, this list should be a good start.
Is Portland on your bucket list?