The saying "Keep Portland Weird" is synonymous with the PNW city of Portland. (although fun fact: it originated in Austin, TX!) Portland is an incredible city, laden with greenery and rose bushes. Also known as RIP City or The City of Roses, Portland offers a hipster subculture filled with great foodie stops, coffee shops, and the extreme drivability. You can be on the Oregon coast or hiking at Mount Hood within 1.5 hours. Unreal. I am jealous of these wildly cool amenities.
WHAT TO DO
1. NOB HILL
Of all the neighborhoods, this was our favorite. Walk the streets for unique Portland-esque homes, great coffee, and hipster shops. Easy parking too.
2. PITTOCK MANSION
Drive to the Pittock Mansion, situated on an enormous hill that looks over the city of Portland. You can tour the large, expansive mansion for a small fee, or you can park in the lot and walk around the mansions yard for free. Walk to the overlook (pictured below) which offers incredible views of Portland and even Mount Hood in the distance! Well worth the 10-15 minute detour from downtown.
3. KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD WALL
An iconic photo-op. It’s also directly across the original VooDoo Donuts if that’s your sort of thing. Not a great neighborhood, though, so be wary of your surroundings.
4. SCHOOLHOUSE ELECTRIC
For all of you readers who enjoy Hannah's home design blog posts, this bullet point is for you. Schoolhouse Electric is a leader in the home decor industry. Hannah was GEEKED to find the flagship store was in Portland.
5. Cannon Beach
An hour drive West, you'll hit Cannon Bach on the coast of Oregon. While slightly chilly (bring a blanket!), we were blown away by the beauty of the Oregon Coast. It is one of most spectacular scenes in the US.
WHAT TO EAT
1. BLUE STAR DONUTS
Blue Star Donuts > Voodoo Donuts. If you like long lines, fanfare and over the top heart attack donuts, head to Voodoo. If you actually want truly delicious donuts, in a clean, serene aesthetic, head to another local hot spot, Blue Star. With a handful of locations around the city, don’t miss the chance to get your donut on at BSD. We went to the Nob Hill location and loved it. Near lots of shops, a great coffee shop (Barista, more below), and restaurants.
But...we did stop at VOODOO too.
2. BAMBOO SUSHI
A dimly lit and truly upscale Portland sushi joint, you’ll find extremely unique takes on Asian food and sushi. The employees were super friendly and engaging, and walked through the nuances of each dish. The food was also spectacular. Must if near the Nob Hill neighborhood in Portland.
3. LAUGHING PLANET
An Oregon chain for fast and healthy food, we LOVED laughing planet. Flavorful, affordable, and tons of choices. We have changed our style when it comes to eating out on trips significantly in the last year or two. We find greater pleasure in a $10-12 per person local place, and not having to deal with a long wait, waiter, tips, drinks etc. We save a significant amount of $ while traveling simply by not drinking and eating at “quick” spots where you procure your own food. In fact, we typically get approximately 1 drink on each vacation, sometimes less. On this 17 day trip, we spent $16 on alcohol, total.
A trendy, spacious coffee shop that feels very homey. Awesome coffee and vibe. Oat milk and nitro cold brew were on point. Very near Blue Star in the Nob Hill hood. Definitely check them out!
5. EITHER/OR COFFEE
Near Reed College (which is mentioned extensively in Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz), Either/Or is a small coffee shop with laid back vibes. They also house make a pumpkin seed, cashew, almond and hemp seed milk. SUPER good. The barista there was awesome too. Great taste in music. (Playing Lomelda!)
We hope you enjoy Portland as much as we did!