It’s that time of year again! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, maybe you had the chance to read about last summer’s road trip with my best friend to Charleston, South Carolina; Caesar’s Head State Park, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Indian Seats hike. Last summer officially marked our first of many annual summer trips together, but this year, we went a little further!
This summer’s trip took a lot more research and a lot more planning than last year’s because we decided to take the leap across the country. That’s right… Rachel and Peyton took on the Pacific North West (background chants). I’ll be honest, a lot of inspiration behind these destinations came from certain Instagram accounts, that I’ve been following for a while, of people who live in the PNW and constantly showcase its natural beauty, charm, and 90% less humidity than Miami—or all of Florida, really. So, we decided to go for it and see for ourselves!
Spoiler alert: we were not disappointed.
Since our trip was only 8 days (well, it was supposed to be… but we’ll get to that later), we had to decide how long we’d stay in each city depending on what we wanted to do or see.
Up first: Portland, OR
Our time in Portland was definitely worth while, with all the quirks the city and its people have to offer! We had roughly 36 hours in Portland and had no time to waste. Although we couldn’t do/see absolutely everything in the city, we were still able to hit the most important spots that we wanted to and see what makes it so special. And yes, I know, Portland definitely deserves more than just 36 hours of time… however, sometimes you’ve just gotta take what you can get and make the best of it! Am I right?
Where we stayed
If you read my second to last post, you’ll know that I’m fond of Airbnb and its unique accommodations to stay in around the world. We found this gem in Eliot, a quaint neighborhood less than 3 miles from Downtown Portland. The location was very walkable, bike friendly, and a great neighborhood to stay in just outside the hustle and bustle of the city. Highly recommend!
36-hour Guide to Portland, OR
Breakfast at Tasty n Sons, 3808 N Williams Ave. You know a place is good when there’s a line of people waiting outside the door before opening in the morning—on a Wednesday. This place had some unique menu options, but definitely options worth trying!
After breakfast, head over to Portland’s very own in-city Chinese garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden 239 NW Everett St.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
The garden takes up an entire city block and is such a serene and unique part of the city. I’d say this is a must see. Every structure in the garden was handmade in China, specifically for this garden, shipped and put together in its current Chinatown location.
After wandering around the garden, walk over to Voodoo Doughnuts 22 SW 3rd Avenue. Supposedly there’s an on-going debate whether Voodoo or Blue Star Donuts is better. So, I guess you can’t go wrong with either. Although Voodoo did have some interesting toppings… I’ve heard that Blue Star has better donuts under the toppings. Since Voodoo was closer at the time, we chose to go there. If you decide on Blue Star or have already been, let me know in the comments how it was!
After your afternoon snack (and deliciously craft brewed coffee at Stumptown Coffee just down the street), a must-do is to explore the many book-filled rooms at Powell’s Books, the self-proclaimed world’s largest independently owned bookstore. I’ll admit that I missed good photos ops here because I was just too distracted by, well, the books. Depending how much of a book nerd you are, you could spend 30 minutes or 3+ hours in here. It’s easy to lose track of time in there, so set a time limit if you’re on a tight schedule!
Portland is also home to many, many farmer’s markets that you just can’t pass up! We were in the city on a Wednesday afternoon, and had the pleasure of stopping by the market in Shemanski Park to find a plethora of berries, the prettiest bouquets of flowers, and kombucha! Find the Portland Farmers Market schedule here.
After the market, we went back to the Airbnb to rest/freshen up before meeting a friend who recently moved to Portland from Miami. We went for 5 o’clock happy hour at Clyde Common, 1014 SW Stark St.
Try the Daily Punch, you won’t be disappointed!
If by this time, you’re still up for more exploring, head over to the International Rose Test Garden and Portland’s Japanese Garden, which are right across the street from each other. I’ve heard great things about both of these places and only wish we had more time to check them out while we were there!
*Note, depending on the month of your visit, the rose garden is best when the flowers are in full bloom… so be sure to double check before your visit 🙂
Also, #bloggerfail for not documenting our dinner after happy hour. Oops! All I know is that it was a local pizza parlor, and it was delicious. Pizza is always delicious.
And finally, a great way to end a full day in Portland is, of course, celebratory drinks at Victoria Bar.
Get the Fitzgerald! 20/10, would recommend. (Yes, you read that correctly).
After a drink or two (or 6), get some rest for another early start tomorrow! *Depending on the duration of your stay, of course*
Breakfast at Gravy, 3957 N Mississippi Ave. Again, a line out the door! This is one of Portland’s most popular breakfast spots, so don’t miss out! And yes, I know my order may look super basic…. but it’s my favorite, and it doesn’t taste basic. It’s always delicious. I promise.
After breakfast, take time explore the cute vintage shops in this area or you can head down to the neighborhood of Hawthorne, home to more vintage shops and cute boutiques!
Sigh… and just like that, our time in Portland came to an end. Literally still sad about it… Thankfully, we still had more planned and lots to see in the upcoming days! I hope this guide to Portland works as good for you as it did for Peyton and me!
Until next time… Stay weird, Portland.