Portland is a coffee addict and foodie’s dream. You can easily spend a weekend drinking more coffee than needed and eating your way through the city. My friend, Alex, let me intrude on her on a whim weekend in Portland back in 2016. Other than the food and coffee scene I wasn’t overly impressed with the city. I guess I was expecting it to be a bigger city, like Seattle.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been wanting to give Portland a second chance. While doing some more research and my first experience with the city, I’ve put together a list of 8 things you need to do while in Portland.
Yes, you read that right! There is no sales tax in Oregon which makes Portland the perfect shopping destination. Whether you’re in the market for a new camera or iPhone or just want some new clothes, Portland is the place to make those purchases.
2. Drink LOTS of Coffee
It seemed like when Alex and I were walking around Downtown Portland, every street we went down had a coffee shop we just HAD to try. Our weekend in Portland was heavily caffeinated. A few of my favorite shops are Barista, Heart Roasters, Public Domain and of course Stumptown.
The food scene in Portland is unreal! You can find anything you may be in the mood for. Alex and I picked restaurants on a whim and were never disappointed. Some of our favorites include Picnic House, Mother’s Bistro, The Daily Feast, Pastini Pastaria, Tasty N Alder, and Portland City Grill.
For Doughnuts, I’m sure you’ve heard of the great Blue Star vs. Voodoo battle. Both have great doughnuts, but there are others in the city that should be given a try as well, such as Sesame Donuts, or Coco Donuts.
4. Drink some beer
If you’re a beer connoisseur, Portland is your city! In 2018, there were 60-plus breweries in Portland. I’m not a huge fan of beer but when you’re in a town that is known for something I feel like you need to try it out. We went to Fat Head’s Brewery and did a beer flight.
Unfortunately, Fat Head’s closed its doors in early 2018. A new brewery is supposed to take its place.
5. Get outdoors
Portland has lots of open green space. Our first stop was actually Washington Park, which is a vast park that has a lot of different sections to explore. There is a zoo, a Japanese Garden, Children’s Museum, arboretum, and the International Rose Test Garden.
Even if you just walk everywhere, weather permitting, and soak up the fresh air. Portland is a very walkable city.
6. Visit a museum
There are plenty to choose from. OMSI, PICA, Blue Sky and of course the Portland Art Museum. We went to the art museum, at the time it had a fantastic Andy Warhol exhibit. They still have some Warhol on display if that interests you.
7. Visit Powell’s Books
This isn’t a bookstore, it’s a small city. You can easily spend hours and hours just roaming the different sections. I don’t think Alex, and I even got through the whole store, it’s that big!
8. Search for signs and street art
There is beautiful street art in Portland, just waiting to be found. Also, while you’re out roaming around look for the famous “Keep Portland Weird” sign and the “Portland Oregon” neon sign by the waterfront.
Some Important Info
Flying into PDX is a breeze. It’s one of the most efficient airports I’ve ever flown in or out of.
You can catch the light rail straight from the airport, it’s clean, cheap and fast, just the way I like my public transportation.
I mentioned it earlier but, it’s worth another mention. Downtown Portland is very walkable and easy to navigate.
If you’re planning on visiting Multnomah Falls like we were it’s important to know it’s a 30-minute drive from Portland and you’ll need a car.
We stayed at the Westin Portland, but it is now closed. There are plenty of other affordable hotel options in the heart of Downtown Portland, it just depends on when you are visiting.
There you have it! 8 things you have to do when visiting Portland. Did I forget anything? Have you been to Portland? What were your thoughts on the city? Let me know in the comments! Mahalo for reading!