Jake and I are both April babies, which is super fun for us because we get to be the same age for 12 days of the month! Instead of buying birthday presents for one another, we decided that it would be way more fun to have an experience with each other and travel south to Portland! Without the nightmare traffic of Southern Washington, it should be about a 3-hour drive. We spent almost 7 hours in the car, but luckily we had plenty of music and were planning our next couple days. We had the BEST 48 hours and are happy to share our experience with anyone who needs a quick weekend getaway to Portland!
10 am: Head to Barista on Nob Hill to start your day off with a yummy caffeine boost! We had the Oregon hazelnut sauce latte and their bittersweet chocolate mocha, of course it’s served with beautiful latte art! We ordered for here mugs to get our game plan set for the rest of the day and to smell the good coffee being roasted!
10:20 am: Nob Hill had some super cute and local stores that we poked around in. One of our favorites was Will Leather Goods a Eugene-based company by the Adler family that has honorable mentions from one of my favorite gals, Joanna Gaines! Their “Family House” store front is the one we spent about 30 minutes in, marveling at all of the beautiful leather goods. They have a really cute, colorful patio in the back of the store that is totally Instagram-worthy. Oh, and they offer you free espresso… yes please!
11:00 am: There are a few farmer’s markets in the PDX area that run on Saturday and Sunday, we went to the one located on SW Park Ave on the Portland State Campus! Coming from Seattle the street parking here is REALLY cheap and pretty quick to find, around $1 an hour. We walked the market and grabbed a tamale to share, YUM. There are tons of fresh produce, flowers, and different locally made products to buy. Many people have card readers, but there are ATM’s located on site! After you’re done with the market check out the campus for some historic buildings and gorgeous greenery that engulf it.
Noon: Drive to the Pearl District and park anywhere you can find! Head to Powell’s Books the World’s largest independently owned bookstore, and be ready to have your mind blown. 68,000 sq ft. of floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books on pretty much any subject you can think of! Many of them are used books, which makes the prices reasonable and all different depending on the condition of the book. There are a ton of fun souvenirs and knick-knack items that every bookworm will love.
There are a ton of stores around this district, so if you like to shop you can find some good brands here! Some of the ones we shopped in were Buffalo Exchange, Patagonia, Danner, Athleta, and much more. We did mostly window shopping since this area is a little spendy, but there are plenty of other shops we didn’t make it to that were probably more in our price range.
2:00 pm: Lunch time! Just a short walk down SW 10th ave you’ll find a large collection of Portland’s claims to fame- FOOD TRUCKS! There we tons of options and we took a lap before deciding on what to wait in line for. Jake got a delicious Chicken Shwarma and I went to The Whole Bowl, who’s tagline is “it’s like eating a hug.” And wow are they right, with their simple ingredients and their killer homemade sauce it will have you craving it for days after. We sat in O’Bryant Square and enjoyed our food truck finds while watching some pigeons try to find leftovers!
3:00 pm: Head down to the Historic Waterfront District (home to another farmers market) and check out Pedal Bike Tours on 2nd and Ash St. Their staff was super friendly and rented us two bikes for $10 an hour. We rode on the Waterfront Park trail, crossed the Steel Bridge, and went down the East Bank to Tilikum Bridge and back again. Only taking about 30 min. We spent the rest of our hour weaving around different neighborhoods and bridges until we returned the bikes back! This was the most fun way to see the city, especially on a nice spring day! (A rare occasion)
4:30 pm: A bit outside of the city, around 7 miles NW, is Cathedral Park, which is located under the St. John’s Bridge! The pop of sea green on the bridge looked amazing with the surrounding hillsides, and the unique architecture underneath the bridge is breathtaking. The lines and symmetry of the structure is a photo bugs dream. There are a lot of local people who enjoy this park and the surprising quietness of it was much different from the city buzz!
5:30 pm: We headed back to our motel in Beaverton to regroup and freshen up (the less you spend on a hotel the more you’ll be able to spend on excursions, plus we didn’t spend any time there and were only there to sleep!)
7:30 pm: One of the best views in town has to be from the U.S. Bancorp Tower. On the 30th floor, there is a restaurant and bar, Portland City Grill. If you are of age, head into the bar and wait until you can get a booth by the window. Trust me, it’s worth it. We lucked out with a sunny day so the sunset was gorgeous, but even from the restaurant side of the building, the view is one not to be missed. We ordered a few starters and drinks to save room for dessert. Their crab cakes are to die for.
9:00 pm: If you are dessert fans like we are we suggest ending the evening by heading to Papa Haydn’s. They have two locations, we went for the one in the Pearl District. Their desserts are so exquisite and decadent and will leave you scraping the plate for scraps. They have over thirty options of amazing things to choose from, and this place holds true to “seeing is believing” with a case displaying some of their featured desserts. The banana cream coconut pie changed my life.
10:30 am: Late start due to checking out from where we were staying, but back into the city for some more before we headed home! We checked out a cute coffee shop on 12th and Alder St called Heart. This local coffee roasting cafe has a clean and bright look to it, with a black exterior and white brick interior. Their brewed coffee was really good quality, and we had a good cold brew here too. We liked this place a lot, and they have some fun pops of color on their bagged beans.
11:00 am: Across the street from Heart is one of a few Kure Juice Bars in PDX. My obsession with açai bowls brought us here, and it did not disappoint. Try their Bowl of The Gods if you are a berry and peanut butter fan, or if you need something more filling their oatmeal bowls were awesome too!
11:30 am: Being from WA we knew we wanted to take advantage of the no sales tax in Oregon, another reason why we stayed in a motel a few towns away, so we spent most of the afternoon shopping! We bounced around from the local shops near Alder, all the way to the Washington Square Mall area. The Nordstrom Rack is huge and was very good to us, and our wallets.
3:00 pm: As most of you know shopping builds up a strong appetite, and we heading towards the other side of the Portland city (Vancouver side of the river) and hit up a local Mexican restaurant on Hawthorne Blvd. for Happy Hour called ¿Por Que No?. With homemade chips, generously salted, a strong and tart house lime margaritas, and street tacos, who wouldn’t be happy? Their Pescado was so delicious, and make sure to check out their specials!
4:00 pm: Before heading out of the city we stopped at this fun little place on the same side of the river called Cheese & Crack. This place serves wine, cheese and salami boards, plus tons of other fun snacks with their own twist on them. It’s a dream really. We stuck with dessert and grabbed some soft serve cones from them, which surprise, came with espresso sprinkles and hidden chocolate ganache at the bottom of the cone. Yes, they tasted as good as they sound.
5:00 pm: We drove about 37 miles East to check out Multnomah Falls, and luckily the sun was still shining and it wasn’t too windy. After walking across the iconic bridge there are a few trails that lead to loops, and a viewpoint of the falls. It’s about a one-mile hike to the top of the falls, but totally worth it. The trail is paved too so even if you don’t have your hiking shoes with you, you can still make it up there no problem! We did it in Converse and Chacos. Stunning views await at the top, and it brings to life the legend of the Multnomah Princess who sacrificed herself for her loved ones to bring health back to her people. It really is a breathtaking sight.
After the falls we walked as slow as we could back to the car and headed on home. We had SO much fun in PDX and there was so much more that we wanted to do! 48 hours were not enough but we will be back again. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about our time, and that you’ll consider some of our recommendations! What are some of your favorite places and things to do in Portland? Ta-Ta for now 🙂