Portland is a very cool city with a vibe I haven’t found anywhere else! It is surrounded by water and forestry that creates a beautiful backdrop for downtown where you can find great food, drinks, shopping, and entertainment. Now that we have lived in the Portland area for a month, I wanted to share some of my favorite places to go and places to eat with you all! I feel so lucky to live here and I’m sure that in another month, I will have even more places to tell you about!
Where To Go
Pearl District: Located in the industrial district, you will love the shabby-chic ambiance of the area as you take in the old buildings with the updated attractions. The Pearl District offers an array of bars, restaurants, art galleries, shops and parks to browse through. Check out BridgePort BrewPub for lunch and for a more finer dining experience, go to Bluehour.
Multnomah Falls: If you’re lucky enough to spend more than a day in Portland, plan for a quick drive up to the falls! Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state, but a quick 2.4 mile roundtrip hike that will provide you with gorgeous pictures! At the entrance there is a gift shop, information center, coffee stand, and a restaurant. After your hike, reward yourself with one of their super tasty cinnamon rolls that is perfect for sharing! (Free admission!)
Cathedral Park: Once you see the park, you’ll understand where its name comes from. This park offers trails, river front views, boat launches, and an off-leash area for your 4-legged family members. Whether you’re traveling solo or with others, this gem is a must! You are going to want pictures, so if you are traveling alone bring a selfie stick!
Mt. Tabor Park: Another lovely park in Portland, this is a great place to go and relax for a couple hours or throw the ball around with the kids. This park has lovely trails and offers stunning views of the city. It holds a special place in my heart because it is where we had our engagement photos done. ♥
What To Do
Oregon Museum of Science and Technology: I’ve been to my share of museums, and this is one of my absolute favorites! OMSI is perfect for all ages as there are interactive exhibits and attractions including a planetarium and submarine tour. Their exhibits change every couple months, but never disappoint! For example, when we went, we had to try and solve a mystery murder in an interactive Sherlock Holmes exhibition. So fun! We are going back in a few weeks for their Pompeii exhibit! Pricing depends on what attractions you want to see, but are really reasonable! General admission starts at $14 for adults, but can go up or down depending on what attractions you’re interested in. Click here for more pricing information!
Shopping: Guess what? Oregon has NO sales tax, allowing you to bring back souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones! Washington Square is a large mall with department stores such as Sephora, Macy’s, Lucky Brand, Lululemon and Lush! If you’re willing to drive a little outside of Portland, go to Bridgeport Village! It is a gorgeous outdoor mall that offers great shopping, dining, and entertainment!
Portland Saturday Market: As the largest continuously run market in the U.S., this lovely outside market is not one to skip! Locals gather to share their talents and fresh goods for reasonable prices from March-to late December. ($-$$)
Sporting Events: My husband loves the Portland Trailblazers and now that we are locals, I am certain we will be attending some of the games! If you enjoy soccer, you can also come and watch our local team: The Portland Timbers. You can find schedules and tickets at Stubhub.
Portland Theater and Ballet: We have had the opportunity to attend The Nutcracker and A Midnight Summer’s Dream in downtown Portland and were very impressed! There are several theaters in the area, but you can find tickets to most events here.
Clark County Fair: If you come during the first week of August, check out the huge county fair in Vancouver, WA (just over the bridge from Portland). There are events and attractions for all ages and plenty of good fair food! Tickets are normally $11 for a one day pass for adults and $8 for ages 7-12 (6 and under is free!), but if you plan ahead of time you can buy them in advance for $2 less. Rides cost extra, but you can buy an all day ride pass for $30 in advance!
Where To Eat
Portland Food Trucks: It would be an incomplete trip to not experience the food trucks in downtown Portland. Locals and visitors love coming to the downtown hub where they can enjoy delicious and inexpensive fare. I guarantee that there will be a cart for whatever you’re in the mood for! There is plenty to choose from no matter your budget or food restrictions!
Le Bistro Montage: I love this place! Located in the downtown industrial district, the warehouse turned chic restaurant has a really cool vibe. Montage serves up cajun-creole food such as gator bites, gumbo, and fried chicken. I suggest ordering their well-known macaroni that comes in several flavors of your choice such as Roasted Garlic and Bacon, Spicy, and Green Basil Pesto. You’ll most likely have leftovers, but don’t expect them to give you the typical to-go box. They take wrapping left-overs to a whole new level! ($$)
Mt.Tabor Brewing: There are two locations: Portland and Vancouver! The original is in Portland, but I’m very fortunate that I only have a ten minute drive whenever I’m craving their perfect wood-fire pizzas. What I love is that their menu is different and stays true to the uniqueness of Portland. This is a great place for lunch, dinner or Happy Hour! We drool over the Strawberry Fields pizza, but whatever you order, you’ll be very happy. ($-$$)
Pok Pok: If you ask any Portlander where they go for Thai, I would bet money they would tell you to go here. Pok Pok serves up delicious and authentic Thai cuisine that is perfect for family-style eating. I recommend the Sii Khrong Muu Yaang (Thai style baby back ribs) and their signature Vietnamese fish sauce wings. Oh, and don’t worry! There is nothing wrong with the water! They use Pandanus leaves to flavor the water which is traditional to Northern Thailand. ($$)
Burgerville: Locals go crazy over this place and it’s easy to know why after coming here! The menu is pretty traditional in terms of a fast-food burger joint, but sets itself apart by their freshness, local ingredients, and shakes! Their Walla Walla onion rings and Oregon Marionberry Milkshake are great after a late night out or on your trip home! Keep in mind that some flavors are seasonal because of their commitment to food quality. ($)
Voodoo Doughnuts: DO NOT GO HOME WITHOUT COMING HERE!! These doughnuts have been featured on Food Network because of how delicious and completely outrageous they are. Seriously, people get married here because of how much of a Portland staple it is! With traditional and completely unique flavors, there is something for everybody. Our favorites include the Voodoo Doll, Raspberry Romeo, Bacon Maple Bar and Dirty Old Bastard. ($) FYI: Several of the doughnut names are a bit mature for younger audiences. My advice: Look through the menu online before going and get your little’s order if you’re not wanting them to go in the shop.
Blue Star Donuts: Another well-known doughnut shop in the city, Blue Star creates unique treats like Blueberry Bourbon Basil and Crème Brûlée! If those are a bit much for your tastes, no worries! They have mouth watering lemon poppy seed and old-fashion buttermilk doughnuts that I’ve been dreaming about since I had it this past weekend. ($)
All of the above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discovering all that Portland has to offer! I cannot wait to continue finding new things to love about my new home! Are there any places you suggest? Questions? Comment below!