If you’re looking to make a short jaunt and get outta town for a few days, Portland is a great place to do it. A five hour drive from Vancouver, it’s far enough away that it feels like a vacation, but not too far that you can’t fit it into a weekend. Plus, Seattle makes a great pit stop on the way.
Here are my favourite things to do in Portland.
After only two days, I felt like if I ate another thing I’d burst! But the culinary adventure that is Portland just keeps on giving. My personal favourites – indulging in pub grub at a local brewery and a little southern home style cooking.
2337, East Burnside Street
Recommended to us by a friend of a friend, The Screen Door is outside of downtown, in a friendly little neighbourhood and was buzzing with activity. A 20 minute walk from our hotel, we waited 30 minutes for a table and got one outside on the patio. The host was cool and calm in front of the hungry crowd, the bartender comp’d one of our drinks, just because, and the wait staff were super friendly. As you can seen from the below pictures, the food was ammmmazing and the portion sizes were generous. Mmmm… corn bread!
210 NW 11th Ave
Now, from what we heard, we could have walked into any of the fine breweries in Portland and had an excellent experience enjoying craft beer and pub eats. We happened to stumble upon Deschutes one afternoon for a snack. It was happy hour, appies were cheap and feature beers were too! The place was extremely busy as locals had just finished work and headed for the bar. Deschutes has some picnic bench tables outside, which is what first caught our attention, but after hearing the wait, we opted for something inside and available. I would definitely recommend their Brewery Pretzel, which is served with gooey white cheese and spicy mustard for dipping. The Thai Wings were pretty great too.
Tons of great shopping and no sales tax make a girl happy! My favourite area to browse was the Pearl District. The Pearl area of town is full of funky antique shops, home design and decor stores and clothing boutiques. My definite favourite find was a store called…
225 NW 11th
There’s a trend here.. first, the Screen Door, now the Porch Light… there’s something about porches in Portland…
Anyways, Porch Light was a super cool find. The shop has an eclectic mix of new and old, with new, vintage inspired paper, stationary and books sitting atop rustic ,reclaimed antique furniture. Their collection of coffee table books could have entertained me for hours. I fell in love with their sweet little succulents – would have bought them if vegetation as allowed over the border.. I walked away from this store with many ideas and inspiration for our home.
Although we had the car with us, we did a ton of walking while in Portland. For a leisurely, quiet stroll we headed to the waterfront and the Riverplace Marina. There’s a three mile boardwalk/walking path between the two bridges that is dotted with cafes, restaurants and shopping. It was a gorgeous day when we visited, and people were out enjoying the sunshine along the water.
830 East Burnside
We stayed at the Jupiter Hotel on Burnside – a once motel converted into funky retro-inspired boutique accomodations. Jupiter delivered on expectations, but what we didn’t expect was that right next door, at Doug Fir, there were great bands EVERY night. We ate in Doug Fir’s restaurant each morning, loved the 50’s mod log cabin vibe, so decided to give the lounge a try at night. Cover was cheap, the music was excellent and it was a great crowd of people who filtered into the basement for a weeknight show. Bonus: our room was staggering distance away!