Portland, Oregon is awesome… to say the least.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go on an adventurous getaway with my boyfriend, Alex. In June of this year, we did it. We finally got around to getting money put aside and time off to visit a place that we felt we would both love. Portland.
Simply put…. it was amazing. Not only a fun city for young adults but great for families and children, which even though I don’t have any at this point in my life, I still love the versatility. I hope this post helps any of you who are traveling to Portland or trying to figure out a place to visit. I know I did my research when planning the itinerary.
Here are some of my 8 personal favorite places to see while in this beautiful city.
1) Portland Saturday Market
This place was so so fun, and big. Anyone who appreciates the art of handcrafted items and small business selling homemade crafts will enjoy this place. It runs on both Saturday and Sunday which was great for us since we arrived on a Sunday. We were able to catch a few hours of it and grab some food.
2) Mississipi Avenue
We were staying in a hostel named the Traveler’s House during our stay (by the way, this place was awesome definitely check them out if you are into the hostel thing) which was walking distance away from this street. From what I was told, Portland is set up in terms of street layouts instead of downtowns.
So everything you need, you just keep walking straight… cool, right?
Much less confusion for us tourists. The great thing about this avenue is that there are so many cool shops, restaurants, and beautiful nature that surrounds it. It is not on a super busy street so the vibe is quite relaxed. Placed right in a residential region, this avenue is a place you don’t want to miss.
3) Red Light Clothing Exchange
Red Light is an eccentric and bold thrift shop in Portland and knowing that Portlandia is the home to many amazing thrift stores….. I had to go.
This place was awesome! If you feel that you need some punch in your style, check this place out. Some very interesting and incredibly unique pieces in this store…. really, I was blown away by some of the pieces they had.
Alex ended up getting a purple, pink, green, blue, plaid shirt with snap buttons (so classy, right?) and a leather jacket for less than $50!! STEAL! Really fun place to go!
4) Blue Star Donuts vs. Voodoo Doughnuts
As I was planning our trip, I noticed a lot of talk about whether Voodoo Doughnuts was worth it and the talk about how you should either go or skip the line and go to Blue Star. Because Voodoo Doughnuts was a monumental aspect of Portland I decided to put that down in the itinerary. It was when we were walking around that I noticed a Blue Star and thought, “I like donuts, Alex likes donuts, let’s get both” and I’m glad I did.
Blue Star’s donuts were decadent. Very sophisticated, and very well executed. I purchased a lemon curd with powdered sugar on the outside. With a big smile on my face, I pretty much summed that one up. Alex got a Crème Brûlée style donut with a candied liquor that you squeezed into the donut at your liking, so indulgent.
Voodoo Donut had a much different ambiance. The feel of Voodoo is very quirky and unique. The variety and type of donut you can get, you won’t find anywhere else. Voodoo was great for the unique styles and well as their fun and crazy atmosphere.
5) Peninsula Park/ International Rose Test Garden
Because we were staying at the Traveler’s House, the walk to Peninsula Park was extremely reasonable. But even if you are not near it, I recommend hopping on a bus and visiting. This Park is the first rose garden in Portland.
The main thing I liked about this park is how well maintained it was for being smaller and I felt like I was walking around the set of Alice and Wonderland with all the fairytale-like trees and beautifully green shrubs.
If it is just too far from where you are staying, I also went to the International Rose Test Garden which was just as beautiful. Roses, roses, and more roses. So beautiful. Writing about it makes me miss it!
6) Visit Pittock Mansion
Pittock Mansion was great if you enjoy history and care to learn about the development of Portland as a city. It really is a beautiful home and plot of land. It costs to go inside but you can walk around the outside for free and snap as many pictures as you want. The lookouts to the city are gorgeous if you are looking for a chance to see Mount Hood.
7) Washington Park
After visiting the Mansion and on our way to the International Rose Test Garden we found ourselves on a hike. So glad this spontaneously occurred because it was a beautiful little hike. Not a crazy hike so if you have kids, definitely doable. The trees and lushness were just beautiful!
8) The Kennedy School
Don’t get fooled by the name, this is no school. This awesome place used to be an elementary school revamped into an awesome hotel, restaurant, soaking pool, theater, bar, and cigar bar.
This place had so much stuff, I only planned for the soaking pool and ended up experiencing everything.
What was so cool about this place is that everything was redesigned but they left the old vibes of it being a school. We started our time there by going to the soaking pool (by the way, you can bring your drinks from the bar in the pool with you), then to the cigar lounge, and lastly, the theater where they were playing Deadpool and our food got delivered to us while watching the movie. Yes, delivered.
The theater was filled with couches and tables for eating, the food was awesome, the soaking pool was so relaxing, the drinks were great, and the cigar lounge was awesome for Alex and I. I could go on and on, definitely check this place out, SO worth it!
And that’s a wrap. There were many places I visited while here (6 days to be exact) so if you are curious of any other places to see while in Portland or have any questions at all, feel free to ask in the comments below!
Let me know if you are planning a trip anywhere and some fun things you plan to do. I’m always looking for new travel destinations.