Portland, Oregon is the kind of city you think you can visit in a weekend, but two days can barely scrape the surface of what this place has to offer. Whether it’s beer, delicious (and cheap!) food, hiking, shopping or just living up the iconic weirdness of the city, Portland has all you want and then some. If you do have only a few days to spend, don’t miss these Portland-musts.
Besaws: If you’re looking for a bomb brunch with a homey, hipster vibe, look no further than Portland’s Besaw’s restaurant. Established in 1903, the restaurant has managed to maintain that old-world feel while still attracting loads of tourists and locals delight. Traveler’s Tip: Order the Croque Madame or Wild Salmon Scramble. You won’t be disappointed.
The Urban Farmer: This steakhouse boasts “barrel to bar” drinks and farm to table plates that will make your mouth water. You might need to bring an urban dictionary with you, thought, as some of the menu items are unknown to those not well-versed in hipster vernacular. Traveler’s Tip: Come for their weekend brunch. They have a fantastic, serve-yourself Bloody Mary Bar, complete with caramelized bacon, huge chunks of cheese, all of the greens you can imagine, and even slabs of fried chicken.
Ataula: Ataula is what happens when a traditional Spanish tapas bar meets a hipster gastropub, and I couldn’t get enough of the homey vibe, good music and bomb, shared plates. The tapas seem to play on familiarity but each have their own distinct twist. Tip: order two plates of the chorizo “lollipops” – you won’t be disappointed.
Olive or Twist Martini Bar: Delicious, hand crafted martinis with a sophisticated, classy vibe. Traveler’s Tip: Just people watch. Then write 100 sitcoms based solely on what you’ve observed.
Sisters Coffee: Everything you want in a Portland Coffee shop, complete with cozy sofas and delicious flat whites.
NW 23rd Ave: Little antique shops, thrifting, and hipsters. Traveler’s Tip: Stop for lunch at the Portland Food Trucks for tons of delicious food options. Traveler’s Tip: You can’t go wrong with the Pepper Box or Gonzo truck.
Pearl District: This chic district features art galleries, restaurants and shopping galore – perfect for a casual afternoon with friends.
Cool Moon Ice Cream: Cool Moon boasts all natural, homemade ice cream and does not disappoint. You’ll want to try all of the flavors – like rosewater infuse Kulfi and Sprinke-icious Birthday Cake, but I was all about the salted caramel. Their flavors rotate with the seasons, so you should probably come back every couple of months just so you don’t miss anything.
Voodoo Donuts: Famous for their crazy flavors, like Captain Crunch and maple bacon, Voodoo donuts is definitely worth the hype. Traveler’s Tip: The line can get pretty crazy, so wake up early for first picks!
Powell’s Bookstore: If you’re a book lover, this place is your heaven. Powell’s has FIVE FLOORS of wall-to-wall books, complete with ladders for the hard to reach. There’s also a rare book section with old-world classics you can’t help but covet.
Bridgeport Brewery: Bridgeport Brewery is one of Portland’s most well-known spots for craft beer and deserves a stop, especially if there’s any sort of sports game on that afternoon or evening. The atmosphere is lively, the locals are friendly, and the beer is delicious. What more can you ask for?
Side Trips Worth Taking.
Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop: There are eight waterfalls along this hike, and each one is more breathtaking than the last. You’ll walk over old bridges and under beautiful willows, gaze over cliffs that let you see what feels like all of Oregon and experience the lush green beauty that is Oregon at it’s core. Traveler’s Tip: Start at Multnomah Falls so you end there too. They have snacks and you will need them.
Astoria: Nestled right where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, Astoria features quaint vintage and antique stores that are severely underrated. Traveler’s Tip: grab an early lunch at Bowpicker Fish & Chips and enjoy the catch of the day.
Don’t leave until you do a brewery tour. Because you can’t say you experienced Portland unless you tried at least six of their famous craft brews. If you have the time, check out their farmer’s market since Portland farmer’s markets are what farmer’s markets are made from.
Also, It rains a billion times a year. Pack accordingly.