The hipsters paradise. The dream of the 90’s. All of this is alive in Portland.
We have been wanting to go to Portland for awhile now and once we got our Southwest Companion Pass we booked our flight! Granted we only had a three day weekend to see it all. Here is what we were able to fit in, what we wish we could have seen and what we could have passed along the way.
We arrived in the AM picked up our rental car and headed straight to food! First stops were Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Blue Star Donuts (Voodoo Donuts we hit up in Denver and honestly we weren’t impressed). Now Stumptown seemed hip how it offered many ways to get your coffee, pour over anyone? Not a coffee person myself I opted for a Mocha. The barista handed over my beautiful drink with a fun pattern in the foam. The actual drink portion, it was decent but honestly nothing to write home about. It basically seemed like a spot to get more Instagram hits than really enjoy a cup of joe.
Now that we had caffeine flooding our veins it was time to get our sugar high on. Blue Star here we come! Also a hip store. The donut options were unique but still true to the donut form unlike VooDoo which seems more into the design and look than the taste or quality of donut. First visit we stayed safe with the Valrhona Chocolate Crunch, The O.G. (Horxata Glaze), and the Real Maple Bacon. Our second visit we got a little more adventurous and got the Valrhona Chocolate Crunch again, Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk and Passionfruit Cocoa Nibs. All of these were amazing and we would come back here in a heartbeat. Another plus was this place did not have a long line like VooDoo.
Next was time to explore downtown. We hit up Powell’s City of Books. Wow, if you are into books this is the spot. You could get lost in here and spend hours wandering around. They probably have every book ever written. As hunger set in we headed to Deschutes Brewery, because the husband needs his beer everywhere we go. Typical brewery food options available. I got the crab roll which was delicious. According to the husband the beer he recommends are their Obsidian Stout on Nitro which has notes of espresso and dark chocolate and their Fresh Squeezed IPA which has a juicy citrus and grapefruit flavor profile.
With caffeine, sugar and greasy food we were then ready to make the journey to Cannon Beach. We love the beach and never like to pass up the opportunity to see beaches in other places besides beautiful Southern California where we grew up. Approximately an hour and a half from Portland the drive isn’t too bad unless you hit snow like we did! We arrived a little before sunset, however it was cloudy so we didn’t get the beautiful ocean sunset like I hoped. Now what is Cannon beach known for? Basically a huge rock sticking up out of the water near the shore break. Still pretty and worth the drive. We walked along the beach, taking pictures, finding beach treasures and enjoying the empty beach and serenity it offered. I am sure it is a beautiful sight during the summer months.
We should probably be active and get our hiking in after all that food we ate yesterday, but only after we stop at Blue Star for our morning donuts! We heard there were a ton of beautiful waterfalls east of Portland. So off we went. We stopped at Multnomah Falls first. This is one of the easier and more heavily trafficked waterfall. Just a short walk to the viewing platform. Unfortunately the walkway to the cool part of the bridge closer to the waterfall was closed due to mudslides.
That seemed to be the case for a lot of the waterfall hikes in the area but we were able to hike the Bridal Veil Falls. Overall not a tough hike, good amount of uphill climbing but worth it to get to the second falls. This part of the falls you can walk to the backside and stand behind the roaring falls feeling the mist envelope you. The hike was very green and heavily trafficked.
Next we headed back to the city to hit the one spot you are obligated to see in Portland. The “Keep Portland Weird” art mural. Luckily this isn’t in the most obvious spot so it doesn’t get very crowded and there was only one car parked slightly in the way of our photo op. Next we headed to the Portland Saturday Market area which is along the river way. Here there were tons of cherry blossom trees in bloom offering beautiful photos. Ready to warm up we then made way to Cocao Drink Chocolate. They serve drinking chocolate, which if you have never had I highly suggest it. Its rich, thick and heaven in my mouth. You think the small portion is bad until you start drinking and realize its just the right amount for how rich it is. Again needing some food we headed to Bridgeport Brewpub. We were seated at the bar next to the fermenters. Our server recommended an off-the-menu triple IPA that was delicious. Fun fact this is the oldest craft brewery in Portland.
After dinner we headed to Ground Kontrol. The nerd or child in you will be happy you came. Here all of the childhood arcade games you grew up playing are all in one spot, and you can have a drink in hand while playing. Come after 5pm to be in the 21+ crowd but before 7:30pm to avoid cover charges. Fairly small spot, I think I was expected a Dave N Busters type thing to be happening. But still a cool spot to come see. Bring your quarters and quick fingers because you will be hitting all those games you were a pro at as a child and now have to dust off those cobwebs. Can anyone say racing games, Adams Family pinball and most importantly Galaga.
Breakfast at Mothers Bistro and Bar. Take note this is very crowded and popular spot for brunch. We only had to wait about 25min to be seated. Once seated we ordered the biscuits, so good! We hit up Cathedral Park afterwards. To get here you drive over Cathedral Bridge which is a beautiful bridge that is shaped like a Cathedral church. This area offers some options for unique photos. We stopped for one last lunch at Portland City Grill. This grill is located on the 30th floor of the building offering amazing views of Portland and beyond. We ordered a few items off the happy hour menu, but make note you do have to purchase a drink (either alcoholic or non) to order food.
What I wish we could have done and seen:
The tulip festival! It was too far of a drive for us to be able to fit all the other things we wanted to do and see this time around, but I hear it is beautiful when you go during bloom season.