I have been living in Portland since March of 2011 and I am still loving it. Portland isn’t a big town. It is a dense town, which means you get a lot of options in a small radius. Portland is made up of lots of neighborhoods (each with their own flavor). As a local, it is common to stick to your part of town since you can find everything you need in your neighboorhood. Overall Portland is known for its nature, coffee, beer, food and strippers.
Over the last seven years, I have had several friends visit, which has prompted me to find all the fun things in town to do. I also run an Airbnb, so I am constantly offering suggestions to guests.
Getting around town
- The public transportation in Portland is reliable, efficient and affordable. The TriMet system is the organization that runs the Max (aka: the light rail), the bus and the street car. It costs $5 for an all day pass. You can use your ticket to ride any of the options for public transportation.
- You can also Rent Bikes. If you do get a bike, I encourage you to ride it around the Eastbank Esplanade. Bikes are allowed on the bus, light rail and street car.
The esplanade goes around the waterfront and Steel Bridge
- You will need a car if you want to go to the Gorge, the Coast or Mount Hood.
West Side/ Downtown of Portland
Portland City Grill is located on the 30th floor of the Bancorp tower otherwise know as Big Pink. Big Pink has its own Instagram page dedicated to it. If you are driving, there is a parking garage right next to it. PCG will validate your parking for up to two hours. There is also a max stop right in front of it.
Powell’s Books Store. Quintessential Portland. Give yourself some time to be in here. There are many rooms to explore and gifts to consider.
Park Blocks. Have you seen the movie that was filmed in Portland, What the Bleep Do We Know? There is a scene explaining quantum physics using a basketball. It was filmed in the Park Blocks.
Portland Art Museum.
The first Thursday of Every Month is free from 5:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Portland Saturday Market– Where local artists come together to sell you their creations. Happening weekends, March through Christmas Eve. This is a great place to shop whether you’re a local or a tourist.
The places where you can drink and play video games. All ages until 4:30p.m. daily.
Places to Eat :
Piazza Italia– my favorite Italian restaurant
Cool Moon Ice Cream– right next door to Piazza Italia
Thai Peacock– my favorite Thai restaurant
Voodoo Doughnuts if you must– I think they are over rated. Don’t buy the hype. The one downtown always has a line out the door. They only take cash. There is a location on the east side you can walk right into most anytime. I saw someone get married there once. There was a line that day since they shut down the store for a few minutes.
Alder Street Food Carts or the Food Carts on SW 3rd Ave between SW Washington and SW Stark Street.
Mother’s Bistro– Quintessential Portland Breakfast. “Call your Mother”
Shopping on NW 23rd Street. A street lined with shopping. Where us locals to buy clothes when we aren’t thrift shopping.
East Side of Portland
LaurelHurst Park is great because it’s in the middle of the city. It’s big, has a lake where you can see ducks and birds, etc.
Mount Tabor is an inactive volcano. Once you’re at the top, you get a great view of the city. If you are visiting in August, be sure to check out Soap Box Derby Races
Places to Eat:
Blue Star Donoughts on Mississippi
Salt and Straw on NE Alberta.Right next to Bollywood Theater
Bollywood Theater– best Indian food in town.
Cruz Room– great tacos.
Por Que No Tacos on Mississippi– Mexican food tacos.
Screen Door– great for breakfast
Dicks Kitchen – healthy eating
There are too many to list!!
You aren’t going to get bad food in Portland. We like it locally sourced, organic, infused, muddled and flavorful. If you are Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free or Dairy Free, you are still going to eat well in Portland ❤
Japanese Garden– Cost $16.95 admission.
This place was recently remodeled and expanded. It is serene, peaceful, never gets old to visit. It’s a glimpse into another culture that is not far from the city. Located in Washington Park. You can get here with public transportation.
“Amazing View” @ Pittock Mansion
I have never paid to go into the mansion. I just go around the back to show my friends the free view. If going inside to see a restored to the time period house interests you then click on the link to get all the information you need to go.
Portland International Rose Garden in Washington Park
There are over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather.
Vista House in the Gorge. You have to take part of the Colombia Scenic Highway to get here. Breath taking views as you look east and west. A special place we have just 20 minutes east of the city.
At the base of Multnomah Falls, the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge awaits to offer a place of relaxation, a fine meal, the perfect gift, hiking or visitor information, or possibly an espresso or tasty treat to accompany your hike or day trip.
So there you have it. There are more places to see, eat and drink of course. I think the ones I have listed should not be missed. Come enjoy all the things Portland has to offer, stay with me in my Airbnb, we will have a good time 🙂
Safe travels to you!