Popular for being quirky and fun, Portland is one city that lives up to its reputation. I visited Portland with my best friend for my birthday and I had the best 26th!
The scrumptious food, the delicious coffee and the delightful donuts are all worth the weekend trip. It’s pretty easy to get lost in the weirdness of the city and I enjoyed every minute of my time here.
When to go
The best time to visit Portland is between May to September. Both spring and summer are great times to visit. You get the chance to not only enjoy Portland but also hike along the wonderful natural trails around the city.
Portland gets very rainy during winter and fall. There are still plenty of winter activities that you can do and I would never say no to spending a weekend here.
Where to stay
Portland is the second largest city in the Pacific North West so you are bound to find many hotel options. You could couch surf to meet fun people or book an Airbnb as I did. I stayed in the Irvington area but downtown is also relatively safe to stay at even as a solo traveller.
You can use this Airbnb code to get $55.00 off your first airbnb reservation! Airbnb Link
Where to Eat and Drink
Portland is famous for having great food and drinks. I’ll list a few of the places that stood out to me:
Por Que No?
One of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the city, Por Que No is worth the hype. I’ve had a lot of tacos by these guys are on my top 5. While you’re at it, try their guac and chips as well.
This is a great place to get brunch on a Saturday before starting your day.
Blue Star Donuts
Blue Start Donut’s are the true love of Portland and every locals favorite go-to donut shop. They are located over many spots across the city.
If you are dining at Por Que No, there is a Blue Star a block away.
Jory Coffee Co
Portland is popular for having a wide variety of coffee shops and none of them disappoint. I loved the drip coffee at Jory.
The barista’s walk you through the process and also help you pick a coffee that suits your preference.
I put in a lot of research to pick the perfect places to dine at. This is not what happened with The Matador and it was a happy surprise. I have never had a more delicious plate of chips and salsa.
We went really early for a nice breakfast and the food was really nice but I would go back here just for the salsa!
More Coffee! I really enjoyed the vibe that Stumptown Coffee provides. While in Portland, I wanted to give different coffee places a chance and this place is a local favorite again.
They are also located at many different spots around the city. Pick the one that is convenient to you but definitely try the Nitro Iced Coffee.
Deschute’s Brewery is a nice place to eat and they have some really good local beers.
McMenamins Ringler Pub has a great atmosphere and a lot of pool tables and other games that you can enjoy. Scooter McQuades is right next door.
Noraneko is a really good ramen spot. This hole in the wall kind of place will really surprise you.
Dig A Pony is a themed, upscale bar with options to grab a bite to eat as well.
Cascade Brewing Barrel House offer a wide selection of locally brewed beers and a lively atmosphere.
Fun Things To Do in Portland
Bridal Veil falls
There is a lot of natural beauty around Portland and with that a many of hikes that you can embark upon. The Bridal Veil falls is one of the many wonderful hikes that leads to a gorgeous waterfalls.
The short 1.4 mile roundtrip hike is covered in trees throughout so you avoid the strong rays of the sun beating down on you. It can get a little crowded so I do suggest getting here early.
One of the most popular falls in Oregon, the Multnomah Falls is picturesque and very touristy. Parking spots get filled up very quickly here. They do offer shuttle service to pick and drop you to the falls but its a really long wait. The falls are beautiful but slightly overhyped.
To reach the top of the falls is a 2.2 mile hike that gives you a unique perspective and view. If you want to skip the hike, you can still enjoy the falls from below which according to me is the prettier view.
The Freakybuttrue Pecularium is what Portland is all about. This “museum” has a wide collection of odd objects, an ice-cream parlor and a gift shop all wrapped up in one quirky bow. Places like these is what keeps Portland weird.
If oddities intrigue you, this place is the place to be!
Powell Bookstore is a self proclaimed largest independent bookstore in the world. You can buy used books, old rare books, brand new books, drink coffee and basically spend almost all of your day here if you wanted to.
The store is very big and has maps to guide you to the right section/ genre. Grab a coffee and a book and become part of the geeky Portland culture for a few hours.
The LoveCraft Bar
If you are a closet goth like I am and if you enjoy watching live rock bands, this is a place you HAVE to visit. The place symbolizes everything that Portland stands for. The best of it!
The neon skulls, the dark rooms, the interesting people all around you and the unique vibe is an experience to have on any Friday night.
Where should I shop in Portland you ask? I say Union Way!
This place has all the branded and the local stores that can satiate your shopping lust.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Also known as Portland’s living room, this place is basically an amphitheater. You can grab some food and people watch as you have a quiet and relaxed afternoon in Portland.
Dozens of events take place here depending on the time of the year. Be sure to look up what’s happening when you are in town. It is ranked the world’s 4th best public space so you will not be displeased by the shenanigans happening here!