In my mid twenties I decided that I would travel more. With that goal in mind, I also was (STILL AM!) committed to an office job that had between a 2-3 week allotted vacation time, which made traveling A LOT extremely difficult. So, what I did was make a hit list of places I could visit within a weekend or cleverly, a long weekend. Speaking from experience, the average working girl or guy can travel a lot more if they take advantage of long weekends. When I was freelancing, I could travel anytime I wanted, which was a luxury, but we don't all have that.
I'm going to try and do a series of this post, because traveling is such a big part of my life and I know how difficult it can be for many of us. Between salvaging the funds to get there and choosing a place to go that will not eat up our vacation time.
I am committed to providing blog posts with hi-res images, but for my travel posts of the past that ain't gonna happen friends! So enjoy my low-quality iPhone travel photos for my weekend getaway posts.
To start things off...Welcome to Portland, Oregon my friends! That land of the hipster, gourmet donut, the filming of Twilight, the foodie and ridiculous waterfalls! Below you will find my iPhone 'postcards' and a description of what to pack and things to do while you're there.
I live in Toronto, and the flight is about 4 hours (non-stop), which in my opinion is reasonable for a long weekend. Three nights is great, but you can also do Portland in 2 nights, too.
What To Pack:
T-shirt (My Canadian As Fuck tee is available HERE )
Running Shoes - Currently wearing THESE
Two casual but cute outfits
One Evening Outfit
Casual Heels (there's not a lot of fancy heel-wearing in Portland thanks to the hipster nation population) Booties are a great option
What to do:
I'm going to put this out there now, I'm a party girl. I LOVE socializing. However, the first night hit the sheets early, because I wanted to get the most out of the following day, and our plan was to wake up early (I was there with two of my girlfriends for my birthday weekend) and go hiking and some other touristy stuff. Rather than telling an entire story, I'll list off some great places to try and do and offer a little insight for you.
Voodoo Doughnuts - you may have already heard about this place, but it's worth it to fly out to Portland just to experience their unreal donuts. I recommend the Homer Simpson, because I'm a classic girl and it was as big as my face. (insider's tip: go at around 9-10am otherwise you wait in the world's longest line. Across the street in the parking lot is a good photo opp - there's a mural that says 'Stay Weird Portland' and it's pretty famous.
Bijou Cafe - In one of the pictures I included above, I'm wearing the tee with the explicit adjective. In this photo I'm super excited about my brunch. There was good reason for it - it was UNREAL. Go there. You will appreciate me for it later.
Stumptown Coffee - they have good coffee and even better homemade poptarts. It makes for good energy fuel and a tasty treat. I went here the morning I nursed a massive birthday party hangover.
Mother's Bistro - Also a great place for brunch, but expect larger than life servings, so go on an empty stomach. Everything is good, the coffee is so-so and you'll wait at least an hour for a table, but I hear it's a right of passage to go here if you visit Portland. I enjoyed it, and they had a display case of mouth-watering treats in the waiting area.
Ringside Fish House - This is where we went for my birthday dinner. We dressed up, ate our steaks and decided to proceeded to a karaoke bar that we had no business being at for several reasons: 1. We were WAY overdressed and got the stink eye all night and B. My friend and I sang My Pony and I ended up with a cordless mic and worked my way around the bar throughout the song. So there's that, don't wear your fancy clothes out. Dress boho chic.
Departure, Portland - This place is a little upscale, but has amazing Asian food with a twist and a super futuristic venue above the city. When you're finished, there's bar above them if you feel like clubbing, otherwise there are several cool pubs in the city to check out.
Hiking To The Multnomah Falls - Perhaps my favourite part of the trip. We actually parked our rented car ahead of the hike to the falls, and it was worth it. We saw lots of beautiful lush nature along the way. When you get to the trail to go to the top of the falls, I'm not going to sugar coat it, it's a steep hike and it's fairly lengthy. This is where the leggings, tee-shirt and runners come in handy. You're gonna need 'em! But it is absolutely breath taking. Budget for a car rental if you flew and get out there, it's so beautiful!
Hood River - I wouldn't say going here is essential, but it's still cool. Continue on after the falls about a 20-30 minute drive and you'll end up in this quiet little town that appears to really support outdoor recreation, called Hood River where the beer flows continuously. We ended up at a small brewery called Tap House 64. When the owner learned we were from Canadians from Toronto, she was curious how we found out about the place. We had a pint and headed back to the city. It was a perfect day!
Explore The City - The city itself is so cool to explore. We walked A LOT, but found lot's of cool landmarks (and a lot of Starbucks). There's tons of cool Portland signs hidden throughout the city too, so having a camera on you is a necessity. I do want to recommend that you ask your hotel or any hotel for a tourist map. You'll be able to map out the areas of the city you want to see.
Powell's City of Books - I'm a huge nerd and I love reading. Exploring this book store was pretty cook. It's HUGE, so huge you can get lost in there. Aside from the books there are some great Portland souvenirs that aren't tacky.
Brewery Hopping - Beer culture in Portland is STRONG. There's an area in Portland dedicated to breweries and they are packed with people. Flights, also known as samplers are a lot of fun to try. Choose a few areas you're interested in and work with that!
Let me know if you guys are interested in reading more posts like this! Also, I switched my comment platform to Disqus, so I'm sad to say I've lost many of your comments I've received previously! :(
Have a fabulous day wherever you are!