I went on a little weekend adventure a few weeks ago – a trip with the girls to Portland, Oregon! It was a long overdue reunion with these ladies, and Portland was the perfect venue for some shopping, amazing food and no small amount of wine. I hadn’t visited the city since I was a kid, but these were my general ideas about Portland prior to the trip:
- It’s a clean, green, pretty city. (How’s that for a satisfying sentence?) Confirmed! While we didn’t have time to explore many areas, everywhere we went was remarkably clean and had a really friendly feel – lots of cool old buildings, trees and green space.
- There’s no sales tax in Oregon. Yup, it is a great place to shop – a little weird to see nice round numbers on receipts!
- It’s a hipster hotbed straight out of Portlandia. Ummm, I don’t think I’m hip enough to really comment on this. Are hipsters still a thing?
- The food is amazing. Confirmed! We did a good amount of eating for the short time we were there and all our meals were pretty spectacular.
I didn’t take as many photos as I’d like – too busy enjoying the company and the wine! But here’s a quick recap of the things we loved and things to do next time.
Getting there – between the four of us I think we tried almost every transportation option…
- Train: Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle – Free wifi is available on board and business class is worth the upgrade.
- Boat: Clipper from Victoria to Seattle – If you want to save time and be first off the boat, don’t check your luggage.
- Car: The four of us piled into the car in Seattle for a mini roadtrip down the I-5 to Portland. The drive is about 3 to 3.5 hours depending on traffic.
- Plane: Seaplane from Seattle to Victoria – Keep your camera out, the views are amazing on a clear day!
Sleeping – the Paramount Hotel was a great location within walking distance to restaurants & shopping.
Eating/Drinking – In addition to restaurant meals, we also grabbed some yummy snacks and coffee at Whole Foods, Public Domain & Barista.
- Little Bird – This is a super popular little french bistro and luckily we managed to walk right in and get seats at the bar for dinner. Deciding what to order was nearly impossible – everything on the menu sounds so tempting, and everything we tried was amazing. Highly recommended!
- Tasty n Alder – This is a perfect spot for late brunch. We enjoyed some champagne cocktails (this is key to a successful day of shopping) and shared a variety of breakfasty dishes. Loved the share plates concept for brunch – it’s always great to sample so many dishes! Try the homemade cottage cheese with pineapple jam.
- Shiraz – We stopped here for a glass of wine and some snacks in the sunshine after several hours of shopping. Shopping is exhausting, right? (I’m a terrible shopper). The food was fine, nothing too exceptional, although the service was enthusiastic!
- Taste on 23rd – Time to enjoy more drinks, snacks and great weather. The cheese, wine, people watching and staff here were excellent.
- Noisette – Definitely a splurge for dinner, but we only do this once a year… We all had the 8 course tasting menu with wine pairing which was a really fun and delicious experience. I learned a few things (that I love smoky tasting wines) and got to try fiddleheads and sea beans for the first time – love tasting new ingredients! The three hours flew by.
It was a really quick trip, and a lot of travel time, so we didn’t get to do all the things on our list. Next time I really want to check out Voodoo Doughnut, some of the many food trucks and the BrewCycle (this thing looks awesome!)
What are your favourite things to do in Portland?