portland weekend

bubbles for breakfast

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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?
  4. 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?

seaplane view