Portland, Oregon is a city full of weird things to do, awesome things to see, and interesting things to try. The people are kind and they city is laid back and has an “at home feeling” that anyone could settle into. While I would have liked to spend more than a day there, a day is all I got… so, of course, I fit everything I could into it.
Basically everyone I know, as well as every online resource, told me to go to voodoo doughnuts. It’s open 24 hours, but when you go you need to get there super early. As in, between 7:00am and 7:30am. Any other time (maybe besides 4am) the line is ridiculously long.
Voodoo has the craziest doughnuts you can think of, and that is what makes them famous. Piled with fruit loops, crushed Oreo, M&Ms and even bacon…they have pretty much everything you could put on a doughnut. They are cheap and the doughnuts are fluffy and completely coated with sugar. Don’t forget, at Voodoo it is cash only. They have an ATM inside in case you forget. (Quick note, I DO NOT recommend getting the hibiscus doughnut unless you are hoping for a mouth full of weird fruit/veggie like tastes.)
BLUE STAR DOUGHNUTS
Since I was not a fan of the doughnut I got at Voodoo (don’t worry, all the ones my friends got were, apparently, super good) I headed to Blue Star to find one I did like.
Blue Star Doughnuts are the kind of doughnut that are deliciously heavy, thick and will fill you up. More importantly they are soooooo good! They are more expensive compared to a regular run of the mill doughnut place (meaning about $3.50 per doughnut) but I was not disappointed. If you go, the lemon poppy seed is super good!
By 9:00am, Powell’s will be open for business. This book store is a must for any book lover. At first I was surprised that it was on everyone’s “must see in Portland list” but then I quickly figured out why…. They have at least 4 floors and the store is divided into every genera of book you can think up.
Take the stairs up to the purple room, stroll down to the pink section or walk on over to red. Whatever book you are looking for, you will be able to find it here easily.
RIVER FRONT SATURDAY/SUNDAY MARKET
By 10:00am the Saturday and Sunday River Front Market will be open! Head down by the water and check out all the white pop-up tents run by vendors selling everything from food and cider to paintings and photographs.
If you head toward the bridge that runs over the market, you will find the famous Portland Old Town sign on the other side.
LUNCH AT TETOTE
When you are hungry for lunch, head over to Teote. It’s a gem hidden among some old houses in Portland. They have delicious Latin American street food and an awesome decor.
After you order your dish, head upstairs and past the bar. They have a small courtyard that makes you feel like you are in a tree house.
SALT AND STRAW ICE CREAM
For dessert, head to another “must” when in the city, Salt and Straw! What makes this ice cream place special is not only their fantastic staff, and the fact that you can sample as many flavors as you want, but every so often they create new and insane flavors!
The flavor theme when I went was made by a local elementary school. They got together with the children from the school and had them help the company create awesome new flavors like “Rain-forest Mist” and “Triple M.” I went with the “Gooey Brownie” and “Sea Salt Chocolate”…try them all and take your pick!
SMALLEST PARK IN THE WORLD
Portland is home to “the smallest park in the world,” which is pretty much in the middle of the street. According to our GPS we kept driving by it. We didn’t see anything except for some dead plants in what may have been park. Let me know if you end up finding it- a picture would be great confirmation if I have or have not seen it.
Cruise around downtown through the many shops and pubs. The streets, like the city, have a lot to offer. I never felt unsafe while there and it felt as comfortable as being at home.
10 BARREL BREWING
If you are looking for a rooftop bar head to 10 Barrel. Just walk in, take the stairs to the right past the hostess station and head straight up to the roof. The atmosphere is very chill and the view is great. It does get super crowded pretty early, but you can always as for a table up there and get some space while having dinner.
Be sure to chat up the people as well! As I hinted at before, most everyone seems super friendly. While waiting for an opening at the railing for a better view of the city, I ended up talking with a few guys who were on a business trip from the Netherlands. They gave me a few places to check out for next time I was there and we got to talking about their hometown and travel in the States.
Fat heads is the place you want to go if you are looking for a good cider or beer. You can sample almost everything on the menu and they have some great choices.
Try the Alter Ego! If you love both wine and cider like me, it is a must! At the moment I cannot think back to describe exactly what it taste like, but just trust me, it is worth it. And if you don’t trust me, get a taster for yourself before you buy.
Like I said before, the city is homey and a great place to be. Hopefully I will get to spend more time there next time, but for now, a day will do.