Portland is known for being weird, promoting individuality, encouraging self-expression, and supporting atypical lifestyle choices. Who wouldn’t want to visit such an eccentric city? I know I wanted to! So, I packed my bags and embarked on a ten-hour-long road trip from Sacramento, California to Portland, Oregon.
I love road trips! I love listening to music as I enjoy the ongoing scenery and sip on my coffee. There’s something soothing about it. So, those ten hours felt like none. Of course, my boyfriend drove the whole way, so…I guess that helped.
My boyfriend and I left Sacramento around 8am and we arrived to The City of Roses around 7pm. We went straight to our Airbnb to settle in (Nob Hill is a great area for lodging, by the way). We were pretty hungry so we went out for some Thai food. We found the best Pad See Ew we’ve ever tasted at Red Onion Thai Cuisine. After dinner, we returned to our Airbnb and called it a night.
The following three days were full of adventure and all types of fun activities. We did so much within such a short amount of time.
We started our first day with breakfast at Kenny & Zuke’s Bagelworks. They make the bagels from scratch right in front of you! They’re so delicious! Plus, they’re Zagat rated.
After we devoured those yummy bagels, we drove over to downtown area to walk along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It was a bit chilly…wait…who am I kidding? It was FREEZING! We went during winter so we needed something hot to sip on. We started walking around and came across the cutest food hall named Pine Street Market, on 2nd street. We bought tea from Brass Bar and headed over to the waterfront park.
The very popular Portland, Oregon sign, located in Old Town, was just down the street so we walked over to it for a photo opp. After pretending we were super models, we walked back to the car to plan our next stop. We quickly realized Voodoo Doughnut was three blocks away (how convenient), so we rushed over to buy FIVE huge, crazy looking doughnuts! Good thing we had our photo opp beforehand. *currently laughing out loud*
We, obviously, didn’t eat enough. Which is why we crossed the street over to Lonesome’s Pizza and ate some more. Desperately needing a break from food, we drove over to Powell’s City of Books. It’s a huge bookstore that takes up an entire city block. You can, literally, get lost in there! I’m a big bookworm so this place felt like Disneyland. The possibilities were endless! I bought myself a new book, a bookmark, and some vegan body soap (random, I know).
It was dark out by the time we left the bookstore. So, we decided to end our night with a movie. But we didn’t go to just any movie theatre. We went to McMenamins Kennedy School. This is a former elementary school that was converted into a hotel, movie theatre, and restaurant establishment. But it wasn’t renovated nor was it remodeled. Picture walking into an actual 1910’s elementary school where the classrooms are used as guest rooms, the gym as a movie theatre, and the cafeteria as a restaurant. It’s actually kind of creepy. And, I loved it!!
The following day we had breakfast at Besaws in Nob Hill. It’s a little more expensive but it’s definitely worth it. Our next stop was St. Johns Bridge and Cathedral Park. Both my boyfriend and I love the outdoors! If you do too, I suggest you visit the park. You get to go underneath St. Johns Bridge, walk along train tracks, stand on a dock that extends out over Willamette River, and admire the tall pine trees from Forrest Park that stand on a hill across the bridge.
After lots of walking, we drove over to Pittock Mansion. This mansion was once a French Renaissance-style, private home but is now a museum. The cool thing is that it’s on a hill so you get amazing views of the city. Plus, you get an idea of what a wealthy lifestyle in the 1920’s was like.
We wanted to ride the Portland Aerial tram, which is really more for hospital employees and commuters but it looked too cool not to ride. You get a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood and you cross over Interstate 5. It was a pretty fun ride!
For dinner we went to Habibi Restaurant to indulge in some mediterranean food. We were exhausted with a full tummy and decided to return to our Airbnb and relax for the rest of the night.
On our last day, we had Moberi for breakfast. This place is AWESOME! They serve delicious, healthy smoothies and acai bowls. But, the best part is that the blenders are powered by a bike, and you can choose to pedal the bike to blend your own smoothie.
Next up was Mt. Tabor. A park located on a hill, also, with gorgeous views of the city. We wandered around as we enjoyed a cup of coffee.
Finally, to end our trip, we visited Multnomah falls. Technically, this isn’t Portland. We had to drive thirty minutes outside of the city, but we couldn’t leave without visiting the second tallest year-round waterfall in the country. It was absolutely breathtaking! I would’ve sat and watched the water fall and crash over and over if I wasn’t freezing to death! Other than that, it was perfect!