When most people think of the Pacific Northwest, they think of rain, rain, and more rain, however, Portland, Oregon receives on average 144 flip floptastic sunny days! This quirky, and sometimes misunderstood city, on the banks of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers offer fantastic food, beautiful scenery, and a fun, laid back, welcoming vibe.
Getting There: Portland is serviced by all major US airlines through its International Airport located 13 miles east of downtown. If you don't want to rent a car, the TriMet Max Train will take you directly from PDX (voted the best airport in the USA) into downtown for a mere $2.50! You'll breeze by traffic and will be dropped off 38 minutes later feeling rested and ready for your journey.
Portland Saturday Market: If you're in Portland over the weekend, the Portland Saturday Market (open on Sunday as well) is a MUST see! Located west off the Skidmore Fountain Station (TriMet), the market features over 200 local small businesses showcasing their handmade arts, crafts, and foods from the Northwest. You are sure to find something to love, even if its just the beautiful scenery. However, I do recommend the cheesecake on a stick...yes...I said CHEESECAKE ON A STICK! What's not to love about that?! Spend the day wandering the booths and taking in the atmosphere of the largest continuously operating open air market in the country. Its worth your time!
Food: Keep Portland Weird is more than a saying, its a way of life, and how they do their food is no different! While there are many "normal" dining options, the way food carts are done is different. The carts are arranged in "pods", which are parking lots lined with a wide selection of stationary food carts, and feature food from around the world. You'll find wood-fired pizza, burgers, ramen, and Indian food all in the same lot. Most pods will have a few booths featuring local craft beers as well. While you're wandering the city be sure to stop by one of the over 500 food cart pods for a quick and delicious meal.
Late Night Voodoo: A trip to Portland would not be complete without stopping at the world famous Voodoo Doughnut. Open 24 hours, this little slice of doughnut perfection will have your craving more with favorites such as the maple bacon bar, Cap'n Crunch, and Oreo cookie. There is always a line waiting to get into Voodoo, but it moves fast, and the time waiting is well spent. Be sure to grab a dozen to take home with you.
Goonies are Forever: For those of you wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, rent a car and make the hour and a half drive west to the Oregon Coast where old growth pine forrest collide with the Pacific Ocean. Cannon Beach is by far the most popular beach along the coast. There you'll find Haystack Rock, which if you were an 80's kid like myself, you will recognize from the opening chase scene of "The Goonies". The rock rises 235 feet above the ocean, and is accessible during low tide. Visitors can spend the day looking (do not touch) at the marine life captured in the tide pools. The starfish are so cool and are a hit with the kids! The beach is now closed to vehicle traffic, however there are four miles of uncluttered sand for you to walk along. Venture into the quaint downtown area and try a slice of pizza from Pizza A Feta and then cross the street and get an ice cream from the local shop. The town closes pretty early, so be sure to get what you need for the night before 6pm. A walk along the beach at night will be lit by various camp fires. I'd recommend a nice bottle of local wine, some marshmallows and a good roasting stick to finish off the night.
From an eclectic downtown to the relaxed charm of the coast, Portland offers a little something for everyone. Where ever your journey takes you, be comfortable!
Feel the Rubber!