Not sure where to begin…this was our first time in Portland OR and I hope it’s not our last!
It’s a friendly city that is easy to walk around. People were polite. When the traffic light said ‘don’t walk’—no one walked! Cars didn’t attempt to run the yellow light, they waited!
Portland Walking Tours provided an excellent orientation on our first morning in the city, highlighting some history, the Portlandia statue and the planning that has gone in to making the city so walkable and safe.
We hit the food trucks for lunch and tried the recommendation at the top of the list in the Guardian, Nong’s Khao Man Gai ginger chicken and rice dish. For $8, it was a tasty and satisfying lunch!
Ask anyone about Portland and they talk about the food and beer, so that is where we put our sightseeing energy! Jet lagged and hungry, we asked the front desk at our hotel for a recommendation for a nearby bite to eat when we arrived. We were thrilled with Veritable Quandry which was a 5 minute walk from the hotel. If we lived in Portland, this would be a habit but we had too many places on our list to eat two meals at the same restaurant! Another delicious meal was at Higgins Restaurant where we sat at the bar and ate local greens & burgers. Tasty n Alder provided more deliciousness and an incredibly knowledgeable bartender.
Saturday morning I wandered around the gorgeous farmers market. Then it was off to find Salt & Straw, an ice cream shop that Food Network recently gave the distinction of making one of the top 5 ice cream flavors in the USA. Food Network picked strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper as their choice but I was pretty happy with my sea salt with caramel ribbons!
As I mentioned, Portland is very walk-able. The downtown blocks are shorter than many cities and the Willamette river bisects the city with a dozen bridges crossing it, making the waterfront paths very accessible. The most recent bridge is the Tilikum Crossing:Bridge of the People and is the only one in the country designed for walking, cycling and public transportation only. The angles of the cable-stayed bridge were designed to mirror the image of Mt Hood in the background.
I only mention all the walking to justify talking about another meal…breakfast at Urban Farmer in the Nines Hotel downtown! Sunday was grey and cloudy so we decided to have a lazy breakfast and then check out the Portland Art Museum. Breakfast was fantastic and filling, and the museum had an excellent exhibit entitled Seeing Nature.
I haven’t even mentioned all the independent coffee shops—I ordered a cappuccino everyday just to watch the barista make a fancy design with the milk froth! That’s what vacations are for, right?!