If you find yourself in the PNW for a long weekend like @CobraEscobar and @Jilianicoleg did a few months ago, you’ll discover that Portland lives up to all its creative-driven, quirky, and casually cool hype. Appealing to foodies, outdoor adventurers, and introverts alike, there’s much to be said for this town so rich in good vibes.
Here are our top picks for what to see, do, explore, and imbibe in the mini metropolis that keeps it weird:
- Stop and smell the roses. There’s a reason it’s dubbed “The City of Roses.” Head on over to the International Rose Garden (open between May and September) and see why. Even if you’re not a flower lover, this sensory experience, includes thousands of roses in every size and color under the sun, is not to be missed!
- Wander around a bookworm’s heavenly playground. Powell’s Books is the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore, and a bibliophile’s dream come true. Had Powell’s allowed, we would have set up camp and stayed the night. (Open from 9am-11pm, 365 days a year.)
- Get some comic relief. Are you into comic books? We’re not. But Portlandia’s got this animated scene down pat. Check out the multitude of comic book stores all around the city.
- Wake up and smell the coffee. If you’re a human bean who loves coffee beans (like we are) Dutch Bros, Stumptown Coffee, Coava Coffee & Cathedral Coffee are some freshly brewed spots that you shouldn’t miss!
- Pedal around. Adventure Club loves a good bike ride, it’s the best way to explore the nooks and crannies of a new city. Portland Bicycle Tours and Pedal Bike Tours have some awesome experiences including brew tours and food tours. After all, if you exercise while you eat and drink, the calories cancel themselves out, right?
- Look fresh, eat fresh. Portland’s got quite the abundance of Farmer’s Markets throughout the city, check ‘em out.
- Eat more. Because there are WAY too many amazing restaurants to choose from, you can’t go wrong with picking out a place from Portland’s Best Restaurants of 2017. We especially enjoyed having Cake for breakfast, Tasty N Alder (Grab a cup of free coffee available by the door while you wait for food that’s worth it), 10 Barrel Brewery (head upstairs to the rooftop deck!) and Cool Moon for some tasty ice cream!
- Want more food ideas?! Check out Youthful Ambitions blog on Portland!
In the great outdoors surrounding Portland:
- Chase waterfalls at Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge. Multnomah is a magnificent gem hidden only a 30-minute drive outside of Portland. Not only do we chase runways, we also chase waterfalls.
- Watch the sunrise over Crater Lake. It’s straight out of a fairy tale, approximately a three-hour drive outside of Eugene, no amount of pictures posted or words written can illustrate how majestic Crater Lake truly is. If you can stay a night, do it! Sunrises here will leave you wondering if sunsets are still your thing. This one left us speechless and grateful to be living on this glorious planet. A real warm fuzzy moment.Deep talk: If you were to start at the bottom of the lake and place the Eiffel Tower, the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty on top of each other there would still be 100 feet of water covering Lady Liberty’s torch. Insane, right?
- Ski Mount Hood. If you like to ski or snowboard, check this place out. It’s only a 90-minute drive outside of Portland, so very day trip-able, but you may get tempted to stay in this adorable little mountain lodge. Timberline Lodge was built by the WPA during the Great Depression and it’s the cutest lodge you ever did see.
- Not into road trips? Don’t have to be! If you’re looking for a beautiful scenic ride into or out of Portland, we recommend taking the Amtrak from Seattle into Portland. It’s much cheaper than flying or renting a car (we got last minute tickets for $45) and it only takes around 4 hours.
Choo choo tip: The views along this ride are soak-in-able. Take an early train, (during or right after sunrise) you can nature watch without cutting into your daytime activities. Sleeping is at the bottom of the totem pole for the Adventure Club when it comes to vacations.
- Cross a finish line in Tracktown, U.S.A. Running is an Oregonian’s favorite pastime; this state is littered with marathons of the half, full, and ultra variety. Eugene, Oregon, historically dubbed “Tracktown, U.S.A.”, is one of the nearest and dearest cities to every runner’s heart. @Jilianicoleg (Adventure Club’s running enthusiast) and @Cobraescobar crossed the finish line of the 13-mile Pacific Northwest Marathon, (known for being one of the flattest trails if you want to get your marathoning feet wet) and ticked off a bucket list item as they soaked in the whimsical woodsy scenery by foot. Not ready to pick a race and chase that distance yet? I bet this potent quotable from the AC bookshelf picks will change your mind… “When you run around an oval track, or down an empty road, you have no real destination in mind. At least none that can fully justify the effort. The act itself becomes the destination. It’s not just that there’s no finish line; you define the finish line. Whatever pleasures or gains you derive from the act of running, you must find them within. It’s all about how you sell it to yourself. Every runner knows this. You run and run, mile after mile, and you never quite know why. You tell yourself that you’re running toward some goal, chasing some rush, but really you run because the alternative, stopping, scares you to death.” –Phil Knight, Shoe Dog, 2016 So put on your shoes, run out the door and go… at least to the great state of Oregon.
What are some of your favorite spots in the PNW? We’d love to hear from you!