City Guide: Portland

Portland– the city of color, crunchy moms, and donuts. After spending just 4 days there, we realized this city has soooo much more to offer. Not only is it a breathtaking city, but there is so much to do. With a land of unlimited hikes, a ton of breweries, incredible food, shopping galore, and plant shops on every corner, how could one ever be bored here?

Where to Stay:

You pretty much can’t go wrong with where to stay, as there’s something to explore in every corner of this beautiful city. We stayed in an Airbnb in NorthEast Portland, and loved that area. You’ll find the Alberta Arts District and Mississippi Street in NorthEast Portland, and both are fun areas.

I also found an incredible treehouse on Airbnb that we definitely would’ve stayed in if it wasn’t so $$$. If you’re ok spending a little more for a one-of-a-kind experience, do it!

We really enjoyed the Pearl District as well, which is located right next to the city center. There are a ton of beautiful hotels in this area if you choose to forego an airbnb.

Where to Eat:

Portland is a city for FOODIES!! Before we even left on our 4 day trip, I had over 30 places saved to a Yelp collection. Now I have even more! I’m going to break down these spots into places we visited/ places we wanted to visit but didn’t have the time for.

Places we went (and loved):
– Never Coffee (best coffee and chai I’ve had in my life. Hands down)

– Gumba (High end restaurant with delicious, fresh pasta and burrata made in-house)
– Doe Donuts (Our favorite donuts on our ‘donut tour,’ criminally underrated and super unique flavors)

– HunnyMilk (A unique and yummy breakfast place. Get the Everything Beignet!)
– Hat Yai (Korean Fried Chicken- delishhhh)
– Korita Sabor Casero (A hole in the wall Mexican food truck serving the best birria tacos around. Cash only!)
– Cartopia (Portland is known for their food carts! This one has an excellent selection and lots of fire pits to sit by. Try the Pad Thai from BKK!)

– Blue Star Donuts (Yummy but overpriced)
– Pip’s Donuts and Chai (I told you we went on a donut tour!)
– Bentley’s Bagels (Cute bagel spot, not quite NYC bagels, but still yummy)
– Baker + Spice (A little drive outside of the city for the BEST baked goods. Get the Katie roll!)
– Raven’s Manor (A haunted bar!)

Pip’s Donuts
And Chai
Eyeball shots at Raven’s Manor
Bentley’s Bagels
Blue Star Donuts

Other Food Places (We Wanted to Try!)
– Grassa
– Pizza Thief
– Dave’s Hot Chicken
– Fuego All Day
– Masu Sushi
– Toki PDX
– Barista
– Cooperativa
– Tope
– Kingsland Kitchen
– Sweedeedee
– DIY Bar (reservations required)
– Bartini (A whole bar for martinis)
– Luce
– Oma’s Hideaway
– Screen Door Eastside
– Pine State Biscuits
– Cubo De Cuba
– Lucca
– Ken’s Artisan Pizza
– Bamboo Sushi
– Cheese and Crack Snack Shop
– Tov
– Fried Egg I’m in Love
– Gado Gado
– Lazy Susan

Things to Do:

There are endless creative and fun things to do in this city. They say it’s a city for Millennials, so I felt right at home. Between picking out plants at the perfectly curated shops of Mississippi to hiking around the Columbia River Gorge, you won’t run out of things to do.

We didn’t get around to everything this trip since it was February, and Covid was still hot and heavy. We really want to come back and check out the Portland Rose Garden and the Japanese Tea Garden– both are said to be stunning and peaceful, but optimal time to visit is the spring/summer.

We would also love to take a pottery class here. Pottery is very popular in a lot of the shops around town, and we’ve always wanted to learn. Definitely book this in advance if you can (this is the reason we couldn’t learn!). They also have some classes on Airbnb experiences.

We did get a chance to explore the Pittock Mansion, which was spectacular (and a great place for IG pics!). The mansion itself is stunning, but the views around the property rival the mansion’s beauty. It was also really cool to drive about 2 minutes out of the city and be welcomed into the forest.

We spent an afternoon exploring the Columbia River Gorge, but desperately want to head back already! There are a ton of areas to explore, and a lot of amazing hikes to venture on. We enjoyed a quick visit and felt at peace watching the waterfalls. It’s truly a stunning area even if you only have a few hours to spare.

In town, we enjoyed exploring the beautiful streets of Portland. Portland is a very calm, chill city, and we enjoyed talking to the locals, and strolling the streets taking in all the beautiful murals of the city.

One of our favorite areas was Mississippi Street, where we visited the perfectly curated shop “The Meadow,” which is run by the sweetest woman in the world (Charlotte). Make sure to ask her about her favorite chocolate- she has infinite wisdom to share!

We grabbed some chocolate and spices there, and then popped over the Blue Star Donuts. Although the donuts were delish, we found them a tad overhyped. Lots of locals say they prefer this to the ever-popular Voodoo donuts. However, after spending $8 on 2 donuts, we weren’t so sure.

Definitely check out Pistils Plants next door, and perhaps build your own terrarium while you’re at it!

We also loved the Alberta Arts District. I absolutely died and went to heaven when I walked into EcoVibe. This store was MADE FOR ME. Not only does this store sell the most beautiful plants + pots, but they have home decor and self care specialties. We took home a couple things, but I could’ve easily spent hundreds of dollars in there.

We also loved the co-op art gallery, Alberta Street Gallery. All of the artists who display their art there also work there, so we got to talk to an incredible artist who uses Kimonos to create beautiful embroidery pieces. We find some art galleries to be cold and unfriendly, but this one was perfect for us. Art that you can ACTUALLY afford, and really unique mediums for every art-lover. Plus, they have a cute shop at the back that we enjoyed.

If you haven’t visited Powell’s City of Books, DO IT. It really is a city. There’s something for absolutely everyone! I took some time exploring the 5 aisles of cookbooks, and took home a little Portland sticker for my water bottle. The area around Powell’s is also fun, and you’ll find a lot of classic shops such as Anthropologie, Madewell, and West Elm.

When you hit up Never Coffee in Belmont (which you inevitably will), be sure to stop in to Pillar Home Goods for some incredible home decor and stunning pottery. This curated selection will sweep you off your feet.

My other fave stop (that just so happened to be right around the corner from our Airbnb) is Solabee Flowers. We loved this plant shop and wanted to take everything home with us!! We walked out with some adorable mushroom ceramics that you can use to decorate your plant pots. John also purchased a hanging crystal that we can’t wait to install in our kitchen and have rainbows galore.

In Conclusion…

Portland is a MUST visit for anyone looking for a quirky little getaway. I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface with only 4 days here, but we may be spending a lot more time here in the future *hint hint*

Enjoy your little Portland getaway!

Stay tuned, and we sure to watch my Instagram to see upcoming travels!