What’s so great about Portland, OR?

What’s so great about Portland?! Well, a LOT! I was so excited to write about Thailand that I put off a lot of writing about Portland, Oregon, but I am so happy to re-visit writing about and sharing our experience in Portland! The Pacific Northwest is a really beautiful place, but Portland just as that extra something special. Of all this cities we have visited, this has to be one of our favorites, which is funny because Portland, ME is another favorite of ours! From the nice but eccentric people, to the variety of food and drink options, to the copious amounts of activities and outdoor adventures, Portland has it all! This post is ultimately Portland in nutshell, but do not fret! There will be several other posts to come about this amazing city!

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Woo-hoo! Entering a new state for me!

We left Seattle, and set out on our 3 hour drive to Portland to start a new adventure. What we didn’t realize, was that our Airbnb was about 25 minute outside the city, in the middle of nowhere, but it was perfectly beautiful. We were greeted by our awesome hosts, Louisa and Art, who showed us around their in-law apartment that we would be staying in. The privacy was simply perfect for us.

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View of our hosts’ patio from our in-law apartment. Caught this shot on a sunny day (which was rare while we were there!)

Our hosts were so nice, offering suggestions in downtown Portland, as well as in the area of their house. Since Tiago’s birthday was that weekend, we decided on going out for a fun night out for dinner, drinks and a strip club. Did you know that Portland has the most amount of strip clubs per capita? Our Uber driver both there and home were so friendly. They were a little surprised by the long drive, but they were very nice, suggesting places for us to visit, restaurants to try, and sharing their own travel experiences. I guess that’s the good part of having a long Uber drive!

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Tiago got a kick out of this sign and made me stand in front of it for a photo. Ha!

We met and observed some interesting characters here as well. One thing I kept saying was, “I’ve never felt so normal in my life!” This is a city where really, anyone would fit in. I never got the feeling of “Keeping up with the Jones” in Portland, because everyone was so unique and different. It is literally a compliment to call someone weird in Portland!

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Just like Seattle, Portland also has tons of breweries, coffee shops and restaurants, as well as several marijuana shops that are now legal for recreational use. Something cool about Portland, is that many of the older neighborhoods are being gentrified, and turned into really hip areas. Some might think this is a terrible thing, because it pushes people out of their neighborhoods due to rising costs of living, but it also brings a lot more money into the area. Like Seattle, Portland is separated into different neighborhoods, some of which are very artsy with street art murals, coffee shops, breweries, trendy restaurants, and new apartments with historic homes mixed in.

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“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”
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Another great mural found on NE Alberta

In addition to really cool neighborhoods, downtown also has a lot going for it! Like most cities, there is a healthy mix of nice restaurants, museums, and theaters, but you can also find huge food truck pods, street performers, and the most amazing book store called Powell’s City of books. Over the weekend they have an awesome market that sells all kinds of things including food, art, and jewelry.

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Really great mural and a food truck! Two of my favorite things!
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Tiago in his glory at the Hawaiian BBQ Food Truck

One thing I loved about this city is that you don’t have to go far to get into nature in Portland. This is something I’ve loved in certain cities, including Austin. In Portland, right near us was Forest Park, which includes 30+ miles on their main trail, and a few other smaller trails off of it to create loops. We did the Big Stump loop as well as a few others. You can still hear the noises of the city, but you also get the fresh air, sounds of birds and streams, and sights of other wild life! In a 30 minute drive, you can be in the mountains or driving through farm land. You really don’t have to go far to escape the city life!

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Portland, OR was great for us for so many reasons. Although it was not the cheapest city in the US, there was a lot going for it. We loved being able to quickly get out of the city to experience amazing waterfalls, hiking trails, the ocean, and farm land, but also loved being so close to such a cool and fun city. This is a city that you don’t need to stray far from, because there’s so much to do right there, but if you do want to leave for a weekend, Seattle, Bend and the  coast are not far at all. Looking forward to when we can visit this weird and awesome city again!

Stay tuned for more posts about how great is Portland very soon!

 

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