This was my second time in Portland so I only stuck around for 2 days. While many people love Portland, it’s getting a bit on the crowded side with lots of transplants from elsewhere. What I’m trying to say is… Portland isn’t my favorite but I do like to visit the nature nearby.
Where I Stayed
Both times I’ve stayed in Portland, I stayed in AirBnbs. Both were okay. This time I stayed on Hawthorne instead of Mt. Tabor. Hawthorne is an older, gentrified area on the east side of town where more people live.
My particular AirBnb was great because I had my own large room secluded on the 3rd story of the house and my own restroom. The hosts and I chatted in the evenings when I got home.
Where I Drank Coffee
My host suggested Never Coffee. It’s still new so you won’t find it on any list, but it will be soon! The shop has gorgeous details and 5 creative flavors with housemade syrups – Midnight Oil has black licorice syrup!
Where I Ate
My first stop was to Shalom Y’All for happy hour (2:30-5pm). They have a new stand-alone location – they used to be in Pine Street Market. I ordered the usual: Icicle (Carlsberg pilsner with a orange blossom vodka float) and Hummus Abu Hassan.
I ate at both Prasad (downtown) and Harlow (on the Eastside). Both restaurants are vegan and heavy on greens, but the breakfast carbs are “healthy.” I chose the coconut chia waffle and a delicious matcha latte. The downtown restaurant shares space with a yoga studio.
Where I Visited
The International Rose Test Garden was a spectacle for your senses. I was lucky enough to see a rather full bloom as the sun set… and there was a free dance concert with dramatic music too. This is probably why parking was horrid.
Drive 30 minutes (up to an hour) south on the I-5 and you’ll hit the Willamette Valley. I had no idea they were known for pinot noir, but even Sokol Blosser‘s rose of pinot noir was on point (dry). I paid $25 for their pinot noir tasting (5 tastings) and met some other travelers.
Where I Stayed Active
SIGH. My co-worker suggested Pedal Bike Tours to visit the Columbia River Gorge, to avoid traffic and to meet people. Our tour guide, Crystal is from Portland and my fellow cyclists were indeed fabulous. I miss them! The tour was very well organized and they had the logistics all sorted out. Your group bikes without the tour guide for a 3.5 mile stretch but you cannot get lost on the two-lane road with no more than a 5% grade.
I also stopped into Flex & Flow Yoga in the northeast Mississippi neighborhood to take their HIIT yoga class.