It’s no secret that Portland is one of America’s most unique and interesting cities to visit, yet it is still often overlooked in favour of larger and more popular American cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Not only is this city visually stunning, it is also famous for its culture, outdoor activities, and incredible food and drink scene. If you’re interested in planning a trip and want to know what to do and what you must see while visiting this wonderful city, keep on reading to hear how we spent our 24 hours in Portland!
After a day of driving we arrived to Portland in the early evening, just in time to visit the world famous Powell’s City of Books and grab a bite to eat. Taking up an entire city block, Powell’s City of Books not only lived up to the expectations I had, but also significantly exceeded them. If you are a book lover, or even just enjoy reading a good book every now and again, you are sure to absolutely love this place. This store is made up of three floors, nine different rooms that are all dedicated to a different genre or type of reading and over 3500 sections. As it was starting to get late we only spent about an hour at this stop on our journey, but it would without a doubt be easy to get lost in the stacks of books for hours upon hours if time allowed it. If you time it right, they also offer live readings and author events that are open for the public to attend to. This is not a bookstore that is comprised not only of new and modern books, it contains both everything from new to used and modern to vintage novels, titles and authors making this the perfect spot for all kinds of book lovers.
After (sadly) leaving Powell’s City of Books, we walked across the street to Sizzle Pie West Portland, a punk rock era inspired pizza place that serves East Coast style slices combined with West Coast ingredients and flavours. Not only is this a great place to grab a slice or two of some really incredible and affordable pizza, but it’s also a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy the fun and unique culture of Portland. This location specifically has a jukebox that is full of great music options and is designed to be a place for everyone to come and enjoy some great food a great atmosphere at any time!
The following morning we got an early start and headed back to the same area that we left off the night before. Our first stop of the day was the world famous Voodoo Donuts which is located a few blocks East from Powell’s City of Books. Upon arriving there was a big line, but don’t be fooled or turned away when you see it, it moves quickly and the Donuts are completely worth the wait. Much like Sizzle Pie, this place is designed and decorated to represent the “weird” culture of Portland and allows visitors to experience an authentic and true feel for the city. In the world of donuts, these ones definitely stand out due to their outrageous, yet amazing colours, flavours and themes but don’t worry, if you’re a fan of classic donuts they do offer many timeless and simple donut options as well. After visiting Voodoo we definitely understood why they are as popular as they are and we both agreed we would definitely be visiting again next time we found ourselves in Portland.
After leaving Voodoo with full stomachs and box full of donuts for later, we walked south down the street for a few blocks to Stumptown Coffee, a very popular and well known cafe that has locations throughout the entire state as well as across the entire country. I consider myself to be somewhat of a coffee snob, so when trying a new roaster or cafe I can be slightly hesitant. Stumptown Coffee is without a doubt one of my favourite coffee shops & roasters that I have ever been to, so much so that I would consider driving down to Seattle (the nearest location to Vancouver) just for a cup of coffee. Equipped with a full espresso bar and a variety of different drip coffees, Stumptown is the perfect place to enjoy any kind of coffee that your heart desires. Along with serving some pretty incredible coffee, the location in Portland’s Old Town also hosts rotating art shows and serves as an amazing spot to catch up with friends, sit down with your laptop and get some work done or simply even do some people watching.
Our next and final stop as we were running out of time was walking thought the downtown core of Portland and enjoying the breathtaking views and unique buildings that make up the city of Portland. Before departing the city we found ourselves at the ACE Hotel where we came across a vintage photo booth that is definitely worth the five dollars for a strip of film inspired photos that serve as an amazing souvenir from the fun and very weird city! If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in a city that has a large variety of different things to offer, Portland is a great place to visit. In my opinion, what makes this city an even better place to visit is the fact that almost everything is within walking distance from one another and if it isn’t, they have a very simple and useful transit system that can be used to get around the city and its surrounding areas! Although we didn’t get to do everything that we wanted to due to time constraints, the road trip down to Portland was in our opinions very worth it! Living in Vancouver makes it easy for us to take a spontaneous and quick trip down south, so we will definitely be making our way back in the near future to check everything else Portland has to offer off of our list.