To kick off the new year, my husband and I spent a night in Portland, Oregon. We have lived in Washington State for almost a year now but have yet to drive south, so why not start 2022 with something new? Fun fact- I’ve been to Portland twice for a national cross country meet in high school. Since Nike hosted though, I have never actually seen Portland outside of the airport and the Nike Headquarters.
I have had the itch to travel for the last month or so, but getting to the airport is quite difficult from where we live. Driving is preferred, but under 5 hours is also preferred. As is staying in the United States. I narrowed down my options to Portland, OR or Palouse, WA (which we will do at a later date). What sold me for Portland was our lodging- a tiny house at Tiny Digs . This tiny house community is located in the heart of east downtown Portland, walking distance from some great restaurants and a short drive from popular tourist stops in town. There are several different houses to choose from, all with a different theme (for example- barn, cabin, beach, zen, cottage, railroad, vino..). We stayed in The Modern tiny house for under $150 for a night. Even though it was off the side of a downtown Portland road, the whole little property is well lit and inside of a locked gate, so it felt safe.
We started our trip with a pop over to Multnomah Falls– the Columbia River Gorge waterfall made famous by travel instagrams. Per the USDA website, Multnomah Falls is the pacific northwest’s most visited national recreational site. We can attest to that. Even though it was relatively early on New Year’s Day and a brisk 29 degrees, there were many people there. The falls were quite a site to see though, especially with all of the surrounding ice and snow present during our trip. There are several hiking trails up and around the falls, but we just walked up to the iconic, photogenic bridge. From there, we had a close of view (and misting) of the 620 foot waterfall crashing down into the icy water below.
After the falls, we hit up the also-famous Voodoo Donut. Known for their pepto-pink donut boxes and quirky flavors, this sugar rush was a must. There’s one located in Austin, Texas, but the chain originated in Oregon (our justification for going).
We wanted to enjoy our donuts with a view, so we drove on out to the Pittock Mansion. To be honest, we didn’t even look at the mansion. The sweeping view of downtown Portland, complete with Mount Hood rising in the background, distracted us.
For dinner we grabbed some delicious Cuban food from Pambiche. This tiny restaurant surprised us with delicious pork, tamales, “Cuban cole slaw”, and empandas.
We decided to hit up Powell’s Books, a massive (read: three stories, slightly overwhelming, takes up an entire city block) bookstore. I love books and I love bookstores, although the library is a much cheaper and more sensible option. However, it was a lot of fun to wander around this massive store and take some photos of new books to read.
The next morning we grabbed some biscuits from Pine State Biscuits, a restaurant offering biscuits in variety of forms. We drove out to the Rose Test Gardens inside Washington Park, but due to it being January they were very much not blooming. Many Portland travel blogs highly recommend the rose gardens and the Japanese Botanical Gardens, so if you travel in warmer months maybe stop there.
Before leaving Portland, we took a quick walk across the Tilikum Crossing Bridge and bought a latte from Heart Coffee. Apparently the Tilikum bridge is the largest non-car crossing bridge in the United States, although we did see some busses on it. I guess those are not cars so are not included.
Thus concludes our overnight trip to Portland, Oregon.