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Why Portland? This was the common question we got when we told people we were headed to the quirky city as part of our annual girls trip. The answer, why not? The city has recently seemed to gain a newfound popularity as the epicenter of hipster ways and with the show Portlandia celebrating the quirkiness of the city we figure it was worth a visit to.
Portland is a relatively small city of just over 600k people and downtown Portland is surprisingly walkable with smaller than average city blocks; what seemed far away on the map quick appeared in front of us while we explored the different downtown neighborhoods.
The downtown core was quaint, easily walkable, and full of sights and attractions. If you get thirsty on your walk there are plenty of specialty coffee shops, breweries, and food trucks to grab a drink or quick bite from. They also have a beautiful river walk that takes you all along the shore. This is where events are often hosted including a massive weekend market filled with fun goodies.
This trip was a bit more laid back then some of our previous girls trips and included plenty of aimless wandering and trying to see as much of the city as possible. We stayed outside of the core but we took MAX (the local transit line) to get around the city and we used Car2Go, a great car sharing service, to explore outside of the city.
We wanted to be sure to take in Oregon’s natural beauty so we spent a good portion of a few days hiking and exploring. Forest Park is located right in Portland and has a wide variety of trails and beautiful views. We opted to hike through the park and end at the Rose Garden.
There are some great sights and attractions just outside of the city so we used our Car2Go membership to access things we would have otherwise missed and it was 100% worth it. We did a day trip and took the scenic Oregon highway stopping often for waterfalls and short hikes then ended the trip in Hood River after touring a few of the local wineries.
Although we had searched out some restaurants before we went we were unable to find some of them despite hours of wandering in the scorching sun, so we ended up primarily checking out places we accidentally wandered to. However no visit to Portland is complete without stopping in at Voodoo Doughnut. The quirky shop is extremely popular. From what we saw, the downtown location will nearly always have a line, but the secondary location seemed relatively empty when we accidentally walked past it.
Overall visiting Portland made for a great affordable weekend away (no sales tax!) and the city’s charm and quirkiness makes for a memorable and unique experience with excellent outdoor hiking excursions to ensure we burned off those doughnuts.
Photos courtesy Miranda Russell. Photos cannot be used or reproduced without express permission from the owner.
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