This past weekend Xan and I were in Portland with our 16 in 16 friends. And let me tell you. It was SO. MUCH. FUN! Seriously. We loved it.
We went because it was one of the things that made it on our 16 in 16 list. I was excited to go but wasn’t expecting too much. I didn’t know a whole lot about Portland besides the couple episodes of Portlandia that I’d seen. And other than booking flights and an AirBnB we planned almost nothing. Which is totally not my style. But, it was actually really freeing. Instead of a bunch of plans and reservations we all had lists of things that we were interested in and decided that we would use those to help dictate what to do once we got there. It was actually really freeing and I would definitely travel like that again. Plus, everything seemed to magically work out for us. We barely waited in line, even for the most line-worthy things and all the pieces seemed to fall effortlessly into place.
Portland had such a relaxed and genuine feel to it, I was a little surprised (based on the aforementioned episodes of Portlandia). It felt like a mix of Asheville, Raleigh, and San Francisco. It had some of the sprawl of Raleigh so you actually had some breathing room, it had the funky, laid-back vibes of Asheville, and the amazing food scene and West Coast feels of San Francisco. One of best words I can think of to describe it is: refreshing. It felt right in a lot of ways.
Here’s a recap of my favorites things from the trip:
1. Pine State Biscuits. Oh my god, so good. The only reason we didn’t go more than once is because they were closed. Tip: go for breakfast and get there before 8:30 – no line!
2. Salt and Straw. If you have an Instagram account and you live on the West Coast (and probably the East Coast too) you’ve heard the hype about Salt and Straw. And man, did it live up. Tip: If there’s an insane line (There will be. Unless you show up at 11:00am on the 4th of July, then miraculously there’s no line and you can sample allll the flavors) grab a few pints and skip to the front to pay. Ask for some cones so you can get the full experience at home.
3. Pip’s Donuts. We went to Blue Star also but Pip’s were my favorite. They’re pretty simple, but so delicious. Tip: order 12. You’ll probably think you should order 8. Don’t. Order 12. I promise. Oh, and be sure to get a least a few sea salt and honey.
4. Clyde Common. The Ace Hotel’s restaurant and bar. We only had drinks here, but they were great. Tip: Order the popcorn. You’ll be so glad you did. We ate all of ours and some of our neighbors (she offered).
5. Schoolhouse Electric. You’ve probably heard of this design mecca. Well, it’s even better in person. I wanted 90% of what they had in the store. Tip: grab a drink at their in-house coffee bar and take your time wandering around.
6. The Good Mod. A really cool mid-century modern furniture store in the middle of downtown Portland. If you live within driving distance you have to go. Tip: don’t be scared away by the elevator. It’s a little wonky but add to the experience!
7. Multnomah Falls. A really great hike that’s a short drive from Portland. More on this later.
Here are the rest of the pictures from our weekend. This is from our dinner at Luce.
Checking out the local coffee scene.
Trying the beers at 10 Barrels
Checking out Blue Star (I still liked Pip's better).
How cute was our AirBnB?