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Itinerary: A weekend in Portland

July 28, 2012

Falls colors in Portland

I’m often asked itinerary suggestions and things-to-do by friends who’re visiting places we’ve been to. I love putting together itineraries and providing info about what we did and liked about a particular place. Since I really enjoy the planning part of any travel, I thought of sharing these itineraries on my blog, making it easy to have all the information in one place. Look under the category “Itineraries” and it will bring up a handy list of things to do for places – including sights to see, where to eat and drink at, activities to do and more!

If there is any place you would like a things-to-do itinerary or more information for, do let me know in the comments. Here is the first of these – if you had a weekend in Portland, what would you do? Here are some ideas!

Multnomah Falls, Columbia Canyon Gorge, Wahkeena Falls

(1) Multnomah Falls – The famous two-tier falls. A breathtakingly beautiful waterfall. A perfect photography spot. Easy hiking to get to the top of the falls. Must not miss!

(2) Columbia Canyon Gorge – Wahkeena Falls, Horsetail Falls, lots of short hikes and gorgeous greenery and lush vistas.

(3) Powells Bookstore – The MOST AMAZING collection of used & new books. You could spend all day in this huge store and still not get to all of it’s rooms. It’s a must-see and a very popular landmark / icon of Portland.

Powells Bookstore

(4) Japanese Zen Garden (very beautiful and serene – one of our most favorite spots to visit in Portland). Costs an entry fee. Spend at least a full morning or afternoon savoring this place. The garden is not very big and can be done in a rushed hour or two, but that would be ironic and not Zen-ful at all!

Japanese Zen Garden

(5) International Rose Garden – Definitely visit if roses are in bloom, we couldn’t go because it was not the season for roses when we visited Portland.

(6) Voodoo Doughnuts – a must-try in Portland. They have crazy doughnut flavors and combinations, everything tastes amazing! Note that this is a cash-only place. Get in line as early in the morning as possible, their lines get longer as the day goes by. We waited 45mins in line and were rewarded with a box of their everything-special donuts. We didn’t get the chocolate-bacon one, that’s for next time!

Voodoo Doughnuts!

(7) Stumptown coffee – Portland is well known for their love of coffee and one should definitely try out their local cafes. Downtown Portland is a great spot for people-watching while sipping that freshly brewed cup of cappuccino. 

(8) Street food – They have great food carts, check out Yelp for reviews! Here’s a full-fledged guide to all the food carts in Portland.

(9) Beer! – Portland has tons of cozy microbrew places, we tried a few on our visit. One word – YUMMY! It’s definitely a must-try for beer lovers. There is a brewery around almost every corner, Yelp it and find a well-reviewed place to kick back and enjoy some refreshingly chilled microbrew!

Tasty beer in Portland

(10) Shopping – No sales tax in Portland! Needless to say, we spent a majority of our free time in all the branded stores in downtown Portland. Yes, we truly did shop till we dropped.

(11) Farmers markets – We didn’t get time to go to any, but these are very popular and held on Saturday/Sunday mornings all over Portland. Find the one nearest to where you are and check it out!

(12) Souvenirs – Marionberry jam – we fell in love with this jam after having it at brunch. I bought a couple bottles for home, which were promptly consumed. I recently discovered the same brand and jam in my neighboring Whole Foods Market – how awesome is that! You will find many brands and varieties in any “Made in Oregon” store. If you like full berries in your jam, make sure to get the spread and not the jelly!

Wow, that sure turned out to be a lot of things one can do in Portland over a weekend. But don’t try to do it all in one weekend. Leave some things for the next time. Portland is a beautiful city – less rushed than the Bay Area, and more lush and gorgeous than you thought it would be. One visit had us wanting more – we can’t wait to go back!

Let me know your suggestions & recommendations for more things-to-do in Portland in the comments!

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From → Itineraries, Portland

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