Earlier this month Mike and I went to Portland, Oregon to visit my family! I’ve visited Portland a number of times growing up but I don’t think I was ever really old enough to appreciate it. This time around, I was!
Mike and I got to do and see some fun things in Portland (and area) during our trip, including checking out downtown (food carts!), the Pearl District, 23rd Avenue, Latourell (and Multnomah Falls), Purrington’s Cat Lounge (cat cafe), and surfing in Pacific City. Portland is famous for its food (and beer), and we certainly did not try as many restaurants or see as many spots as I hoped to. Our schedules were pretty packed with home-cooked family dinners (which was awesome, don’t get me wrong! So damn delicious!) Unfortunately there is just not enough time in the day lol. (Can every day include time for two of each meal please?)
We found out late in the trip that there’s actually an Alberta Street in Portland, home to apparently one of Portland’s most beloved neighbourhood street festivals. There was no time for us to go visit Alberta Street but we are eager to return to Portland and to visit to our province’s namesake (I don’t actually know why Portland’s Alberta Street is named that way but I’ll just pretend it’s an ode to our Alberta).
Meanwhile, here’s a photo diary recap of our trip! Just some highlights :)
Some points of interest / Portland travel tips:
- Mother’s Bistro was tasty for lunch but if you go, go for the breakfast menu
- The staff at Purrington’s Lounge weren’t that friendly, but it was still a cool experience to visit
- We tried 3rd and Washington (downtown) food carts I Heart This Cart, Casablanca Cuisine, Sonny Bowl and Taste of Chicago. Loved them all!
- Walk the Pearl District and get lost at Powell’s Books – bonus: They have free wi-fi
- There’s lots of waterfalls near Multnomah Falls. We drove past and then wound back down, passing a few and then stopping at Latourell – which was awesome. Next time we’d like to go to Punchbowl Falls as well – my cousin says the waterfall there falls into a swimming area. And if we hadn’t been with young kids, we would’ve done the hiking trails!
- If you’re looking for a beach day trip – head to Seaside, Oregon (cute boardwalk) or make your way to Pacific City, Oregon. We took one-on-one surfing lessons through Moment Surf Co. and it was one of the highlights of the trip! So very worth the price. Thanks Nick! Our cousin also wanted to take us clamming if you’re looking for another unique coastal thing to do. You need a permit though.
- While you’re in Pacific City you should also go sandboarding (or dune surfing). I was so sad we didn’t have enough time to do it, it looks amazing.
- If you’re in Portland for Fourth of July (which we were), you have to go down to the waterfront and take in the fireworks show! It’s long (at least 20 minutes) but I saw some fireworks there that I’ve never seen before!
- If you visit Papa Haydn on 23rd Avenue, you’ve got to try their Rhubarbarella – rhubarb mascarpone mousse, pistachio genoise, fresh strawberries and strawberry gelee. So good! (Their non-desserts are just okay, but they were one of the few places on the avenue open late)
- If you’re driving downtown, don’t park in a surface lot – they are so expensive. Try to find a metre or a parkade
- Old Chinatown was not that exciting when we went – a lot of things were closed :(
- If you’re lucky enough to have Vietnamese relatives living in Portland, take in all of the numerous big family dinners! Yum, yum yum.
- Honestly, there are so many restaurants I want to try (and I still want to visit Alberta Street). I know we’ll be coming back to Portland as soon as possible!!
Thanks to my cousins Man and Diem for letting us stay with them and use their car!