Level 2 travel tips for a San Franciscan in Portland and Austin?
May 30, 2013 3:35 PM   Subscribe

I've been to both these cities before, so this time I want to explore some local fave places and grok the resident hipster vibe. Please point me in the direction of the Dolores Park of Portland/Austin.

I have back-to-back trips to Austin and Portland coming up next month. I'll be in each place 3-4 days, and I've been to Austin 3x and Portland once before, so I can take the time on these trips to explore a bit more. I'm looking for more of that local feel, and some of the "weird" of both of these cities.

I live in San Francisco and my travel tips for someone visiting my city would be something like: "skip fisherman's wharf, go spend a Sunday afternoon chilling/dancing in Dolores Park, wander around the Haights and consider your next piercing/tattoo, get some ice cream at Smitten and make sure to eat at least one asian fusion burrito from a food truck, find some naked people, beard-watch at Four Barrel followed by Zeitgeist, hit the Sutro baths if you have time."

So what are the equivalent things I should do/see/eat/drink in the other two cities?

In Portland, I've already done (and liked): Stumptown, Powell's Books, Ground Kontrol, Voodoo, some food trucks.
In Austin, I usually: eat a lot of tex-mex & bbq, run by the river, hit the bars (I tried East Sixth street last time and preferred it immensely to normal-Sixth).
I will be on foot/mass transit in Portland, but have sporadic access to a car in Austin.
posted by mokudekiru to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
In Portland, I would recommend hanging out on NE Alberta Street, from 7th Ave. all the way up to 31st Ave. Great food, weirdness (especially if you're in town during the last Thursday of the month), no chain stores, and easy to access via bus.
posted by perhapses at 4:12 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Close in SE, rent/borrow a bike.

Alberta and pockets of NE are starting to get a Hipster-Disneyland sorta fake constructed feel sometimes. They're fun, but cross over into "trying too hard."

Hit up apex for a night of cheap amazing drinks, SE has loads of food cart pods, and the one on 12th and Hawthorne is a personal fave. We've had an explosion of good ramen joints over the past year, most of which are stupid good.

Also, if you can, Montavilla is a great neighborhood with the best izakaya ever called Tanuki. Do the omakase and pay like 18 bucks for more food than you can stand. Drinks are good there too, a great selection of hard to find booze.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:41 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Austin: spend the day at Barton Springs and BRING GOGGLES! Barton Springs is cool on it's own, but even cooler if you can snorkel/ have a peak around. Walk down the road afterwards and head over to snow beach, the snow cone trailer and get my favorite- green apple and caramel. If you don't want to walk that far, head just across the street to Chuys and enjoy their ridiculous weekday margarita and taco bar happy hour special.

If you've already visited Alamo draghthouse, I'll one up you and tell you to visit violet crown cinema downtown which was the best movie experience I've had in my life.
posted by raccoon409 at 9:41 PM on May 30, 2013

I'm not huge on hipster haunts, but in PDX if you want to get far off the beaten path, head into far North Portland and go to St. Johns. Cathedral Park is awesome, and you can check out Plew's Brews or Slims for some dive-bar action or Occidental Brewing if you like German beers.

It's also easy to kill a bunch of time wandering SE Hawthorne Ave. 39th/Caesar Chavez to downtown. There's Cinemagic cinema at 20th for a nice break.

Seconding NE Alberta Ave - It's walkable and enjoyable, and you can venture up to Killingsworth a few blocks north to go to Alberta Park or some other restaurants. There's some carts around 17th-ish.
posted by hydra77 at 9:59 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

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