5 day trip to Portland, OR
March 24, 2015 10:52 AM   Subscribe

What 2 things would you recommend a friend do during a 5 day trip to Portland, Oregon in mid April?
posted by garlic to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (25 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: 1) go hiking in the Colombia River Gorge
2) go eat duck fat french fries at Bourbon & Branch
posted by supermedusa at 10:55 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Japanese Garden
Chinese Garden
posted by janey47 at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Uppers: Tasting Flight at Either/Or
Downers: Distillery Row tour
posted by furnace.heart at 11:04 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Rent a bicycle and tour the city, the waterfront, and the bridges on bicycle.
posted by wye naught at 11:06 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Japanese gardens and any bottle shoppe.
posted by lawliet at 11:06 AM on March 24, 2015

Powell's Books!!
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:06 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Visit Powells City of Books and hike Mt. Tabor.
posted by Lynsey at 11:23 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Spend a day in the Gorge, driving the scenic highway, stopping and seeing waterfalls. Do some hiking if they're up for it. Get at least as far as Hood River, or The Dalles if time allows, cross the bridge at either town, and head back on Hwy 14 for even more gorgeousness. Stop and eat at any of the dozens of restaurants. (I added the recommendation of The Dalles if possible because of the huge change in scenery at about Mosier.) Wildflowers will most definitely be visible. Camera strongly recommended. :)

Definitely Powells. For a longer visit if they're a reader, and for a shorter "OMG SO MANY BOOKS!" if they're not. (Even my reads-at-maybe-3rd-grade-level enjoys browsing there.)
posted by stormyteal at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2015

Best answer: Caveat: I've only been to Portland once and so can't really rank these against other recommendations here, but two of the OMG highlights of my trip were:
posted by usonian at 11:36 AM on March 24, 2015

Japanese Garden
Blue Star Donuts
Blue Star Donuts
Blue Star Donuts
Blue Star Donuts
posted by zippy at 11:39 AM on March 24, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: It's been awhile, but - McMenamins Kennedy School in the Alberta neighborhood. The McM brothers had such a great entrepreneurial model going there and in other locations, of converting historic buildings into brewpubs/event venues/multipurpose locations. Though I did not enjoy the lodging, the one time I stayed there - but wonderful, imaginative art throughout the complex.
posted by mmiddle at 12:22 PM on March 24, 2015

if you are into wonderful foot wear (socks, stockings, leggings) visit

Sock Dreams!!!
its very fun!
posted by supermedusa at 12:23 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

What I would do, if only 2 things: zoo bomb and visit natural foods grocery stores.
What I would recommend: visit Forest Park and rent a bicycle or go on a guided bike tour.

I worked at a bike rentals & tours shop, but if your budget is greater than zero, I do highly recommend it. And if your budget is zero, I may be able to lend a guest bike.

There's also tastings of drinking chocolate at the chocolate place on the same block as blue star donuts downtown. A way more delicous experience than the donuts for the same price.
posted by aniola at 1:13 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: 1) Go for a run or hike on Wildwood Trail in Forest Park
2) Order one of each flavor of doughnut at Blue Star Donuts. Go early so they don't run out.
posted by soleiluna at 1:24 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Visit Salt and Straw for unique ice cream flavors you never imagined possible.

(If you like arcade games) visit Ground Kontrol to play some old school video games while drinking.
posted by tacodave at 2:22 PM on March 24, 2015 [4 favorites]

Happy Hour at Portland City Grill (the bar, not the restaurant), located 30ish floors up in the Bancorp tower (the big pink building) downtown. Awesome view :)
posted by ainsley at 2:28 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

*Portland Timbers game and sit with the Timbers Army. Have a beer and pull up the chants on your phone so you can sing along and go nuts. All their games sellout, so buy general admission Timbers Army tickets on StubHub. If you like soccer, or just like yelling in a crowd, this is worth it.

*Powell Books. You don't need to be a big book reader to appreciate it. It's basically a landmark and a must-see stop. They also sell a ton of cool little knick-knacks and Portland souvenirs.

*Blue Star Donuts. Ignore the advice to go to Voodoo Donuts. The line there is always insane, and Blue Star Donuts has some truly unique and fresh flavors. They have a couple locations too, so you should be able to find one.

*Japanese Garden. It's bigger than the Chinese Garden and it's also conveniently located right near the Rose Garden, which is another nice spot to walk through to see random types of roses.

*Salt & Straw is a place I hear come up frequently because of the unique, fresh flavors they offer. Always seems to be a line though, so I have never been.

*The Alder Street food cart pod. Located at SW 10th Ave. and Alder St., there are a ton of food trucks of all different types of cuisine that makes more a cool, Portlandy spot to grab lunch or even a late night snack. It's close to downtown too, where you'll probably be walking around at some point.

*One of the many coffee shops or microbreweries. Personally, Public Domain downtown is one of my favorite coffee spots. But there are many all over the city.
posted by AppleTurnover at 2:33 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

The food truck scene is lots of fun. But skip cartopia.
posted by jennstra at 5:47 PM on March 24, 2015

1. Dinner at Pok Pok was a highlight of my trip to Portland last year. One of the rare times a restaurant has lived up to the hype.

2. Powell's
posted by lunasol at 5:53 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Get the Peanut Butter, Pickle, Bacon Burger at Killer Burger. So delicious!
posted by hydra77 at 7:18 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you're there on the weekend Saturday Market (also open on Sunday) can kill a few hours. It's right on the waterfront, downtown. Plenty of food and people-watching, and street art.
posted by hydra77 at 7:19 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

1. Do a chocolate tour, starting with Alma Chocolate for drinking chocolate and/or Thai peanut butter cups and/or Chocolate Cake (Fridays only), moving on to Cacao for a drinking chocolate flight and/or their selection of truffles and artisan chocolate bars, and finishing at Meadow, which also has an excellent (and different from Cacao's) selection of artisan chocolate bars.

2. Go to smallwares (they call themselves an "inauthentic Asian restaurant" for creative and delicious Asian-influenced small plates.
posted by creepygirl at 7:22 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

See a movie at the Living Room Theater and go to Powells.
Also wander the streets - so much fun to be had just through your wanderings.
posted by Toddles at 7:28 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I came in to suggest Thai peanut butter cups at Alma and a flight of drinking chocolate at Cacao, but I see creepygirl beat me to it.

So I'll suggest two more favorites from my last visit there: A sandwich (any will do) from Meat Cheese Bread, and pizza (any will do) from Ken's Artisan Pizza.
posted by emelenjr at 10:08 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

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