While based in Vancouver we decided to pop down to Portland for a quick weekend visit. ‘Popping down’ turned into about 7 hours each way (mainly due to congestion at the border). But I tell ya, it was all definitely worth it. There are a lot of accommodation options but we chose a really reasonably priced AirBnB that only cost US$45 for two nights per person – travelling in a group is always more cost effective (there were 5 of us). Portland is such a unique and fun place with more of a town feel than a city vibe. Each neighbourhood has its own main street with breweries, coffee shops, food and art. We didn’t have time to explore them all but we particularly enjoyed the Alberta and Hawthorne districts.
The coffee culture in Portland is fabulous and we tried as many as we could. Our favourites were Case Study Alberta and Deadstock Coffee. In Old Town on Saturdays there is a market that sells arts, crafts and foods and is a fun place to sip your coffee and stroll around.
For food we mainly ate at the plethora of food trucks available throughout Portland. There are a lot of them and they are delicious. We also had some fabulous ice-cream at Salt & Straw. Everyone always raves about the donuts at Voodoo and the line-up is horrific, we actually preferred Blue Star donuts on Hawthorne – incredible donuts and no massive queue.
While in Portland we decided to go on a brew cycle tour to explore some of the breweries in Old Town. This involved about 12 people all pedalling on a massive bar leaner bicycle. We had an absolute blast! We started at Back Pedal Brewing (where the BrewCycle is based), a brilliant small brewery with good beer. We visited other breweries such as Von Ebert, Rogue and Deschutes which were all a lot of fun and had top notch beer options. Trust me, the craft beer in Portland is fabulous and you should try as much as you can. The next morning, five dusty friends headed to Hair of the Dog Brewery (self-explanatory).
Andrew managed to sneak in a visit to a makerspace called ADX. They do free tours to the public and it is great place to see various artists and designers at work.
Finally, a visit to Portland would not be complete without stopping at Powell’s Books which is the world’s largest independent bookstore. This place is truly massive and easy to get lost in in. We spent a long time exploring the labyrinths of shelves containing every book imaginable.
Overall our time in Portland was a bit too short and we felt as if we needed one more day to truly round off our experiences. Saying that, we had a fantastic time and in an incredible city.
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 3 days (2 people):
Accommodation – US$90
Activities – US$40
Food/Drink – US$165
Car Rental – US$55
Miscellaneous (e.g. Uber and petrol) – US$67
Total spent – US$417 (NZ$577)