One of my best friends moved to Portland last year and I finally made a trip across the country to visit her. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was for this trip and it proved to be everything I imagined and more. I have this really weird attraction to Pacific Northwest, the last 7 books that I read all took place in Pacific Northwest. Recently someone asked me what would be my perfect place to retire, the answer was Pacific Northwest, and I have never even been there. I guess part of me sees it as a perfect “home” because it has it all – mountains, ocean, nature, innovative cuisine and vineyards:) I took the first flight of a day, so I landed in Portland by 10am and we spent the whole day visiting every corner of the city – East and West side, downtown, 23rd Avenue, Portland City Grill, water falls, Washington State Park and by 9pm (of course Portland time) I was done, completely asleep on Shannon’s couch. The next day, we went to Portland Fresh Market – all I can say, why don’t we have something like this in Miami – absolutely amazing. Following the fresh market, we built up a good appetite and went to Saturday Market – if you are looking for unique, this is the place to be. I had an amazing burrito, but unfortunately no picture to capture the beauty of this meal as I was so hungry I was even thinking straight. Saturday afternoon was spent visiting the vineyard and lavender farm and local beach. No matter where you turn, the beauty of the nature takes over and leaves me absolutely speechless. To finish of the busy Saturday, Shannon picked an amazing restaurant – Bellytimber…we probably drove our waitress crazy, but it was only because we enjoyed everything that they served us. The most interesting choice of the night were baked chickpeas. Sunday was probably the most amazing day – wine tasting and nature sightseeing. We started our day by visiting the wine room – Ponzi, where I had my first glass of Pinot Gris before noon (technically it was 3pm EST) and a very heavy lunch, but worth every bite. The food was great, but the service was awful…granted, we were one of the first customers of a day there, but the service should still be exceptional…oh well…From there we went to vinery Erath where we tasted some great wines and I will be placing an order this weekend as I realize that I have never had such good Pinot Gris before. From there we stopped at a local jelly shop where for the first time I tasted marionberries and XXXXXX. I had to buy some and bring home and it was certainly a hit with the chef.After few sweets, we visited XXXXX vinery and the atmosphere was amazing. They had great Jamaican music playing and wine stations all over their property with picnic tables set-up in between, where you can bring your own food and enjoy a gorgeous day in Oregon hills.
I was visiting a friend, and quickly found myself falling in love with everything the city had to offer. I enjoy the low-key lifestyle in her neighborhood, proximity to downtown, and to hiking and running trails. And of course I likes the infinite number of restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries at her fingertips
Nestled in the evergreen-laden Willamette Valley, near the Pacific, Portland is surrounded by greenery, mountains and rivers. The sweeping views are enough to make you feel like Julie Andrews, singing on top of a mountain (only in this scenario, that mountain you’re standing on is probably Mt. Hood, or Mt. Saint Helens).
Amid historic state parks, hiking trails and rugged terrain lies a vibrantly eclectic city. Portland definitely has its quirks (the city’s motto is “keep Portland weird”), but there’s so much more than what you see on Portlandia. True, you will find a good number of hippies, hipsters and perfectly coifed lumberjack beards, but you’ll also find a friendly city with strong eco-friendly values, an impressive bicycling culture, and an even more impressive food scene.
Besides its breathtaking views and numerous outdoorsy activities, PDX is also famous for its quirky doughnuts, killer coffee and a vast number of microbreweries and wineries. Portland’s also known for its food carts (there are currently over 600!), and happens to be one of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants in the country.
Ready to pack your bags yet? Read on to find out exactly where you should sip and sup throughout this wonderfully weird city!
Lovejoy Bakers is a fabulous Pearl District spot for outdoor (as well as indoor) people watching. My usual routine is to order a 12 oz. Americano with room for cream, and a ciabatta roll with scrambled egg and butter, find a chair outside and watch the people go by while I “work.”
Tip: Anything made with their ciabatta roll is worth ordering.
I’ve always been one of those people who likes to have 5 things going on at once: when I’m “watching TV,” you’ll most likely also find me scrolling through Instagram, doing my nightly stretches, flossing, texting, or all of the above. The problem with always multitasking is that it prevents me from ever being fully present in the moment, and sometimes it feels like life is rushing by so fast that I might blink and miss it.