Oregon is a beautiful place, and it was a treat to spend a weekend in its most populous city, Portland. Although Portland is a larger city, many of Oregon’s gorgeous parks, mountains and beaches are accessible from Portland, making it a worthwhile trip for any type of traveler.
PLACES TO GO
Oregon is home to many waterfalls, and I hope to go back to see the rest. For a short weekend vacation, however, Multnomah Falls was a perfect choice. Although a bit touristy, the falls are right off the highway but also have trails close by should you wish to hike more. It is only about 45 minutes outside of the city, making it a short drive for our limited time in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is also pretty close to Mt. Hood, and the drive to the falls boasts an outstanding view of the mountain.
If you want to see the Pacific Ocean on your trip, then head to Cannon Beach, just an hour and a half outside of Portland. Cannon Beach is a family-friendly, sandy beach with large intertidal rocks (see Haystack Rock) just a few feet into the water. A few restaurants, shops, and beach-house rentals comprise the small town.
Bonus: If you’re into American history, you’ll be excited to know that William Clark (from Lewis and Clark) and Sacagawea made their way to Cannon Beach in the early 1800’s, which is why many spots in this area are named after him.
In Portland and the surrounding areas, we used a rental car to get around. Most of the beauty in this area is outside city limits, and unless you take a tour bus to these areas, it would be near impossible to see everything.
WHERE TO EAT
Voodoo Doughnut is one of the original shops to offer “interesting” (weird) flavors of donuts (I refuse to spell it the hard way). The line is usually out the door and across the street, but it’s located right in downtown Portland. The donuts are delicious, so if you’re a patient person, wait in line for a touristy treat.
Another Portland-original is McMenamin’s – a restaurant (chain) that offers good food and beer, but most of all, an amazing atmosphere. They choose unique and historic buildings – hotels, theaters, schools, etc. – to house their restaurants, and the results are amazing. I don’t even remember what I ate, just that I was in awe of my surroundings.
Don’t forget to take a picture of the PDX airport carpet – it’s famous among travelers. Look up the hashtag #pdxcarpet and you’ll see what I mean.
The Wayfaring Woman