People love to compare Portland and Seattle. When I got back from our trip, everyone wanted to know which city was my favorite but I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. There are things to love about each city individually but I do think Portland dominates in two areas: craft beer and public transportation. You’ve read all about our Seattle adventures so let’s get into what Portland had to offer.
First up: the beer. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, there are around 150 breweries in Oregon. We visited Deschutes, Lucky Lab, Sasquatch, Double Mountain, Hair of the Dog and Widmer Brothers. The line up at each was great but the clear standouts for me were Double Mountain’s Kolsch and Widmer’s Green & Gold Kolsch (not that I have a type or anything…). If you are at all into craft beer, you will not be disappointed with your options in Portland. Also of note: Sasquatch and Widmer had super delicious food.
One of my favorite days took us around the Mount Hood Scenic Loop, with stops at Multnomah Falls, Hood River and the Timberline Lodge. The falls are about 45 minutes away from Portland. We took the Historic Columbia River Highway for a few miles and it made for a beautiful drive. At the falls, we hiked a loop that took us to the top of Multnomah Falls, past a few other waterfalls and back down with awesome views of the Columbia River.
From there, we drove about 30 miles over to Mount Hood to stop at Double Mountain Brewery for lunch. The truffle shuffle pizza was legit! And the kolsch I mentioned was perfectly refreshing after the hike. After refueling, we continued the loop around to Timberline Lodge. We kept wondering when we would see Mount Hood but our patience paid off. Driving from the direction we did, the mountain suddenly appears out of nowhere. We got a closer view at the Timberline Lodge and then headed back to the city.
There were several other spots on the scenic loop we could have stopped at with more time. If (when) I go back, I’d love to camp out and spend more time hiking. And seeing a concert at The Gorge is on the list too.
Portland also has some really good food. Of course there’s the obligatory pilgrimage to Voodoo Doughnut, which definitely lived up to the hype. We got lucky and didn’t have to wait very long. My favorite was the dirt doughnut, which had oreos and vanilla frosting. For lunch one day, we hit up Blue Plate which was ridiculously tasty. It’s a small spot so be prepared to wait for a table. Another standout was Piazza Italia in the Pearl District.
Like Seattle, we tried to fit in as much as we could in the time we had. We didn’t get to everything but here are a few other highlights from PDX:
- International Rose Garden and Japanese Garden – the Rose Garden is free but there is a small admission fee for the Japanese Gardens. Both were very relaxing to stroll through!
- Timbers Stadium – we weren’t able to tour it but we did get some Timbers gear.
- OMSI – I went in with low expectations but we enjoyed it
- Punch Bowl – a fun happy hour spot with bowling and ski ball
What’s on your must-see list in Portland? Comment below!