While we are traversing around the globe looking for our retirement location, we are also making time for fun in the States as well.
Who says you can’t experience a city in less than a day? I’m in love with Portland , Oregon and I spent less than one full day exploring it on this trip. In my short time in the city, Portland made its way into my heart as one of the American cities I could live in and not be bored (and trust me, there’s not a lot of those!).
Why Only 24 hours in Portland?
We recently headed up to Portland for a college friend’s wedding. He moved to the city with his fiancee about three years ago and they’ve only told us great things about it. Unfortunately, we only had 24 hours in Portland. His wedding was on a Friday night and I had a conference until the day before the wedding and a prior commitment the day after it. However, I would never miss this friend’s wedding, so with less than 28 hours to enjoy Portland, we headed up to the Northwest.
Eat the Thai Food
We arrived in Portland around lunch time on Friday. I told my husband I wanted Asian food. He had been to Portland the year before on a guy’s trip and suggested Thai, specifically a restaurant called Pok Pok. Pok Pok also happens to be the number one Yelp-rated Thai food in Portland. The guy who owns Pok Pok spent years in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the food markets, learning how to cook like the locals. He studied well. The food is pure magic where spices dance on your tongue and your mouth craves more long after you’ve eaten there.
Visit the World’s Smallest National Park
Portland is weird. That’s part of the charm. Portland is home to the world’s smallest national park, Mills End Park. Mills End Park is in the middle of a four lane road, right at the end of a median. The national park looks like a potted plant in the middle of the roadway. The plants planted in the national park change with the season. If you drive SW Naito Parkway, you’ll see people standing on top of the planter while taking selfies and wonder what they’re doing. Now you’ll know!
Enjoy the River Walk
Lucky for us, my friend got married at the Kimpton Hotel right on Portland’s River Walk. The bad news for us was that it was pouring by the time we arrived at the ceremony. It was not the light rain that Portland was known for, but instead a constant downpour of sheets of rain. However, the river front was still beautiful. The river walk is lined with enormous, beautiful green leaves and filled with joggers, bicyclists, and cute puppy dogs. The large, steel bridge that crosses the Willamette River is also a stunning jewel of the city and can be seen from most anywhere on the River Walk.
Get the Dessert
Sample the Local Brews
There’s too many breweries to name here. Craft beer is a trademark of the city. One of the best ways to experience the local brews is to stop into a local bottle shop. Bottle shops are a unique feature in Portland. The bottle shops sell bottles of local brews that customers can take home. Or if they feel like sampling them in the bottle shop, there’s also a bar in the bottle shop. Any beer that’s purchased in the bottle shop can be popped open and sampled. There’s even a bottle cooler right in the store to ensure patrons can enjoy their beers chilled. Plus beer is super cheap. Local bombers cost less than $5!
However, if you anyone wants to skip the bottle shops and hit up a brewery, I recommend Cascade Brewing. Cascade Brewing is a favorite of mine, with some of the most sour beers to the West of the Mississippi. It’s like sipping on melted warheads…tasty, tasty!!
My Final Recommendation related to Portland:
Visit! Go and explore! It’s wonderful and we will be back!