Out of all the places I’ve been, Portland is definitely my favorite. It is such a charming city! It’s filled with blooming flowers, charming buildings, and is surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and nature. I’ve traveled there a few times, and I have narrowed down my top 5 experiences to do in and around Portland, Oregon!
#1: Forest Park + Rose Garden
Forest Park is such an interesting park. One moment you’re walking through the bustling city, but then all of a sudden you’re in a serene, beautiful forest feeling as though the city is miles away. It is just so lovely. Within the park, I would highly recommend visiting the rose gardens. Is it even a trip to the City of Roses without it?
#2: Ecola State Park
If you take a trip to the Oregon coast (which you basically have to), go to Ecola State Park. It’s a very short drive from Cannon Beach, but in my opinion, it is much better. While Cannon Beach is iconic and beautiful, it is always packed with people. When we visited Ecola State Park, however, it was quiet and we were nearly alone while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Seriously, this was the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen of the ocean. Check out our photos from Ecola State Park to see for yourself…
#3: Salt & Straw
DON’T LISTEN TO THE LOCALS WHEN THEY SAY IT’S NOT WORTH THE LINE. THEY’RE WRONG. Sure, it’s touristy- but for good reason! Salt & Straw is an iconic ice cream shop that has locations in Portland, LA, and San Fransisco. The employees at Salt & Straw do a really great job at making a trip to the ice cream shop into an experience. You can try as many flavors as you’d like, and they’re all so very unique! This is an indication of how much I like their ice cream: I’ve been to Portland twice but I’ve eaten Salt & Straw ice cream six times… You do the math.
#4: Salmonberry River Trail
Coolest. Hike. Ever. The Salmonberry River Trail hike is on an abandoned railroad track that was washed out by a flood in 2007. Nowadays, the tracks are broken and trains are unable to drive on them, but hikers hike along the tracks into the Oregon forest. The hike is ridden with broken tracks, amazing bridges, beautiful forest, and some interesting wildlife. During the day we went there, we hiked along the track while it drizzled rain and it was basically all of my PNW dreams come true.
Salmonberry River Trail is a little difficult to find, which is actually kind of nice because we only saw one other couple while walking this trail! There is NO cellphone service on the trail, so GPS will not help you get there. I suggest buying this book which will give you very precise directions to the trail from Portland.
#5: Hawthorne Neighborhood
The Hawthorne Neighborhood is only a short distance from downtown Portland, and you can get there quickly by just walking over the Hawthorne Bridge. Once you’re there, I can name a few fun things to do! First of all, the neighborhoods are beautiful. Ladds Addition is a gorgeous neighborhood with old, charming homes that I could walk through for hours. Also, there are tons of fun vintage shops, farmers markets, and crazy little stores that you should peak your head into! At one of the markets, I picked up cucumber soda which was odd but very refreshing. For the foodies, the Hawthorne Neighbhorhood is where the famous Portland food trucks are located! Most people say that the food trucks are a must when visiting Portland, and I’d have to agree. However, I ate at a restaurant last time I was in the Hawthorne Neighborhood and it was AMAZING. I would highly suggest Blackbird Pizza because- DANG, they had some good eats.
That’s all for today, folks! If you have any questions about Portland travel, please feel free to reach out! Also, if you go on a trip to the city- I’d love to see your photos and hear about your experience. The City of Roses is one magical place!
Happy trails to you,