With my time in Washington wrapping up, I'm pretty upset that we didn't get a chance to head out to Portland this year. We had looked into it, but with trying to pay off my student loans and knowing that we would want to do a weekend vacation when we got home with our friends, we just couldn't make it happen.
Luckily, I was able to make it to Portland for one weekend last summer, so I wanted to share my time there with all of you. I had gone with my four roommates from last summer, and one other girl from our internship program who was more local and willing to show us around. Unfortunately, I don't have a record of exactly what we did there, but I will do my best to include everything.
On our way out we stopped at Multnomah falls, which is literally just off the side of the highway. Unfortunately, it was raining while we were there and it was pretty packed, so we didn't hike to the top or stay too long, but it was nice just to see such a tall waterfall for the first time. I was a little disappointed on how touristy it was (there was a huge gift shop and tons of food vendors), but it was nice break in the drive nonetheless.
We stayed at an EconoLodge in the heart of the city, which was absolutely fantastic. We didn't have to drive anywhere and the hotel was surprisingly clean. The guy who owned it was always at the front desk and was one of the nicest people I've ever met in the hotel industry. The free breakfast was nothing special (bagels and pastries) but it was more than enough for us for one weekend. Seriously recommend the Econolodge to anyone on a budget!
What we also loved about our hotel was how it was surrounded by a ton of little parks! We spent a few hours just exploring these one day and they were absolutely beautiful. Portland definitely takes advantage of urban greenery.
The first day we had plans to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner (which of course I can't remember the name of, but man it was expensive but so delicious!) but other than that we mostly just wandered the city. After wandering all of the little parks we made sure to hit up some of the go-to Portland activities including eating at a food truck for lunch and getting Stumptown coffee. We also checked out a bunch of stores including an old equestrian store which was huge, and the people who owned it were extremely friendly.
The first night we decided to go to Brody Theater for some stand-up comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy there, but I some of my roommates didn't necessarily agree. Needless to say, I wouldn't take your kids (or adults who don't appreciate raunchy comedy) to the theater, but if you find that stuff funny, it was a great place. The only issue I had with it was that it was very small, but it did add to the show in that the comedians could really see everyone and get them involved in the skits.
The second day we made a trip out to the International Rose Test Garden! It was by far my favorite part of the trip, and we spent hours there. I am a rose lover (my middle name, my tattoo...) and seeing all of the different kinds was absolutely fantastic. They're all so beautiful and there's so much to see, I couldn't stop taking pictures.
We also made the obligatory trip out to Voodoo Donuts. The line was about 45 minutes long, which we had kind of expected, and we made some friends on line. It was such a tiny store which was pretty surprising, but it was decorated adorably and the chaos of people was organized well. However, I was pretty disappointed by the donuts! Maybe it's just the Delaware in me, but I definitely prefer Fractured Prune donuts to Voodoo.
We also ended up swinging by Cacao (we ate a lot on this trip) for some drinking chocolate, which was absolutely amazing. I'd never had drinking chocolate before and I got the cinnamon flavored kind. I definitely suggest getting the smallest size because that stuff is thick. I could barely finish even the tiny one. I also tried the other flavors because my roommates got them and they were all absolutely delicious.
Before we left, we had to make a "quick" run into Powell's City of Books. What was supposed to only take one hour ended up taking almost three, and we all left with books for ourselves and for others. I got my sister and my boyfriend both books for their birthdays, and the staff was super helpful when it came to book suggestions. I also loved their used book section, which was surprisingly large. My only issue was that the store was so big I got lost a few times!
Overall, I don't think we could have possibly crammed more into this weekend last summer, but it was totally worth it. Portland was absolutely beautiful and I would love to go back next time I have a chance.