Portland is one of those cities you hear about from everybody and you are eagerly waiting to discover it on your own. So when I finally had the chance to book a trip to Portland, I was already very excited. I started looking for the most fashionable and stylish things to do in Portland. Looking them up online was useful of course, but most useful was word-of-month, as my friend Tatiana, who has been living in Portland for the last year, had by far more great tips that I could ever find by myself browsing Yelp locations!
So here it goes… here are some stylish things to do in Portland!
Indie Bike Tours
We had such a great time doing a winery bike tour! The company that does this is called Pedal Bike tour and they basically get groups of 4 plus bike gear (that they provide), all aboard an SUV and then drive them out of Portland through Yamhill County’s wine region past rolling hills, farmland and countryside. Along the way, there are 4 stops at wineries for tasting and relaxing. The difficulty is low to medium, but in some of the hilly parts it gets trickier if you’re not in the best shape! We still managed to do it and got to enjoy the refreshing wine tastings after.
But First Coffee…
There are so many amazing independent coffee shops in Portland that it’s really hard to choose just a few that you like. Although we had our eyes set on a few, while walking throughout the city, we discovered so many other cool places. Here’s a shortlist!
St. Honoré (2335 NW Thurman St) – At St. Honoré you can just feel you are in a cafe from a street in Paris. They recreated French Style perfectly, from the symbolic street sign added outside of the building, to the cute patio facing the street, but also on the inside. They also serve breakfast and brunch, and they have the best pastries in Portland, à la française!
Lovejoy Bakers (939 NW 10th Avenue) – Great hip location and a sunny patio. They also have an amazing brunch and pastries that left us eager to come back.
At Nuvrei (404 NW 10th Avenue), we found how a tiniest place proved to have the most delicious bagels. It gets pretty busy, but it’s worth the wait. We tasted the salmon bagel on a pretzel bun. Need we say more? Delicious!
Head over to Living Room Theaters (341 SW 10th Ave, Portland) for an amazing cinema experience. The place is comfy and serves food and drinks during the movies.
Concerts, live bands and events are among the best things to do in Portland. Because of its hip, boho style, there is always someone performing. Check out the schedules for the main music and concert venues:
The outdoor escape
Oregon coast has some really beautiful scenery, so you can choose to emerge yourself into nature by taking a walk, or a hike in and around Portland. We took a stroll in the Rose Garden and it was really sublime, so highly recommending that. Some of the other nature highlights are:
Multnomah Falls– most famous waterfall in Oregon
Angels Rest (hiking, great view)
Trilium Lake (lake)
Water Front Park (in the city)
Council Crest (go for the view, it’s in the city)
Forest Park (good for a walk, in the city)
Our favorite shopping places revolved around 23rd Ave, Pearl neighborhood and some shopping malls near Portland. As Portland is tax free, it’s a great place to invest in good quality items and this is why shopping is one of the most common reasons why people go to visit Portland. Except food of course… 😉
23rd Ave would look like an ordinary residential street, except here houses are all turned into shops, restaurants and indie cafes. You can find high-street brands such as Urban Outfitters or Free People, but also local boutiques. While you’re there, you have to go to Salt & Straw and try their ice cream. Their flavors are so creative and deliciously interesting!
- Coconut with Petunia’s Salted Caramel Bars
- Honey Lavender
- Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon
- Cinnamon Snickerdoodle
- Chocolate Gooey Brownie
- Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache
- Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons.
Pearl neighborhood is great for shopping too. Madewell and Anthropologie are here, but also and other independent boutiques carrying plenty of designer clothing and accessories, such as House of Lolo, Babette and Physical Element.
Other shopping places you might consider are the malls outside of Portland:
The downtown area has a few attractions and places of interest, but pretty much standard Macys, Nordstrom or Target City. You can also check out Pionner Place, a small shopping mall, but the only one inside the city.
Where to eat
Portland’s food scene is really good. Besides the well known food trucks, there are so many different places where one can satisfy any type of culinary appetite. Here are some of our favorites
All places on 21st Ave – similar with 23rd Ave, but it has mainly restaurants:
Noble Rot (beautiful view, amazing food) east side
Navarre (good food and good price) east side
Tasty & Alder
Food carts at SE Belmont and 43rd.
Beswas (famous for the brunch, super American)
Ava genes (hot spot)
Sweededee (cute, cozy, amazing food! So Portland! You have to go there, for brunch or lunch…)
Whisky Library (nice bar)
Harlow (healthy food, bowls and yummy walnut pancakes)
Tusk (Lebanese, locally sourced, delicious)
Kure (smoothies, juices)
What to wear in Portland
Portland is a mix of eclectic buildings, urban art, hip coffee places and boutiques. It makes us combine bohemian and casual elements and are chic and current, but also timeless and comfortable. Check out our Porland Style Guide to see how you can blend in the city’s beat.