Thursday, July 31, 2014


I suppose 2 months is still within the acceptable trip recap window? This summer has been crazy busy, filled with work, travel, and fun.

This post is filled with tons of pictures from my trip to Portland, OR with my sister! Portland has been on my wanderlust list for quite a while, and after visiting, I would definitely recommend it! Portland reminds me a lot of Asheville, a foodie/beer town with mountain views and a hipster vibe! Katie and I managed to pack in a lot of activities in 5 days, so be prepared for photo overload!

The view from the plane of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson made me definitely realize I wasn't in South Carolina anymore!

I arrived in Portland several hours before my sister, so I walked around near the hotel before she got there, stopping by the water, grabbing a cold brew iced coffee from Stumptown, and Skidmore fountain.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites downtown near the Burnside Bridge. While the hotel itself was really nice and recently renovated (with a free happy hour from 5-7 pm!), I didn't feel it was in the best part of town. While Portland is extremely walkable, I would probably stay somewhere in the Pearl district if I ever go back again!

Once Katie arrived, we headed straight to Deschutes Brewery for dinner! Their beer and food was really good (beer cheese and pretzels should be its own food group), as was their elk burger! The weather was perfect and they had the entire restaurant opened to the outside, which made for a fun atmosphere!

After dinner, we wandered around Powell's City of Books and took our first selfie of the trip, naturally.
The next day, our first full day in the city, turned out to be the nicest weather of our trip. It was 75 and sunny, and we set off exploring.

We first had breakfast at Mother's Bistro & Bar, which came highly recommended from various places. Breakfast was good, but I wouldn't say it was the best in Portland. Next we walked hiked 2.5 miles across town to the International Rose Test Garden, stopping at Pioneer Square on the way.

The rose garden was pretty and crowded due to the nice weather. We also got a great view of Mt. Hood!

After our hike uphill, we worked up a thirst for some Portland beer! We stopped at Henry's 12th Street Tavern on the way back to the hotel, and with over 100 beers on tap, we had quite the selection to choose from!

We did some shopping in the Pearl district, then casually ran into Fabio in Whole Foods. Fun fact: he's 55 years old and was advertising a protein powder with his face on the carton.
We stopped for happy hour at Clyde Common, where we snacked on the most fantastic popcorn and sipped on excellent cocktails. I had read how crowded this place gets and you typically have to have a reservation to even get in, but we walked right in and it was relatively empty for a Thursday - score!
We went back to the hotel to get ready for the Foster the People concert at Roseland Theatre. Y'all, this was one of my top 3 favorite bands live. You must see them if you have the chance. The small venue made it that much better!

A late night stop at Voodoo donuts was necessary (the butterfinger donut was on point).

We picked up our rental car Friday morning, with plans to see more of the city/state! We crossed over the Burnside Bridge to SE Portland (the city is divided by divisions - NW, NE, SW, SE) for the famous Pine State Biscuits. Being southerners, we know our biscuits, and these could rival any I've ever had. Holy moly.

Next stop: Multnomah Falls. This waterfall was worth the 30 minute drive outside the city, and it's right off the highway! So incredible, and we even walked across the bridge halfway up the waterfall to feel the water spray!

We kept driving away from the city to the cute little town of Hood River, where we stopped at Full Sail Brewery. The tasting room had a nice outdoor porch with a view of the river, and the scenery wasn't bad either!

Oregon is seriously gorgeous.

On our way back into town, we stopped on the NE side of town, which is an up-and-coming area with a lot of restaurants and bars. We hit Widmer Brothers Brewery first, and then had tacos at Por Que No? We would've loved to explore more of this side of town, but we never made it back. Mississippi Ave gets a thumbs up!

We had the car for another day, so a trip to the Oregon coast was on the itinerary for Saturday, although the weather wasn't fantastic. While you could definitely get around downtown Portland without a car, there were so many other areas of the city/surrounding area that I wanted to see, so a car rental was necessary. With 5 days in the city, we definitely wanted to do some exploring of different areas!

Before heading out, we stopped at the food cart pods (the biggest gathering is around 10th/Adler). We couldn't decide what we wanted so we stopped at Brunch Box and Grilled Cheese Grill - both delicious! We headed to Cannon Beach to see the famous Haystack Rock. The wind was blowing like crazy when we got to the coast, so we had a quick photo shoot then headed inside for happy hour with a view of the beach!

On the way back to Portland, we drove on the outskirts of the Willamette Valley (a famous wine region). We randomly picked the closest winery to us on the map, which happened to be a fantastic decision on our part! Apolloni Winery had a great tasting, with bocce ball and wood-fired pizza in the front yard!

Upon recommendation of employees at the winery, we stopped at Noble Rot for a sunset view. However, without reservations, we weren't able to sit out on the patio, but still enjoyed a mile-high plate of onion rings at the bar before heading to dinner at Trifecta Tavern. Both spots had cool vibes, and were probably more local spots than tourist traps! Katie was pretty excited about the deviled eggs and pimento cheese on the menu at Trifecta, too!

The next morning, we walked to the Pearl district for brunch at Irving St. Kitchen. This was one of my favorite restaurants and meals of the trip - cool atmosphere and even better food with a southern flair. We walked to NW 23rd Street after brunch and loved this area of cute little shops and restaurants. We definitely would've liked to have spent more time on that side of town had we known how cute it was! And no trip to Portland is complete without Salt & Straw ice cream! We spent the afternoon at Bridgeport Brewery (our final flight of the trip) before dinner at Andina. Andina is definitely a must - the best Peruvian food I've had! It was a great way to end our trip!

 If you made it all the way through this recap, congratulations!

After looking back at all the pictures, I'm ready to go back again! Who's with me?