Occupying a lush and vibrant corner of the United States, the Pacific Northwest is a natural treasure trove begging you to visit. Tucked just inland from miles of beautiful Oregon coastline and a short drive from verdant wine country, raging rivers, and snow-capped peaks, is one city you won’t want to miss.
If you haven’t already guessed, we’re talking about Portland: a lively metropolis with more bikes than cars, rows of farm-to-table restaurants, and over 10,000 acres of public parks that will welcome you in and make it hard for you to say goodbye.
With an unofficial slogan that encourages residents and tourists to help “keep Portland weird ,” a trip to this iconic city in northern Oregon would be anything but boring. It was difficult to narrow down, but we found a way to choose our top 8 reasons to fall in love with Portland. Take care when reading; the list might cause spontaneous flight-bookings or even phone calls to moving truck companies!
Nicknamed “the City of Roses” for its ideal rose-growing climate, Portland is home to a gorgeous array of the bright and beautiful flowers. The Portland International Rose Test Garden was created during World War I and is now the oldest of its kind that’s still in use today. Roaming around and enjoying the 7,000 rose bushes is free and the best time to visit is blooming season: April – October.
Every weekend from March through Christmas Eve for the past 35 years, Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown converts into the city’s largest open-air artisan crafts market. Over here at Hammock Pack, we love searching for the best local products and with over 350 artists and vendors setting up shop every weekend, the Portland Saturday Market is a dream come true.
A visit to this environmentally-friendly Pacific Northwest city wouldn’t be complete without a taste of Oregon’s natural surrounding beauty and Multnomah Falls provides just that. Only a 30 minute drive from downtown Portland, the falls stand a towering 611 feet above the ground and are cascading with rainwater year round.
Artisan crafts aren’t the only locally-made things widely available in Portland; the city is also bursting with microbreweries cooking up new and classic flavors for you to try. It would take a lot longer than one trip to test out all of these brew pubs, but there are certainly a few that will rank higher on your must-try list. For instance, the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company crafts their beers without carbon dioxide and heats their water with solar energy. Or perhaps you’re into everything organic? Laurelwood Public House brews all of their beers naturally and serves up an all-organic, free-range food menu to accompany their delicious drinks.
If you’re a bike enthusiast, you have to check out Hopworks BikeBar; or if you prefer to enjoy your beers philanthropically, there’s always Oregon Public House, which donates to different charitable causes under the slogan, “Have a pint, change the world.”
There may be countless options for Portland brew pub visits, but don’t be overwhelmed; each offers a unique experience and flavors that won’t leave you disappointed!
Portland has been named the U.S. city with the most brewpubs and a large thanks for this expanding beer culture is owed to the ingenuity and spirit of the McMenamin brothers, Mike and Brian. Throughout the late 1900’s, the McMenamins brought new life to old historic buildings around Portland by converting them to breweries, theaters, dance halls, hotels, and community centers. Today, there are 57 McMenamins locations, each with its own charm. All are loved by locals and tourists alike.
One such location, the McMenamins Kennedy School Theater, provides comfy, living room-style seating in a large auditorium where popular films, cult classics, and old favorites are played while pizza and microbrews are served. You can also stay the night in one of their converted classroom-to-guestrooms to ensure you get the most of this historic and lively community center!
If you get a craving for something sweet, indulging in one (or a few) of Voodoo’s 100 different flavors will not only leave you satisfied, but entertained as well! The local, independant shop is based in Portland and has become internationally famous for its eclectic atmosphere, pink voodoo-drawing-covered boxes, and of course, interesting and tasty doughnut flavors.
Stop by and get your fill of some traditional doughnuts like the famous Portland Creme, or perhaps something vegan is more your style. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always choose one of the more unconventional doughnuts with toppings ranging from bacon, cereal, grape flavored Tang, and bubble gum to name a few! Locals swear by the Bacon Maple Bar – it’s quite the treat!
With over 600 different food carts in Portland serving up every cuisine and combination in between, mealtime in the city is always new and exciting. For a quick and often cheap eating option, peruse the rows of Portland’s food carts that set up shop on various streets in the city. Support your tastebuds while also supporting local businesses!
Named the “City of Books” due to its massive size, this independently-owned new and used bookstore headquarters is a must-see in Portland. Powell’s takes up an entire city block downtown and has been dubbed one of the 10 “coolest” bookstores in the world by CNN.
Whether you’re into new and interesting eats, homebrewed drinks, natural escapes, or local hangouts, Portland is overflowing with reasons for you to extend your stay or come back soon.
If you’re as enamored as we are, you’d be happy to know it’s not too late to sign up for a Hammock Pack subscription and receive an assortment of goodies from this exciting city.