Last year, we had a girls getaway to Los Angeles. We decided to make it an annual thing and this year we picked Portland which was so impressive, I want to move there!
Portland is very service-oriented, more so than any other urban place I’ve traveled to. There are Ubers/Lyfts, Airbnbs, and bikes all over the city. Stores have refreshments for you to enjoy while you shop. The greeter at a swimsuit boutique asked what kind of beer we would like!
I didn’t think Portland was weird (contrary to the popular slogan), but laidback, culturally-diverse, and proud.
One other important reason to travel to Portland is to keep costs down. There’s no sales tax! I didn’t know this until I got there and a salesperson said it. At which point, I started shopping like a crazy person. Coming from San Francisco, where the sales tax is 8.5% and a Healthy San Francisco tax is added by restaurants to cover uninsured residents, not paying a cent on tax is a welcome surprise. We couldn’t believe how cheap (comparatively) our lavish meals were.
We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown which I thought was ok, although walking distance to the Pearl District. It probably would have been better to get an Airbnb.
From the food trucks to the best restaurants, we ate like royalty. Everything was delish.
- Ava Gene’s. Family-style Italian. All food sourced locally.
- Tasty n Alder. Brunch options: lemon ricotta pancakes, Korean fried chicken, seared foie gras, hangtown fry, and duck..duck..steak!
- Toro Bravo. Lines that wrap around the block are a good sign, right? Totally worth the wait. Spanish tapas that don’t disappoint. Regarded as one of the best restaurants in Portland.
- Andina. Peruvian tapas.
Go ahead and be a shopaholic. Lots of cute boutiques all around the city.
- Powell’s. This is the world’s largest independent bookstore. I could spend hours there.
- Loyly. Scandinavian communal spa with two locations. We went to the smaller one in Southeast Portland. Simple facility with a small sauna and steam room.
- Saturday Market. Arts+Crafts+Food. Largest continually-running open-air market in the country.
Take a look at pictures I took over the June 2-4 weekend.
Have you been to Portland?
What did we miss?
Other city guides here, including Seattle, Paris, and wine country.