Have you ever visited a city without much expectations, but when you got there, you weren’t just pleasantly surprised but you loved it? Well, that happened to me when I visited Portland. Here are some of the spots and things I enjoyed during my four day stay there.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Right at the center of the city is this beautifully built amphitheater with red bricks. It is rightfully called the living room of Portland. It hosts a bunch of food trucks and an extremely quirky weather clock. On some days during lunch hour there’ll be some performances. We spent more than an hour just reading and people watching here.
Powell’s City of Books
Just a ten minute walk away from the square is this iconic bookstore which is the size of an entire city block. With its color coded rooms dedicated to every genre of books written, I would be surprised if you couldn’t find a book you were looking for. Just the fact that this book store exists in Portland makes me want to move there. And, if and when I do, I will probably be spending hours scouring the shelves here.
Again, I didn’t know what I would expect but when we entered this garden it felt like we were transported to a different world. It is so well maintained and built. I haven’t been to Japan but going here made me want to plan a trip to Japan soon. There are multiple hidden spots where you can meditate if you want some peace and quiet. The zig zag bridge has koi swimming under it and I was so surprised by how big they were and not to mention so colorful.
International Rose Garden
A garden full of roses! Now who wouldn’t like that. I did not know that so many varieties of roses existed till my visit here. It’s like a permutation of every property that a rose can have. My favorite was a rose called Twilight Zone. With its deep purple color and pleasing sweet smell, I could have stood there all day surrounded by it.
Salt and Straw Ice cream
I’m a sucker for a good ice cream place and when there’s a place which can get creative about it’s flavors I have to visit it. Salt and Straw is an ice cream chain which originated in Portland because of its quirky flavors. Something I love about Portland was the presence of small downtown-like areas apart from the main city downtown. We visited a Salt and Straw in one of these areas and I picked my flavors – Honey Lavender and Blueberry Cheesecake. They were so scrumptious! If you’re feeling more adventurous you can try their wasabi flavored ice cream!
Well, this isn’t technically in Portland but these falls which are extremely popular with tourists is located an hour away from the city. I had to visit them because I had visited them when I was a child and I wanted to recreate a picture. The water has definitely reduced in volume over the years but its double drop waterfalls are still extremely beautiful. I was able to get a really nice picture with a couple standing on the bridge!
Things which make Portland weird
Portland is also know by some as Beervana. The city is sprinkled with some amazing microbreweries. The city has different districts and each with its own character. We spent some time in the Mississippi district which has stores with funky outfits and weird collectibles. The added bonus is that everything is tax free! The city is also known for its not one or two bridges but 12 bridges which have their own styles!
This is a city which I would definitely consider moving to if I ever decide to leave California. Portland, you have my heart and I will definitely come back to visit! ❤️