Posts tagged Oregon
48 Hours in Portlandia

Recently, we were able to spend a long weekend in Portland, Oregon. It is a destination we have been looking forward to reaching for a long time. Many of our friends have visited and had nothing but great things to say about this PNW oasis.  Now we can confirm, this is a must visit!

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Eat:
It seemed like everywhere we turned there were great restaurants. Whether it was a parking lot full of food trucks, a local brewery, or hole in the wall restaurant, everything was great. We suggest starting the day off with a bottled Stumptown cold brew and incredible doughnut at one of the Blue Star Donuts locations. If you're looking for something more hearty, head over to Mother's Bistro & Bar. A cute, homey atmosphere with great service and an even better menu. When hunger arose at any time after 12PM, we found 10 Barrel Brewing in the Pearl District to be a great spot for a beer and burger. Another wonderful spot was Stella Taco.  We visited the SE location on Division. We are a couple who really love a good taco and we can guarantee Stella Taco will not disappoint! If you have a sweet tooth like Cody, Salt & Staw is the place to go.  There are tons of ice cream options and each one is special. 

Drink:
Portland has a plethora of drinking options. From micro-breweries to dive bars, you won't go wrong. 10 Barrel is worth mentioning again, we loved our seasonal brews while there. 

Explore:
Most of our time in Portland was spent in the Pearl District, but each neighborhood we visited had it's own great vibe. We found the best way to explore what Portlandia has to offer was by renting bikes and just going for it. Powell's City of Books is a must stop for anyone who loves to read as much as Sarah. Be warned, you'll get lost inside for hours! If you are looking to get outside, the obvious answer is going to be the Columbia River Gorge. We loved our hikes at Bridal Veil & Multnomah Falls. Portland is also home to the largest wooded urban park in the states known as Forest Park. It features more than 70 miles of hiking trails, allowing you to get some quality nature time while still close enough to jog to a coffee shop. 

We had an incredible time in Portland and are already itching to head back. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know! 

Quick Hike to the Beautiful Bridal Veil Falls

Apparently we really like waterfalls.  Anywhere we travel to, we seem to seek them out on our adventures.  Another stop we made in the Columbia River Gorge was at Bridal Veil Falls.  The entrance to this waterfall is located just off the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway.  

Once parked, we jumped out of the car, excited to see our first Oregon waterfall.  Bridal Veil Falls was extremely accessible and just about anyone could make the trek to the bottom of the waterfall.  There were some steep switchbacks, but roundtrip the hike is less than 3/4 of a mile.  There is a viewing point that offered great views of the falls.

In addition to a trail to the waterfall, there is also a very short trail that leads to some vantage points of the Columbia River.  Although beautiful, we were unimpressed with the fact that we could see the highway below us, detracting from the natural beauty of the area.

Bridal Veil Falls offers a quick chance to stretch your legs and a beautiful waterfall for those in the Portland area!  

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Multnomah Falls - A View Worth Fighting Tourists For
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When we were spending our weekend in Portland, one of our "must do's" was to visit the Columbia River Gorge area.  We grabbed a Zipcar for the afternoon and headed west on 84. 

Upon arriving at Multnomah Falls, we quickly realized we weren't the only ones with this idea. This is a vast tourist destination and the parking situation reminded us of that right away. After finding a spot to park, we headed past the lodge and boom.. there it is. It is the kind of view that stopped Sarah in her tracks to let out a "wow." 

Many people stop at this first viewing area to take photos and enjoy the views.  We headed further up on a trail to the iconic bridge. We recommend bringing a rain jacket if headed to the bridge or beyond.  The spray from the fall got us damp.  The bridge is a beautiful structure and gave us a really cool perspective of the falls. 

Small waterfall at the top of Multnomah Falls

Small waterfall at the top of Multnomah Falls

We chose to continue on the trail and head for the top of the falls. From here the quick adventure turns into about 1.3 miles of straight switchbacks overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.

The view from the top makes the switchbacks worth it. We were welcomed by a small waterfall that feeds into the large drop of Multnomah Falls. From the viewing area at the top we were able to see everything below as well as the Columbia River Gorge in the distance. 

This is a beautiful and easy stop and we can't wait to come back! If you're in the Portland area, make this an afternoon adventure!

Pedaling Portland
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Portland is one of the most bike friendly cities.  Even those who might be apprehensive about city biking, should give it a whirl.  Bike paths and routes are clearly marked and many streets offer designated bike lanes.  Cars are respectful to bikers and usually give you the right of way.  

On our trip, we rented a pair of city bikes from Waterfront Bicycles located just south of Burnside Street across from Waterfront Park.  There were many bike options to choose from.  We were given a map with many different bike routes that are best to see the city.  

After we had gotten our bikes and looked at the map to get a general idea of what streets to go on, we headed out.  It was a beautiful fall day with clear skies and warm temperatures.  We primarily wanted to see Portland's northeast and southeast neighborhoods.  We first made our way over to Mississippi Street and enjoyed looking at all the cute shops and restaurants.  The next area to check out was Alameda Street featuring beautiful old homes and fantastic views of the city.  From there, we made our way south to Hawthorne and enjoyed a nice downhill ride to the Hawthorne Bridge. 

We had the bikes for about two hours and were able to hit up the majority of Portland's East side. Although we didn't make many stops, we did cruise by some tucked away parks, lots of restaurants, and a plethora of shops.  Being from Chicago, we only got honked at once for being too aggressive on our bikes. Anyone who wants to see Portland should definitely pick up some bikes for the day and enjoy the accessibility the city offers to bikers, both seasoned and novice.