Portland: What We Did, What You Should Do…

In May of 2017 we visited Portland, Oregon for a week. It was rainy, it was cold, and it was fun. We did lots of walking, visited Forest Park, we walked around the Zoo and the Japanese Gardens, toured a sub, and ate lots of food. That’s not to say that it was all fun and games, we also visited many apartments as we plan on moving there one day. Here’s our feeling on the city, a guide, and photos. 

Weather & One Funny Story

Everyone knows Portland is rainy, that’s not breaking news. But did you know that where we live (Atlanta, GA) actually has more rain? What we don’t have often is hail. Now here’s a fun story…

Rainbow in Portland
Where there’s rain, there’s rainbows

It was a rare moment of sunshine in Portland, we were walking around downtown trying to find lunch. Then it began to rain, again, so we put our rain jackets back on and kept walking. Then the hail began. All the sudden the rain started hurting. For the next five minutes we ran from shelter to shelter, trying to find a place to eat. We were soaked, cold, and really hungry. Unfortunately, I could not get a photo of MadMan looking like a very sad wet rat. I did however get a good photo of a rainbow! If you want to blend in, you better leave that umbrella, but a good rain jacket is a must.

Walking to the Japanese Gardens

Food. Oh Food.

If these were in Atlanta I would have a few more “cheat days” a month.

Coffee, Doughnuts, Cookies, Burgers, Chicken, Beer, FOOD! It’s all so good. Since we were on a tight budget, we did most of our eating from a kitchen. What we did eat out was delicious. If you are visiting Portland, here is my guide of food that I would advise eating.

  • Voodoo Donuts: I got the Dirty Bastard and MadMan got Marshall Mathers. Cheep and Tasty.
  • Blue Star Donuts: We got the Maple Bacon, Blueberry Bourbon, Key Lime, and Caramel Pretzel Chocolate. Very tasty but rather overpriced.
  • Rock Bottom Brewery: Enjoyed after our own rock bottom. Carter had a burger, I had chicken. Local beers were enjoyed.
  • Gladstone Street Pub: Very close to our Airbnb. The place had a very local vibe and we got a few glances. We had traditional bar food.
  • Gladstone Pizza: On the day it hailed, we ate pizza at our room. They don’t deliver so we walked there to pick it up. It’s the thin style of pizza, which seems to be the main style here.

Apartment Gazing

Portland Trip May 2017 - Mountain
This was visible from every part of the city.

As I mentioned, we want to live here when we graduate. We looked at studio apartments and learned one major thing. Studios are tiny and expensive and there are no pools in Portland. After looking at a few we found one we hope is still affordable when we move. MadMan decided he could live in such a small space, and I agreed that I might not die if there is no pool. If you are like me, then you need a place to start. We looked at over 15 apartments in a span of two days and came up with our top two. These were in decent neighborhoods, had good amenities, and had a good overall vibe.

  • The Goat Block: Our second Favorite. They were being built when we visited and had wonderful floor plans. The amenities were wonderful, and you could even use amenities not in your building. Important to note, there was nothing for dogs. They mentioned a dog park what was a three minute walk away, but with as much as it rains in Portland I would have liked even a patch of grass within walking distance.
  • Hasslow on Eighth: This was our personal favorite. The area is still up and coming; however, there is a MAX train that is literally steps from the apartments.  They had amazing amenities for dogs, with no bread restrictions. They even had an indoor dog relief area! You could only use the amenities for your building, so I would advise going for the Aster (the 21 story building). It had everything we were looking for. Oh let’s not forget the views. On a sunny day you can see not one but three mountains!


Trees in Portland
Portland trees are huge. It’s impressive.

In Portland, we did do more than just view apartments and eat food. We went to museums and parks, zoos, and shops. Our best adventure was getting lost in Forest Park, have you seen those trees!?! Being from the south, we have white oaks, but nothing that compares to some of the trees we saw while we were walking. If you’re looking for some things to do while you are there, here is my list of top attraction to see.

  • Forest Park: I’ve talked about this, but again, go see those trees. There’s a few main spots people head to, or you could just walk around. If you’re only taking the MAX it’s a bit of walking to even get to the park so make sure you have snacks and water.
  • O.M.S.I.: Great for families. We were a bit disappointed at how overrun the place was with children as it made it hard for us to enjoy it ourselves. However, if you have children it might be just the place.We also took the submarine tour, it was very fun and educational, our favorite part.
  • Rose Gardens: If you go during the right time of the year this place is stunning. Unless you have a child obsessed with flowers, this is more geared towards the parents.
  • Portland Saturday Market: We had a wonderful time here. I would advise going hungry to this one. It’ll be worth it.
Forest Park
Japanese Gardens
Portland 2017 - Hiking in Forest Park
Forest Park

I hope you enjoyed my guide and I hope it will help you plan your trip to Portland. We stayed for 7 days before flying home. I hope one day to call Portland home, but for now it was one wonderful trip.

Have you ever been to Portland?
What’s your favorite place to go in Portland?



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