City Guide: Portland, OR

A little guide to Portland, and a few spots outside the city!

I knew well before I went to Portland that I was going to fall in love with it. I’ve been on the hunt for a new place to call home, and that’s what sparked my trip to Portland, Oregon. The minute we started driving into the city I knew I was somewhere where I felt right at home. Portland is peaceful for a city. There’s really not that many people around at least not as many as you would expect to be. Around every corner there’s a great place to grab a bite to eat, or a coffee shop where you can actually sit back and enjoy yourself. Also the city is incredibly clean. I didn’t see a single piece of trash the entire time I was there, and I was really in awe with the architecture of the buildings. A lot of them are very old, and the houses in most of the neighborhoods definitely have a vintage charm that I absolutely adore. Basically I’m saying that if you haven’t made a trip to Portland yet then you’re missing out! Here’s a few things to do and places to see 🙂

Where to eat:

  • If you’re looking for a breakfast spot definitely find a Pine State Biscuits! I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life, and I never thought I would find good southern food on the west coast. I was definitely wrong! Grab a fried chicken biscuit sandwich smothered in gravy, a bourbon cinnamon roll, and a cup of coffee (Stumptown is served EVERYWHERE). Seriously we ate here twice it was so good, and if you’re in Portland you definitely need to check one out.
  • If you’re looking for donuts obviously you can check out a VooDoo Doughnuts. Now we mostly went for the novelty. We figured we were in Portland we might as well grab ourselves one of the infamous doughnuts. I opted for a Vivid Hibiscus doughnut which was tasty while my boyfriend went for the classic Froot Loop covered doughnut. If you get the chance go to Voodoo just for the fun of it, but if you’re looking for really good doughnuts you need to head to Blue Star Doughnuts. The locals rave about this place, and despite the pricey sweets they really are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Bourbon Blueberry & Thyme doughnut? Yeah that was just one of the many amazing combinations we found there, and I honestly have to say it surpassed Voodoo.
  • We also headed over to Mother’s Bistro & Bar for a nice dinner one night. I wish I would have taken photos because the atmosphere was really neat at this particular restaurant. If you’re in the historic district check out Mother’s either for breakfast and tea, or a dinner and drinks in the velvet lounge.
  • Pretty much anywhere you eat is going to be good. Ask the locals or your uber driver where to go there’s so many great eateries around every corner!

Where To Go

  • If you’re looking for places to go while walking around the city you have quite a few options. Also if you don’t have a rental car don’t fret because getting around the city using the Tri-Met services is incredibly easy and inexpensive. If you want to be in the city head over to Portland State University. The campus is right in the middle of downtown, and you can go anywhere on campus. Grab a coffee and check out the different districts by just walking around. There’s multiple parks, shops, and theaters to check out all around the campus. I recommend checking out the area if you’re looking for something relaxing to do during one of your days in the city.
  • If you do go to PSU you might as well check out Powell’s City of Books which isn’t far. The minute you walk through the doors you will realize this is not your average bookstore. This place literally takes up blocks. I personally could have spent a whole day in there, but even if you’re not a book lover you are bound to be impressed.
  • Don’t skip out on heading to Forest Park. Forest Park is a forest right on the edge of the city, and it is worth the short drive to take a walk and take in some views. There’s multiple trails around Forest Park that you can walk around, but head up to Pattock Mansion first. That’s where you’re going to see the view pictured above. A panorama view of the city, and Mt. St. Helens is pretty breathtaking especially with some of the fall colors peaking through.

If you can get Outside the City

  • If you’re in Oregon you need to go on a hike somewhere. We really wanted to hike the Colombia River Gorge, but because of the fires we weren’t able to go there. However, we did go to Silver Falls State Park and that was amazing. The weather was perfect, and this state park has 10 different waterfalls along the trails. Yes seriously 10! This hike was one of the places that really made me fall in love with Oregon. There are places to hike everywhere, but I definitely recommend heading out to this park if you can. We even saw plenty of deer that walked right in front of our car it was pretty cool that they would get that close.
  • We wanted to check out the Oregon Coast while we were in Portland because it was a little over an hour drive, and it was definitely worth it. Stop at Cannon Beach to see Haystack rock which is pretty incredible to stand in front of. The town itself is quiet, and there’s an amazing Irish coffee shop, the Sleepy Monk, across the street from the beach that you need to check out before you head down towards the water. Enjoy the quiet east coast feel before heading back up or down the highway for coastal views. We went north through Astoria (the Goonies?) on our way to Seattle.
  • Finally if you are up for a drive head to Seattle. We made it there a little late in the day, so we didn’t get to see too much. However, we did make it to Pike’s Public Market which was probably the most insane places I’ve ever been. Honestly it was too crowded for my boyfriend and I too actually enjoy. There was some pretty neat stuff like some of the best bouquets I’ve ever seen, but it really was just way too crowded. We enjoyed the laid back feel of Portland much better than Seattle.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Portland, Oregon! I know I did, and I hope the next time I go I won’t be leaving.


Just a girl in her twenties with the dream to be able to work from home, and run a successful blog biz. I love all things fashion, travel, interior design, and any book I can get my hands on.


  • Oh my goodness those biscuits looked HEAVENLY!

    I’m doing quite a bit of traveling for residency interviews right now but don’t have any West Coast trip plans…this is totally making me want to check out Portland.

    <3 Haley

  • Definitely Saving this – I’ve been dying to go to Portland and the Pacific Northwest in general!

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