Portland, Oregon. I was recommended to go here by my good friend Kim. It’s weird she said, so you’re bound to love it, plus there’s a giant book store! Sold I thought and found myself on a bus to investigate!
From Seattle Portland is around a 3-4 hour drive and pretty cheap on the Boltbus if you don’t have a car. It is certainly a unique city, that cherishes it’s quirky edges and colourful buildings.
The first thing I gathered when I arrived (actually even before I arrived because I spoke to some people on the bus) was that Portlanders are lovely.
From the polite girl who apologised a million times when she bumped into me in the bookstore, to the hostel owner who gave me a free padlock when we had to break into mine (don’t ask), to the chatty old man who told me stories about growing up in the city and thanked me for talking to him at breakfast. Sometimes a bit odd or eccentrically dressed, they seemed a welcoming and friendly bunch that gives Portland it’s spirit.
The second thing I gathered was that this is a hippy city, not hip or hipster but very much hippy:
Hostels have yoga mats, herbal teas and no shoes rules.
Yoga studios sit next to marijuana shops (which by the way is legal in Oregon and no Mum I didn’t go in 😘)
In fact these ‘Green Houses’ are EVERYWHERE and I’m pretty sure 80% of the population is stoned, which might explain the chilled vibe of everyone 😂
There are also loads of vintage shops and thrift stores which are pretty neat.
Mississipi Street in the North East of Portland was great for these and the prices didn’t seem too bad either 😆
Oh yeh and everyone rides around on bikes!
Or in groovy old cars and trucks!
Nature is worshipped and the city seems very connected with the surrounding landscape.
Outdoor pursuits are popular, there are parks and trees throughout the streets and recycling is promoted.
The cherry blossoms were out on my visit and they were delightful.
Art is another element that can be found anywhere and everywhere
Leaning more towards the hipster category, Portland has an array of interesting, quirky attractions. Number one on the list being Powell’s Bookstore:
This is not just any bookstore, this a Portland bookstore and it is a city. Pick a topic, any topic and I promise you there will be a book on it, there is just everything!
I mean just look at this Tolkien collection!!!!
(FYI there were about 4 more shelves full this was just a fraction of it)
In each section they also had items on sale that had some sort of significance to that genre. For example in the travel section they had travel pillows and maps and things and in the fantasy they had Harry Potter scarves, you can get so much more than just books here!
Just to point out what I was saying earlier… they also sold yoga mats and the wellbeing genre section was EPIC. Worth noting is that the store does also have a nice cafè where you can sit and read any of the books, there are power outlets as well, so quite a handy place for a stop during the day 😊
The next attractions I wanted to mention were the cinemas. There are a fair few around ranging from modern Cineplex’s to old fashioned styled theatres. I went to one called The Living Room where you could order a full on dinner and alcoholic drinks whilst watching your chosen film in comfort!
Then of course I can’t forget to mention the food trucks!! These bad boys are scattered throughout the city in all shapes and sizes. They vary greatly with what they have to offer, from burgers, to cheese toasties, to vegan wraps and couscous, it doesn’t really matter what one you choose, it’s a Portland tradition you can’t pass up!
The rest of the food scene is also amazing. Vegan, gluten-free, whole foods, organic and all that jazz is very popular, which means there’s a great variety of fresh and unique recipes being tried out. Brunch is also a big thing in Portland so I had to try a few out, starting at a place called Tin Shed.
Special of The Day – Scrambled eggs, asparagus, bacon, tomatoe, cheese grits, a potatoe cake and what they call a Buttermilk Biscuit that’s kind of like a savoury scone type thing but not… just try it! It was delicious 😍
Next up was pancakes at a very hipster resteraunt called Gravy:
Anyone looking for a new pancake recipe try this: blueberries, pecans and maple syrup. Genius.
Funny/notsofunny story about these pancakes. Shortly after taking this photo I jumped on a bus with my leftovers, picked up the bag of pancakes when I got off… but left my backpack on it. Result – vanishing of said bag, along with money, a new book, my phone charger and a cool Powell’s waterbottle that were inside it… but hey I still had the pancakes at least!! 😆
All in all Portland is certainly a unique place to visit, expect rain, smiles, good food and colourful memories. Just don’t leave your bag on the bus! 🙄