Last month I got to spend 48 hours in one of my favorite places, Portland, with my family and Sean to see my sister in her musical. We flew into Portland in the wee hours of the morning and arrived at 7am on Friday morning and then left at 7am Sunday morning. It was a quick trip but we surprisingly did a lot in such a short amount of time. Since I had such a blast, I figured I would share my interary with you in case you are planning a quick weekend trip to Portland.
Stop by the Pearl Bakery for breakfast: After finally getting our rental car, FINALLY man did we have to wait a while and I was getting hangry, we made a bee line for the Pearl Bakery. This is a must visit on your trip, not only is the coffee great but literally you can’t go wrong with ordering anything there! I ended up getting their standard breakfast sandwich, which is a egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich on a croissant and MAN let me tell you I can’t stop thinking about it. It was that good! We ended up grabbing a few halves of sandwiches to bring with us in case one of us, aka my family was thinking of me, got hangry before we could make it to lunch. Yeah I have that rep in the family *rolls eyes emoji* can you blame me? Don’t get in between me and my food HA!
Walk up two blocks to Powell’s Books: After an amazing breakfast at Pearl Bakery we decided to walk up two blocks to explore Powell’s Books! Powell’s Books is the coolest and biggest book store I have ever been in. Now, I’m not a big reader but I love this book store, they have an entire floor for ART! That’s where you can find me if we ever go to Powell’s together.
Walk down to Second Avenue Records: On this trip, my dad was on a record store mission! He heard there were some real record store gems in Portland so obviously being the lifelong drummer he is, he had to check it out. This was our first record store stop of the trip. We got there before it opened, unfortunately for us because it was really windy, but we were able to admire the street art nearby while we waited. This store was cool but my dad was a little let down because it was mainly new records while he was looking for originals. Regardless of that, they did have a large selection along with tons of band t-shirts.
Portland Japanese Garden: After the record store, we walked back to the car and then headed to our next location the Portland Japanese Garden. We mainly went to check out the International Rose Garden because it’s GORG but to our surprise there were no roses and all the bushes were cut down. My mom and I were bummed because when we went last year the roses were so vibrant and massive. After bumming out and scarfing down a ham sandwich we got to go from the Pearl Bakery we head up to the Japanese Garden, which is conveniently next to the rose garden. Let me tell you, the Japanese Garden was SO COOL! Not only did I get my exercise with all of the steps, but everything was so green and I really enjoyed snapping photos of all the plants. It’s definitely worth the trip even if there is a long line.
Head over to Alberta Street: After experiencing the Japanese Garden we got back in the mini van rental and headed over to my favorite street in all of Portland, Alberta Street. There are so many things to do on Alberta Street, I honestly think they have something for everyone on that street. Our first stop on Alberta Street was Collage, my favorite store in Portland, it’s a kick ass art store that I could spend hours in and also a small fortune. I always come out of there with multiple things, in fact there’s some new paint brushes I’ve been dying to try out but I’ve been into watercolor lately that I haven’t had the chance. While I was in Collage, my dad made a pit stop to his second record store of the trip that was a few stores down, HA. He liked this store much better than the Second Avenue Records and ended up with a couple of used records. Then we headed over to Salt & Straw, A MUST VISIT, if you are in Portland. Now if you don’t know what I’m talking about (aka you didn’t read my A Taste of Portland in SF blog post) Salt & Straw is the best ice cream place in existence. They have multiple locations all over Portland so there’s no excuses not to go. I highly recommend the Honey Lavender flavor, it’s my favorite. After Salt & Straw, we headed over to the Tin Shed to have a few beers in their garden. They have a main restaurant along with a garden area, since it was so sunny we couldn’t resist sitting outside for a beer or two. Everyone was super nice there and I will definitely be going back for a full meal next time I’m in Portland. We spent a good amount of time on Alberta street and we only went to a select few places. Alberta street has so much to offer that I have to say that you can’t skip this street on your trip.
Eat Dinner at Pine Street Market: After a few hours spent on Alberta street, we had dinner at Pine Street Market, which is basically a fancy food court. It was pretty good, kinda overwhelming when you are starving so I recommend getting there before you are at the point of no return hungry that way you have enough time to make a great decision.
Go to Sidecar on N. Mississippi Ave.: After dinner I met up with my sister and her boyfriend at my favorite bar ever, Sidecar! I’ve talked about this bar in my previous Portland posts from last year, but seriously even a year later this place goes down as my favorite bar of all time. I still highly recommend ordering a Gin Gin Mule, although I really want to try a Tom Collins here since there whole thing is old fashioned cocktails and spirits.
Go to the Pearl Bakery for breakfast AGAIN: I mean it was that good people! I’m still thinking about that standard breakfast sandwich.
Everyday Music: So since it was National Record Store Day we had to go to yet another record store. This time we checked out Everyday Music a couple of blocks up from the Pearl Bakery. Now I have to say this was my favorite record store, my dad walked out with about 13 records! Since it was National Record Store Day they actually had a band in there playing live music too, I’m not sure if that was because it was Record Store Day or if that’s something they always do. Either way it was cool! They had a MASSIVE selection and a great selection of originals.
Papa Haydn on N. 23rd Street: After the record store we hopped back in the mini van to pick up my sister and head to our lunch reservation at Papa Haydn on N. 23rd Street (another one of my favorite streets). Papa Haydn was cool it was great overall, I have to say probably the best mimosa I’ve ever had. The food was great too my only complaint was that the menu didn’t have a whole lot to choose from for picky eaters like myself. I had the risotto, which was fabulous, but I was hungry sooner than everyone else. Even though we didn’t spend a whole lot of time exploring N. 23rd after lunch, we have in the past and I would highly recommend spending some time on this street to check out what it has to offer.
Stop by Tender Loving Empire: While searching for somewhere for dinner and running out of time before we needed to head to my sister’s play, I finally got to stop to my second favorite shop in Portland, Tender Loving Empire! I love this store because they stock a HUGE selection of local Portland Artist’s prints. I’ve found that I have developed quite the art collecting hobby, it might be because I’m an artist myself, but I always love the prints they have there. They have a location on N. 23rd and another by the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland. It’s a cute little shop that I would definitely check out if you are near by one.
Got dinner Zeus’s Cafe: After buying a print at Tender Loving Empire, we were frantically looking for a place to eat dinner in a relatively quick manner in order to not be late for my sister’s musical. We stumbled upon Zeus’s Cafe and decided to give it a try and to our surprise it was pretty good. I had a strong Gin and Tonic along with the Chicken Pot Pie for dinner and I have to say I was relatively pleased with my meal especially since it was sort of as a last resort type of thing.
Well there you have it, my 48 hours in Portland in April! If you are planning a trip I highly recommend checking out some of the places I mentioned above along with reading my other Portland related posts. If you’ve been to Portland and know of some places I should check out next time I go please let me know in the comments!