One Year in Portland

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

On October fourteenth, Morah and I will be celebrating our first year of marriage by spending the weekend in Portland. Our plan is to arrive Friday afternoon and leave Tuesday morning, which gives us roughly three and a half days to check out the city.

There are a few places that we’ll definitely be visiting, such as the International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, and Powell’s Books.

However, neither of us has been to Portland before, so we’re not really sure what there is to see and do. We’ve found a bunch of stuff online, but I’m sure there are plenty of things worth doing that we haven’t found. Plus, the best advice comes from people who have already experienced it. That being said, I’m calling upon my blog readers who have visited (or live in) Portland, to give us some advice on the things we need to see.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Things that can be done in a few hours. Since our time in Portland will be brief, and since a few of our activities are already extremely time consuming, we’re in search of things that we can squeeze in between.
  • Things that can be done in the evening. Mostly, anyway. Our really long activities take place, for the most part, during daylight hours. I hear the nightlife in Portland is fantastic, so hook us up!
  • Absolutely-cannot-miss Portland experiences.
  • Things that can be done in the downtown area, or which will have ample parking. We’ll be staying in a hotel a few blocks Northwest of PSU and we plan to walk and take public transportation a lot.
  • Great food and wine. This is, quite possibly, one of the most important categories! Food and wine are part of what make life worth living, and we want to experience the best of what Portland has to offer. We love most foods, so whatever you have, throw it our way.
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  1. I’ve never lived in Portland, but I have had to travel there about six times over the past year. My favorite place to get food is Northwest Portland – the area around NW 23rd Ave and NW Lovejoy St. It is this perfect hybrid of San Luis Obisbo and some of the smaller neighborhoods of Boston. Just a lovely place to walk around. As for the food, you must check out Serrato ( and Ling Garden ( If you have to choose just one, go with Serrato. I don’t know if they’ll have this, because it was given to us as a free “our chef just made this, if you’d like to try it”, but it was a piece of thin garlic toast with a dollop of some soft cheese and a blackberry on top. It was suprising and heavenly – the flavors, all discrete, exploded into rainbow of taste as soon as it hit my tongue. And I wonder why I’m fat. 🙂

  2. Lindy

    To add to what Kris said, you should also check out the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It is Portland’s version of Riverfront Park and is a lovely way to spend an hour getting some exercise (much needed after eating at Serratto!) and enjoy a few of Portland’s bridges and the river. It is just a few minutes from the Northwest Portland district and right above China town and downtown.

    Happy Anniversary and have a great trip! Call us if you need any more ideas once you get there!

  3. I’ve only spent time in Portland once, and that was over ten years ago when I went to a Trail Blazers game. I remember that we ate at a little pizza place near the Rose Garden, but can’t remember the name of it. I know that’s of no help whatsoever, but if you are able to find it you should eat there.

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