Portland

After a week of 115+ degree days here in Vegas I jumped at the chance to head up to Portland for a few days with Mike while he worked. Despite my hipster tendencies I’d never actually visited the land of all things local and organic. The city easily won my heart and I can’t wait for the chance to go back. This isn’t a definitive guide, with only 3 1/2 days to spend there and a two year old in tow, I hardly experienced all Portland has to offer – but here’s a little of what we did see and love.

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Multnomah Falls – A few minutes south of the city and well worth the trip. Super short and easy hike (walk?) to a great viewing area.

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Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Simple chicken and rice dish with a sauce that – to borrow a phrase from the ever eloquent Guy Fieri – takes you straight to flavor town. We ate here twice and took home two bottles of sauce. We visited the restaurant on Ankeny street but she also has a food cart downtown.

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The Max, Portland’s light rail system, made it super easy to get around the city. My son and I took it every day into downtown to explore. There’s lots to see and shop in the Pearl District (Powell’s Books is a must visit)  We also rode it out to the Oregon Zoo in Washington park. This was a great way to spend 1/2 a day.

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Salt & Straw makes handmade ice creams in a variety of uniqe flavors. We waited in line about 20 minutes, but in my opinion, no wait is too long. Do whatever you have to do to try this ice cream. Some of the flavors seem strange but they let you sample as many as you’d like so you don’t have to worry about ice cream buyers remorse. I got Honey Lavender and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black pepper while Mike ordered Carmel Corn on the Cob and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle each in a freshly made waffle cone. I don’t just throw around the word “perfection” people, but this ice cream was it.

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Canon beach has been on my “must see” list for a while. Simple and beautiful, the magic of this place is undeniable.

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The little aquarium in Seaside ended up being the hit of our trip. Though humble and nondescript this charming place is a total gem. The highlight is the seal tank. The extra two bucks for a tray of fish to feed them is well worth it.

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Maybe the only thing wrong with Portland is there is TOO MUCH good food. You’re pretty much living in constant FOMO knowing you’re limited to just how many restaurants you can visit. Sizzle Pie was great and sells by the slice which is a real blessing when you’re impatient toddler requests “Pizza pizza pizza” for dinner.

My favorite may have been the food carts downtown. There’s an entire block of them in Pioneer Square. The choices are varied and everything looks & smells delicious. We decided on a bulgogi burrito from Korean Twist and a variety of dumplings from The Dump Truck. 

Skip Voodoo Doughnuts. I think the true test of a great doughnut shop is if they can get the simple things right – not how much crap they can pile on top of the icing. Try Blue Star instead and get the buttermilk bar.

Portland – 5 Stars, definitely would recommend.