Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Portland Tour Guide

With one task completed in a swift phone call, I am feeling productive. I am able to suspend my iphone number while away on my trip for a mere $9.95 a month and already have the first six months of suspension set up to commence on February 10.

Photographed by Dana Devoe
Edited by me with photographer's permission
Baltimore, MD - Fall 2012

I spent the past couple of days playing tour guide to a friend visiting Portland. Apparently I have spent enough time in the city to adequately get around town on the bus and tram (I can thank google for the help with navigation, too), but more importantly, I have picked up a bit of knowledge of the neat places to hang out for a varied view of the city. My Portland knowledge can use some sharpening, but for someone usually reliant upon others to transport me around the city and take me to their favorite spots, I think I fared quite well. So which places did my friend get to visit?

Powell's Bookstore - this bookstore takes up an entire block and is about four stories tall. If you only visit on place in Portland, this might just have to be that place.
Saburos - an awesome sushi place where you have to get into line 40 minutes before opening if you want to get seated in a timely manner on one of their busy days. The sushi is extremely reasonably priced and tasty - and absolutely worth the wait in line.
McMenamins - This is a series of pubs in the Pacific Northwest - with each location having their own flair of personality all visitors should visit one of the McMenamins for a bite to eat and a pint of brew. With our meal of awesome pizza and tasty, fancy cocktails, we were both happy campers with the decision to check out the cellar spot of the Ringler's location at the suggestion of a guy working at Powell's.
Bailey's Taproom - This place is centrally located downtown and offers 20 mainly local beers on tap and a variety of bottled beers.
The Roxy - a dive bar we visited at perhaps the wrong time of day (okay, entirely the wrong time of day) and opted to poke our heads in rather than stay for a meal. Apparently if we were drunk and hungry and the hour late, then this was the place to be.
Trader Joes - Perhaps not a necessity for any visit to Portland, as New Season's is the chic healthy grocer of choice in the area, but my friend had never visited one.
Antique stores - I always spend a few hours to a day going thrifting/antiquing when in Portland. The prices are good and with strips of town having many antique stores lined up, going from place to place and overwhelming my senses with random treasures is an obvious option.
The Rose Garden - during spring/summer this place is gorgeous, but perhaps not in the winter.
The Japanese Garden - even during a drizzly and overcast day, the place is absolutely beautiful. This is one of the largest Japanese gardens I have visited, and has a few comfy covered areas to sit in and absorb the calm energy of the place. I had never been here before and am glad this place was suggested by my guest's friends.
Stumptown Coffee - this is touted by the locals as the place to visit for coffee, so we had to go there. The coffee was delicious and the fig and fennel scone was an intriguing treat to enjoy while watching passersby on the street.

I think we had another couple of stops in the quick trip, and got to wander the North West, South East and Downtown and Pearl Districts. Feel free to let me know your favorite places to add to my list of Portland knowledge, too. :)


  1. Oh! All these places sound brilliant! I'm hoping to save up enough money to do my own tour of your great country when I hit around 50 or so; and I Portland, Oregan just made the list of places to definitely go to! :D

    The Roxy sounds like my kinda place to be too... and it looks like I'll be packing light too. :D

  2. Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite places and if you have time to visit several cities in the US then I absolutely suggest you stop by.

    As for packing light - that is always the way to go as if you ever need anything you can pick stuff up along your journey. Of course, this is a fact that I have yet to fully embrace...