24 Hours in Portland
Located in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Portland is the largest city in Oregon; its metropolitan region is home to 2.3 million of the most creative and welcoming people you could hope to meet – the door’s always open for visitors who want to explore the city’s 375 square kilometres of exciting things to do, see, eat and drink.
From big-flavoured craft beers to even bigger bookstores (the famous Powell’s takes up an entire city block), tax-free shopping, urban wineries, bespoke designers, skiing, hiking and foodie experiences, Portland is a year-round destination with enormous appeal. And it’s easy to get around the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, too, whether on foot or by bicycle, bus or the awesome Max Light Rail, where you’ll be in good company, riding with some of the thousands of locals who use it every day.
If you’re after a caffeine hit, Portland is an oasis of artisan roasters and tattooed baristas. Try Coava
for a great brew to start your day. Maybe pair it up with something from one of the city’s enticing donut shops. We love Blue Star Donuts
, where the tasty offerings are made using a classic French brioche recipe. Or head to the city’s ultra-famous Voodoo Doughnuts
. You can even get married there, should the mood take you.
For a more elaborate start to the day, try Tasty n’ Sons
, one of a number of restaurants around town owned by Portland chef John Gorham. Gorham describes himself as a “chef of the people” and celebrates the Portland dining experience of family-style dishes and seasonal sustainably sourced ingredients. Start with the maple-bacon-wrapped dates or the roasted apple. If you’re feeling particularly peckish, we recommend Auntie Paula’s French toast with pear, maple and whipped cream – it’ll see you good for your next outing.
After breakfast, head out on a bike ride around the city. Try bike sharing with the new Biketown
app, which offers more than 1,000 bikers for hire at more than 100 bike stations. For only US$12 per 24 hours you can pick up and drop off one of these “smart” bikes at your convenience.
Start by cycling on over to the lovely Lan Su Chinese Garden
, which was built in collaboration with Portland’s sister city, Suzhou. Keep going along the west side of the river across the Hawthorne Bridge
, one of Portland’s 12 famous bridges, and back along the Eastbank Esplanade
, crossing the Steel Bridge
for a great water-side loop. Or, if you would prefer to take a tour guided by local experts, try Cycle Portland
or Pedal Bike Tours
Portland is synonymous with food trucks. For the greatest variety, try the food cart pod at SW10th and Alder. Make sure to check out the legendary Nong’s
– the Khao Man Gai (chicken and rice with fragant herbs, ginger, chillies and so much more) is to die for.
Or combine shopping with dining at Tidbit Food Farm and Garden
, a row of designer food carts on SE Division. Eat your lunch among the potted plants at the communal picnic tables and then visit Menagerie
, an Airstream-trailer shop that features jewellery and body care products from independent designers and producers.
Wash down lunch with a frosty beer from one of the city’s many craft breweries. Proudly known as “Beervana”, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world. On the eastside, try Basecamp Brewing
, Migration Brewing
or Ex Novo
(the U.S.A’s first non-profit brewery). Downtown in the Pearl District you might want to order a flight from the 19 beers on tap at Portland favourite Deschutes Brewery
, or visit the city’s first craft brewery, and still one of the best, Bridgeport Brewing
Time to work off that lunch with tax-free retail therapy. Bibliophiles will already be on their way to Powell’s
, the world’s largest new-and-used-book store. Continue on SW10th to browse in Tender Loving Empire
, an independent record label and local-handicraft concept store, Radish Underground
, a woman’s boutique featuring independent fashion designers, and Wild Fang
, the ultimate destination for women who want to let their inner tomboy loose – all conveniently located in a single city block.
Stop in at Union Way
to purchase a pair of Portland heritage brand Danner Boots
then head to Old Town/Chinatown to experience some of the city’s maker culture. Favourites include Orox Leather
’s purses, belts and sandals, and Kiriko Made
, where Japanese textiles are transformed into shirts, dresses and accessories.
Don’t miss By the Collective
– a barbershop, streetwear store and launch-pad for aspiring clothes designers – and up on NW Thurman is fashion-forward jewellery store Betsy & Iya
, where you can take a peek into the production studio while you shop.
Start your evening off with a pre-dinner drop at one of Portland’s many urban wineries, which crush, bottle and age wines right in the city’s heart. Raise a glass of Portland pinot at Urban Winery
, Southeast Wine Collective
or Teutonic Wine Company
For dinner, try one of Portland’s newest hotspots, Jacqueline
. Littered with references to Wes Anderson’s film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
, this hip newcomer specialises in local seafood, including Mount Hood crayfish, smoked trout and clams. Other must-tries are Ned Ludd,
with its inventive menu of wood-fired dishes, Aviary
for its French-Asian creations and Le Pigeon
, a standout on the Portland dining scene year on year.
Portland has spawned some amazing musical talent. Check the schedules at great venues such as Doug Fir Lounge
, Mississippi Studios
, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
and Revolution Hall
. Then, to complete your night out, head to the Multnomah Whiskey Library
to try a dram or two from one of the local distilleries.
Finally, lay your head at one of Portland’s many interesting hotels; the Ace Hotel
in the old Clyde Hotel building is a block from Powell’s. The Jupiter Hotel
on the eastside is equally boutique and creative, or enjoy some downtown luxury at the Nines
with its “place to be seen” lobby and sky-high Departure Restaurant + Lounge.
3 days/2 nights
Travel Style Tailor-made
- Discover Portland’s bicycle culture
- Visit microbreweries and brewpubs in the city known as “Beervana”
Two nights’ accommodation and selected sightseeing.
FROM AU$495* / NZ$519*