Ace Hotel - We choose the Ace Hotel for the location. This is not a luxury hotel but has the feeling of a european hipster hostel with a little more privacy. Our room had one rolling vintage office chair to sit, otherwise you could sit on the bed -which was situation on a raised platform on the floor. It is one of the only hotels I've staying in where people actually want to hang in the lobby. Even if you don't stay here you can grab a coffee at Stumptown Coffee and people watch in the lobby. Another awesome thing about staying at the Ace is Room 215. From 7-11am you can get breakfast - which is a buffet spread of local and organic cheese, charcuterie, jams, scones, pickled veg, and granola for $10.
Voodoo Doughnuts - Every time we walked by this place there was a line out the door - it could have been late at night, early in the morning, or the middle of the afternoon. After waiting for about 20 minutes in line, we ordered 6 of their most popular donuts. Which are good, but truthfully I prefer the simplicity of fried dough without a lot of fancy frostings, decorations, and fillings. The best donut we had at Voodoo was the namesake.
Rogue - Nate and I are fans of craft beer and always try to visit a local brewery while visiting. Rogue is headquartered in Newport, OR, but they have a brewpub in Portland which is a fun, laid-back, dive and worth a visit. It is much different from Deschutes, another Oregon-based brewery.
Cargo - Sometimes when travelling you just stumble onto something great, which is the case with Cargo. We were headed to Rogue and happened by this world imports shop. It is quite large so I recommend carving out a little time to browse. It seems that when I shop, if I buy one thing I end up buying a lot of things. By purchasing one item it permits me to buy more? Does anyone else have this problem? So while browsing this store, I knew I would either end up with a much lighter wallet or nothing. I walked out with nothing but a desire to buy everything.
Deschutes - I was surprised walking into Deschutes how polished and family friendly this restaurant was. I suppose I was expecting more of a bar, but it is definitely geared towards tourists and families. We went twice for a beer and both times it was very busy. They give out the little buzzers to alert you when your table is ready (that should give you an idea of the scale and type of establishment this is). My recommendation is to grab a beer, but get dinner at another great Portland restaurant.
Powell's Books - Located around the corner from the Ace, I could have probably spend the entire day and hundreds of dollars on books at this place - it is massive. Rooms upon rooms filled with new and used books sitting next to each other. Interested in a first edition, Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Or a book on textiles? This place makes me happy.
Bailey's Taproom - With no real plans on the 4th of July, we walked into this bar, which is open, light and airy. They have twenty rotating taps emphasizing Oregon breweries and you have the option of a 10 or 20 oz pour. Which means you can sample more than with a normal pour. What I loved about Bailey's is that they have an electronic menu (on a tv) which tells you in real-time when the keg was tapped, how much is left, and the alcohol percentage.
Pok Pok - Like I said in my Seattle Travel Guide, I love Thai food, so I wasn't about to miss this restaurant with the 2011 James Beard Best Chef Northwest winner. We got there just as it opened and there were people already waiting outside on a Wednesday during lunch. When travelling to the Pacific Northwest, keep in mind that restaurants are too cool to take reservations. It was delicious and what I loved about it that is wasn't your typical pad Thai & yellow curry Thai restaurant. There are so many more flavors and dishes to Thailand than most Thai restaurants let on and Pok Pok does a wonderful job at introductions.
Bunk Sandwiches- The downtown locations is tiny little space, it is a good idea to take-out and find a nearby park to enjoy your meal, we almost didn't visit because we had been overindulging for days, but on our last day in Portland we stopped in here for a quick sandwich before our flight. They did not disappoint with lot of local ingredients these sandwiches are good.
Columbia River Highway- In between checking out of the hotel and our plane departing, we had a few hours and decided to take a little drive. We headed up the Columbia River Highway, passing many waterfalls, lookout points, and beautiful scenery along the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington. It was peaceful after a long week of walking everywhere, shopping, and indulging.
Columbia River Highway
This was my first time in Portland, so tell me what should not be missed next time?