The other summer my brother was studying up in Portland, Oregon and I used it as a great excuse to visit the city for the first time. I absolutely enjoyed it and other than the weather (I’m a spoiled Californian) I could easily see myself living there. Here are some of the best things to do in Portland on the map with more descriptions below. To view the categories click on the icon on the top left.
Top cozy Coffee Spots
923 SW Oak St
This place is my favorite of the coffee shops in Portland. While there might not be a lot of room to sit down here the coffee is the perfect blend of rich yet light. I enjoyed the latte, espresso and iced coffee here. Take it to go and go head over to Powell’s to browse the books.
100 SE Salmon Street
Stumptown is one of the bigger names in Portland coffee and they have begun to spread around the US as well. Once you try it you will know why. While I preferred Courier this place still hit the spot. Plus they offer more of a café like environment at most of their locations. Giving you the opportunity to sit down and enjoy your coffee.
The Best Places to Grab a Drink
2014 NE 42nd Ave
This is a pub with a great beer selection of craft beers from Portland and elsewhere. The bartenders were knowledgeable about the beers. In the back, there is a great beer garden style back patio. Out of downtown but public transportation gets you there quickly.
210 NW 21st Ave
Here we found a nice bar with great live music at exactly the right volume, meaning we could still sit and talk. Their beers were good and had a wide range to appeal to some disagreeing pallets. While we didn’t have a chance to try the food it definitely looked tasty.
This spot is a very popular pub with a great selection of beers and pub food. One of the benefits of this spot is they have a wide selection of tasting menus where you can either sample a little of everything, focus on something specific or try something new. Warning: this place can get packed so if you’re going on the weekend or primetime expect a wait. I’d recommend the bar.
My Favorite Eats
1225 SW 19th Ave
This is the perfect spot to visit with a few friends or on your own. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, a wide food menu for breakfast, lunch and snacks, plus great coffee. I enjoyed a breakfast sandwich with a latte while I took in their garden with a good book.
Activities and Adventures to Try
1005 W Burnside St.
This is one of the biggest, yet most eclectic bookstores you’ll come across. There is a reason it’s become so famous. Its large selection includes everything you’ll find in Barnes and Nobel and so much more. If you’re a big reader I’d recommend making two trips. First, to get the feel and explore the surface level, then taking a break and coming back allows you to dig a little deeper.
This large urban park can compete with the best of them. It includes the Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden, and the Oregon Zoo. All are worth popping your head into. There are also trails to hike and events that take place here for the public. It is easy to visit and explore, especially when the seasonal bus is running. You can use your $5 daily transit pass (this year it is actually free) and hop on Line 83.
For a few more great ideas of what to try in the area check out these cheap things to do in Portland.