With its lively neighbourhoods, beautiful parks and abundance of restaurants and cafés, Portland is a perfect city-break destination for any traveller. The city is known and celebrated for its natural beauty both within the city, with its leafy trees and the Willamette River running through it, and in its surroundings. With Mount Hood on the horizon, tourists flock to Portland for the most picturesque hiking trails.
Outdoorsy types will love Portland’s beautiful parks, including Washington Park which spreads across 400 acres. Washington Park is home to the International Rose Test Garden where you can walk among the 400 different types of roses and enjoy scenic views over the city. Walk a little further and you will reach the Japanese Garden – the perfect place to escape to for some tranquillity in some of the most beautiful surroundings you will come across! Washington Park is also perfect if you’re travelling with kids as it also houses the Oregon Zoo and Portland Children’s Museum.
Alternatively, go to Forest Park, a 5100 acre temperate rainforest where you will be able to hike for hours! You’ll also find the Pittock Mansion within the park, a stunning French Rennaissance-style château with gorgeous grounds that make the perfect picnic location.
To get more of a feel for the city itself, stroll around Pioneer Courthouse Square. This vibrant and busy square hosts concerts, festivals, farmers’ markets and occasionally an open-air cinema called ‘Flicks on the bricks’. Additionally, head to the Japanese-American Historical Plaza, located to the north of Burnside Bridge, to visit the memorial to the Japanese Americans interned by the US government during WWII.
Portland is also a favourite foodie destination, with its array of food carts, bakeries and microbreweries. Portland is home to over 600 food carts, which are organised in ‘pods’, making it easy to move from cart to cart sampling all kinds of food. A few local favourites are Portland Mercado, the Latin American food cart hub; Fried Egg I’m in Love, which serves amazing breakfast sandwiches and includes vegetarian and vegan options; and Pyro Pizza, a cart with a built-in pizza oven which makes authentically Italian wood fired pizzas. For a sweet treat, Voodoo Doughnut is an absolute must – the shop holds the world record for the biggest box of doughnuts, and hosts legal wedding ceremonies..!
If you’re in the mood for a sit-down dinner, try Imperial, a large open-plan restaurant serving delicious food cooked on a wood fire grill and rotisserie. Alternatively, Ned Ludd, a cosy campfire-themed restaurant serving inventive American dishes using seasonal ingredients, is a popular option among both locals and tourists. Follow dinner at one of Portland’s best rooftop bars, Departure, where you can enjoy wonderful views of this unique and exciting city!