City Guide: Portland, Oregon

Portland is laid back and, well, weird. What more could you want?

That’s why it’s one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited. You’re going to love it.

When I began researching and creating a list of things to do during my week-long vacation in Portland, I had no idea where to start. There were just so many options I found interesting. I didn’t want to miss anything! There’s so much to eat, drink, and do in this city.

After staying a week in Portland, I can say the things I did and ate and drank all exceeded my expectations. Here’s my list of all the things you need to do when you visit Portland, Oregon.

Wanna be Portland guide pin.png

Jump to:
Stay / Eat / Drink / Do


Stay in this quirky HI Portland Hawthorne District eco-hostelIMG_0534
When I was searching for accommodations online before my trip, I immediately fell in love with HI Portland Hawthorne. And it definitely lived up to my expectations.

This hostel itself is an eco-tourist’s dream. It has a garden, a green roof, recycling (of course), and onsite composting you can use. The coolest feature though is the building’s water collection system. It gathers 8,000 gallons per year that are then used to flush the toilets! And those are just a few of the features, their full list here.

Plus, the hostel has pretty much everything else you could ever expect from a hostel: private rooms for those not interested in dorms, onsite entertainment, helpful reception staff, bike rental, community meals, walking tours, etc. Oh, and make-it-yourself pancakes every morning for just a few dollars.

Can you tell I’m still excited about my stay at this hostel?


Voodoo DoughnutIMG_0482 (1)

While you’re in Portland, you pretty much have to try Voodoo Doughnut because it’s just so… well, Portland.

I had this super cute voodoo doll doughnut that, ironically, was vegan.

Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star

To be honest, I liked the actual donuts better at Blue Star, though the atmosphere was much more mainstream. My boyfriend had this crazy doughnut with some kind of glaze injected into it (I guess it keeps the filling super moist?) The donuts were Instagramable, to say the least.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

I got brave and picked a scoop of honey lavender ice cream. No regrets—except that I didn’t order a double scoop.

Portland Farmers Market

We rented bikes and We picked up ingredients to make a meal ourselves in our hostel’s kitchen. Portland is such an awesome foodie town with so many restaurants, but I sometimes you just need a break from dinner at restaurants all the time. Plus, we got to sample wine and beer… And of course, because it’s Portland, there was a street musician playing the saw.

Watch it here:


Step aboard a double-decker coffee bus at ToV Coffee & TeaIMG_6879DCIM100GOPROGOPR1058.JPG

Don’t be fooled by the fact it’s a bus—this place had a wide selection of coffee. The interior is just as cool as the exterior.

This is an all-weather food truck, equipped with rain protection and heaters.

Bagdad Theater and PubIMG_0533 (1)

The Bagdad Theatre was unlike any other movie theater I ever visited. The building was gorgeous. They had a huge beer selection right when I walked in the door. You could order a pizza that would be delivered to you during the film (we received ours and gobbled it down before the previews were over).

Do a self-guided brewery tour

I visited the these breweries:


Browse the stacks at Powell’s Books

Powell’s is a Portland staple. It’s huge and you’ll likely want to spend a couple hours there. I read a lot and was very impressed by both the new and used collections.

Rent a bike and ride Portland’s spacious bike lanes

Bike travel in Portland feels a lot like pedaling through a bike-friendly European city. They rule the road more than in any other place in America.

Pose in front of the famous “White Stag” sign

Old town Portland sign

The Portland Old Town is a vintage sign that the city changed to say “Portland, Oregon” back in 2010. It’s located at 70 NW Couch Street, facing West across the bridge.

And this muralKeep Portland Weird mural

Stop by after you visit Voodoo Donut. It’s right downtown and hard to miss.

Experience nature in the middle of the city in Forest Park

Forest Park consists of 5,200 acres of parkland in the middle city. Head there when you need a break from the city (or to work off the donuts).

Check out this view of Portland at Pittock Mansion


You really can see the whole city from up there—without paying to tour the mansion!

Are you ready to plan your next adventure?

I believe one of the biggest barriers to travel is fear of the unknown. Do I have enough money? Will I need a visa? 

The truth is, if you don’t do your research now, you’ll never know.

This workbook—5 steps to your next vacation—will help you get your ideas in writing so you can turn them into reality! 

In this editable PDF, you will record and take action on the following:

  • The cost of transportation
  • Restrictions like time, money, passports/visas
  • An estimated daily budget
  • How much you will need to save by when
  • Your bookings
  • Your itinerary including accommodations and activities
  • And much more!

I’m ready. Send me the editable PDF.