Day-trip to Portland, Oregon: What to Do

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On one of my favorite road-trips we drove to San Francisco and up to Oregon to visit family. Since Portland has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl (and because it was only a few hours out of the way) we decided to cut San Francisco a day short and visit the rainy beauty that is Portland. With a little less than 24 hours to sight see we made the day jam packed with beautiful scenery and A LOT of coffee.

If you only have a day to visit this amazing city then don’t forget to add these places on your list of things you cannot miss in Portland. A better tip though? Plan more than a day! I can easily say Portland was one of my all-time favorite places to visit and I cannot wait to plan a trip back. If you are a coffee loving, book reading, nature loving, rainy weather adoring person like me then this magnificent city will be right up your alley.

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As many coffee shops as you can visit
Want a little word to the wise? Move to tea or decaf after your third shop (you’ll thank me later). One thing Portland is not short of is coffee and IPA beers. Since I’m more of a hot coffee lover over beer drinker I made it a point to visit as many as possible in the small amount of time (I believe it was 4 or 5 total). They make phenomenal drinks and each place has such a unique vibe you will not regret it.

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Get lunch in food truck nation
Alder Street is home to the largest collection of food trucks that keep a permanent home in downtown Portland. Bring yourself an umbrella and an empty stomach. They have almost every different type of food you can imagine and each spot has absolutely delicious food (as most food trucks do). Not to mention you are in the heart of downtown, giving you an option to see this attraction as well as walk around and explore the city.

Powell’s City of Books
If you are a book lover like me then you have to visit the largest independent chain of bookstores in the world. I literally could have spent DAYS in this store with what seems to be endless shelves and hallways. Don’t believe how large it is? The store provides an actual map to navigate around this store. The scene in Beauty and the Beast where Belle sees the library for the first time does not even come close to comparison of Powell’s. Even if you only have a few minutes this is definitely something to behold (even for nonreaders).

Portland Japanese Garden
I love any sight-seeing visit that requires a scenic view just to get to the destination. The trip alone to the Japanese Garden is breathtaking but it doesn’t compare to this beautiful oasis. This was the first time I had ever been to a garden like this and it had me in awe within the first sloshy steps. You are surrounded by mountains, beautiful foliage, and so much green you might think you will turn green! Plus you have a moment to see the city view from this hillside garden.

Make sure to plan out around an hour for the excursion and be sure to bring warm clothes, rain resistant shoes, and an umbrella!

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At least one bar
Even if you are not a big drinker the bars in this area are too unique not to visit. Almost every destination has a unique variety of drinks, unbelievable service, amazing atmosphere, and drinks so well made you’ll find it hard to quit drinking. I can honestly say I have never had a better drink than when I was in Portland (and hopefully you’ll be saying that too).

Let me know places to visit or your favorites that you go back to time and time again! This little trip was definitely one of many in a city that seems too magical to be real. With every place I have visited in my short lifetime I have never been to a city that had such kindhearted people, amazing food and drinks, and an atmosphere that screams extroverted introvert (if that even makes sense).


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