With our Northwest roots we are blessed to have the chance to visit beautiful Portland Oregon several times a year. Needless to say there are a ton of great things to do in Portland, including amazing food, shopping and sights to see. These are some of our favorites.
The Portland Japanese Garden is a world class garden nestled in the hills above downtown Portland. Adjacent to the famous rose garden, it is filled with lush plants, and water features beautifully designed to make you feel like you are walking through a remote Japanese forest. During our visit there were several sculptures seamlessly integrated into the foliage throughout the garden. The sail boat sculpture by Anne Crumpacker pictured here is about 12 feet tall and reminded us of our Raise Your Sail High mantra – a call to action to always do your best with high spirits. We make it a point to visit the Portland Japanese Garden on each trip to see how it changes with the seasons. It is a must see if you plan to visit the area.
There are many amazing small-batch coffee roasters in Portland, but we still love to visit Stumptown Coffee. The coffee never disappoints and is the perfect companion while walking around in the rainy fall weather. We also stopped by Heart Coffee Roasters and were blown away by the quality of their locally roasted coffee.
Boxer Ramen is a favorite lunch stop. After living in Japan for several years just blocks away from the famous Ippudo Ramen, we are on a constant quest for amazing Ramen and Boxer always satisfies our cravings. Their okonomiyaki tater tots probably get sideways looks from Japanese food purists, but they are amazing and definitely worth trying.
Blue Star Donuts downtown is always on our list of places to stop for a treat, usually after we hit up Boxer Ramen. Everything is made in-house and the donuts often sell out. They are known for their unique flavor combinations, like blueberry basil, and horchata glaze. If you’re looking for a donut with tons of crazy toppings Voodoo Doughnut is your spot. If you’re way out in the Lake Oswego area Nola Doughnuts has New Orleans-inspired donuts complete with flaky croissant-like dough and house made beignets.
Portland has been a long time hub for design, makers and creatives of all sorts. Beam & Anchor in north Portland is a warm and inviting space where you can see everything from amazing home goods to hand-made wallets, bags and apothecary items. They have their own woodshop and make furniture, fixtures and a other items to ad beauty and warmth to your home.
Field Trip on Division is a beautifully curated shop with minimalistic home goods and handmade items from across the United States.
Canoe in downtown features an amazing selection of unique, design-focused home goods, books bags and stationary.
We can spend hours at Portland landmark Powell’s Books. Every floor has rows of unique and eclectic books of all genres. It’s a great place to explore and get a sense of what makes Portland so unique.
Across the street from Powell’s is Union Way – a retail concept space with a tight selection of great stores including Portland’s own Danner Boots, Will Leather Goods, Steven Alan and denim and leather specialists Self Edge. You’ll find Boxer Ramen here as well.
Mississippi Avenue in North Portland is lined with many quaint boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. We stumbled up on a new favorite – Pistil’s Nursery – a local nursery right in the middle of Mississippi Avenue filled with plants, handmade pots and local home goods.
Being from the craft brew center of the universe (San Diego), we couldn’t leave Portland without tasting some local beer, so we stopped by Ecliptic Brewery for a flight and a bite to eat. Excellent brew and food, and we really enjoyed the neighborhood feel.
We hope you enjoyed reading our what we thing are some of the places that make up the best of Portland Oregon, we’d love to hear yours so please drop us a line with some of your favorite spots for us to try on our next trip.
Joe & Yumi
~ Raise Your Sail High ~