15 Sep A fall weekend in Portland
Summer is over. I shed a tear for the long summer days, beach vacations, and patio happy hours.
To curb the seasonal sadness I spent the first weekend of fall with a friend visiting the sleepy city of Portland.
Portland can be described in one word: Friendly. This city is eco-friendly, LGBT-friendly, bike-friendly, and very flannel-friendly. I had a strong urge to trade in my signature hoodie for several over-sized long sleeved flannel button-ups.
Here are the highlights of this little weekend getaway.
No need to rent a car for this trip. The MAX is the best public transport I have used in the United States. These zippy above ground trams run frequently, go to all of the hotspots, and at $5 a day, the price is cheap. From the airport you can take the red line downtown for as little as $2.50.
Aside from the MAX, I highly recommend using a bike rental service to see the sights of Portland. Most of the popular sights in Portland can be seen in 1-2 days and for $8 an hour, you can rent a bike with a helmet from Pedal Bike Tours and cruise the city like a local.
We grabbed our bikes, put them on the MAX and went up to Washington Park. This is an awesome park right at the top of the city with great views, a zoo, and the Rose Garden. Being nicknamed the City of Roses, we stopped to smell them. I am not a huge fan of botany (who is?), but this really was a spectacular diplay of all types of roses. We were left wondering who maintains all of these roses? Do these individuals get paid for this work? Where did all of these roses come from? Questions for another blog.
The bike ride through the entire park was magnificent. Huge trees and fresh air made it feel like you were way up in the mountains when in fact you are still relatively close to a downtown city. As you exit Washington Park you can continue cruising through the city on the bright green bike lanes.
After a leisurely bike ride around the city, stop at one of the numerous food stalls and satisfy any craving you have – literally – I saw a food stall that serves cuisine from Mauritius. This is a tiny island off of the eastern coast of Africa that left me feeling smug about knowing its location.
When you’ve finished adding to your waist line, swing by the famous Powell Bookstore and grab a few self help books. This multi-level bookstore is massive and one can spend as little as an hour here to possibly an entire day, it all depends on your literary prowess.
Lastly, learn a little history and scare yourself with a creepy night ghost walking tour. This tour comes complete with a rainbow colored
Gaydar EMF ghost detector.
So book a flight to PDX, pop your headphones in, turn up some Emo Mumford & Sons, and unwind in this chill, repurposed, weird weekend city.