Portland Photo Diary.

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I’m not even sure where to begin here. This past (long) weekend’s trip to Portland was all sorts of amazing. I got to spend some great quality time with my sister and we did so much! You may have already read about our trip to wine country here, so today I thought I’d walk you through everything else. Get ready. I have a lot to tell you! And because there is so much, I broke it out into the big three buckets… What to eat, Where to shop, and What to do!!!

Where to Eat:

Let’s start with where to eat. We ate. A lot. My sister and her husband are amazing chefs and actually raise their own chickens, so we ate at home a bit and every morning we ate farm fresh eggs (so cool to this city girl) but we also managed to eat out a lot. I could have maybe named this post “How to gain 20 lbs. in 20 hours.”

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Blue Star Donuts was a definite highlight. I am not really a donut person in general… (I’d rather have a croissant if I’m going to splurge) but I’d heard so many amazing things that I went a little bit crazy, ordering us several donuts to share. My personal fave was the Passionfruit with Cacao, but the Original, Lemon Poppyseed, Raspberry Cake, and Maple/Bacon were all really good. The best way to experience Blue Star is with a group… sharing a bunch of different flavors.

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Another absolute MUST is Salt & Straw. I love this place. Love it, want to marry it. You can try as many flavors as you’d like, and the flavors are just so creative + good. Every month they release seasonal flavors (this month’s flavors were all Thanksgiving themed) and they are nothing short of amazing. I ended up having a split scoop… mixing the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache + Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey (yes, seriously… that’s a flavor. Mostly it just tastes like salted caramel but there is a very faint hint of turkey in there. Just. so. good.) They have a Los Angeles location too now… it’s a must if you are into ice cream. I’m still dreaming about it!

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While I was visiting, we had two really amazing dinners. The first was at Navarre. Navarre changes their menu daily based upon their CSA and whatever produce is currently in season. I really love this… there is nothing better than a delicious, locally grown/raised meal. They also have over 50 wines available by the glass. We shared several dishes, but our favorites were the braised lamb (the ultimate comfort food… like a stew), the duck, and the kale gratin (crazy good.) For dessert we shared a slice of their amazing homemade pear/chocolate pie. Our server recommended it and I’m so glad he did because I wouldn’t have otherwise chose it.

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Our second dinner was at my sister’s favorite restaurant… Little Bird. This one is an absolute must-visit if you go to Portland. My favorite food from the trip. Everything we ate was to die for. My favorite was the gnocchi appetizer but we also had a duck confit hand pie (crazy amazing), onion + gruyere turnovers, and truffled spaghetti squash. Bananas. You’ll die. We split the passionfruit cake (you might have noticed, but I have a major weakness for anything passionfruit) as dessert and it was beyond. Light and refreshing and so yum.

Things I didn’t do but wanted to do: Pok Pok (everyone says it’s amazing!) The Farm, Paley’s Place (two of my sister’s favorite restaurants)

Where to Shop:

After we went to Blue Star, we went to two really cute shops. The first was called Canoe. Canoe is one of those impeccably designed shops where everything is just perfect and curated. Wooden bowls, beautiful things for your home… it’s worth stopping into, just for the aesthetics.

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But my favorite store (possibly from the whole trip) was Alder & Co. I wanted to stay and play at Alder & Co. all day long. They had so many unique gifts, and carried an assortment of my favorite natural beauty brands + perfumes (think Ilia, Kahina Giving Beauty, Klorane, Rodin, even perfumes from my favorite place in the world – The Coqui Coqui.) And the candles + fragrances! They carry Byredo’s full line, which I loved smelling (they were burning Ambre Japonais which smells sultry, woody, and amazing.) Also, they have an in-store florist, Hilary Horvath whipping up the most beautiful of blooms. They have an amazing online shop, too… I recommend checking out their “Made in Portland” section.

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On Sunday, we started our day at Beam & Anchor. This is a really, really cool store. It was a little bit intimidating as they just had so many cool things in there, so we took our time. I ended up buying a Christmas gift for my dad. From there, we went to North Mississipi and then North East Alberta. Lots of cool little boutiques and vintage shops. On our way home, we stopped at Rock’n Rose (Jessie’s recommendation.) I loved their assortment of comfy flannel shirts and ended up buying a great vintage plaid Pendelton shirt. I don’t ever want to take it off.

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On Monday, we spent the day in The Pearl. I loved Christopher David. This was maybe one of the coolest stores we went to (besides Alder & Co.) It’s a hybrid coffee shop / interiors store / floral shop. Yes, seriously. What is it with Portland and these incredible boutiques that also have flower shops inside them!? It’s such a great idea and  I haven’t seen it before.

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Another favorite store in The Pearl was the Porch Light. I’ve never seen so many incredible fragrances is one place. And stationery + gifts + all sorts of incredible, cool stuff.

Things I didn’t do but wanted to do: Shopping on Northwest 23rd Street (my sister loves this area for all the cute boutiques, shopping, and Portland-based designers… and there’s also another Salt & Straw.)

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What to Do:

The Farmer’s Market is pretty amazing. The cheese. Oh, the cheese. I ended up buying a few things at the Jacob’s Creamery stand and highly recommend it. There’s the Bloomy Cheese (unreal) and also their homemade churned butter. The butter is amazing but they also sell a variety that contains blue cheese and honey. If you go, you have to try it. We brought this home and ate it on a baguette… scrumptious. Also worth noting: The apple farm (you won’t be able to miss it) with samples of every kind of apple + pear and the flowers! And, all of the flower stores! For $10, you can make the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. (Way better than the roses I buy at my bodega every week or so.)

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If you are feeling outdoorsy (and even if you aren’t) I would definitely recommend driving to Eagle Creek (in the Columbia River Gorge about 40 minutes east of the city) and hiking Punchbowl Falls. It’s a four mile (total) hike and worth it. (Also come on – after eating all of that food, it’s a picturesque way to burn off some calories!)

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The hike itself isn’t very steep but along the way you’ll see the most incredible views, moss-covered trees, and the final view of the falls is just completely amazing. Like, you can’t properly capture it. Look at my instagram video here and multiply it x 1,000. Anyone can handle this hike. There’s a someecard that says, “I’m Outdoorsy in that I like getting drunk on patios,” which is me in a nutshell… but I’m so so happy my sister convinced me to go!

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And also this photo.

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On the way back to the city, be sure to stop by Multnomah Falls. Unreal. No hike required, just amazing waterfall views (ahem.)

Things I didn’t do but wanted to: A drive up the coast (sounds magnificent!), a walk through Forest Park. Also… the Rose Gardens (good if you go visit during June!)

If you made it this far then you know that I loved Portland! I feel so lucky to have a sister that lives there so that I can go back soon(ish) and see more of this amazing city!

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Comments

  1. Alexandra says 11.6.14

    Those views are unreal! & those donuts look amazing!

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    http://www.littlewildheart.com

  2. Meredith H says 11.6.14

    Come back anytime! I had so much fun with you! xox Mer

  3. The Thread Affect says 11.6.14

    I absolutely love your recaps from your trip to Portland to visit your sister! My husband and I moved to Seattle about a year ago from Chicago and love hearing locals favorite spots. Can’t wait to check these out the next time we are in Portland!

  4. Saša Rakovec says 11.6.14

    Where to shop is my favorite section from this post 😛
    xx
    SASHA

  5. Moira says 11.6.14

    Ah! I’m so glad you had fun! Blue Star is amazing! I need to check out some of those! I drive by some of these places pretty often but never stop in!

    Moira

  6. So many people have told me that Portland is their favorite city in the US. Finally, I see why. Happy Thursday, Grace 🙂
    http://www.lovecompassionatelee.com/

  7. laurenkolodny says 11.6.14

    what a great travel post. Portland is a special place. That waterfall and the Fall foliage…WOW
    xx Lauren

  8. jillian says 11.6.14

    ohhh one of my favorite cities! i need to go see that waterfall next time i visit! xo jillian

  9. Melissa says 11.6.14

    Those donuts look delicious yum yum yum!
    xo,
    Melissa
    MissyOnMadison.com

  10. Permanent Daydream says 11.6.14

    Awesome photos! I love your blog. Oh and this post made me super hungry because of all the amazeballs food. Haha.

  11. meganmarie013 says 11.6.14

    I’m glad you had a wonderful time in Portland! I lived there for several years…such a fun place! 🙂

  12. I am in love with this post. I have never had the chance to go to Portland, but always hear great things and this post proves that. My inner donut obsessing self is drooling over those pastry pics. Thanks for sharing all of the great spots to eat, shop, and visit. Now I know where to go when I finally get myself there.

    Rachel
    http://www.rachelinflight.com

  13. Denise Atwood says 11.7.14

    love this post, makes me want to go back with you next time! xox

  14. Alison Dulaney says 11.7.14

    Definitely on one of my places to visit! If only for the coffee!!

  15. rotsac says 11.8.14

    I live in the suburbs and this post makes me want to go downtown today. 🙂

  16. Hi Grace! Loved the past few posts on Portland and the surrounding wine country. A few of my girlfriends and I are planning a trip next year and we’re trying to determine if we should stay in Portland and take a day trip(or two) out to wineries or if we should find a cute place to stay outside the city(if that even exists). We’ve started looking and it looks like most cities in the wine area are pretty small but it’s hard to gage just how small those are… any advice would be appreciated!
    PS love the blog, long time reader!

    • Grace Atwood says 11.10.14

      Hi Heath! Oooh that’s a tough one! I stayed with my sister just outside of Portland (in the Brooklyn region) and loved it. But if I didn’t have a place to stay, I think I probably would have looked on Air B&B to find a cute place near wine country as that was my favorite part of the trip.

      But the city is really really nice… if you are looking to go out you might try staying at The Ace Hotel downtown? If you stay in the city, The Pearl is the cutest part of town to stay. Whatever you do, you can’t go wrong – it just depends which part you want to spend more time in… (Portland the city, or Oregon Wine Country, as they’re about 45-60 minutes away.) Hope that is helpful?

      • Yes super helpful. Thanks so much Grace! I think we too are more interested in wine country so i’ll start looking there and keep your previous post bookmarked too!

  17. Kristen says 9.11.15

    Hi Grace! We met this summer at Jess+Paul’s wedding. Currently loving catching up on your travel posts. I am headed to Portland for a week in October – glad to have all these recommends 🙂 Also doing the coast, and Willamette! Hope you had a great time in Hawaii!!

    ~Kristen

    • graceatwood says 9.11.15

      Aw I remember meeting you! Have the best time in Portland! Voodoo donuts is a MUST!!! 😉 I did a post about the Willamette as well – my favorite wines! xo