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Portland, Oregon

(7 Posts)
BeenToButtonMoon Mon 15-Jul-19 20:22:12

After many years at home with pre-schoolers, I have the unbelievable good fortune to go to Portland with work in October. Hard life I know! My parents have offered to look after the kids so DH and I are planning to travel over together for a few days on our own before the work stuff begins, then he will fly home while I stay for the work bit. I have heard amazing things about Portland and the surrounding areas and would love to hear your hot tips. Would it be best for DH and I to stay in the city (downtown or near the zoo)? Or, as we don't need to be anywhere would staying in the countryside (with a car) be something to think about, particularly as I will get my chance to explore the city during the work bit after DH has gone home. We're both quite outdoorsy but also foodies so the best of both worlds ideally. Would love to know what the wise women of mumsnet would suggest.

Punxsutawney Mon 15-Jul-19 22:44:44

We went to Portland back in 2016 as part of a road trip. Went with our two secondary school age children. We did enjoy it but the trip was focused on the boys and what they liked to do. We went to the zoo and science museum. We did drive out to Oregon state parks and went through Columbia River gorge. Multnomah Falls is lovely but very busy. You do need a car to explore there though. On our way to Portland we visited Mount St Helens. Oldest Ds loved this as he had studied the last eruption at school. I think it's a couple of hours drive away.

We really liked Portland, it's seemed quite a chilled city. No sales tax which is good. Youngest Ds has possible ASD so our dining options are always limited, he did like a restaurant called dicks kitchen, it prides itself on locally sourced food. His favourite bit was the healthy burger to take away as it said 'a bag of dicks' on the outside. He's easily pleased! I think Portland is the home of the famous Voodoo donut shop but we didn't visit.

We stayed in North West Portland at a hotel called Inn at Northrup Station. It's on the street car line, hence its name. Quite a unique place to stay, very brightly coloured. Not 5 star luxury but we were happy there. We have done quite a few road trips and like to stay at some more unusual hotels if we can. They run lots of events for guests and we were there for one. Lots of food trucks with free quite interesting food, the local running club turned up too. People seemed really interested to talk to us, maybe they don't get many Brits visit.

We really enjoyed our road trip to the Pacific Northwest and Portland was a good stop. I'm sure you will have a great time.

Teds77 Mon 15-Jul-19 22:52:12

It’s a lovely city but if you have time to also spend a few days outside the city I would.

We stayed in a little house in Mississippi which is a pretty cool place to stay and lots of foody places nearby. I quite like hanging out in a less central area of a city so it’s worth investigating neighbourhoods just outside the centre.

If you have time outside of Portland then Mt Hood and the Columbia River Gorge are both pretty near. Or I’m sure there must a few wineries nearby that might make a nice day or two?

DulciUke Mon 15-Jul-19 23:00:27

I stay with family when I go to Portland, so can't speak to the hotel situation. However, these are my suggestions for things to do.
Powell's Book store is the largest independent book store in the US. It's an entire city block, four stories tall and is considered a tourist attraction in itself. The Chinese Garden is small, but quite nice. Washington Park contains the rose garden, the Japanese Garden, the zoo, and other sites. Forest park is excellent for hiking. I know that you have limited time, but if you can, try to take a day to go to the coast. The area around Cannon Beach is quite lovely.

One warning, though--the homeless population has swelled in Portland in the past few years, so don't be surprised if you see tents set up here and there at the side of the road.

Teds77 Mon 15-Jul-19 23:09:48

Yes agree Cannon Beach and the coast is lovely too!

We drove south from Portland to Yachats and Cape Perpetua which is a longer drive and then worked our way back up north but looking at a map, Cannon Beach would be pretty doable.

BritWifeinUSA Tue 16-Jul-19 03:17:35

I live near Portland. It’s not quite my thing but the surrounding area more than makes up for it with its beauty. I hope you get some free time to explore the northwest a bit more than just Portland. October is when it really starts to rain a lot. Enjoy the tax-free shopping there!

BeenToButtonMoon Tue 16-Jul-19 14:20:05

Amazing. Thank you! I'll check out the areas you mentioned. First I've heard about tax free shopping too so will make sure I leave plenty of room in the suitcase!

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