Why You Should Spend A Day in Portland

Multnomah Falls Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

When you have a day to spare and don't mind the 3 hour drive, may I suggest a visit to Portland? 

I'm currently in Seattle and I have to admit, I don't want to leave. This is my first time visiting this lush green city and I'm in love. From the scenery to the people, to the food, and the service, this whole trip has been nothing short of amazing.

I'll be returning home in a few days, but in the meantime here's a guide to Portland. We spent 12 hours (or less) in the city and did as much as we could. So if you're on your way to Oregon, make sure to stop by these places!

Multnomah Falls Oregon By Lisa Linh
Follow Me To By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

Our first stop was Multnomah Falls, located 30 minutes outside of Portland. It is easily accessible with 3 different routes leading to this gorgeous waterfall. We took the slightly longer scenic route, which was well worth it. 

This 611-foot-tall is breathtaking and photos do not do it justice. I highly suggest hiking up to Benson Bridge for a better view or even another level up to the top, although it does get slippery so wear proper shoes. There is also a lot of mist when you're on Benson Bridge so be careful with camera equipment. 

This certainly set the tone for our day and we were excited to travel into town to see what's next!

Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh
Multnomah Falls Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Oregon Historical Scenic Route By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Banh Mi Lardo Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Lardo Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Pig Out Lardo By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

LOCATION: 1205 SW WASHINGTON ST (There are 3 locations in Portland)

Lardo's was a suggestion by our friend and a decision we do not regret. From the variety of beers to dirty fries, this corner shop is the best place to stop at if you love pork. 

We ordered the pork meatball banh mi and porchetta with a side of buffalo pig ears. Being half Vietnamese and half Chinese, I was skeptical about their banh mi. However, it was very tasty and I would order it again. The buffalo pig ears were crispy and came with a side of ranch for dipping. The line quickly grew out the door after we got our food and it's easy to see why. This place is definitely worth the wait. 

Cup & Bar

Cup and Bar Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Cup and Bar Coffee Shop By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Cup and Bar Coffee Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

LOCATION: 118 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Cup & Bar was also a suggestion by another friend of ours. I love the decor of this coffee shop and the best part? The back portion of their place is where they roast their coffee beans and make their chocolate. Yes, this is also a chocolate shop! 

Being a coffee lover, I had to stop in and despite the 75 degree weather outside, I ordered myself a Ranger vanilla latte with almond milk. KSOLE had a macchiato and loved it. This is a great place to chill, catch up on work, or just for a mid-day coffee break. Not to mention, the aesthetics are Instagram worthy.

Powell's Books

Powell Book Store Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Powells Books Portland By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

LOCATION: 1005 W Burnside St

For all you bookworms out there, Powell's Books is your heaven. Used, new, and out of print books galore!

With over 3 levels, there isn't a book title you can't find. I can spend hours in this store, combing through the aisles of countless authors. I found a great selection of books on my favorite idol, Lucille Ball, and had a hard time narrowing it down when it came to check out. 

International Rose Test Garden

Red Roses International Rose Test Garden By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
International Rose Test Garden By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Rose Garden Portland Oregon By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

A rose by any other name ...

I'm not very girly and while this garden is made for the romantic at heart, I mainly stopped by because I wanted to see for myself what the fuss is all about. Located in Washington Park and featuring over 10,000 different roses, this garden is certainly better than a walk in any other park. 

On a gorgeous day out, this place can get pretty crowded especially since it is right next to the Japanese Garden and a few other attractions. Parking sucks and we literally stalked someone for their spot. Aside from that, bring your camera and enjoy!

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut Portland By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Voodoo Doughnut By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
Voodoo Doughnut Portland By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

LOCATION: 22 SW 3rd Avenue

When in Portland, you have to stop by Voodoo Doughnut right? 

We waited about 20+ minutes in the blazing sun to see what the hype was all about. To be completely honest, I've seen Voodoo on the Food Network a couple of times and all over social media so I was prepared to be disappointed. Anything that is hyped up is usually below expectations, therefore I walked in with no expectations. 

So what was the verdict? The names of the doughnuts are cute, the wait isn't as bad as I thought it would be, and the Voodoo doughnut had a nice jelly surprise inside. Other than that, it was ok but if you haven't gone than I would go just to say you've gone. 

P.S. They are open 24 hours, 7 days a week

 St. Johns Bridge

St. John Bridge Portland By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh
St. Johns Bridge Portland By Lisa Linh Lisa Linh

LOCATION: 8600 NW Bridge Ave

A beloved bridge of Portland, we made a final stop at St. Johns Bridge before leaving Portland. The bridge is located above a park, which makes this bridge easily accessible and photographable. We happen to be there the same time as the Playground Phenomenon, a free festival that happens once a year. Think Coachella on a smaller scale. With the crowd, it was a little hard to get the shots we want but it was gorgeous piece of architecture to see in person. 

In addition to the stops above, we also went antique shopping at Lounge Lizard and Really Good Stuff. 

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If you're in Portland for a longer amount of time, try out these places below (suggested by our friends):

  • The Pie Spot
  • Nineteen27 
  • Pok Pok
  • Case Study Coffee
  • Adidas Employee Store
  • Nike Employee Store
  • Pittock Mansion
  • Prix
  • Screen Door
  • Nongs