36 Hours in Portland, Oregon

posted by Kelsey Stoulil on July 29, 2013

Portland, Oregon -- A long time music-lover's city, Portland is finally making it's way onto the festival scene. With What The Festival last weekend, Pickathon this weekend, and Music Fest Northwest in September, we thought it was about time to do a mini-guide to the Oregon city.

Welcome to Portlandia, where flannel and mason jars reign supreme, indie rock is alive and well, and the favored mode of transportation is bicycle. Just remember to "keep Portland weird."

Day One

12pm: Lunch at ¿Por qué no?
3524 North Mississippi Avenue
¿Por qué no?, voted one of the top Mexican restaurants in Portland, offers traditional cuisine using local and sustainable ingredients. If you're not opposed to having a cocktail with lunch, try the Horchata Borracha, creamy, cinnamon horchata with a splash of rum.

2pm: Go shopping on Mississippi Avenue
Take a stroll down this charming north Portland street and you'll find tons of cute boutiques and vintage shops.
Flutter: 3948 North Mississippi Avenue: Described as "a delightful array of found objects and clutter," this small shop has dozens of vintage dresses, quirky stationery, imported perfumes, and tons of little things you never knew you wanted.
Animal Traffic:4000 N. Mississippi Ave: This quintessential Northwest vintage store is your one-stop-shop for everything plaid. Comb through the racks of vintage Pendleton's, worn in Levi's, and sturdy work boots and you'll be sure to find something that will give a little Portland flare to your wardrobe.

4pm: Grab an afternoon treat at Salt & Straw
2035 Northeast Alberta Street, 838 Northwest 23rd Avenue, or 3345 Southeast Division Street
If there's one thing not to miss in Portland, it's the ice cream at Salt & Straw. Their quirky yet delicious flavors are all made in house from local, sustainable, and organic ingredients. Try a waffle cone of goat cheese marionberry habanero, or a cup of Arbequina olive oil. Trust us, you'll be more than happy you did.

6pm: Dinner and a show at Doug Fir Lounge
830 East Burnside Street
The Doug Fir Lounge is a modern take on the "cozy cabin in the woods." Featuring a lounge, restaurant and venue space, this is definitely a stop for the music lover. Grab a bite (try the Patti Smith Melt perhaps?) under chandeliers made from antlers, then head to the performance hall to catch whichever up and coming band is on the bill that night.

Day Two

11am: Grab a quick breakfast at Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee
22 Southwest 3rd Avenue and 128 Southwest 3rd Avenue
You've probably heard of Voodoo Doughnuts by now with their crazy array of toppings like bacon and cereal. Lines might be a little long for these crazy concoctions but they are well worth the wait. After your morning sugar fix, head on over the Stumptown, a local coffee roaster with multiple locations throughout the city. These friendly coffee purists certainly know what they're doing.

12pm: Browse the shelves at Powell's
1005 West Burnside Street
Powell's "City of Books" is basically such. Covering an entire city block, it's easy to get lost in time and space here. From literature to Asian History, Cookbooks to the occult, Powell's has everything. Whether you're there to browse or on the hunt for something specific, the staff is very knowledgeable and more than happy to help. Be sure to stop by the rare books room too, where you can find first editions of your favorite childhood books, signed copies of Howl by Allen Ginsberg, dictionaries from 1534, and many more hard to find gems.

1:30pm: Get lunch at one of the food carts
Multiple Locations
With several congregations around the city, you'll no doubt see a food cart or two on your journey around town. The most popular location for vendors is downtown, catering to the 9-5 crowd on weekdays, but many will be open late and through the weekend as well. Almost every type of cuisine is represented, so no matter what your craving, you can probably find it at one of the many carts. Some vendors take cards, but the majority are cash only, so make sure to stop by an ATM beforehand. If you're looking for a little more structure and guidance through the maze of carts, food cart tours are offered daily, Monday through Saturday.

3pm: Take a stroll through Waterfront Park
Naito Parkway between Southwest Harrison St & Northwest Glisan St
If you're in the need for something a bit more relaxing, take a stroll through Portland's Waterfront Park. Situated along the western bank of the Willamette River, the park was home to a freeway until the 70s. Now it is a popular spot for running, biking, picnicking, and just hanging out. There are several landmarks located throughout the park, including the Founder's Stone, site of the 1843 coin toss that gave the city the name Portland, rather than Boston.

7pm: Dinner at Mint/820
816 North Russell Street
This charming little cafe/bar boasts a cultivated selection of dishes made with local and organic ingredients. To compliment the delicious food, Mint/820 offers a unique cocktail list. Try a rhubarb gin cooler, or a savory beet martini.

9pm: Drinks at Swift Lounge
1932 Northeast Broadway Street
32oz Mason Jar cocktails, Jenga, and pinball- need I say more?

Day Three

12pm: Get your morning caffeine at Tea Chai Té
734 Northwest 23 Street (upstairs)
This cozy tea shop has just about every type you could imagine. Try a flavored black tea, like pomegranate and pear, or rose, and kick back in one of the well-loved arm chairs. If the weather permits, camp out on the patio and take in the street below; the perfect relaxing start to any morning.

2pm: Go shopping on Burnside Street
Rock n Rose: 616 East Burnside Street: This little boutique carries a great, affordable selection of vintage clothing, along with pieces made by local designers. Be sure to browse their large jewelry selection as well, local artists sell their one of a kind items here, along with some eye-catching vintage baubles.
Bombshell Vintage:811 East Burnside: This classic vintage store specializes in pieces from the 1930's-1980s. They offer a large selection, with decent price tags.

6pm: Get some tacos at Santería
703 Southwest Ankeny Street
Another excellent Mexican restaurant, located in Downtown Portland. Santería is a neighborhood go-to, featuring cheap drinks and eats with a killer metal/punk soundtrack. They have a decent sized vegan and vegetarian menu, as well as some of the best pork tacos we've ever had.

9pm: Libations at Rontoms
600 East Burnside
Rontoms is on the classier end of the Portland bar spectrum, with a large, sleek main room, complemented by a trendy outdoor patio. Grab a local beer on tap and head outside to the ping-pong table, or relax by the indoor fireplace.

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See Also:

Pickathon Announces 2013 Lineup
Artist Spotlight: Rose Windows
Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee: Celebrating Seattle's Favorite Label