Portland, Oregon: Our 48-Hour Adventure

Have you ever been so in love with a city that you get a sense of urgency to move there within hours of arriving? Well, that's how I felt back in 2012 when I first stepped foot in Portland, Oregon. Upon visiting this eclectic city again last month, I was reminded of all the good things about Portland: great breweries, extraordinary artwork, exceptionally healthy restaurants (and bars) and forested scenic views. I was very lucky to have been invited by my boyfriend's family to spend 48 hours in Portland, and I was ecstatic! 

First 24 Hours..

We arrived in Portland on a Saturday morning, and we quickly hopped on the MAX rail then onto Columbia Gorge Express. I was very excited to make our first stop - Multnomah Falls! 

This amazing falls is a must-see, and it has become one of my favorite places in Oregon. It's glorious, beautiful and breathtaking. The best part about visiting this waterfall is that it's free! The only downside was that it got pretty crowded. Luckily, we arrived just in time to enjoy a nice short hike to the bridge without waiting in line. 

Travel Tips: 5 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon. 2017

Multnomah Falls, Oregon. 2017

After a short visit to the falls, we made our way to downtown Portland and checked in at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. This hotel was very beautiful and whimsical. Every corner had a very peculiar artwork and furniture - and I liked it!

Photo credit Kimpton Monaco Hotel Portland

Photo credit Kimpton Monaco Hotel Portland

Soon after checking in, we headed straight down to the food carts on Alders St. Traveling all morning had made us famished, so we were eager to get our feast on. Of course, the food did not disappoint. I had a delicious sandwich and fries from Mac & Trees. Oh, it was so good. Taking a photo of it didn't even come to my mind. (LOL)

Later in the afternoon, we took the MAX Rail to a farmer's market in downtown. All the vendors were very nice and they gave me lots of free samples. Although, I have to admit. Some of the prices were quite steep for me. Nonetheless, I really appreciated looking at the rare art crafts and smelling homemade skin/body care products. I ended up getting two bars of soap for $12! 

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The rest of our day consisted of what almost every tourist does in the city, go beer tasting. We went to a couple of awesome breweries such as Fat Head's Brewery and 10 Barrel Brewing. And after a few hours of sipping on Portland's best brews, we took a beer break and went back to the hotel for social hour. What's social hour? What do you know...an event that involved MORE alcoholic beverages.

The hotel offered guests free beers and Bellinis - so how could we resist?! There was even a pianist playing jazz music as people mingled in the lobby. But the best part was playing life-sized board games with everyone! Our chess game went on forever. I don't even remember who won?

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The sun was starting to set, and it was time for dinner. We decided to go back to 10 Barrel Brewing, which was our last stop for the day. It was a very cool restaurant, and they had such a great view of the city. This place definitely earned the right to be my new favorite rooftop bar. Plus, it was a fun place to hang out at night. 

 

Last 24 Hours.. 

Waking up after a long day of what felt like a beer tasting marathon was surprisingly not too bad. Ha! I only really dreaded going home. I didn't want to leave this city just yet as I was having so much fun. But I know nothing this good lasts forever, so I was determined to make our last 24 hours count. But first, donuts!

blue star donut portland

We had some delicious gourmet pastries from Blue Star Donuts, and they are the best I have ever had. Personally, I think the quality of dough are much better than Voodoo Doughnut. The texture was just perfect as it is made by hand every day. After devouring these sweets, it was time to burn some calories.

Biking, running and even rollerblading to places are pretty common in this city. But each activity seemed like a lot of work at the time, so I was glad that we decided to walk instead. We hiked along the Waterfront park trail, and saw a lot of people exercising, practicing yoga, meditating and dancing. Everyone there seemed so fit. 

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.Portland, Oregon. 2017

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.Portland, Oregon. 2017

While walking around the park, I also noticed Portland's bridges. What stuck out to me the most was the Tilikum Crossing or Bridge of the People. This cable-stayed bridge defines what this city is all about: modern, sustainable, active and cool. There are no vehicles allowed but only buses, rails, and pedestrians. It offers a very serene afternoon stroll - and in the end, we were rewarded with a stunning view of downtown.

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.Portland, Oregon. 2017

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.Portland, Oregon. 2017

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.Portland, Oregon. 2017

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.Portland, Oregon. 2017

On the way back to our hotel, we all agreed that we must do what every Portland resident does on a Sunday afternoon - BRUNCH. After checking out, we went to Cheryl's on 12th. They had a wide selection of food on the menu, including Portuguese Fried Rice and Apple Frittwich. Everyone including my pescatarian-self found something to eat. We all enjoyed our meals but our time was running out. It was time to explore some more.

cheryl's on 12th portland

Roaming around Portland is an adventure itself, especially when you're trying to hit the best spots in town. As we went down the streets of the Pearl District, I couldn't help but notice the great buildings. I don't know much about architecture but almost every single building had an innovative architectural design. 

McMenamins Ringlers Annex at Crystal Hotel. 2017

McMenamins Ringlers Annex at Crystal Hotel. 2017

Downtown Portland, Oregon. 2017

Downtown Portland, Oregon. 2017

Faith47 “Capax Infiniti” Art Mural. Portland, Oregon. 2017

Faith47 “Capax Infiniti” Art Mural. Portland, Oregon. 2017

It is also inevitable to make unique and quirky art discoveries in Portland. Here is an art mural, “Capax Infinit" made by South African artist, Faith47. It's painted on the side of the Carlyle Building in downtown. 

Unknown Art Mural. Portland, Oregon. 2017

Unknown Art Mural. Portland, Oregon. 2017

After exploring the city for the last time, we made our way to the Japanese Garden. This is another must-visit in Portland. From pond gardens to sand gardens, it is the sanctuary of peace and beauty. 

Heavenly Falls, Japanese Garden. Portland, Oregon. 2017

Heavenly Falls, Japanese Garden. Portland, Oregon. 2017

japanese garden sand garden
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This would be my second time here, so I was thrilled to walk along its harmonious trails again. This garden had everything I could imagined a perfect Japanese-style garden would have: gorgeous plants, waterfalls, Koi fish and landscaping. It was absolutely impressive. I wish I had more time to wander, but we still had to check out the Rose Garden across the street.

Since we needed to start heading towards the airport, we were there for only a short period of time. Nevertheless, I was happy to see this magnificent garden.

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Our last hours in Portland was just as amazing as the first. We really made the most out of our 48 hours in the city. It was one weekend trip I'll never forget. As always, I can't wait to go back! 

Special thanks to my boyfriend and his family, Cheryl, Dave and Curtis for taking me along with you! I had a blast.

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Planning a trip to one of the greatest beer cities in America? Read my latest guide below:

Travel Tips: 5 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

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