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Portland Oregon Travel Guide

Portland Oregon Travel Guide

Where to Stay – The Jupiter Hotel

The Jupiter Hotel is located in the Southeast district of Portland and like the neighborhood it resides in, it is one of a kind. Previously a motor-home inn it was recently renovated into a modern mid-century boutique hotel. Every inch of this space is one-of-a-kind and absolutely bleeds with tongue-and-cheek personality.

The lobby is adorned with local artwork which rotates on a regular basis. Complimentary wifi is available throughout the entire property and fresh local roasted coffee can be found here daily from 5am-11am.

Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Lobby Area
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Lobby Area
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Lobby Area Seating
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Lobby Area Seating

Outside you will find the ultimate outdoor patio, or what they refer to as “The Dream Tent”. Lined with bamboo, lush greenery, crystal chandeliers, and a tiered covered tent it’s the perfect spot for an evening cocktail and can also be rented for events. Indoor event/meeting space is also available for rent with all the amenities a business traveler or company might need.

Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Dream Tent
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Dream Tent

Like everything else on the Jupiter Hotel property each room is outfitted with bold and saucy statements. I stayed in the Metro Max room, which is flooded with natural light, has a separate seating area, and accented with a bold yellow feature wall. Each door is painted on both sides with chalkboard paint and a small box of chalk is provided should you feel the need to express your creativity or leave a note for housekeeping. To be honest, it doesn’t really feel like a hotel. It feels more like the home of a friend. You know, that friend who is super hip and always in the know.

Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Metro Max Suite
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Metro Max Suite
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Metro Max Suite Seating Area
Portland, Oregon: Jupiter Hotel Metro Max Suite Seating Area

In addition each room comes with the option of a package add-on and like everything else the Jupiter does add-ons unlike anywhere else. Choices range from a baker’s dozen of the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts (where locals and tourists both line up around the block for hours daily), to a tattoo at their adjoining neighbors, to brewery tours, and even cannabis.

Portland, Oregon: The Jupiter Hotel, Voodoo Doughnuts Add-on

Most importantly above all else is the Jupiter Hotel’s location. Right in the center of one of Portland’s trendiest neighborhoods it is within walking distance of all the newest local coffee cafés, restaurants, and shops. Bikes are even available for rent on-site should you prefer to take a scenic ride through Portland’s streets.

If you’re looking for a truly authentic experience the Jupiter Hotel will give you that and then some. As one of the top spots for Portland natives to staycation you know that you’ll truly be living like a local. And isn’t that the best way to experience any city?

 

Transportation – Zipcar

With any trip a big factor to consider is your choice of transportation once you arrive. Public transportation will almost always be the most cost friendly(other than walking or biking), with cabs and car rentals rounding out the higher end of the price scales. Depending on what you want to see and do efficiency of your given transportation choice will of course factor in huge in the final decision.

In the end I chose to go with Zipcar. While my hotel was located in one of Portland’s hottest neighborhoods I had a lot of ground I wanted to cover, including visiting sites along the Oregon coast located anywhere from 1.5-4 hours drive away from Portland. In the interest of time and efficiency of being able to hit every spot on my must-see list public transportation was just out of the question. I mean, I had travelled all this way and I was going to make the most of it.

What made Zipcar the best choice even over local car rental companies was the ease of use, flexibility, and cost. I loved that I was able to book my Portland ride online from my home in Toronto and everything was taken care of before I even arrived. There were so many  Zipcar locations that I could choose from and I was able to find one that was conveniently located just a five minute walk from my hotel. Plus I had the option of renting the car either by the hour or by the day and that the cost included the price of gas and mileage of 189 miles per day – way more than what I needed for those long drives out to the coast. They even provide a gas card that you can use to fill up your tank at no additional charge.

As silly as it also sounds I loved the fact that I could use my membership card to just unlock the card and head off. I have lost my car keys far too many times to count and having my member card safely tucked away in my wallet made it super easy to get around. No need for additional paperwork either just drive and return to the same spot once you’re finished.

Portland, Oregon: Zipcar Transportation
Portland, Oregon: Zipcar Transportation

What to See

 Multnomah Falls

The Oregon Coast is known for some of the most beautiful drives and waters in the world but if you can’t handle the long commutes from Portland then Multnomah Falls will satisfy that outdoors itch all while being a reasonable 40 minute drive away. Once you arrive you can certainly enjoy the view from the bottom, it in itself is a sight. But if you’re up for a hike take the pathway upwards which will take anywhere from 40mins-1hour. At the very top of the falls you’ll get to the lookout point which will give you sweeping views of the Columbia River gorge.

Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Falls
Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Falls

Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden spreads over 9 acres and is the picturesque view of all things zen. It is also considered to be the most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan. Take a quick break in the Umami Café for some Japanese treats and tea.

Portland, Oregon: Japanese Garden
Portland, Oregon: Japanese Garden

Columbia River Gorge

If the view of this beauty from the top of Multnomah falls isn’t enough for you, then you can get up close and personal with a visit right to the gorge itself. Only a 1.5 hour drive away from Portland, the drive itself is scenic enough to warrant the trek. Along the way there’s more than enough to explore with various trails, waterfalls, and sites along the way. My personal opinion though is that visiting the Crown Vista lookout gives the best view of the gorge where you’ll be rewarded with unobstructioned panoramic views.

Portland, Oregon: Columbia River Gorge
Portland, Oregon: Columbia River Gorge

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is located on the Oregon Coast just a 1.5 hour drive from Portland. I woke up at 3am to make it to this famous site for sunrise at 5:36am. Needless to say it was worth it to not only see this stunner during golden hour but to basically have the entire beach to myself.

Oregon: Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach
Oregon: Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach
Oregon: Cannon Beach
Oregon: Cannon Beach

Coffee, Tea, Juice

Good Coffee

Well, the name says it all. They certainly are not shy about what they do and nor should they be because they do it well. A bright space with beautiful design, well appointed floor tiling, and yes some damn good coffee.

Portland, Oregon: Good Coffee Cafe
Portland, Oregon: Good Coffee Cafe

Stumptown

With multiple locations across Portland (and North America) Stumptown has already made a name for themselves  as some of the tastiest brew across the caffeine scene. Stunning interiors with all the right textural details makes their coffee shops the perfect place to get your coffee, people watching, and instagram game on.

Portland, Oregon: Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Portland, Oregon: Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Barista

Portland is a city known for some serious coffee connoisseurs, and I have to say that it lives up to the hype. I didn’t have a bad cup of coffee while I was here. But amongst a city of greats, Barista still managed to be a standout with cortados as smooth and silky as their chic marble counters and tiled flooring.

Portland, Oregon: Barista Coffee
Portland, Oregon: Barista Coffee

Tea Bar

Getting right to the point Tea Bar serves, well tea. You can get everything here from traditional hot brewed cups to Boba or Bubble Tea. The bubble tea here is unlike the traditional famous sweet beverages originating from Asian countries which is typically served takeout style in plastic cups with giant straws and various concoctions and topping add ones. Here at tea bar the tapioca balls are found swimming amongst fine teas which have been brewed, chilled, and sweetened with natural and delicate flavors like vanilla rose, beet, or cocoa peppermint.

Portland, Oregon: Tea Bar
Portland, Oregon: Tea Bar

SIP Juice Cart

I happened to pass by this cute little truck after ingesting way too much ice cream at the famed Salt & Straw just a few steps away. The super cute renovated RV turned juice cart immediately caught my eye. Serving all vegan, organic, and local juices and smoothies their drinks will leave you feeling cleansed and nourished, all while tasting delicious. Yup, it’s almost like I didn’t ingest a gallon of ice cream just 15 minutes prior to having one of their smoothies. Because green juice cures all. At least theirs felt like it did.

Portland, Oregon: Sip Juice Cart
Portland, Oregon: Sip Juice Cart

 

Where to Shop

Will Leather

Owned and family operated by the Adler family for over 35 years Will Leather is locally based out of Eugene, Oregon and handcrafts some of the finest leather pieces worldwide.

With multiple locations in Portland (and across the country) I visited their “Family House” location on NW 23rd Avenue. Upon entering you’ll immediately be hit with the intoxicating smell of well crafted vegetable tanned leather. It’s a bit dangerous, especially when you start to see, smell, and touch the buttery leather pieces everything from travel kits, to tech accessories, to ping pong paddles. You can immediately see and feel how well made and beautiful each piece is and can tell these are the types of items that not only look good but are built to last.

Don’t forget to enjoy their hidden gem of a backyard patio where you can enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee amongst greenery, live edge wood tables, and beautiful leather accessories.

Portland, Oregon: Will Leather Patio
Portland, Oregon: Will Leather Patio
Portland, Oregon: Will Leather, Customization
Portland, Oregon: Will Leather, Customization
Portland, Oregon: Will Leather
Portland, Oregon: Will Leather, hot tea on the patio + leather accessories

Beam & Anchor

Beam & Anchor is located in a converted industrial warehouse and is home to a carefully curated collection of well designed, mostly local made goods from various craftsmen, designers, and suppliers. Find everything from furniture, to jewelry, to housewares and clothing in this one-stop-shop for all things beautiful and unique.

Portland, Oregon: Beam & Anchor
Portland, Oregon: Beam & Anchor

Magpie Vintage

Portland is stacked with vintage shops for those looking for a unique one of a kind find. Magpie Vintage is one of Portland’s longest standing vintage shops and specializes in clothing, accessories, and jewlery. My vintage loving heart nearly exploded at the sight of their dressing rooms with plush velvet seating and curtains.

Portland, Oregon: Magpie Vintage
Portland, Oregon: Magpie Vintage

 

What to Eat

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop

Specializing in various types of cheese boards, snacks, soft serve, and beer this place was my favorite Portland eats. In fact I’m still thinking about it to this day. The “Our Favorites” sampler plates gets you a sampling of some of the finest cheeses paired with artisanal crackers, olives, cornichons, jam, mustard, and honey. They also offer up some damn tasty sides like the Mac & Mornay and the Gruyere and Garlic fried cheese puffs. Finish off with some of their soft serve which can be dusted with choice of espresso, beet, or matcha powder. I’m convinced the soft serve is the “Crack” in name Cheese & Crack.

Portland, Oregon: Cheese and Crack
Portland, Oregon: Cheese and Crack

 

Portland, Oregon: Cheese and Crack Soft Serve
Portland, Oregon: Cheese and Crack Soft Serve

Salt & Straw

A true local Portland gem Salt & Straw is famous for their hand-churned ice cream made with high quality ingredients and innovative flavor options which change seasonally. In the past they’ve done everything from Turkey Dinner flavors for Thanksgiving and BBQ ribs and baked beans for summer. I opted for the honey lavender and the almond brittle with salted chocolate ganache. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness obviously never bought themselves some Salt & Straw ice cream.

Portland, Oregon: Salt & Straw Ice cream
Portland, Oregon: Salt & Straw Ice cream

Pine State Biscuits

Southern comfort at it’s finest they specialize in deliciously tasting biscuits and sausage gravy. You have the option of ordering one of their biscuit sandwiches or creating your very own concoction. I tried out the Reggie Deluxe, a biscuit sandwiched with buttermilk fried chicken, sausage gravy, cheese, bacon, and topped with a fried egg. If you don’t feel comforted and completely happy after eating one of these then you’re probably beyond help.

Portland, Oregon: Pine State Biscuits, Reggie Deluxe
Portland, Oregon: Pine State Biscuits, Reggie Deluxe

Sweedeedee

Sweedeedee is a daytime only café that serves lunch and brunch in an adorably chic setting. Despite their daytime only hours they’re busy, which I can only attest to be a sign of the quality of their food and service. I tried out the breakfast bowl which is served with short grain brown rice, a baked egg, herbs, preserved lemon, almonds, lacinato kale, fermeted chili, and sheep’s feta with the addition of bacon for an extra $1.50. The trout plante  with potato, house smoked trout, egg, herbs, greens, horseradish crème, toast, and crispy niçoise olives was also a winner. The food here is well prepared and carefully thought out and the service is friendly and efficient. While it’s a busy spot the staff is sure to make sure people don’t linger so you won’t be waiting long for an available seat, even though it would be worth it.

Portland, Oregon: Sweedeedee
Portland, Oregon: Sweedeedee

Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai

If you couldn’t figure it out by the name Pip’s Original specializes in doughnuts and chai.  These are the miniature fried doughnuts that are deep fried and then dusted with cinnamon sugar and various toppings like Nutella, raw honey & sea, maple candied bacon, or the “Dirty Wu” (with cinnamon sugar, Nutella AND honey). On the day that I tried them there were 5 flavors on the menu with one seasonal special. What’s nice about this place is that they allow you to mix and match flavors whether you choose to order 4, 6, 8, or 12 dougnuts. I opted for 12, choosing 2 of each flavor which was nice to be able to try them all. Other places need to take lessons from Pip’s because forcing customers to order an entire half dozen of the same flavor is just passé and lame.

In addition Pip’s also has 5 types of their own house-blended chai which you can also order as flight if you want to try out all the flavors to wash down all the doughnuts. You’ll definitely want to try at least one cup as their chai is an experience in itself.

Portland, Oregon: Pip's Original Donuts and Chai
Portland, Oregon: Pip’s Original Donuts and Chai

Figlia Americana

Figlia Americana is an Italian-American café serving coffee, tea, pastries, and lunch options in bright open industrial setting. The English Pea Salad (bacon, pecorino, sunflower seeds, orzo) and the Egg Salad Sandwich (Bagna cauda, Calabrian Chili, lettuce, fried chicken skin, provolone picante, stecca) were positively drool-worthy and the avocado toast topped with smoked salmon, sea salt, and lemon oil was simple but super high quality. Once you’re done downing your delicious sammies and soups here take a stroll through the attached Rejuvenation houseware shop where Pinterest dreams are made.

Portland, Oregon: Figlia Americana
Portland, Oregon: Figlia Americana

Bluestar Donuts

Yes there’s ANOTHER doughnut shop on my list but it’s well worth visiting them all because each is not only amazingly tasty but also unique in their own right. In fact, I hereby dub Portland the ultimate coffee and doughnut destination! Bluestar Donuts originated in Portland but now has locations in California as well. Using a brioche style French recipe their donuts are decadent and tout sophisticated flavors like cointreau crème brûlée, blueberry bourbon basil, rosemary raspberry, and orange olive oil amongst classics like cinnamon sugar and buttermilk old fashion.

Portland, Oregon: Bluestar Donuts
Portland, Oregon: Bluestar Donuts

 

 

 

 

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