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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Portland

{Image Credit: Unsplash/Pixabay}

{Image Credit: Unsplash/Pixabay}

After years of admiring from afar, I finally visited Portland for the first time last month. It’s got a reputation of being a unique place — the city motto is “Keep Portland Weird,” after all — and it did not disappoint despite this Jersey girl’s extremely high expectations of it.

Like all cities, you could spend an infinite amount of time in Portland and never run out of things to do, but I’ve created a pretty good collection of places to visit in order to get the vibe of the city in a very short amount of time. Here’s how to keep it weird and fresh in the PDX for 24 hours!

Cheryl’s On 12th

Address: 1135 Washington Street Portland, OR

Hit up this restaurant for breakfast or brunch to set your day off on the right foot. The atmosphere in Cheryl’s is very cute and breezy, the service is excellent and most importantly: the food is delicious. I ordered the croque monsieur with cheesy potatoes on the side and it was so good that I did not stop talking about it for the rest of the trip, and that’s not an exaggeration. We also ordered & can attest to the deliciousness of the huevos rancheros and chocolate chip pancakes but I truly do not think you could order a “wrong” dish here.

Blue Star Donuts

Address: 1237 SW Washington Street Portland, OR / multiple throughout the Portland area

If you are interested in food or food culture at all, this is probably not the first time you’re hearing of Blue Star. And I personally would be lying to say that this wasn’t one of the top places I was anticipating eating at in Portland. Blue Star Donuts is one of the most famous doughnut shops in the country and I am so excited to say it lived up the hype completely. We tried out most of the flavors they had that day (as I suggest that you do because, well, it’s a vacation) but my favorite by far was the blueberry basil bourbon. Because of the popularity I was expecting to have to wait in line but to my surprise there was no wait, so if you are concerned about that you might find you had nothing to worry about.

International Rose Test Garden

Address: 400 SW Kingston Ave Portland, OR

Just outside of the downtown area of the city is Washington State Park. If you don’t have a car, no worries, because it can be accessed by the red line of the MAX (which, as a side note, I found to be very efficient). There are many different exhibits in the park but the rose garden is perhaps the most famous and for a very good reason — everywhere you turn you are surround by roses. There are every kind of rose you can think of in every different color, and then some. It’s a gorgeous place to hang out at and take so many pictures that your phone is constantly telling you that you don’t have enough storage space.

Food Trucks

Address: SW Alder St Portland, OR

Almost every major city has food trucks but Portland’s get a lot of attention and I didn’t realize why until I visited: there are A LOT of trucks. All over the place. So many that they refer to the different collections of trucks around the city as “pods.” This particular pod, on Alder St, is the largest collection of street food in the country. Meaning that no matter what exactly you are in the mood for, you will find it. We tried Asian dumplings, Mexican street tacos, and gyro’s from a Mediterranean truck. Everything was extremely fresh and delicious.

Pioneer Square

Address: 701 Southwest 6th Ave Portland, OR

A place to go and rest your feet or to people watch for a little bit, this square is located just below Chinatown in the more business-y section of the city. There isn’t so much to do here as it is just a great place to sit and observe while taking in and really appreciating the city that you are in. The first Starbucks that ever opened in Portland is located here and is still operational, so you can grab coffee as you watch. Also, the tourist center is located here if you have questions or need recommendations on anything having to do with the city.

Pine Street Market

Address: 126 SW 2nd Ave Portland, OR

I’m going to put my foot down a little here and say that this is an absolute must visit when you go to Portland. Pine Street Market is a really cool indoor food marketplace that is located close to the river on the West side of the city. It has a very fun vibe and is probably exactly the type of establishment that you picture in your head when you think of what a food place in Portland “should” be like. There are eight different options for food in this one building and you can order from any, then grab a seat mess hall style. We ate dinner from Shalom Y’all then got ice cream from Wizbangbar by Salt & Straw for dessert and I would recommend both, but there are other options that I am certain are just as tasty.

Powell’s Books

Address: 1005 W Burnside St Portland, OR

Powell’s is the largest operational independent bookstore in the United States. And when they say large, they mean LARGE! There are three (or four) floors with every section and type of book that you could want. I mean — they had an entire aisle just of biographies on country music stars — it’s that fantastic. Give yourself some time to just walk around slowly in the store and take it all in, and be on the lookout for little specific books that you can’t get anywhere else, which I came across a few times while I was there.

* * * * *

Do you live in Portland or visit often? What are some of your favorite sights in and around the city? Let us know in the comments below. To plan your trip to Portland, OR this season, check out Travel Portland!

All photographs were taken by Meg Quinn unless otherwise stated.

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One Comment on “Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Portland”

  1. APlaceWeLike September 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    This might come handy, I’m going to Portland soon!

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