Tori here, and I am still riding the high of being named a finalist for Portland’s Best Real Estate Agent! With all of this excitement around our awesome city, I wanted to share with you all a couple of my favorite things about Portland.
First and foremost, I just love our city. I was born and raised in Portland, but I still manage to find new hidden gems throughout the city. This can be in the form of both indoor and outdoor activities, entertainment, and food and drink. Portlanders are lucky to be in such close proximity to both the Oregon coast and some of the region’s best skiing. There are lakes, rivers, creeks, trails, and more to discover everywhere – in and out of the city.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been roaming Forest Park. Did you know that it is one of the largest urban parks in the country? We’re very fortunate to have so much protected land within city limits. One minute I’m in a coffee shop with stores all around, and the next I’m walking along a trail with massive evergreens shading me from the sun, and/or rain.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park plays host to several annual events including the Portland Rose Festival, Waterfront Blues Festival, and Oregon Brewers Festival. Aside from events, you can enjoy walking and bike paths as well as plenty of greenspace. There’s many ways to enjoy the park whether you’re launching off on a Brew Barge tour, taking a hot tub boat ride, or visiting one of the numerous restaurants/bars overlooking the Willamette River. This is where you’ll also find the Portland Saturday Market. Year-round, rain or shine, there is always something to do.
I found this category quite difficult as there are far too many outstanding restaurants I’d love to recommend! However, I have a few favorites that I have come to frequent…
When someone is new to Portland, I like to suggest the Portland City Grill which has unbeatable city views – featuring Mt. Hood, the Willamette River, and Portland’s many bridges. If you’re looking for a mouthwatering breakfast spot, I absolutely love Mother’s Bistro and Cheryl’s on 12th. At Mother’s you’ll find traditional homemade favorites while Cheryl’s puts a new twist on classic dishes (their Portuguese fried rice is unreal). For lunch or dinner there’s The Fireside that has just about the coziest ambiance you could find plus views of the hip, bustling NW 23rd St. This gastropub features NW cuisine that sources their ingredients from local, organic farms and ranches.
Lastly, I would like to mention N Mississippi Street in general, because it’s packed with quirky stores and delicious restaurants. If you find yourself with a free afternoon, it’s a must-visit! One of my favorite stops is Interurban – from the outside it looks like an old, urban brick building, but when you walk inside if feels like you have stepped into an upscale saloon. They even have a picture of Mississippi St. from the early 1900s. Out in the back there is a patio with fireplaces, so they offer year-round outdoor service.
Outside City Limits
The Columbia River Gorge is a designated National Scenic Area, famous for its picturesque views, hikes, and waterfalls. Photographs just don’t do it justice. This is a very popular destination for Portlanders looking for day-trip adventure. As you continue through the Historic Columbia River Highway from Portland, you’ll end up at Hood River which is known for windsurfing and breweries. Stop by for a quick bite, or make a weekend out of it in one of their boutique hotels.
I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for your next adventure in and around Portland! I love sharing my favorite places with new clients to give them a taste of our beautiful city. And don’t forget, Willamette Week’s Best of Portland Reader’s Poll is open until June 15. We’ll see if any of my favorites make the list. Happy voting!