Portland had been on my bucket list for a while. Ever since I heard it was a city of gardens, I wanted to visit just to photograph the charms of this green metropolis.
Flower-filled, it is, with a Chinese garden, Japanese garden and a rose garden all within the city limits.
PDX also boasts a stately historic home, Pittock Mansion, and an odd but intriguing Catholic botanical garden called The Grotto. Since I was using public transport, these were a little harder destinations to reach from downtown. If I could do it over, I might skip the sanctuary (although anything with the name grotto in it pretty much fascinates me), but Pittock Mansion was fun, especially since the landscaped grounds are free and open to the public.
But really, my favorite parts of Portland had nothing to do with gardens. Portland has a fun, eclectic, hipster vibe that makes it fun just to explore.
It’s a thriving foodie city, so I ate well. I tried their cult classics, Voodoo Doughnut and Mother’s Bistro & Bar, and even tasted a gyro at the food truck pod and an Asian fusion dish (with a tea egg — yum!) at the farmer’s market. But those paled in comparison to a fabulous lunch I had one day at The Whole Bowl. I had this place picked out before I ever got on the plane and it lived up to the hype. Sadly, I ate it all before even thinking about a photo, so here’s a half-eaten Mango Tango doughnut at the lovely Keller Fountain Park.
Truly, though, the Columbia River Gorge is hands-down the best thing in Portland. It’s not actually in Portland, but luckily for my car-free self, there was a bus tour going to the waterfalls.
Like this one.
See all I did in three epic days in my feature article:
3 Days in Portland: Where to Eat, Play and Sleep