Portland; The home to beautiful landscapes, diverse artists, no taxes, competitive food trucks, eco-enthusiasts, cyclists, obscure restaurants, constant live music and a mass majority of friendly people.
I was pleasantly surprised with my last minute booking on Air BnB, The Society Hotel bunk room (my first hostel experience). You walk right in to an old heritage building from a street that doesn't reflect the best first impression, into an eclectic cafe with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee refreshing your senses. I dropped off my luggage case and enjoyed a cup to myself before taking off into the city. I gave myself one day to explore Portland and I know that was not close to enough time.
The city itself is inviting and intriguing. There are cute shops around every corner that can spark your curiosity and empty out a wallet; It took lots of will power to not buy things.
Portland has markets located throughout to fulfill the desire of local, handcrafted merchandise and organic food. I ended up walking through one while perusing through the streets downtown. One of the first things I noticed was how friendly and approachable many people are in Portland. Whether I was strolling into a shop, grabbing a bite to eat or just walking down the street, people would compliment me, ask me questions in the most innocent way and just be welcoming in general with smiles and positive vibes.
After walking around all day, I was able to hit most of the spots on my list.
Starting with The Ace Hotel, I was infatuated with the decor of this classic, heritage building. There is a functional, old Photo Booth in the lobby beside the gorgeous olive green sofas and immaculate coffee table. Then of course the ever so picturesque "H O T E L" sign on the back wall; this is a popular tourist destination. I grabbed a coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, took a photo in the booth and had a nice chat with some other tourists in the lobby. Later I was able to head up the stairs and read a few of the thousands of letter that occupy a vintage dresser. These letters were written by guests who had stayed at the hotel previously and dated back to the very open. Feel like leaving a message? You can still write your very own and store it in any drawer you like for whoever visits to pull out and read.
I stumbled upon a few custom boutiques along the way to my next location, Powell's Books; the worlds largest book store. I got lost within this place trying to find the photography aisle.
A few other mentionable food stops that I highly enjoyed were BlueStar Donuts, Tusk and Tilt.
Blue Star has donuts guaranteed to melt in your mouth; I indulged in the glazed, maple-bacon. Mmmmm :)
I enjoyed Tusk's tapas style with my new hostel friends my first night in Portland.
Tilt has wonderful service and burgers the size of your face.
On the way back through the city to the Hostel, my hostel friends and I caught sight of the pretty, Old Town "Portland, Oregon" sign which we had to take photos in front of.
Overall, Portland is such a delightful treat. There was no way I could do everything in the day I spent there, but it is certainly one place I would return to in an instant and adventure some more! There's just so much to do...