24 Hours In: Portland, OR

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Of all the trips I’ve taken in my life, none have put me in the Pacific Northwest. The furthest north I’ve ever traveled on the west coast was to San Francisco almost ten years ago. This past week, I had the opportunity to fly out to Portland, OR for a quick overnight and fell in love with the city. First off, Portland has the best airport in the country. From someone who has to fly out of LGA and JFK all the time, I’m jealous. Second, any city that’s known for being the City of Roses is a must see. Also, the food! Donuts, microbreweries, coffee, etc. Finally, the shopping is fantastic. Portland is an incredibly artistic community. I collected recommendations from my lyft drivers, friends, and shop owners while I was there and am sharing the highlights from my trip below. I can’t wait to go back!

photo via {Hotel Monaco}

First off, let’s talk hotels. I stayed at the Hotel Monaco in Downtown Portland. Centrally located, the hotel is quirky and fun with free loaner bikes, bands playing every night in the front lobby, and even an open bar social hour every night from 5-6. As a Kimpton Rewards member, you get a discount on the mini bar or restaurant bar tab. The gym was clean and mostly empty, the bed was comfy, the robes in the room were cheetah and zebra print and they gave me a late check out on a 24 hour stay. What more could you want?

photo via {Blue Star Donuts}

Before visting Portland, the only association I had was Voodoo Donuts. Of course, this is where I had to start my day. After a breakfast with friends at the wonderful Tin Shed Garden Cafe, I stood in the extensive line outside the shop for about five minutes before I realized I couldn’t waste my limited time in Portland waiting in a line. Regardless, I recommend checking it out even if you don’t wait in line for the donut itself. The store is funky and the “Keep Portland Weird” sign is directly across the street. Instead of the line, I grabbed a hazelnut iced coffee from Fuse Bar and snapped a few photos before continuing on with my day. Go for the photos and the coffee (really, it was great) and then get your PDX donut fix at Blue Star Donuts instead. I heard from multiple locals that this donut shop, with multiple locations across the city, is considered far superior to Voodoo. With more time, I say go to both! With 24 hours, Blue Star takes the cake.

Coffee in hand, I recommend jumping in a Lyft and heading out to the International Rose Test Garden for a walk amongst the flowers. When the rose bushes are in full bloom, the grounds are one of the most beautiful places imaginable with rows of flowers in every color of the rainbow. The smell was intoxicating and I took the time for a meditative walk while I snapped photos of all the different rose variations (one of my favorites was the “Rock ‘n Roll” rose bush) and listened to the entirety of Maren Morris’s Hero. It’s really a magical place. Bonus: it’s entirely free.

photo via {Fingerbang}

I made a last minute appointment for a “mystery manicure” at Fingerbang, a nail salon I’ve stalked for a while on Instagram. The second I walked in, I was handed a glass of Prosecco and I instantly knew I was going to like this place. I walked out with bright purple nails decorated with gold and silver foil topped with thin white stripes. Their design aesthetic is not for the faint of heart. I’m excited for their east coast location to open later this year in Brooklyn.

photo via {Gem Gem}

Gem Gem is a shop that I’ve followed online for a while with beautifully curated jewelry collection. The store is tiny so there is certainly time to appreciate everything they have on display. I had a wonderful time trying on different pieces but ended up splurging on a set of skull + spider web rings by one of my favorite jewelry designers, Margaret Cross of Goldengrove Jewelry. The store also happens to be in a great area for shopping in general.

Here are a few more top picks:

House of Vintage –  a labyrinth of vintage finds.

Tender Loving Empire – Portland-themed gifts. Think fun gift cards, pins, screen prints, and records!

The Perfume House – Self-explanatory. All the perfume you could ever want.

 

…and then to Drink!

Portland Cider House – $7 Flights of Cider.

Aalto – $3 Happy Hour Drinks + Food.

Sweet Hereafter – Great music, great drinks. Make sure to end up here at some point.

 

…and with that, I was back on a plane to NYC. Portland, I hope to see you again soon.

xx,

Annie

Featured Image via {Northrup Station

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