It's easy to love Portland, Oregon. Even if you've seen the TV show "Portlandia's" comical take on life in the city, it probably has not deterred you from wanting to experience the city's artisan donut shops, discover emerging bands or just soak up the overall culture of the unique locale. There's no vacation long enough to sample everything the city has to offer, but you can try your best to squeeze in the highlights. Here are a few:
Whether or not it's International Doughnut Day, Voodoo is a hallmark attraction that must be experienced when you visit. From the signature maple bacon bars to the wildly exotic toppings, like Fruit Loops and Coco-Puffs, this doughnut shop is not your typical breakfast spot. Just be prepared to stand in line, as this eatery attracts dozens of locals and tourists alike.
Stroll through any quiet neighborhood and you're likely to see massive murals, not on the walls of buildings but on the paved streets. The largest in the city is found on the corner of the NE Holman and 8th intersection, but many more can be found throughout the urban landscape. These projects are said to be a plan to improve road safety and bring the community even closer together, The Guardian states.
The famous Oregon brewmaster is the mastermind behind some of the coolest, most unique places in the whole city. The Kennedy School, a former elementary school transformed into an entertainment hub, is classic Portlandia, with a movie theater in the old school auditorium, a number of small restaurants and bars in the "classrooms" and even soaking pools on the grounds as well. Plus, McMenamins has the Crystal Ballroom, one of the most famous music venues in the country - so famous that The Black Keys chose it for their live DVD recording.
OK, so this mountaintop might not necessarily be in Portland, but a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The beautiful summit is great for hiking, camping, skiing or even just looking, if you find yourself vacationing there on a perfect "mountain day," as Paste Magazine refers to clear weather days.
Powell's City of Books
Portland is one metropolis that still boasts a beloved local bookstore, and once you go, you'll realize why it's considered one of the best in the country. The multi-story shop is as wide as the city block with plenty of space to hide away and get lost in a good book. It's also got new and used reads, so you can find great deals on some fine literature.