I fell in love with Portland the first time I visited towards the end of spring in June 2010. My husband and I took the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Portland. It was a 29-hour train ride. I will save that part of the trip for another blog =)
I remember saying that there are so many trees and they’re all lush green! I guess we came at the perfect time.
The second time I visited Portland was in the last week of March 2013. This time my husband and I drove from Los Angeles and convinced 3 friends to join us in the road trip. I hope they are glad that they did.
To read about our drive from Los Angeles to Portland, click below :
We only stayed 2.5 days in Portland and as I am sure it is not enough, but we managed to see some sights. Here are some of the places we visited :
1. St. Helens, Oregon
St. Helens is about 28 miles north of Portland. We visited this area to see some of the filming locations of the original Twilight movie.
On our way to St. Helens, we drove past the St. John’s Bridge, which is one of the many bridges in this city.
If you are familiar with the Twilight movie, here are some of the film locations we visited in St. Helens :
- Parking Lot where Edward saves Bella
- Thunderbird & Whale Bookstore
- Bloated Toad Restaurant
- Petite Jolie /Angel Hair Salon
And last but not the least,
- The Swan House, Location: 184 S 6th St, Saint Helens, OR
If you love books as much as I do, a visit to Portland won’t be complete without a trip to Powell’s City of Books. It’s heaven for book lovers.
If you’re coming from Portland, this is the first you will see from the many falls on the Historic Columbia River Hwy I-84. Unlike Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena is more of a cascading flow but still beautiful in my book.
4. Multnomah Falls & Lodge
Multnomah Falls Lodge
Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon and it is BEAUTIFUL. It is definitely worth the 30-minute drive from the city and you have to see it to appreciate it’s beauty.
5. Columbia River Gorge
Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to drive the 80-mile Columbia River Gorge but we stopped at one of the viewing point to take in it’s beauty.
6. The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, popularly known as The Grotto, is a Catholic shrine and sanctuary in Portland. Located on Sandy Blvd. at NE 85th Avenue and occupying an area of 62 acres (25 ha), the sanctuary is set both at the foot of and on top of a cliff. A large meditation hall whose main chamber is at clifftop level extends down to the foot of the cliff; the cross on the hall is visible many miles away. In addition to a church, there are several thousand feet of trails, including a trail of the Stations of the Cross, along which the faithful may pass in contemplation. – Wikipedia
Tip : If you want to see the roses in bloom, check and call them first before going. We didn’t, and so we came a little too early and was not able to see the roses at it’s best.
Proclaimed the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden is a 5.5- acre haven of tranquil beauty nestled in the scenic west hills of Portland, Oregon.
Admission Fee is $9.50 for adults.
9. Voodoo Doughnuts, Location: 22 SW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97205
I say go for the experience. It took us 45min-1 hr to finally get our doughnuts. If you don’t have the time to spare, they have another location not too far and there’s hardly any line there and they have better parking situation.
Voodoo Doughnut 2, Location: 1501 NE Davis, Portland, OR
My favorite doughnut from Voodoo : Portland Cream
Notice on the left side is the semi-famous sign “Keep Portland Weird”.
10. The Cullen House, Twilight
This house was not too far from the International Test Garden & the Japanese Garden so we also went to see it. It’s a beautiful house and the architecture is really amazing.
11. Cargo, Well Travelled Goods
Cargo carries a lot of goods from different parts of the world. I like these kind of stores. It’s a cheap way to travel =)
There’s more to see and hopefully someday, we will move and live in Portland.
See you again, Portland.