Keep Portland Weird. You know a city is unique when that’s the unofficial motto plus there’s a thriving Facebook page dedicated to the concept!
A couple of years ago I attended conferences in Portland in back to back months. I found there was a lot of reasons to visit and go back again and again.
My first hotel was the Marriott Downtown Waterfront which was a nice 15 minute walk to the conference site, The Portland Art Museum. I took advantage of a weekend special and it was cheaper than the official conference hotel. A bonus was the water view from my room.
The service was fantastic at this hotel and I’d highly recommend it. Plus, there was free wi-fi in the lobby along with infused water. Every evening you can have a free 10 minute chair massage!
The next month I was attending the 4th Annual FitBloggin’ at The Nines hotel. This hotel is one of the luxury properties in the Starwood family.
It was very nice but in a cool way; not stuffy. The room was generously sized which made it easy to store the suitcases and swag for me and my two roommates. The bathroom was equally large and had a wonderful rain shower head along with beach sized towels. Plus, it’s on top of Macy’s so shopping was very close.
Exploring Downtown Portland
I found many interesting sites during my walk to and from the first conference in addition to a morning walk along the waterfront. For instance, this Portland loo caught my eye.
I also got mixed messages about whether Portlanders need to conserve water or not.
The airport restrooms have these water-saving handles (reminds me of my grandparents but I won’t go into details about how!).
Then I saw this water fountain perpetually running on a street corner.
The first conference sessions took place at the Portland Art Museum. What a beautiful place to spend three days! The main hall used for the exhibitors, meals and opening and closing remarks was a piece of art itself.
There were murals like the one shown above all around the room along with many other beautiful details that I failed to capture in photos. It was a joy to navigate around the art as we moved from session to session.
I found a bookstore where I could have stayed for days.
Yes, I shopped at Powells Books where there are over a million books spread amongst a city block size store in 3,500 sections. It was heaven for this book lover.
Walking back to the hotel after limiting myself to purchasing just three cookbooks, I saw this storefront.
I’d never seen a Bettie Paige store before, but there were many women in Portland dressing in a retro style including other conference attendees. I felt like I had missed some fashion memo!
And if all the shopping and restaurants weren’t enough to keep us all busy, there was the Farmer’s Market each weekend.
While at FitBloggin, I worked up an appetite to visit a Portland icon…
I joined the line at VooDoo Doughnut after a 10-15 minute walk from the Nines Hotel and 20 minutes later I was at the door looking in.
Since most of my meals were included with the conferences I didn’t get to take advantage of the thriving restaurant business in Portland as much as I would have liked. Each trip I dined at Veggie Grill for a meal.
Another evening I had a quick dinner at the Red Star Tavern with a group. Service was very slow but the food was delicious!
Lastly I attended a sponsored dinner at 3 Rivers Grill in Hood River, Oregon.
We had some wonderful local wines followed by salad.
My choice of four entrees: filet mignon, grilled salmon, vegetarian pasta, or Chef’s vegan choice…
There were two dessert choices: panna cotta or a raspberry chocolate something. Obviously, I chose the panna cotta.
The second trip to Portland I was able to take a side trip out of town to Multnomah Falls.
Multnomah Falls is the largest waterfall in the state of Oregon at 620 feet total. It was right off the interstate with a lot of visitors stopping to admire the view.
When the weekend was over I took the light rail train from downtown to the airport along with this gorgeous river view as we cross.
The views from Portland to Sacramento were beautiful and I saw lots of mountains.
These are just a few of the things I enjoyed about the city. If you’ve been to Portland, what is your favorite thing about the city?