August 23, 2012

Weekend in Portland

We recently went to Portland, Oregon for a quick summer getaway...

Downtown Portland with Mt. Hood in the background. Photo by Modernowl via Flickr.

Our visit to Portland was originally going to be four days, but due to work schedules we had to make it three. Thankfully we are just a two hour flight away, and there were only three things we were sure we wanted to do: 1) Stay at the historic Timberline in nearby Mt. Hood, 2) dine at Beast, and 3) drink up at the Oregon Craft Brewers Festival.

DAY 1:
We decided to spend the first day and night outside of the city of Portland seeing the Columbia River Gorge and staying the night on Mt. Hood. After picking up our rental car at the airport, I used the Food Carts Portland iphone app to find a spot for lunch. We ended up at the D Street Noshery food cart pod.

Then we made our way east from Portland along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Beautiful moss-covered forests, waterfalls and views...

Columbia River Gorge

Multnomah Falls


We stopped for a snack of surprisingly good hummus and beer at Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, and then headed inland to drive around the "Fruit Loop". We picked up some delicious Rainer cherries and visited an alpaca farm that provides wool to Oregon's famous Pendleton company.

Full Sail Brewery

Ranier cherries

Then we continued on to Mt. Hood to stay the night at the Timberline LodgeThe Timberline Lodge is an incredibly charming, historic little hotel handcrafted from top to bottom in the 1930s. We were impressed by how original it remains- even the furniture and accessories in our room were authentic. The wood carving throughout the hotel is beautiful and the whole experience is transportive. 

Snow-capped Mt. Hood

Timberline Lodge

Room at the Timberline Lodge

DAY 2:

After breakfast at the Timberline, we drove into Portland to the Heathman Hotel, which was fine, although we really wanted to stay at The Nines (sold out). I think Kennedy School looks fun, and for those who don't need creature comforts or quiet nights, there's Ace Hotel.

Sadly my sniffles turned into a full-blown cold this day. I hibernated at the hotel while Michaelthinks enjoyed the Oregon Craft Brewers Festival.

Crowded tent at the Oregon Craft Brewers Festival
Oregon Craft Brewers Festival

I rallied that evening for a visit to Powell's (epic) and dinner at Beast. Beast was recommended to us by friends and by a food writer at Eater. Seating is family style and it's a fixed-price, six-course meal. I love places like Beast that are casual, neighborhood spots serving truly beautiful, simple, and delicious food. Such a treat.

Powell's City of Books

Beast restaurant in Portland

Charcuterie course at Beast

Other restaurants on my list include:

DAY 3:

Quick visit to the Portland Art Museum and planned lunch at Pok Pok which we ended up skipping to take an earlier flight home due to my deteriorating condition. I can't wait to return to Portland feeling well! Next time, we'll spend a night at the beach in Astoria, stay at the Commodore, shop the Sunday market, and visit Lewis and Clark National Historic Park.

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