Register
A password will be e-mailed to you.

Your Guide to Portland’s Best Stays, Eats, Drinks and Views

Written and Photographed By: Kaitlynn Labit Train Getaway

You have the need to travel—well, so do I. But I’m sure, if you’re anything like me, you enjoy seeing all that the United States has to offer just as much as exploring a new country. We have a little bit of everything in America from skyscrapers and bustling downtowns (hello, New York!) to dream-worthy beaches with crystal blue waters in Hawaii and if you travel up the coast, you get a break from sunny California, you become engulfed in an artsy, cozy city and you’ll leave with a full stomach. Your next destination: Portland, Oregon. Take my traveling tips—here’s how to get there, where to stay, what to see and where to eat and drink. Are you packing yet?

Train Getaway

Travel in Style

Amtrak’s Superliner

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Amtrak (@amtrak) on

Prior to taking Amtrak’s Superliner, I had never traveled by train longer than three hours. Now, I never want to travel to a state any other way. It’s the perfect way to get into vacation mode by sitting back, relaxing and taking in every view as you hug the coast seeing everything from the seemingly never-ending Pacific Ocean to a forest of evergreens that tower higher than you can see from the train’s window. Before you ask—yes, it does feel like that scene in Harry Potter, and it’s just as magical as you would expect.

You have two options: pick up Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner at Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center and switch to Amtrak’s Superliner at Union Station in Los Angeles, or instead, hop onto Amtrak’s Superliner and ditch the little train layover.

Take your pick from four sleeping cars when you book your trip! Rooms range from a Bedroom Suite which fits four adults and has two en-suite showers and restroom to a Roomette that comfortably fits two adults and gives a camp feeling with its bunk bed feature. For this trip, the Roomette was perfect for two! This brings me to my first round of traveler tips for the train:

Traveler’s Tip #1: Stock up on snacks at the mini market inside Union Station before you go!

Traveler’s Tip #2: Bring an extension cord—there’s only one socket in a Roomette.

Traveler’s Tip #3: Create some extra legroom by lowering the top bunk during the day and store any backpacks on top of it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Amtrak (@amtrak) on

While you’re onboard the Superliner, make sure to stretch your legs and spend some time in the lounge car. Seating is first come first serve, but it’s the perfect place to take in some views with a coffee and book in hand.

Your ride lasts a little over 30 hours, but it doesn’t feel as long as it sounds. Every few hours, an Amtrak employee comes around to the sleeper cars to take reservations for breakfast, lunch and dinner (yes, it’s included in your purchase!). In the dining car, you can expect a meal for everyone in your crew even if they’re vegan or gluten-free as the menu options range from steaks to pasta and more. Even while eating, you’ll be taking in the views as each table is situated near a landscape window! Have a part of two? You’ll be seated at a table with other passengers giving you a chance to make a friend!

Amtrak  | @amtrak

 

“Hi, I’m Here to Check-In.”

Woodlark and Heathman Hotel

Picking a place to stay during a trip is always one of the hardest decisions. You want to find a hotel that’s reasonably priced, adds to the experience and is central to everything you want to do and see. Your two best choices? Woodlark  and Heathman Hotel.

 

Woodlark

The Woodlark is one of Portland’s newest boutique hotels and is a standout in comparison to other hotels in the area. What formally was one of the city’s earliest skyscrapers and first pioneer drug store and wholesale pharmacy, is now a vibrant hotel amidst Portland’s typical flannel and rustic-inspired stays. Before you make it to the front desk, their nickname “The House of Welcome” is already validated as the door hops help you carry your luggage from your Uber and open the doors for you. From there, you’re greeted by the front desk and off to your room. No matter which suite you end up in, here’s what you can expect: open concepts, their signature, custom wallpaper in each room, the comfiest bed of your life and decor that prompts you to start Instagramming upon walking in.

Although new, Woodlark is rich in history and detail throughout every part of the hotel from it’s construction to the flooring inside their restaurant, Bullard, and even in their bar, Abigail Hall. If you’re one of those people who like to explore the hotel you stay at, you’ll notice a flip of their green and navy color palette as you cross over into the other wing of the building and it’s because what is now Woodlark was once two separate buildings— the pharmacy, Woodard, Clarke & Co. and an old hotel, The Cornelius Hotel. The super-cute wallpaper you’ll be taking a photo in front of? It’s custom-made with leaves that were found in one of Oregon’s forests and put together to create the bright yet cozy wallpaper that would wrap the inside of the building and is even printed on their hotel keys.

If—no, when—you dine at Bullard take a second to break your gaze off of your food and onto the floor. The white and black tile that covers a portion of the restaurant is the original tile from Woodard, Clarke & Co.

When you’re sipping on your cocktail in Abigail Hall, know these things and tell the person next to you, too: the design and furnishing mimic what used to be the lady’s reception hall of The Cornelius Hotel where women would sit while their husbands were at business meetings. Among the crowd of women who would frequent the reception hall was someone named Abigail, who created a newspaper that would later become a leading force in women’s rights. You guessed it—it’s named after her.

Woodlark
813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205
503.548.2559

 

Heathman Hotel

Since 1927, Heathman Hotel has been at the heart of Portland housing a variety of guests from well-known authors to even locals who enjoy staying in one of the city’s oldest, most history-driven hotels. Step inside and you’ll see just how much this hotel is encapsulated by Portland’s story by two of the lobby’s features.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Heathman Hotel (@heathmanportland) on

Take a closer look at the posts in the lobby. It’s not a polka-dot design. Inside the posts are pennies that were produced the year a penny was flipped in order to decide whether the city would be named Portland or Boston. Look behind the front desk and you’ll see an art piece displaying a mapped-out, aerial view of Portland. This map actually has every building in the city on it and when a new one gets added, the architect returns to the lobby to add to his map giving the Heathman Hotel staff the ability to show guest exactly where something is in the city.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Heathman Hotel (@heathmanportland) on

When you make it to your room, you’ll feel like you just got the keys to your own apartment. Each room is airy and complete with glass-door showers, full-length mirrors, crisp white linens and wood flooring. If you’re living your lifestyle while on vacation and working out is a part of that, head to their fitness center which houses ellipticals, treadmills and even a rock-climbing wall. If you want to add to the at-home feeling during your stay, visit the Heathman Hotel Library on the lobby floor where you’ll find over 3,000 books that are signed by famous authors, US Presidents and Pulitzer Prize winners who have stayed at Heathman Hotel. Feel free to grab a copy and sit in the library or bring the book back to the comfort of your own room—the book is yours during your stay!

Heathman Hotel
1001 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
503.241.4100

Where to Next?

My fourth traveler’s tip for this trip: walk everywhere! Portland is the smallest downtown area I have ever been in and you will miss some of the cutest shops and streets if you’re driving around.This city is packed with places to see, so let’s get going!

 

Any Good Book Recommendations?

Powell’s City of Books

Portland wouldn’t be complete without Powell’s City of Books. Where else can you find three levels of new and used books of best-sellers and classics? You have nine color-themed rooms with over 3,500 different sections to browse through. Expect to spend at least an hour and a half here. If you weren’t a bookworm before this trip, you will be after this!

Powell’s City of Books
1005 W Burnside St
Portland, OR 97209
800.878.7323

 

Take a Stroll

Portland Japanese Garden

Your friend will think you jet-setted to Japan once you post a photo from the Japanese Garden. Tucked away from the city, this garden will bring a quiet peace to your trip as you walk through and experience a bit of Japan’s culture. Make sure to put in a reservation at the Umami Cafe located inside the gardens to indulge in everything from Matcha to Mugicha tea.

Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Ave
Portland, OR 97205
503.223.1321

 

“Look at That View!”

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

This is easily one of the prettiest views you’ll see while you’re in the city. Start your walk by the water fountain and make your way toward the bridge and at the end of your walk, you’ll come to Poet’s Beach where you can find dogs running around and people swimming around in the water depending on the time of year. You’re encouraged to take a plunge in the water, too. Swim safely!

Tom McCall Waterfront Park
98 SW Naito Pwky
Portland, OR 97204

 

Let’s Play!

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade (@groundkontrol) on

You’re on vacation—why not live a little? Enjoy old-school retro games like Frogger, Pac-Man and Tetris and over 50 more at this arcade. It’s a place for all ages. The kids can play while the adults stop by their BAR2-D2 for a drink!

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
115 NW 5th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
503.796.9364

 

It’s Tax-Free!

Tender Loving  Empire and Bridge and Burn

Tender Loving  Empire

This store was created with artists of all crafts in mind. Whether it’s musicians, cardmakers, jewelry makers or even candle makers, Tender Loving  Empire  carries and supports them. Not only is this store filled with handmade items from magnets to T-shirts made, but they’re also a record label. Every record in the store are records produced by the musicians they represent. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home or something for yourself, you’re sure to find it here.

Tender Loving  Empire
525 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210
503.964.6592

 

Bridge and Burn

Northwest fashion is all in one place at Bridge and Burn. This store has everything for both men and women. The items in the store can add to anyone’s lifestyle and closet with simple pieces that are meant to go with any outfit. Everything is influenced by the lifestyle and culture of Oregon making their pieces the perfect “every day” and “go-to” in a closet.

Bridge and Burn
1029 SW Stark St
Portland, OR 97205
971.279.4077

 

What Would You Like To Order?

A good trip calls for good food and libations. These Portland food places are so delicious that I frequently dream about the dishes and drinks. I’ve never been in a place that has been so inclusive of all diets. From coffee and whiskey to donuts and rainbow trout, here’s how to properly eat and drink your way through Portland.

 

To Drink:

Good Coffee

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Good Coffee (@goodcoffeepdx) on

The name says it all. With multiple locations throughout Portland, Good Coffee is all about the quality of taste and giving you a cup of caffeine that becomes a part of a daily routine to start good and end good.

Native Knowledge:  Good Coffee’s second location is in Woodlark ’s lobby making your mornings easier!

Good Coffee
813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

 

Coava Coffee Roasters

A Portland staple, Coava Coffee Roasters doesn’t disappoint. Place your order and enjoy your drink up top in the lounge area while you sit next to a wall of living leaves.

Coava Coffee Roasters
1171 Southwest Jefferson St
Portland, OR 97201
503.894.8134

 

Multnomah Whiskey Library

Feel classy and cool as you clink your whiskey drinks at the Multnomah Whiskey Library. This place has a speakeasy feel with a Hollywood club wait time. On a weekend night, the wait to go upstairs can be around three hours, but while you wait, you can sit in their green room and sip on fine whiskey.

Multnomah Whiskey Library
1124 SW Alder St
Portland,OR 97205
503.954.1381

 

Deschutes Brewery

Stop by Deschutes where they have over 20 beers on tap and appetizers that complement the beer from an IPA Pretzel to Ponzu Beer Nuts. Their bar area has an open concept making it easy to enjoy your brew while you make easy conversation with the person next to you.

Deschutes Brewery
210 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
503.296.4906

 

AVID Cider Co.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by AVID Cider (@avidcidercompany) on


If you’re gluten-free like me, this place is a dream. Portland does cider right and AVID Cider Co. Cider Co. has all of the best flavors and distributors in one place. Each cider has locally-sourced regional fruit and have the perfect balance of sweet and dry. This company prides themselves on clean, fresh and natural ciders and for good reason.

AVID Cider Co.
121 NW 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
503.477.9130

 

To Eat

Bullard at Woodlark

I’m not usually a fan of hotel restaurants, but Bullard changed that. Chef Doug Adams’ set up a nice introduction for Texas and Portland and now, his smoker is serving up the best southern and northwest food that could exist. This dimly-lit restaurant serves dishes like rainbow trout with basil aioli, braised elk shoulder and even a Texas red tamale. Is your stomach growling yet?

Bullard at Woodlark
813 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205
503.222.1670

 

Headwaters at Heathman Hotel

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Headwaters PDX (@headwaterspdx) on

Chef and Owner Vitaly Paley brings some of the finest seafood-based dishes you’ll have in Portland. From starters to the main meal, you can expect to choose from menu items like octopus, scallops, shellfish mussels and even a crispy skin Hawaiian snapper that’s put on top of green curry sauce. You’ll want to treat yourself to this fine-dining experience.

Headwaters at Heathman Hotel
1001 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
503.790.7725

 

Tasty n Alder

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tasty N Alder (@tastynalder) on

A weekend brunch never takes a break from your schedule especially when you’re on vacation.  Step inside the rustic-looking restaurant and experience a brunch menu that’s filled with different versions of charcuterie boards, fried chicken and even steak. Oh—there are Grown Ass Milkshakes too because nothing wakes you up more than a sweet drink made with Kahlua.

Tasty n Alder
580 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 92705
503.621.9251

 

Petunia’s Pies & Pastries

If your morning seems a little less sit down and more on-the-go, pop in at Petunia’s Pies & Pastries where everything is celiac and vegan-friendly. You can get your fix on their breakfast sandwich made with gluten-free biscuits, a house-made veggie patty, tofu egg and gravy. To any chef who may be reading this, please bring this to California. You can have all of my money if you do.

Petunia’s Pies & Pastries
610 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
503.841.5961

 

AFURI Ramen + Dumpling

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by AFURI_PDX (@afuripdx) on

You know a ramen place is going to be tasty when the only other location is in Japan. AFURI Ramen + Dumpling landed in Portland almost three years ago thanks to the water provided by Mount Hood that matches the excellence of Mt. Fuji. You came for the ramen, but make sure you stick around long enough to try their whiskey flight!

AFURI Ramen + Dumpling
50 SW 3rd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
971.288.5510

 

Bamboo Sushi

You have to dine at the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Bamboo Sushi focuses not just on giving you a good plate of sushi but also putting good back into the world. All of the seafood they serve is sustainably sourced making sure that where your food comes from is ethically and environmentally safe.

Bamboo Sushi
404 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
503.444.7455

 

Voodoo Doughnut

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Voodoo Doughnut (@voodoodoughnut) on

You didn’t visit Portland if you didn’t wait in the winding line outside of Voodoo Doughnut. It’s no wonder why this shop has over 100k followers on Instagram. They have over 50 doughnuts which range in flavors like the Voodoo Bubble with vanilla frosting and bubble gum dust to their signature Voodoo Doll with raspberry jelly, chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake.

Voodoo Doughnut
22 SW 3rd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
503.241.4704

My location
Get Directions