April 11-14, 2019

Just the right level of weird and wonder!

Portland is the largest city in the state of Oregon, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. Portland is known for its lush green parks, coffee shops, microbreweries and food.  The people are also known for being a bit quirky and unconventional, they embarrass their reputation with the slogan, “Keep Portland Weird.”

Lucky for us we were visiting our friend who was a local in the city for many years.  She took us to all the best gems of the city and surrounding areas. You could never be bored in this area, there is always something to do.  From devouring a meal that excites all the taste buds to checking out the local area of where Goonies was filmed. To hiking breath taking waterfalls or laying around in a park to watch an eclipse, Portland has you covered. 

Let me just tell you about my favorite thing we did first! There is a sloth sanctuary in Rainier, Oregon, The Sloth Center at Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center. They would allow you to make a reservation and for a small payment you  could come in and tour the property and spend time with the sloths for about 30 mins. This was such an amazing experience. If you were quiet and calm they would come right up to you for a nibble of cucumber. 

Another wonderful thing we did was go to Larch Mountain Trail. This trail is beautifully located in the Columbia River Gorge, just east of Portland. The full trail is approximately 6 miles long and is considered to be moderately difficult, with some steep sections and rocky terrain. We just did the 1 mile to Top of Falls. One of the highlights of the hike is the Sherrard Point lookout tower, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. In addition to hiking, Larch Mountain and the surrounding area offer a variety of other outdoor activities along with a charming gift shop and food at the base of the falls and entry area.

On another day, venture over to Astoria to check out the house where The Goonies was filmed. Although the house has sold a few times since filming and had signs posted to please stay off of driveway. It was recently resold in November of 2022 for $1.65 Million to a super fan who hopes to have it more open and available for fans to visit.  The town Astoria still embraces the nostalgia of the classic movie.  This road trip will take you about 2 hours. There are a number of great spots to stop and explore along the way, such as Cannon Beach and Seaside Town. Plus you can’t beat the roads in the Pacific Northwest. They are all so peaceful, beautiful and charming.

Take time to just wander the streets of Portland one day.  Depending on the day and season you might catch some live music or a street fair. You could see a show at the theater while you are there or go to a Trail Blazers Game! Also there are any number of spots for a fantastic meal. I will list some highly recommended places below. 

Highly recommended Hot Spots!

DIY Bar – Unique venue that offers cocktail while you craft away to make something all your own to take home.

Afuri Ramen – If you’re ready for the best ramen of your life, this is an absolute must! We are still dreaming about it! We ate at the SW location but rumor has it the NW location has a better atmopshere.  Either place the food will rock your taste buds.

Andina – A must have if you have never tried Peruvian food. This place is 5 stars. Must be why it has been here for 19 years.

Ecliptic Brewing – Modern Brewpub that offers food and variety of crafted beers. Has a spacious outdoor seating area.

McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge – There are 50 of these all over Oregon. All are unique and offer its own atmosphere. Many are historic buildings and worth checking out.

VooDoo Doughnut – Known for their creative and unique doughnut flavors.  The shop is decorated with colorful murals, neon lights, and other eclectic design elements. a must-visit destination for anyone with a sweet tooth or an appreciation for quirky Portland culture.

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