Earlier this summer I had a spare week and wanted to go on a solo trip somewhere to recharge my batteries with lots of nature and tasty food. After a bit of brainstorming I decided on a Oregon road trip – flying up to Portland and renting a car to drive back to San Francisco. Having never been to the Pacific Northwest before, after this trip I can tell you that I will definitely be back for more.
I woke up early to catch my Virgin America (don’t they have the best safety video?) flight up to Portland. Once at SFO I stopped at Napa Farms Market, my favorite airport market, to pick up some plane snacks before catching my flight.
Arrived in Portland to see them infamous PDX carpet and then hightailed it over to SE Hawthorne for lunch at Harlow. Harlow is the restaurant of any healthy eater’s dream. They’ve got tons of vegetarian and vegan options from scrambles, to pancakes, to soups and salads. After much contemplation, I settled for the Outlaw Scramble with farm fresh eggs, chipotle black bean chili, greens, guacamole, peptitas and jalapeño cashew cheese all over brown quinoa. I will definitely be recreating something like this at home. I also grabbed a local Happy Mountain Lavender White kombucha because I’m that person that likes to try local kombuchas while normal people like to try local craft beers. My first meal in Portland set the bar high. I’ll definitely be back to Harlow, hopefully with more people in tow, to sample more of their menu. In the meantime I might have to settle with whipping up a batch of their “life-changing” pancakes from the Minimalist Baker.
After lunch I strolled around SE Hawthrone for a bit and popped into several boutiques. My favorite was Tender Loving Empire where I picked up a few postcards, a mug and print. Highly recommend stopping by one of their locations if you’re looking for some funky Portland souvenirs.
Next I checked into my funky little Airbnb which was perfectly located in Nob Hill and situated right between all the restaurants on NW 21st and all the shops on NW 23rd.
With all the sitting and eating I had been doing I decided I needed to move my legs a bit and settled on a hike up to the historic Pittock Mansion. The Pittock Mansion overlooks the entire city of Portland and I would have been able to catch a glimpse of Mt Hood had it not been hazy from all the wildfire smoke. The gardens were in full bloom with lots variety and fun to explore.From the Pittock Mansion I hiked down the Wildwood Trail past Portland Arboretum to the International Rose Test Garden. As a rose lover this was pretty much heaven. I had fun wandering around and picking out which types of roses I want in my future garden. I have also heard great things about the nearby Portland Japanese Garden but didn’t have an opportunity to visit on this trip because it was too late in the day.
- Harlow for lunch
- Explore SE Hawthorne
- Walk up to the Pittock Mansion for views
- Hike to International Rose Test Garden for lots of flowers
- Stroll down NW 23rd to shop
- Hit up Bamboo Sushi for dinner
Check out the other parts of my road trip:
- Portland Guide (Part 2)
- Portland -> Columbia River Gorge -> Hood River
- Hood River -> Mt Hood -> Smith Rock -> Bend
- Bend -> Crater Lake -> Klamath Falls
- Klamath Falls -> Mt. Shasta -> Lassen National Park