Portland for First Timers | Things to Do in Portland Oregon - Art in the Find

Portland for First Timers | Things to Do in Portland Oregon

Posted on: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Having just visited for a long weekend, I tried to squeeze in a thousand things to do in Portland while we were there.  Portland has been a city on my go-to list for a few years now.  It’s one of those places that reminds me of San Diego, in that it has fabulous coffee & brew culture.  Obviously, the fact that my sister also lives in Oregon made it that much easier for us to plan a trip.  For those of you having not had the chance to visit Portland but are planning on making a trip, here is a great list of things to do in Portland while you’re there!

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel |

Hi Lo Hotel Portland Lobby

Things To Do in Portland Oregon

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | hi lo hotel portland |

Visiting Portland in the springtime is really hit or miss with the weather.  It rained almost the entire time we where there but we made a point to enjoy the outdoors, regardless!  There’s something about traveling to a new place for the first time that makes you feel a sense of adventure (despite what the outcome of the weather might be!)  Portland, known for its beer culture, coffee culture, and outdoorsy vibe, has plenty to do, eat, and drink.

We made a point to make a list of things to do in Portland that we aren’t able to easily do, find, or eat in San Diego.  Our list was based on the location of our hotel downtown (more about that in a minute) and whether we could walk or hit up the various neighborhoods throughout Portland in a short car ride.

Walk along the Cherry Blossoms in Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Tom McCall Waterfront Park – 98 SW Naito Way

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland cherry blossoms

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland cherry blossoms

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland cherry blossoms | tom mccall park portland

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland cherry blossoms

Spring an absolutely delightful season to catch a glimpse of nature in bloom.  In the downtown area, along the Willamette River, is Tom McCall Waterfront Park.  This is the best place to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous cherry blossoms.  You can stroll along the waterfront, sit at one of the benches, or grab a blanket & lunch for a waterfront picnic.

 

Visit the Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum – 1219 SW Park Avenue

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland art museum

Obviously being that ‘Art’ is in my blog and brand name, Art is a big influence.  Whenever I’m in a new city, I like to check out their art museums because I always love seeing their new exhibitions and collections.  The Portland Art Museum had an animation exhibit, based off of their local animation studio, while we were there.  It was such a treat for the eyes!

Stroll through the Portland Japanese Gardens

Portland Japanese Gardens – 611 SW Kingston Avenue

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland japanese gardens

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | cherry blossoms | portland japanese gardens

Up the hill from the Portland Art Museum is the Portland Japanese Gardens.  This serene outdoor garden offers beautiful views of Washington Park.  The park provides lovely glimpses of Japanese architecture and over 5 different garden styles.

Stay at The Hi-Lo Hotel | Autograph Collection

Hi-Lo Hotel – 320 SW Stark Street

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | hi lo hotel portland |

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | hi lo hotel portland |

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | hi lo hotel portland |

things to do in portland at the hi lo hotel art in the find

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | hi lo hotel portland |

If you’re at all interior design-minded (or at the very least love a good batch of eye candy when it comes to decor) a stay at the Hi-Lo Hotel is a must.  The hotel’s beautifully decorated lobby & bar feels like you’re stepping into a mix of Scandinavian design, textural creativity, and gorgeous hardware.  From the herringbone flooring to the pink velvet chairs, every detail has been accounted for and it’s exceptionally done.

From the moment that you walk in, the service is exceptionally warm and friendly.   We chatted it up with everyone from the Valet to the Conciergerie at check-in and throughout our stay.  They offered up suggestions for eateries, places to hang, and local neighborhoods worth checking out.  I’d say their friendliness ranks up there with what it’s like to chat it up with a good friend!

The hotel, which is located downtown, offers the opportunity to mix and mingle at the bar, eat at Alto Bajo, the Mexican restaurant attached to the hotel lobby (open for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner), or lounge with a coffee in one of their relaxing and well-decorated lobby spaces.  The rooms have a large industrial influence, with cement walls, a clean, crisp (white sheets, clean artwork and light fixtures) yet homey vibe (think, Pendleton style blankets).  It’s a great mix of sleek meets modern.

Places to Eat in Portland

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland | sunnyside portland | Tusk Portland

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland | sunnyside portland | Tusk Portland

Tusk

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | Figlia Portland | Figlia | lunch portland

Figlia Portland

Before I get into all the fabulous places you should try, just know that we left Portland feeling as though we didn’t even scratch the surface.  Despite feeling like we were eating Thanksgiving meals everyday, there is so much to try.  These are among my favorites from our trip with some mentionables that were highly recommended (but we didn’t get to try).

Since it’s such an institution, let’s start with brunch.  Tusk has a mediterranean & middle eastern vibe and their lemon poppyseed crumb cake and mediterranean yogurt were to die for.  Clint ordered the mujadara and ended the meal by saying, ‘We should eat more rice with breakfast.  So take that to note, this place is the jamPine State Biscuits is also a Portland institution and is definitely worth a stop.  You will wait in line, but the menu is up in large font, so order at the ready.  Get a biscuit sandwich or do what I did and order all the jams, honey butters, and a biscuit for your own version of a English feast.

For lighter fare lunch, grab Lunch at Figlia Americana or a quick stop at Olympia Provisions for a charcuterie board.  Little side note, Figlia Americana is located in the Rejuvenation Building off of SE Grand Ave. and is in a very design minded district.  So if you eat there, plan to walk around some of the design & furniture shops afterwards!

Dinner at POK POK is a must.  They have amazing Thai food & cocktails.  Be prepared to wait, even on a Tuesday.  It’s a crowded but cozy space and is well, well worth it, even if you’re going just for the appetizers.   If you want cuisine you can’t normally find in your hometown, try the Russian dumplings at Kachka.   Finally, get a sweet fix at Salt and Straw on Southeast Division Street or grab donuts from Blue Star.  Both will heighten your sugar levels by 1000% but both are well worth it.

Drink Your Weight in Coffee, Tea, and Whiskey

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | stumptown coffee | travel |

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland | sunnyside portland | smith teamaker

Drink allll the Coffee

Coffee at Stumptown is legendary and worth a stop over for a cappuccino or cold brew.  There are several locations throughout the city, so no matter where you are, you’re sure to stumble upon one. Upper Left Roasters, Presso, and Spella are all worth a try.  If you’re like me, among the many things to do in Portland included a different coffee stop everyday.  That definitely made stopovers and breaks throughout the day much more fun!

Taste Tea at Smith Tea

Smith Tea Tasting Room – 110 SE Washington Street (there are two locations)

Tea Tasting at Smith Tea is a great thing to try in Portland when you’re all full up from the eateries and breweries.  A tea tasting room is definitely something new to me and it was such a fun treat.  It’s almost like wine tasting, without the alcohol!  At the Smith Tea tasting room you’re allowing to choose your own tea flavors.  Between the preparation and the presentation, the experience is well worth it!

Get your Vintage Shopping Fix

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | vintage shopping portland |

Backtalk

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | vintage shopping portland |

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | vintage shopping portland |

Simply Vintage Co.

There are no shortage of vintage shops and small boutiques in Portland.  We spent most of our time downtown and in the Southeast neighborhoods but there is so much more up north we didn’t get to see.  For clothing my favorites were, Backtalk (they have a combination of new & vintage, color coordinated), Simply Vintage Co (right behind Pine State Biscuits, they have a great curation of vintage dresses!), and Francis May (more on the high end side, they have a great selection of emerging designers and shoes).

Seek Out the Instagrammable Neighborhood Mural Walls

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland | sunnyside portland | richmond area portland

Looking for things to do while visiting portland? Conni of Art in the Find shares her favorites for where to eat, stay, and drink in Portland. | Portland Oregon | things to do in Portland | portland hotels | boutique hotel Portland | hi lo hotel | travel | portland hotels | hi lo hotel portland |

One of my favorite fun things to do in Portland was exploring the city to find their cool wall murals.  You’ll find, in the Sunnyside & Richmond neighborhoods (on Southeast Division Street) there are plenty of instagrammable walls to check out!  Just start strolling along Southeast Division and you’ll be sure to find plenty to take pictures of.

As you can see, we definitely left Portland with satisfied stomachs!  Despite all we did, there were still so many things to do in Portland and we only just scratched the surface.  Have you been?  What are your favorite neighborhoods to hang out in for shopping, eating, and culture?

 

 

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