Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Bite of Portland

Last weekend I flew to the northwest for a quick trip to attend the Bite of Portland on behalf of a client. Ironically, I attended this same event several (scary) years ago for another client.

When planning a summer vacation, Portland may not be on your list, but maybe after this post, it will!

From Chicago, it’s just a little more than a three hour flight to Portland. I found out that Seattle is just less than three hours away, SO you could totally rent a car and hit up two northwest cities in just one trip!

Portland reminds me a bit of Pittsburgh. Some areas of the city shut down after work hours, but there are little nooks of streets with cute restaurants and riverfront trails.

Unlike the ‘burgh, Portland deserves huge kudos for its awesome shopping right in the middle of the city. There is the Pioneer Place Mall which offers a great mix of high and low end stores (think Louis Vuitton and Gap). Across from this mall is a fantastic Nordstrom – which is expected due to the chain’s northeast roots!

Some other must do’s while in Portland….

                 

·         Voodoo Doughnuts - Each and every person that I met was talking about this place. I was expecting it to be mini-gourmet doughnuts, but these things were the real, big deal. The line is rather long (20-40 minutes), but well worth the wait. I opted for the maple bacon (why not), while others I was traveling with sampled the ones below.

 


·         Food Trucks – like most major U.S. cities, the food truck trend has taken off in Portland. There are literally parking lots just filled with trucks and you can easily spot some while walking around the city.

 

·         Pearl District – I was on the hunt for an Anthro dress to wear to a wedding, so I made a quick trip to the Pearl District to see if they had the frock in the store. They did not, but I discovered TWO awesome places. The first, I’ll call the Boozy Mermaid. It was a Starbucks that sells beer, wine and mini appetizers (in addition to being a normal coffee shop!). I know Starbucks is testing this concept in other markets, like Chicago, but it was the first time that I stumbled into one of these. The second find was House of Lolo – a cute little boutique that ships anywhere in the U.S. online. They had a number of cute dresses – one of which I selected! The Pearl District was filled with cute stores and shops (and is walking distance away from Voodoo doughnuts – so you can walk off all that sugar!)




·         While I’m not an outdoorsy person, Portland has a lot of options for hiking and sightseeing outside of the city as well.



I’d love to go back to Portland to explore – when I have more touring time to spare!
  

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