Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oregon: Part 2

On our second full day in Portland, we again headed out of the city… this time, WEST! 

Less than two hours later, hello Cannon Beach. 

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Cannon Beach is one of the small coastal towns along the Oregon Coast. It's filled with cute shops and restaurants and less than a block away is this beautiful beach with the famous Haystack Rock. 

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The coast was nice and cool and we didn't hate the break from the crazy heat. We took a nice long walk along tho beach and then ate lunch in the town. We had planned to go down the coast a little more but the traffic was too crazy so we just enjoyed as much as we could of Cannon Beach and then headed back to Portland. 

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When we arrived back in the city, we decided to try the #1 rated restaurant on Tripadvisor, because why not? It was a Peruvian restaurant and neither of us have ever had Peruvian food, but we are now both obsessed. There is no possible way I can do this restaurant justice, it was that good. It was called Andina. The drinks were delicious and the food was even better. The only disappointing thing is that this restaurant is not closer to us in every day life!IMG 4342

The next morning we returned our rental car and set off to explore Portland.

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Our first stop was the Chinese Garden, which was a really cool place to relax in the heart of the city. 

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We ordered some tea in the tea house and planned the rest of our day. Next, we walked down by the river and then back up to our hotel area to check out all the food trucks. IMG 3539

Eric and I both really like the idea of food trucks, but other than our cool food truck festival experience a few years ago, our only other experience was a not so great one in Vancouver (probably just a fluke) so we were a little hesitant. However, I had the MOST DELICIOUS possible food truck meal ever in Portland. Yes, I have the authority to say this with my very limited actual food truck experience. The food truck was called Nong's Khao Man Gai and they serve chicken and rice bowls, though it's really more of paper than a bowl but really, so good. 

In the afternoon, we took the train (called THE MAX) across the river to Widmer Brewery. We 

sat at the bar and Eric ordered a flight to try and I got my beloved Widmer Hefe. 

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Our last stop in Portland was Portland City Grill, a delicious restaurant on the 30th floor with a great view. 

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My overall thoughts on Portland as a city remain mixed. I have always been a city person, but the last few years I feel like I have started to enjoy being out of the city more and more. There are some cities in the world I could visit 100 times and never feel satisfied: Sydney, Washington DC, Rome, London (to name a few)… and then there are cities that I don't hate, but I just don't feel a burning need to return to (Munich and Athens are two of these cities). I think Portland joins the latter group. The food was good, and the day trip possibilities unbeatable, but I guess next time I would probably stay outside of the city . The downtown area was not particularly pretty or walkable, both things I value in a city. I have heard that Portland is a great city to live in, and I can believe that. They have great food, healthy living and I swear there was always live music outside somewhere! I just feel like for visiting, if I have to drive everywhere, I might as well be outside the city.

That being said, I'm definitely not done with the state of Oregon. I only saw a small part of the beauty this state has to offer, so I will be back. 

What are your favorite cities? Are there any cities you liked okay but don't feel a burning need to revisit? Or any cities you don't like at all? 



  1. Great recap, but I'm bummed you didn't like Portland. I might be biased but I think it's really walkable, but even then, there are several different public transportation options (the Max, light rail, trolley, and buses). And a lot of people bike, but that's hard to do when you're visiting. I can see what you mean about Portland not being pretty, especially compared to the East Coast. I definitely think the East Coast cities are way prettier than Portland. Portland also doesn't have much of a skyline which is a bummer. :) Portland is also pretty small and I honestly never figured out why people travel there to visit. Portland to me is a place that you live not go on vacation, but maybe it's because I'm from there.

  2. We spent so little time in Portland so I couldn't really form an opinion about it but from my limited time there, I can see what you are saying! My favorite big cities to visit are NYC, DC, San Francisco, Chicago and of course PARIS!! You know the city that I didn't like at all and don't care to revisit is Charlotte... A city I visited and thought was ok but don't feel the need to revisit is Denver. My experience with Denver is similar to your experience with Portland - it's a fine city but you are most likely in Colorado to experience the mountains so you might as well stay in the mountains.

  3. Can you believe I have never eaten at Andina and I've lived here for 10 years? I feel like Portland has a lot of construction going on downtown, which does interfere with how easy it is to walk. I definitely don't consider myself a city person. I like to shop, but I am much more of a pull into the large parking at the mall kind of person rather than a search for a parking spot on the street while avoiding all the people who are walking around and crossing the street kind of person. I am used to driving so I don't use public transportation all that much. When I took PSU courses the summer before Germany, I took the MAX everyday, but other than that I haven't used it much. Overall, I am completely satisfied living in the state of Oregon and I love Portland, but I much prefer living outside of the downtown area. When we first moved back from Germany we lived in a high rise apartment downtown and that city living is just not for me.

  4. Oregon is on my top list of places to go though I've never visited. My home city of NYC is my favorite city, but my other favorites are Chicago, Providence, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, and London. I agree with Lisa about Denver. I had this salted oreo ice cream there and would go back just for that, but I found the city was just ok whereas what I saw in the rest of CO was phenomenal. Don't hate me, but I did not enjoy living in Boston, but I always encourage people to visit because I do think it's a great city to spend a weekend in.

  5. I could go to Nashville over and over again! Same with Chicago. Besides that, we generally dont visit cities anyway ha. Oh, Pittsburgh. Don't really need to go back there.

  6. Sounds like you guys made the most of your time in Oregon! I have only been their briefly when we ran the marathon there and then my dad and I did take the long scenic coastal drive back up to Seattle (such a long drive!! took 6 hours to get from Portland to Seattle) but we only stopped in one little town on our way up and I can't remember the name. It was a beautiful drive though!

    I'm much less about the cities these days when traveling and am feeling a stronger and stronger pull towards traveling to small, quaint towns and spending my vacations doing outdoorsy things!