A Weekend in Portland

Cool autumn days, sparkling waterfalls and mouthwatering food are just some of the things that come to mind when I think of Portland. The strong feeling of wanderlust was so overwhelming that one day I just picked a weekend in the middle of October and decided to book a flight with my boyfriend, Austin!

By chance, we chose a particularly rainy and stormy weekend. Remnants of Typhoon Songda were expected to hit the Northwest Pacific that very weekend we were visiting, so Austin and I had to re-think our itinerary and plan for the rainy weather — aka buy rain gear that we never really needed until now.

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Fortunately, the time spent in Portland was still incredible despite the weather changing every 15 minutes, because like they say,”Keep Portland Weird”. No matter the weather, there is always a way to enjoy a slice of Portland’s weirdness. If you happen to go to Portland on a rainy weekend like us, you can follow along with our itinerary:

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FRIDAY EVENING

1:00AM: Our flight was delayed by two hours, but we arrived safely to our beautiful room in a neighborhood only 15 minutes away from Downtown Portland.

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DAY ONE: SATURDAY

10:30AM: After a lot of pre-planning, we thought that renting a car from Enterprise would be more economical during a full day of running around Portland.  This actually saved us a lot of money in the long run when we went to Beaverton and Multnomah Falls since an Uber drive would have been more expensive for both trips compared to one rent-a-car (thank you Uber calculator for letting us figure that out in advance!)

11:00AM:  We decided to have breakfast in one of the most popular tourist stops in Portland, Voodoo Donuts! We went to the one on Davis street to avoid the crowded lines in the Downtown location. We only waited about 10-15 minutes before we were called to the front of the line. We ordered two small coffees for the long day and four delicious doughnuts – Blueberry cake, Arnold Palmer, Maple Bacon and Mango Tango. Unique, flavorful and definitely sugary.

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12:00PM: After our major sugar rush from the doughnuts we devoured, we drove to Multnomah Falls, a beautiful waterfall location less than an hour east from Portland. Although it was slightly overcast, the 542 ft waterfall was still a sight to behold. These pictures don’t do this waterfall justice. It’s a view you have to see for yourself.

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3:00PM: For lunch, we went to Hapa PDX for some hot ramen. Hapa PDX is a food cart that we chanced upon while walking down the street after we found out Pok Pok was closed. There were also several food carts in the same area, and even had communal area complete with a tent and heaters to provide warmth from the incoming storm.

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5:00PM: We drove to Beaverton to visit Oyatsupan Bakery, which is owned by Austin’s cousin, Julie. The bakery has a modern vibe with a Japanese flavor. The bread and pastries remind me a lot of 85 Degrees here in Southern California. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend this bakery for the authentic Japanese pastries, the beautiful aesthetics and the friendly owners.

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6:00PM: Powell’s City of Books is hands down one of my most favorite places in Portland. It is one of the largest independent bookstores in the world and a must-go for all book lovers. If The Last Bookstore, a library and the largest mall in the world came together to form a brainchild, it would be the Powell’s City of Books. Dozens of brightly colored rooms flow with a millions of books, filling every wall and corner. Being the book nerds we were, we wandered around for hours and read until 10PM.  I even finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in one go.

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10:00PM: We had a late Egyptian Halal dinner at one of the food trucks in Downtown Portland called Gyro Place. It definitely hit the spot after a long day of reading into the night.

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11:00PM: Our last excursion for the night was spent at Ground Kontrol Arcade, a Portland version of Dave and Buster’s except filled with dozens of arcade games. We bought a drink and spent the rest of the night using up all of our change and playing pinball, old school fighter games, and a Simpsons game.

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DAY TWO: SUNDAY

11:00AM: We had a late brunch at City State Diner, a wonderful diner that has the best eggs benedict. Also, mimosas were only $5.50!

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12:30PM: A funny thing about Portland is that they call their weekend market the Saturday Market, even if it’s a Sunday. Unfortunately because of the storm warning, not many vendors were in the area for the Saturday Market, which was disappointing because we heard Saturday Market was a sight to see when packed.

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2:00PM: The rain began to pour as we headed to the Portland Japanese Garden. Despite the cold rain, I still ended up having a lovely time admiring the changing colors of the trees and flowers, and couldn’t help but smiling over the koi swimming across the pond.

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4:00PM: We took a break from the rain at Powell’s and Starbucks, where we read some more and drank coffee before heading back to the airport.

6:00PM: We checked out of our AirBnB and made our way to the airport to end the short, fun-filled weekend.