City travel- Portland, Oregon three-day trip plan

why a weekend getaway in Portland is a good idea!

Hi friends,

How’s your 2019 so far?

Time really flies, It is already March. can you believe it?

2019 to me is quite an adventure, many trips planning forward, with gratitude of the lessons we learn from last year and full enthusiasm in my heart. First of all, thanks so much for following along on Better than authentic blog. in this wild wild internet world, there are millions of blogs out there, with what kind of luck, we connected together on this platform? I can’t say enough of my gratitude, and this blog just got one year old! Happy blog anniversary! In the honor of the anniversary, Here we kick off the new chapter of adventure with a short trip to Portland, Oregon in Jan.
So what brings us to Portland? hehe, to be honest, a lot of influences from the show- Portlandia, I LOVE the show very much! it’s a funny, quirky show that is always entertaining to watch. As the show just ended with season 8 last Dec. we sprung the idea of visiting Portland. Are you also a fan of the show? you will like this post!

First of all, I have to say the best thing about Portland: public transportation in Portland is excellent! probably the best in all the USA in my opinion. they have the tram, bus, metro, different one will lead you to the city or the popular tourist attractions. they are clean and new, the schedule is reasonable, the price is super friendly. basically, we bought one day pass that can fulfill our travel plan. Local says since the city got more and more population in recent years (Not blaming it on Portlandia hehe…) the city expanded the public transportation to relieve the traffic. I guess this does help a lot since the three days we haven’t experience any traffic at all. And we got to see the city without driving, so good!

Day 1 Half day plan

After we checked in at our Airbnb in a nice neighborhood- Nob Hill Alphabet district, a nice small town feels and a lot of boutiques, where is not the center of the city, but close enough with the bus. we recommend staying here if you want to away from the hustle downtown.

Portland Art Museum
This is actually a decent museum from the size to the collection. we spend the whole afternoon seeing from Baroque art to Native American art and Japanese art. really a solid museum that we highly recommend it. Also, they extended the open hour to 8 pm on Thu. and Fri. so that you can enjoy it more time. btw, there is another museum has a similar name- Portland Museum of Art. we had not had a chance to see that one yet, but want to note it’s a different museum here.

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Oregon Historical Society Museum

This museum is just on the opposite side of the Portland Art Museum, it’s the first museum we visit since we really want to know more history about Portland, the admission fee is only 10. It’s not a big one but it provides a full history of Portland from the trail of Oregon to even cover the beer brewing part! if you like history and beer, I bet you will like it. I suggest spending at least an hour here.


First Congregational United Church of Christ – Portland

This church just in the same area with the previous two museums, we got attracted by the beautiful architecture. It truly is an interesting building, asymmetric structure, we went inside and tried to know more about the historical background, however, the time we visited there was no one to answer, so we couldn’t get more details but still suggest to check it out if you were nearby, sometimes they will host events.

First Congregational United Church of Christ - PortlandFirst Congregational United Church of Christ - Portland travel in Oregon

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

we came across this spontaneously just because the billboard has giant Portland sign which was shown in Portlandia trailer. hehe. (fans as we are) it is a concert hall and happened to perform a symphony at night, we thought: SURE! why not enjoy some music since we have been a while had not had one. it turned out to be a decent show!! so if you happened to be nearby, I highly suggest you check the show time. besides the concert hall, there is a Portland’5 Centers for the Arts ticket center, they even have some other type of shows you can check it out!

Day 2

Japanese garden

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Portland. Before I make the itinerary, I have seen so many people mention it’s the best thing to do in town. I was wondering why until we visit it. It truly is a sanctuary! The comfort of being in a mountain, out of the city (Please wear walkable shoes, it requires some hiking), the scenes are amazing, the stones, bonsais, architecture, everything is totally Japan! completely makes me feel not in American anymore, and super photogenic! Up there you can see the whole city from above, they have a small hall will host event sometimes, we got pretty lucky to see the Manga exhibition.
The transportation to here is also easy, take a bus from downtown will only need 40 mins. Highly recommend it! btw, you can also do a double to see Rose garden, it’s on the same way to the bus station, however roses are seasonal flowers, we only saw one or two of them, but pretty sure it will be so different in springtime.

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Powell’s city of books

SO glad to see the bookstore culture is still big in Portland, I like bookstores so much if you have read my previous post from Taiwan. Personally, think a trip to the bookstore is one of the best dating ideas, hehe 😛 Powell has several bookstores in town, and they organize books in a different way to other chain bookstores- the used and new books are put together, but it has noted on each book. we did find some good deals on chess books, very happy! They have a lot of books from literature to child books, surely a good family destination.

Powell bookstore in Portland Oregon

Day 3

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

That is THE destination why we visit Portland. We have seen so many waterfalls before, but Multnomah is truly unique! These falls are the tallest and best known in Oregon. Dropping in two major steps. In the beginning, we thought we may just see from the bottom then take the bus to leave within an hour, but, how can this happen when the natural shows her awesomeness in front of you? yeaaaahhh, we changed our mind and set a challenge to ourselves- Let’s go hike to the top of the fall. the day was cold and windy, so not much people climbing up. the trail was pretty narrow, my nose was running, makeup was ruined, and the hair was messed, however, not a single second we want to give up. we climb and climb, in the end, we see the top! It’s such a wonderful experience.

    The waterfall is at Columbia River Gorge National park, with very friendly access by shuttle, we took Columbia Gorge express, it’s a white bus with a light green sign, a round trip from downtown is 10 dollars, so worth it! but be sure to check their schedule, because they have summer and winter time schedule. The beauty is indeed set in our mind strongly, and we hope one day in the summertime we will come to visit the whole National park, they have other waterfalls are very nice too.

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Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Blue Star donuts

There is plenty of recommendation of famous Voodoo donuts on the internet. I know it may be cute, but it is located in a part of town we have not to plan to go to, therefore we walked around in our Airbnb neighborhood and we found out the tasty Blue Star donuts! see the location from their official website here, they really have unique flavors of donuts I have ever seen, what we love the most are Blueberry Bourbon basil and Passion fruit cocoa nib. Just as they claim, the donuts are for grown-ups. we love it and the good news is they also open shops in LA, for sure we will take a chance to get the yummy donuts even we are not in Portland! highly recommend it!

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    I hope you enjoy today’s short post, a weekend getaway to Portland is really a nice treat to let us embrace nature and to know a new city on the west coast, I am sure this will not be our last time to visit Portland, I’m thinking of doing a road trip through Oregon in summer time and share it with you, my friends. Have you been to Portland? or do you like Portlandia? feel free to share with me your comments and thoughts.