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Stop and smell the City of Roses

Life is just a little cozier in Portland. And how could it not be, with twinkle lights lining cobblestone streets at every turn, streetcars sliding around town in all their vintage glory and mom-and-pop food trucks on every corner? You’ve gotta love a city that has enough indie coffeehouses and artistic prowess to please the hipster homies and Portlandia peeps, but enough breathtaking beauty and adventure to make it a spectacular destination for just about everyone—rose-colored glasses not required.

For the bookworms

Where to stay

Looking for a comfy family hotel to stay in the heart of Portland? Try the

Residence Inn by Marriott in the Pearl District, which puts you in walking or biking distance of almost all the major attractions. If you’re going out to the Gorge or Washington Park, just Uber it.

 

If there were a bookstore I could actually live in, Powell’s City of Books would be home. Beloved by the entire Portland community, this block-wide piece of heaven has everything, organized by every possible wacky interest area, and is the largest new and used bookstore in the world. Now just try telling me that isn’t sexy.

For the coffee addicts

Say what you will about hipsters, but they do coffee right. Although sipping a cup o’ joe at any of the adorable little shops in town is pure bliss, Stumptown Coffee Roasters is popular enough to be the Starbucks in a why-would-you-ever-go-to-Starbucks-with-all-these-options world. It’s a regular vice for locals.

For the artists at heart

In a city where it’s almost the law to be crafty, the Portland Saturday Market is Michigan Avenue. Portland’s largest outdoor arts and crafts market is open every weekend, March-December, and sells local artisan goods that will make your Pinterest boards come to life. With yummy food trucks, fantastic live music and play areas for kiddos, it’s pretty much the best way to spend an afternoon.

For the foodies

Ask any local where to eat in Portland, and they’ll direct you to one (or 10) of the nearly 700 food trucks. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, but Pine State Biscuits (which can be found at the Portland Farmers Market) is worth the line. Tip: get your drink, appetizer, entree and dessert at different trucks to optimize every mealtime experience.

Which brings me to my next point—the Portland Farmers Market. If the Saturday Market is the perfect afternoon, then the Farmers Market is host to everything that is glorious about a Portland morning.

Last but not least, no trip to Rose City would be complete without a stop at BridgePort Brewing, which claims to be Oregon’s oldest craft brewery.

For the nature lovers

Thought the City of Roses was just a cute nickname? Think again! The International Rose Test Garden is flat-out gorgeous and the prettiest photo op you’re likely to encounter, so bring the selfie sticks. Next door, make sure to walk over to the Portland Japanese Garden for the serenity you’ve been missing in your life. Both of these must-sees are in Washington Park. When you’re planning your vacay, make sure to leave an entire day to explore this gorgeous spot, which includes the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, tons of trails to hike, and more.

For the adventurers

Speaking of hiking, another day trip that might be one of the coolest things you ever do is a family-friendly hike up Multnomah Falls. Because waterfalls. While you’re at it, the entire Columbia River Gorge is something to see. Whether you’re hikers, campers, bikers or water sportsmen, you’d be hard-pressed to find more spectacular Northwestern scenery.

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