In the Pacific Northwest, you can explore bustling cities while taking in a mountainous skyline and escaping the hot, humid weather back at home. Portland, Oregon is well known as a city that’s clean, green, and, well, weird (hence the unofficial motto, “Keep Portland Weird”).
Coordinates: 45.5152° N, 122.6784° W
Distance from Baton Rouge: 2,487 miles
Flying Time: 6 hours, 50 minutes
Driving Time: 37 hours
While there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Portland’s whimsical city life, you can also enjoy the city’s art scene and the outdoors if you need a day to relax and take in the fresh air.
WHERE TO STAY
Both Jupiter Hotels in Portland have the style, quirk, and comfort that represents Portland, and they’re across the street from each other. If you’re looking for vintage, mid-century ambiance, the Jupiter Original Hotel is your best option. If you prefer a sleeker and more modern style, the Jupiter NEXT Hotel and its stunning city views would be up your alley. Jupiter Original and Jupiter Next are unique and lively hotels with the perfect accommodations for your stay. Even better, you can still visit a restaurant, bar, or workspace in one of the Jupiter hotels even if you are staying at the other. Pets are welcome, too!
WHERE TO EAT
Mother’s Bistro & Bar
Mother’s Bistro & Bar specializes in those warm, home-cooked meals that come straight from a mother’s heart. Whether you’re eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, your meal will be made from scratch and inspired by a mother’s recipe. Try the savory Stuffed Frittata for breakfast, the melty Ham & Swiss panini for lunch, or the Grilled Wild Salmon (fresh from the Pacific Northwest) for dinner. You could even choose from the menu of that month’s Mom of the Month.
Get a taste of farm-to-table Pacific Northwest Seafood at Cabezon–a fish market by day, and a seafood restaurant by night. Start with some artisan cheeses before branching out to the Pan Roasted Sea Bass, Alaskan Halibut, or the Mesquite Grilled Lamb Chops. Don’t forget to order the Honey Lavender Creme Brulee for dessert.
With views of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Willamette River, Lechon brings you South America-inspired dishes that can be shared with the whole family. For tapas, you may want to split the white corn and cheese fritters and the Peruvian fried chicken bites. If you’re looking for something from the grill, they have all types of meats such as lamb chops, Peruvian roasted chicken, and pan seared scallops. They have a vegetarian menu, too!
WHAT TO DO
Heads up, bibliophiles! Portland has the ultimate location for book lovers. Powell’s City of Books is the world’s largest independent bookstore for new and used books. It takes up an entire city block and has more than 3,500 sections within its nine color-coded rooms, including the Rare Book Room. Powell’s also has a cafe and impressive gift shop for when you need to take a break from skimming through so many pages.
Summers in Portland are usually mild, which means you can spend an afternoon wandering around outside without getting too hot. Washington Park gives you access to a world of flowers, foliage, and even a zoo. You can take a free shuttle bus to the Portland Japanese Garden, The Portland Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, and International Rose Test Garden. The 10,000 roses in the rose garden are in bloom from May to October, so make sure to schedule your visit during prime bloom time.
The Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country, featuring over 42,000 works of art from around the world. There are exhibits for Native American art, contemporary art, Northwestern art, Asian art, and an outdoor sculpture garden. They have rotating exhibitions every few months, and you can check their website to see which exhibitions you will be able to see when you visit.