Holy shiz do I love love looooove that city. The arts, the greenery, the food, the people, the landscapes, the buildings, the shopping!!! Ahhhh. Can’t wait to go back- we have a lot of planning in the works with Violet Fog and Portland this year!
So. Looking for a quick trip to a cool city that you can explore with your friends, family, or lover this winter? PORTLAND.
Portland in the winter is magical (if you can stand some rain- no biggie to me.)
Here’s a handful of reasons (not all the reasons, we’d be here forever) why ya gotta go to Portland this season.
1. The drive up Mt. Hood is one of the most beautiful winter drives you will ever go on. Take the back way up- up Highway 35. It’s like a winter wonderland with cute farms and old homes scattered about, and the greenest trees you have ever seen covered in snow. I’m sure skiing/snowboarding at Mt. Hood is awesome too. That I wouldn’t know though. I’m more of a sit-at-the-lodge-with-a-spiked-hot-chocolate kinda girl 😉
2. The Greenery in Portland is so LUSH. It’s truly a sight you’ll always remember. And in the winter time, when the air is either extra crisp or extra misty- you feel like you are in the movie Fern Gully. Or in the closing scene of the movie WILD with Reese Witherspoon. (<— great book by the way.)
You might think visiting Multnomah Falls in the rain is a bad idea but actually I digress- it is indeed an EXPERIENCE because never have you felt so sunken into Mother Earth as you do walking up that trail with the rain coming down. The rich smell of soil, the mist hitting your face, the crisp air in your lungs…. *le sigh* it’s beautiful if you don’t mind getting a little wet. You can pass through here on your way to Mt. Hood by the way.
I asked my friend Chris (A Portlando!– that’s what I call em) why he thought the architecture was so special and he gave me the coolest answer:
“The most unique thing about Portland architecture is that it offers a glimpse of every major architectural period in the 20th Century… and is uniquely preserved by a relatively low skyline thanks in part to height and visual weight restrictions imposed by the city to ensure that massive skyscrapers dont overtake the parks and buildings below them… allowing for one to still appreciate the shadows cast on the ornate cornices of earlier architectural periods, and to reflect off the windows of slender glass-laden buildings composed with neomodernistic touches.” <—- P.S is this dude not a writer? LOL
Random but here’s one building I absolutely love. It’s YELLOW and just…. different. In the winter it looks so cool!
4. Portland sunsets are jaw dropping. The buildings and nature create such a unique setting. I don’t see how it could ever grow old to anyone living there.
5. A warm cup of Portland coffee in the winter is like… a hug– in your mouth? Between your hands in a cup? Okay okay I’ll quit. Haha. Portland coffee has a great reputation. Dare I say it? I’ve said it before: Better than San Francisco coffee. And I *love* San Francisco coffee. But, this is my subjective truth! And the best coffee in Portland, if you ask me… is HEART coffee. Holy shiz it’s so good.
I have spent many hours at Heart Coffee working on my laptop. Cutest place to get shiz done too!
Another good one is Courier Coffee! They use giant ice cubes which…. I don’t know y’all I just find that fun. Melts slower and preserves the taste longer too. 😉
6. Portland has some delicious healthy eats as well. They got it all man. Decadent AND healthy. Their farmers markets are great and they have some cute juice shops too. My very favorite is KURE. <— Their smoothies are a must try!
7. The wineries just outside Portland are soooo pretty. And all have their own unique charm- and of course you can count on the LUSH greenery surrounding them whichever one you go to. Ones I experienced and had a great time at:
REX HILL winery. Amazing (and I do mean uhhhhmazing) Pinot Noirs.
Stoller Winery. Absolutely loved their landscape. <33333
Domaine Serene Winery. How pretty and quaint this place is I could not even tell you. Gorgeous. Also incredible pinot noir.
White Rose Estate. Probably the COOLEST tasting room I have ever, and I do mean EVER, been in. It’s almost like you are on the inside of a giant wine barrel. It has elements of sensory deprivation to it so you can really focus more on the tasting of the wine and it’s so small that it feels incredibly intimate. Probably my favorite of all of them so far.
8. Portland is the city of bridges! If you aren’t able to get ON the Willamette river (which divides the city into East and West sides), even driving across it on one of their bridges is a site to take in. There are TWELVE bridges! Each of them with a distinct character of their own.
9. All the storefronts and hotels in Portland are either slightly rustic, industrial, or new tech-y… OR a mix. Point blank: Portland knows how to merchandise. Shopping there and just “looking around” is truly entertaining. From the many plant shops to the local clothing stores to the book stores… just walking around town and bobbing in and out of places is enjoyable.
ACE hotel– super cool and has a stump town coffee in it as well! The lobby is a fun place to sit and people watch.
10. It’s DONUT LAND in Portland. Whether you pick Team Voodoo doughnuts or Team Blue Star is up to you. 😉 (By the way though, I have heard from Portland locals that one just-as-good-if-not-better choice would be Pips Donuts! So that’s where I’ll be headed next.)
11. Just to throw it in there ONE MORE TIME- THE GREENERY!! Please just go for the nature if anything. It will be visions on visions that your heart and eyeballs will always remember. This I promise you. If you need some ideas- check out what Silas Sao (big time Portland photographer!) recommended to VF readers.
Until next time, Portland!! (See you in February, can’t wait.) Anyone visiting anytime soon?!
Katey || INFP || Founder/Director of Violet Fog ||