Ever since I moved to San Francisco for two years, there has been a desire to experience parts of this country I never considered before. Sure, I have a deep an abiding love for Italy, a place that I will always return to and a place that will never leave me. But before SF, I didn’t even realize I had this ignorant view of the United States. I thought it was a lot more homogenous than it is. There are so many parts, so many nooks and crannies, that are completely different from one another. You can’t compare Illinois to Colorado–not subtle ways of life or the scenery. The same goes for Maryland and Arizona or Maine and Southern California. The list goes on. I think you get it. (Yes, I know I was ridiculous. I was also young back then).
Since realizing how ridiculous I viewed traveling within the US, there have been places I have wanted to go. The Pacific Northwest, specifically Portland, was near the top of the list. I had the opportunity to visit for a few days and I took it.
It was a long weekend so here is what I would recommend in a shorter amount of time. So, Things To Do in Portland party people:
1. Powell Bookstore
Before we even left, this was the one place I wanted, no, needed, to visit. It’s an independently owned bookstore that is the size of an entire block. I could have spent an entire day or even days there since I felt like I was coming home to the Mothership. But I spared my companions. I didn’t even take photos because sometimes when I feel I am in a particularly sacred space, I have to turn my blogger brain off and just enjoy it.
This huge bookstore is divided by colors. The Pearl area is a rare books room where I saw books from the 1800’s and the 1500’s. Some were handwritten. You had to leave everything, including other books you were planning on buying, outside the door. If you looked at a book or turned it’s pages, you had to use a special holder to protect the binding. I felt like angels were singing in my ears. It was amazing.
Even if you don’t hear angels singing at the thought of books, this is a place to stop (all the guidebooks say so…therefore, I am not exaggerating).
Don’t go chasing waterfalls…Or in this case do. If you continue down Historic Route 30 (no one warned us that the drive isn’t easy…I wouldn’t say that it is as hard as some of the drive in Colorado but it is by no means a straight shot) you’ll find several waterfalls where people pull off and take pictures. If you can and like to hike there are some great trails with incredible view both of the falls and the forest.
The light was beautiful here. It was actually green. I felt as if I was in enchanted forest. The last waterfall is actually Multnomah and there is a bridge where you can get even closer to the falls (in one of the next photos below, my aunt has her hands in the air so you can see her). If you want to really immerse yourself in the scenery of the Pacific Northwest, do this.
It’s actually the first stop on the Historic Route 30 which will later lead to the falls. On the day we happened to go, the actual house was closed because the wind was crazy. I mean, it was crazy which makes me think they should have left the house open so all these people weren’t trying not to get blown away on this major peak. But the views… You could actually see people windsurfing:
Cannon Beach is about 45 minutes away from Portland proper. It’s this picturesque seaside town (in fact, right beside it is a town called Seaside). The buildings, which include cute shops and restaurants, have a Cape Cod feel to them.
The beach is my idea of paradise (I happen to love winter beaches…more on that and more photos coming Thursday). We sat on a piece of driftwood for quite some time taking in the huge rocks and the pacific ocean and the many joyful dogs. It may have been my favorite spot (again, more on Thursday on why a quiet beach can be just what the doctor ordered).
I don’t know that man in the above photo but he seemed so quintessentially Portland.
5. Pittock House
It’s also an incredible house. The Matriarch and Patriarch both took the Oregon Trail separately, eventually met, and married. It’s so beautiful and must have been so expensive. I was just imagining the game the Oregon Train and oxen fording the river and snake bites leading to this. Wow.Plus the house kind of reminded me of the one in Psycho. Anyone? Bueller?
Have you been to Portland? I don’t know what else we could have jammed into our time although I really wish we would have done a food truck day. But what did you love about Portland?
Oh, Darlings. Let’s be Adventurers!
Visit the Peony Sponsor: