Read To Travel

First Time in Portland? Here Are 4 Places You Cannot Miss

Visiting Portland, Oregon for the first time?  Well, you have come to the right place because I have four spots throughout the city that you absolutely must visit for food, books, and culture.  Often I find myself feeling overwhelmed when I read lists of all the places I need to go during my first venture to a new city.  88 “Must-Visit” Places in London?  But I’m only going for three days? How can I possibly fit in all of these spots that I need to see?  I can’t.  You can’t.

So rather than bombard with you 50 different things you need to fit into 48 hours that you’ll stress out about because you cannot possibly fit each one into your itinerary, here are four.  The first two were recommended to me just days before my first visit to Portland–and I am so grateful that they were–and the second two I stumbled upon during my own wanderings throughout the city.  Because that is exactly my favorite way to explore a new city, spontaneously and slowly with one or two specific planned outings and the rest left up to chance. Enjoy!


VooDoo Doughnut

Whimsical, colorful, and tasty are three words to describe the delight you will encounter at VooDoo Doughnut.  I walked up to the counter, requested anything with Oreos, and received this deliciously creamy piece of magic.  Word on the street is that there is typically a line out the door for this place, but no one was there when I went… so go early!


Powell’s City of Books

Powell’s is the largest independent bookstore in the United States and definitely worth a visit if you’re a self-proclaimed bibliophile.  The shop takes up an entire city block, inviting you to spend a whole day there and nestle into one of the many corners with your new read.

Further Reading: Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon


Lan Su Chinese Garden

Within the city of Portland hides a serene oasis.  Stepping into Lan Su Chinese Garden is setting foot into a new world.  You’ll forget that you are actually in the state of Oregon.  Every single piece of this place, down to each individual stone, was transported from China.  I recommend taking the full tour as well as sitting down in the tea room for a special tea time.


Food Trucks

I had not realized what the phrase “food truck heaven” meant until I visited Portland.  From trucks entirely dedicated to perfecting grilled cheese to bubble tea to Mexican bites, there is a place for every taste.


Try staying overnight at The Society Hotel.  It’s both a hotel and a hostel–probably one of the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed in–with a cafe and lounge downstairs and a rooftop sitting area.

Without any doubt, Portland captured my heart.  It is high on my list of American cities to visit again.  Who wants to come?

Have you been to Portland before? What are your must do’s?

Tara Higgins

Tara Higgins

Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.