I had always heard wonderful things about Oregon. A place of beauty, good food and good hiking. So needless to say I was very excited to venture to that part of the country. As usual I had done my research, looking for the best places to hike, the best sites to see, the best places to eat. From the moment we landed and we hopped in our rental car I knew this was going to be a city that I absolutely loved. And I was right.
I was a little leery visiting the PNW in late October as the weather can sometimes be unpredictable. Fortunately we had beautiful weather most days. Of course it rained but it added to the ambiance of our visit to the PNW. The fall colors definitely gave us a beautiful show. I can’t say enough about the Air BnB we stayed at in Portland. The hosts were beyond friendly and offered us fresh eggs every morning from their chickens. When we stepped into our one bedroom apartment it felt like home. I fell in love with everything about the Portland area so narrowing down 5 things not to miss was a bit of a challenge. I included things that can be seen right in the city and a few that are outside the city but within a reasonable drive.
1. St Johns Bridge- I have a thing for bridges. I think they are insanely beautiful and the architecture amazes me. This bridge was absolutely one of the most beautiful I had seen. We were able to drive over St Johns Bridge and walk through Cathedral City Park. This is the perfect place to walk around and admire the Gothic arches that support the bridge. There are several spots to sit and relax, big trees to hang out under and is truly a beautiful place. If you feel up for a stroll there are walking paths by the Willamette River as well.
2. Powell’s Books- On those rainy Portland days this is the place to be. Surrounded by so many books I felt like I was in book heaven! It was so interesting walking around seeing all the different books and titles. There was nothing they didn’t have. New, used and even out of print books. I purchased several books to bring home with me. It was a cozy place to spend a rainy morning after a great cup of coffee.You can easily lose track of time.
3. Columbia River Gorge- I don’t even know if I have words to express the awesomeness that is the Columbia River Gorge. There are so many hikes here that lead to stunning views, amazing waterfalls and surround you with surreal beauty. Some of the waterfalls that we hiked to included: Bridal Veil Falls, Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and
Wahkeena Falls. There is a beautiful hike to the top of Multnomah Falls where you can peer over the falls and gaze over the Columbia River.
If you are up for a grand adventure I highly suggest hiking the Oneonta Gorge. Be prepared to get wet in this hike as there is no trail. You have to walk up the creek bed and over a very large log jam. The sites that surround you are worth the cold water that will most likely come up to your waist in some spots. At the end of this hike you are greeted with another beautiful waterfall: Lower Oneonta Falls.
4. Trillium Lake- A little over an hour and a half outside of Portland is Mt. Hood National Forest. Here you will find a beautiful lake surrounded by hiking trails. With Mt. Hood in the background and the fall colors surrounding the lake this quickly became one of my favorite places. We went on a fairly foggy day so spotting Mt. Hood was a bit of a challenge. but still well worth the drive. The drive to this destination was mountainous, beautiful and scenic. We parked at the campground with out a problem and set out to explore the lake. Not many people were out the day we went so it was extremely peaceful.
5. Cannon Beach- Last but certainly not least on this list is the infamous Cannon Beach. As I stated in a previous post half my heart is in the mountains and the other half is in the ocean. So, an hour and 45 minutes from Portland I found myself strolling this majestic place. We made it before sunset and the clouds cast a magical blue tint on everything. The beach had several visitors when we there. In the tide pools were so many sea creatures: starfish and shellfish and other things that I am uncertain what they were. Seeing Haystack Rock left me in awe. I obviously knew it was big but coming up to the formation was insane. The rock formations and long stretch of beach made walking here incredible. Cannon Beach was unlike any beach I had been to previously and I definitely hope that you are able to experience this place if you go to Portland.
Portland was truly an experience and I cannot wait to go back. Please feel free to ask any questions or comment on what your favorite Portland places are. Remember, stay wild!