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Top Five Destinations of Portland, Oregon

There are many different reasons to travel places. It could be to see beauty that doesn’t exist anywhere else on earth, like going to Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. In that vein, it could just as easily describe Paris or Manhattan in the springtime or Winter, Wisconsin in the summer. An argument could be made for any location anywhere to have its own unique beauty. So, if that’s the case, how do we make our decisions on where to travel? Obviously there are places that rank higher due to all of the stuff that we read and the recommendations of people, experts and friends. However, the last word of that sentence offers one of the most compelling reasons for me to travel.

Portlandia!

Visiting friends ranks at the top of my list for reasons to travel. Getting to see new cities, beautiful scenery, cool restaurants and other attractions just adds to the main purpose of the trip, hanging out with a good pal and meeting the people that they know in their city. Often times, they’ll become good friends as well and you look forward to seeing them the next time you visit.

Portland, Oregon is one of those places where now I have many friends that live there. But, once upon a time it was just a couple of friends from high school that moved out there to play music. Since my first visit in 1996, I’ve been out a number of times. Here are a few of the things that I look forward to doing when I go.

Eating at Voodoo Donuts

Sure, there’s also local fast food favorite Burgerville, an easy, tasty trip, but for me the true Portland treat is a Voodoo Doughnut. The Bacon Maple Bar is a tried and true favorite, but for my second doughnut, it’s always a toss-up. The Maple Blazer Blunt with prices that depend on how well the Trail Blazers do is nice, but I always want to try something new. The latest one to get my attention is the Arnold Palmer, a cake doughnut with vanilla frosting and sprinkled with lemonade/ice tea dust. If this sounds good to you, you can have your wedding at Voodoo Doughnuts, complete with a wedding “cake” of doughnuts.

Going to Powell’s Bookstore

A bookstore? Really? Oh what a bookstore Powell’s Books is though. Bigger than just about any library you’ve ever seen (minus college libraries and some city libraries, so ok, bigger than some libraries) I can just wander through the stacks of books for a couple hours checking out all that is available and adding to my mental list of books I should buy when I don’t have to worry about carry-on limits. They also have a great online presence for selling used books, so it’s worth a look instead of heading to Amazon every time you shop.

Hike to Multnomah Falls

While not a strenuous hike, heading to Multnomah Falls gives you some spectacular waterfall scenery. It’s only 31 miles down Interstate 84 and you’ll probably have to fight crowds on most any nice day of the year to get to the falls, but it’s worth it. On the way back, take the East Historic Columbia River Highway and stop by the Vista House. It’s a fun drive and this cool old building is the site for some great views of the valley as well as some history of the area in the museum inside.

See a Timbers Soccer Game

It used to be going to a Portland Beavers baseball game, and one step inside of the former PGE Park made me smile. It was the only stadium where wood made such a large impact in the design and look of the stadium. It makes sense, as the timber industry is a large part of the Oregon past. Still, with the fan base and excitement for the Portland Timbers, I can get behind a new sport in this city to enjoy a nice, historic stadium with beautiful views of downtown Portland.

Stripper Karaoke

For a town that has over seven strip clubs per 100,000 residents, strippers are a major part of life in Portland. On one of my visits, I remember going to see a punk band perform at a strip club while my friend ran sound for the show. Punk music and strippers are a great combo. However, an even better combo is strippers and karaoke on Sunday nights at Devils Point. It’s so wonderful. I don’t want to sully the awesomeness with anymore of my prose.

 

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

 

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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