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  1. #1
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    Portland planning

    So I'm taking a trip to Portland next month. Yay! It's somewhere I've always to visit, and the planets have aligned for me to do it now.

    I'll be staying in the Nob Hill area at the hostel there. I will have my car but hoping to just park it for the 4 days I'm there and rely on walking and transit.

    So ... any suggestions for stuff to see & do? Here’s what’s on my list so far:
    • Powell’s Books
    • the Japanese gardens
    • a Segway tour (there was a Groupon for this the other day, great timing!)
    • as many brewpubs and happy hours as I can possibly fit into my schedule (specific recommendations welcome)
    • as many food carts as I can possibly fit into my schedule (specific recommendations welcome – but bear in mind that I’m vegetarian)
    • Powell’s Books
    • the arial tram
    • shopping in the Nob Hill area and the Hawthorne district
    • a show or three at one or more of the McMenamins venues
    • just walking around and looking at the arcitecture & public art
    • did I mention Powell's Books?


    Also, after Portland I’ll be driving to Long Beach, Washington, and am looking for stuff to do along the way. The most obvious route seems to be to go highway 6 to Tillamook and then north along the coast from there. But if I leave early enough, I had thought I might drive south first as far as Florence, since that’s the northernmost bit of the Dunes area. Can you get a good sense of the dunes from there or do you have to go further south? And what about the Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence – amazing or tacky-touristy? What other must-see destinations along the coast? (I have been to Astoria before.)

    TIA

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    Powell's was pretty overwhelming for me -- huge, floor to ceiling books, crowded with people, hot, dusty, and simply not enough air. That said, any other time, I could have spent hours there - the place is really amazing. Instead, I spent 20 minuets flipping through a book on how to make a whip because it was the only aisle where I had some personal space/air. I would highly recommend going there on a weekday, unless you really like crowds, but yes, do go. Take a water bottle with you. And take any books you wish to sell - getting a little credit will offset new purchases.

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    Sea Lion Caves are OK to visit, but you'll probably see sea lions elsewhere on the coast. The Oregon Coast is beautiful and has many state parks where you can walk along the beach and photograph the gorgeous rock formations. I highly recommend stopping in Newport at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. There are many good places to eat along the Oregon Coast. We had a great meal and outstanding chowder in Depoe Bay at Gracie's Sea Hag. Lincoln City is one of the kite flying capitals of the world. Yaquina Lighthouse is a nice stop. So is Cannon Beach where Haystack Rock is often photographed. Further up the coast is Tillamook, where you can indulge in some fabulous cheese and ice cream. In Seaside, you can visit the Lewis & Clark memorial where they ended their cross country trek. Plan on spending 1-2 days driving up the Oregon Coast. It is slow going on the curvy road and as you pass through many small towns. You can cross over into Washington on the Astoria bridge. You will notice in Washington that it is legal to drive on the beach, and many people do it in Long Beach, but you have to be careful not to be caught by high tide. Some cars have been submerged by the rising tide.

    If you want to do some day trips just SW of Portland, there are many wineries to visit! Another interesting day trip is to Mount St. Helens in Washington - they have a big visitor center and film of the volcano exploding in 1980.

    In Portland, we've had good meals at Jake's Oyster Bar and at Rose's Delicatessen. I've only been there as a visitor from another part of Oregon, so the residents probably have more good suggestions than me.

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    Stumptown Coffee and Voodoo Donuts!

    Not sure when in May you'll be going but there's a Half-Marathon in Portland May 19, 2013, so just be aware of road closures in the Downtown area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    The Oregon Coast is beautiful and has many state parks where you can walk along the beach and photograph the gorgeous rock formations … Yaquina Lighthouse is a nice stop. So is Cannon Beach where Haystack Rock is often photographed. Plan on spending 1-2 days driving up the Oregon Coast. It is slow going on the curvy road and as you pass through many small towns.
    I’m beginning to regret not booking off more time for this trip. Once I started investigating the Oregon coast options I realized that I could easily have done several days just on that stretch. I’ll only have 1 day or less, though, but plan on seeing as much as I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    Lincoln City is one of the kite flying capitals of the world.
    Long Beach is another kite capital, and in fact they have a the World Kite Museum there! I’ll be there for a couple of days so will probably check that out, and give Lincoln a miss this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    Gracie's Sea Hag … Jake's Oyster Bar … Rose's Delicatessen
    Alas, not the best choices for a vegetarian.

    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    You will notice in Washington that it is legal to drive on the beach, and many people do it in Long Beach, but you have to be careful not to be caught by high tide. Some cars have been submerged by the rising tide.
    That’s hilarious! I don’t think it would occur to me to drive my little car onto the beach, tho, even if I did see other cars doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    If you want to do some day trips just SW of Portland, there are many wineries to visit!
    I did a wine trip last fall. I’m focussing more on beer this trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    Another interesting day trip is to Mount St. Helens in Washington - they have a big visitor center and film of the volcano exploding in 1980.
    I’ve been there, and I agree it’s excellent. If my trip were longer I’d probably go again, but not this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Stumptown Coffee and Voodoo Donuts!

    Not sure when in May you'll be going but there's a Half-Marathon in Portland May 19, 2013, so just be aware of road closures in the Downtown area.
    Sumptown is definitely on my list. I might go to Voodoo just to look, but donuts aren’t really very high on my list of yummy treats.

    And I'll be there earlier in the month so the marathon won't be an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by KCC View Post
    Powell's was pretty overwhelming for me -- crowded with people, hot, dusty, and simply not enough air. … Take a water bottle with you.
    LOL, good tip, thanks!

    Keep ‘em coming, folks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Stumptown Coffee and Voodoo Donuts!.
    I second that. As for drinking.. oh wow, tons of great places. There is Clyde Common in the Ace Hotel - Jeff Mornganthaler was probably the first guy in the US to do barrel-aged cocktails and they have a great bar program http://www.clydecommon.com/ Teardrop Lounge http://teardroplounge.com/ Daniel Shoemaker is a genius, and Blue Hour http://www.bluehouronline.com/ .All of those are within a few blocks of Powells. For Tiki drinks, you have to go farther out (by Lloyd Center) to Hale Pele http://halepele.com/ Blair makes his own syrups and stuff really good. Raven and Rose has gotten some good press and has been recommeded to me, but I haven't been there yet.

    Also, you might find this helpful: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/where_...ref=sectionnav

    For funky shopping, there is the downtown Saturday market or the stores on North Mississippi, which are really awesome.

    Food pods abound, so you can find eats all over the place.

    As I think of more, I'll let you know.

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    Since you're focusing on beer, check out the Rogue Ales locations at http://rogue.com/locations/locations.php. There are some in Portland. I've been to the Rogue restaurant and brewery in Newport (near the aquarium) and to the hops farm in Independence. Both were great! I like the Dead Guy Ale and the Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

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    You might get out a kick out of this web page giving tips for beach driving at Long Beach! Only do it with a pickup truck or other off-road type of vehicle.

    http://funbeach.com/activities/beach-driving/

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    Quote Originally Posted by znachki View Post
    For funky shopping, there is the downtown Saturday market or the stores on North Mississippi, which are really awesome.
    Oh right, thanks for the reminder about the market. But can you elaborate on the North Mississippi shopping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Oh right, thanks for the reminder about the market. But can you elaborate on the North Mississippi shopping?
    All kinds of funky shops and restaurants. I love to wander through, even if I don't buy anything. Pasta Works, Mr. Green Beans, Paxton Gate, the light bulb store, The Meadow...

    They even have a website: http://www.mississippiave.com/

    I usually can't get past The Meadow without buying something.

    http://www.atthemeadow.com/shop/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Alas, not the best choices for a vegetarian.
    Well, if you want true Portlandia style vegetarian/vegan/raw food restaurant, try Blossoming Lotus. The food is actually really tasty. Not cheap though.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/blossoming-lotus-portland-2

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    Quote Originally Posted by luenatic View Post
    Well, if you want true Portlandia style vegetarian/vegan/raw food restaurant, try Blossoming Lotus. The food is actually really tasty. Not cheap though.
    Ok, I can tell you're not a vegetarian yourself if you found the tastyness surprising.

    I had that one on my list from Happy Cow, where it has a pretty high rating. Glad to have a first-hand account.

    I find that Raw food is often a little on the pricey side, btw -- probably because it's so labour-intensive to make.

    Also btw ... I don't need a restaurant to be fully vegetarian, just somewhat veg-friendly -- with something on the menu I can eat besides a veggie burger or pasta primavera. Seafood restaurants rarely qualify, but many, many others do.
    Last edited by Artemis@BC; 04-19-2013 at 11:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Ok, I can tell you're not a vegetarian yourself if you found the tastyness surprising.
    I'm not a vegetarian, that's for sure. I love bacon too much! But I eat lots of vegan and vegetarian meals. Papa G is another good one to try. It is Portlandia at its best. The price is not bad either. http://www.yelp.com/biz/papa-gs-portland

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    Sea Lion Caves is over-priced. It was OK, but if your time is limited, just skip it. You can probably see Sea Lions along the coast without paying. Heceta Head light house is great, but Yaquina is better.
    I suddenly find myself older than I ever intended to be--Roxy Hart in "Chicago"

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    2 more vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants. The food is great and the price is right!

    Nicholas: http://www.yelp.com/biz/nicholas-restaurant-portland

    Taqueria Los Gorditos. There are 2 locations, one is a food cart, the other one is a restaurant. Both of them are on SE Division: http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-los...tos-portland-3

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    You may have already found the Willamette Week, but here is a link. Note that Hale Pele is 2013 1st runner up.

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/articl...tors-note.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by znachki View Post
    You may have already found the Willamette Week, but here is a link. Note that Hale Pele is 2013 1st runner up.

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/articl...tors-note.html
    Uh oh. Whenever I encounter one of those "best of" lists I tend to view it as a personal challenge. (I'm currently working my way through a couple of rather extensive lists of best Vancouver brewpubs & BC microbrews.) But I'm willing to give it a try!

    And yes, I have Willamette Week bookmarked, along with the Portland Mercury and the Oregonian.

    Quote Originally Posted by luenatic View Post
    2 more vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants. The food is great and the price is right!

    Nicholas: http://www.yelp.com/biz/nicholas-restaurant-portland

    Taqueria Los Gorditos. There are 2 locations, one is a food cart, the other one is a restaurant. Both of them are on SE Division: http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-los...tos-portland-3
    Ooh, thanks those both look great. I'm particularly excited when I find vegetarian Mexican that's more than just beans & cheese. (There's an excellent vegetarian Mexican place here but it frequently has lineups, and I just don't do that.)

  18. #18

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    Hope you had a good time, Artemis!

    Going to Portland for the RnR Half Marathon. I need to carbo-load Saturday night. What's a great place to get some pasta?

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    I did have a great time, thanks! (Although I decided I'm too old to stay in a hostel. I wasn't the oldest one there, but there's a reason most people still think of them as "youth hostels." Doors banging at all hours, people leaving their long black hairs all over the bathroom, and food stolen from the fridge. Like I didn't get enough of all that in uni. Still, the price was right and the location was great.)

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    Had a great time this past long weekend! Lots of cool and active Portlanders! Perfect weather for a run or stroll (there was another 5k walk talking place at the same time but a different route).

    My race went well and it was a lot of fun, especially doing it with family. My time was a minute slower than my other race but I felt this course had more hills, which surprised me. Miles 6-9 felt like hell on earth. We were in the Hawthorne area, which was cool (so many coffeshops), but what were with the hills? I had a great kick but I couldn't make up for the relatively sluggish start.

    I have never been to the Hawthorne area before (probably because it's across the river from Downtown), but I would like to stay longer in a future time. This time--walk.

    If at all interested, you can check my time here (my bib number was 7080):

    http://running.competitor.com/cgiresults?eId=53

    and pics of me exhausted here:

    http://www.marathonfoto.com/Half-Mar...OID/26412013S1

    In terms of food, the family and I mainly ate at home. I did have coffee at Urban Grind Cafe in the Pearl District (anniversary sale at the REI--finally got a new winter coat!), some frozen yogurt at Chef Fresh in Pioneer Square, coffee at Water Avenue after the race (my cousins stopped for some coffee there *during* the race), more coffee at Black Rock Coffee in Vancouver, Washington, and more coffee at DiTazzo in Vancouver. Water Avenue Coffee wins.

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