Cross Country Road Trip 2012: Portland, Oregon

Get ready for the final installment of our cross country road trip recap: Portland, Oregon!

To recap, we drove 3,815 miles through 12 states, coast to coast. Our route took us through New York, Ontario in Canada, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. Check out the route:


As you may know, we adore Portland, Oregon. We honeymooned in Oregon (half of the time was spent in Astoria, the other half in Portland) and fell in love. So we wanted to end our cross country road trip with one full day in our favorite city in the world.


We arrived at roughly midnight and checked into the gorgeous Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. It was the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. And apparently it’s the hotel that 50 Shades of Grey takes place in, which I had no idea about until afterward.


The next morning we were up early to take on the city!

Our first stop was breakfast at The Waffle Window. We got the daily special (asparagus, goat cheese, and pistachio) and the Three B’s (bacon, brie, and basil). If you can’t tell from the photos, they were exquisite.


Full of delicious waffles, we hit the pavement to walk around our favorite Portland neighborhoods for some shopping. Our stops included:

Vintage goods mecca Vintage Pink,


Cool Cottons, the best fabric store in the world (check out my haul!),


and Collage, a lovely local craft store.


After a morning of shopping it was time for lunch downtown at one of the city blocks full of food trucks.


We opted for Built To Grill, one of the highest rated food trucks in all of Portland. BTG serves up delicious Italian food that would cost you half a paycheck at a sit down restaurant (but only costs like $7 here). It was so good.


Food trucks for lunch + Pacific northwest rain = eating in the car. No biggie.


After lunch we hit up the Portland book lover’s staple, Powell’s Books. This place is massive. You could easily spend a whole day in here.


I took the opportunity to pick up our dear friend Gina Damico’s debut novel, Croak. (Sidenote: I finished it last night and it’s phenomenal, a must read!)


After Powell’s we just wandered around Portland for a while, taking in the city and all of its’ charms.


Portland is so unique because there is something amazing on every corner. It has great restaurants, nature, fun activities, touristy things, fun stores, all with a perfect Pacific northwest vibe, at every turn. I love this place and seriously would move here in a heartbeat (John and I talk about it often but for now it’s not part of our Plan).


Another thing I love about Portland is all of the adorable bungalow craftsmen houses. They are so quaint yet stylish, and I’ve never seen such a large concentration of them in one place outside of Portland.


On to another Portland favorite (which we discovered on our honeymoon): the cheese plate at The Observatory. It’s really the best cheese plate I’ve ever had in my life. This is the only thing we absolutely had to repeat in Portland that we did on our honeymoon.


Full of delicious cheese, we headed to the Portland Japanese Garden.


The garden is all tucked away on the top of a hill with a total secretive zen vibe going on.


The view of the city from up on Arlington Heights is fantastic.



The garden is also a great place for photogs to do a photowalk; I could have spent all day in here just taking pictures!



Nature in the middle of the city, does it get any better?


Blissed out and fully oxygenated, we headed to Ground Kontrol.


Ground Kontrol is a 21+ barcade for adults where you can go to play old school video games, drink quality draft beers for cheap, and listen to the excellent metal/punk blasting from the stereo system. I drank some Widmers, John played House of the Dead, and we kicked butt together at Sunset Riders.


After about an hour of quality video game play it was time for dinner. We headed to Screen Door where I had the finest fried chicken in all of Portland. We sat at the bar and enjoyed the energy of the busy bartender.


As our night came to a close we did the one last thing you have to do to end a perfect day in Portland: dessert at Voodoo Doughnuts.


We headed back to the hotel to crash before our 7AM flight back to Boston. And with that, our cross country road trip was over. It was an unbelievable journey and I can’t wait to do a third one sometime in the near future!

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

15 thoughts

  1. Looks awesome. I think I would have gained like 10 pounds a day on your trip though, that is some SERIOUS food!

  2. I am moving from NYC to Portland this coming summer, and am thinking about making an epic road trip out of the move and doing some touristing along the way! About how long did it take you, and how many hours did you drive a day on average? I really have never done an epic road trip, and have no concept of how much time its going to take!

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