The historic Columbia River Highway was the first scenic highway in the United States and is designated a National Historic Landmark. The highway is about 75 miles long between Troutdale and the Dalles in Oregon and travels through the Columbia Gorge, transitioning between temperate rainforest to dry grasslands in only 80 miles. The area is best known for its high concentration of waterfalls but is also a popular destination for hiking, mountain-biking, fishing, watersports and sight-seeing. The Columbia River Gorge is the perfect day trip from Portland on a hot summer's day or worth road tripping out to spend a week or two to fully explore the area.
Road tripping the Oregon coast was a spur of the moment decision. We were in Portland trying to figure out our next move - which was going to be heading straight to the Californian border then hugging the coastline from there. It was the middle of winter and we had been avoiding living out of the van (road tripping in the cold just ain't fun) and wanted to find some warmer weather asap... But we thought to ourselves, why waste the opportunity to see a beautiful coastline?
Free Comedy Nights
If you need a laugh you should get yourself over to the East Burn for their FREE stand up comedy night on Mondays. That's right, no cover charge. The show starts at 8:30pm and is 21+ only. And if that wasn't a good deal you could go back on Tuesday night when they offer pints of craft beer for only $2.50. That's right, craft beer. 1800 E Burnside Street, Portland.
Click here for a link to their website.
Head to Rae's Lakeview Lounge for brunch on the weekend and you'll be pleasantly surprised to find out they are serving $1 mimosa's from 9am - 2pm. Sounds like a good way to start your morning or a good way to start your evening. And we haven't tried the Monte Christo yet but it looks delicious don't you think? 1900 NW 27th Avenue, Portland.
Clickhere for a link to their website.
Thanks to a good friend of ours we were fortunate enough to spend a couple of months in the city of Portland. After having spent much time travelling the west coast we have come to the conclusion that Portland is our favorite U.S. city. Portland is Oregon's largest metropolis and is a haven for eco-activists, cyclists, artists, outdoorsy folk, hipsters and vegans. It is a laid back city with a small town feel, filled with charming neighborhoods and a hip downtown area. A place where it is the norm to rock up to five star restaurants in Gore-Tex outerwear and hiking boots. Portland consistently tops the "Greenest Cities in the USA' lists and has been able to nudge its carbon emissions to below 1990 levels. Although Portland is not on the top of the list of cities to visit in the USA for most people, I am going to tell you why it should be.
Food & Food Trucks
Portland is famous for its large number of food trucks found throughout the city. From what I have read there are over 500 to choose from. The best thing about the food trucks is the diversity in the type of food offered. There is the usual type of fare you would expect to see from a food truck like Greek food, hamburgers and pizza but you can also find food trucks serving up Egyptian, Ethiopian, African, Indonesian and Polish cuisine just to name a few. There are even food trucks that serve only grilled cheese sandwiches (highly recommended), gourmet crepes (equally as good), and just this week we discovered a new food truck which serves up fresh to order gourmet donuts (with flavors like French toast). I think it's really awesome that they dedicate whole corner blocks in some cases to these food carts (known as pods when there's a group of them). We have a pod across the road from where we have been staying which hold outdoor movies on the weekends during the summer and have fire pits for their customers during the winter. Another pod we have been to had under cover television screens and board games available. You can even B.Y.O. Besides the food trucks, there are many great restaurants to choose from that are equally as diverse such as Lebanese, Spanish and Cuban. I especially love how the local restaurants reinvent classic meals because I love trying new things. And they are really into organic produce, another plus in my books. But the best part about most of the restaurants and food trucks found in Portland are that a main meal is usually between $8 - $10 which is outstanding when compared to cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Two Aussies road-tripping across the USA. Our goal is to discover America's wild places and vibrant cities... and make the most of every moment. Read more