This post is long over-due. I got a chance to visit Oregon during Thanksgiving 2015, and also spend some time in Portland. Once I got back home to San Francisco, I felt life here was too chaotic and mundane - chasing purposeless things. I guess that's what Portland does to you.
People call SF hippie - but I felt it is nothing in comparison to Portland. People in Portland enjoy a laid back life, make beer in their own breweries, have great coffee, eat different cuisine everyday in their food-trucks, bike everywhere and in-general enjoy the gorgeous scenery surrounding them. Yeah, I am jealous of them too.
Anyway, even if you can't live there - you can visit and enjoy what they have to offer. So, here's what I did in my two days at Portland and around.
Waterfalls: Since ours was a road-trip, we got an opportunity to go see a couple of beautiful waterfalls along the way. The first was the Multnomah falls, which falls in two huge drops. It is quite a tall waterfall - and you can feel the height when you take the short hike to the bridge that takes you above the lower drop. You need to crane your neck to see the top of the falls. The falls are gorgeous, and you can also hike to the top of the falls.
The second waterfall that I saw were the Silver Creek falls. We took a small hike and went to south falls, and wow - it was gorgeous. You get a great view of these falls from the side, and there's also a trail which goes directly behind the falls. That's the trail you don't want to miss.
Breweries: As I mentioned earlier, Portland is a brewery/distillery hub. With my friends, I visited two breweries, and I'm very glad to say that I tasted some of the best beer I ever had here. We just yelped and picked the places, and the first brewery was Hopworks Urban Brewery. The decor was simple and it was a decent sized place. We ordered the beer-sampler to try out all their beers and we tasted all 15 of them. None of them were like the usual stuff we get - each one had a unique flavor.
We all got individual beers for ourselves after the taster. Oh, we also had dinner there - and yes, the food was nice too. It went along with the beers, and it was a good night!
The second night, we went to Deschutes Brewery. Now, this place was huge and I was impressed by the look of the place. Sort of outdoor-sy but still very cozy. Again, we took the beer samplers (there were 2 different one's) and later individual beers.
I personally liked the beer in the Deschutes more than Hopworks, because it had a smoky taste to it - which is something totally new and unique to me. Depending on your preferences - you might like something else - but I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed with the beer. The food at Deschutes was fine.
Food: Coming to the food, Portland is famously known for it's food-trucks. However, I got a recommendation from one of my coworkers to visit
Bollywood Theater and he told me it had great Indian food. Since I didn't want to skip good Indian restaurants, I decided to give this place a shot, and some of my other friends went ahead with the food trucks. This is one of the most authentic Indian restaurant I've visited in USA. On the walls of this restaurant, I saw so many pictures in so many Indian languages - that I've never seen elsewhere (even in India). Here's a telugu poster -
And, a picture of possibly a bride?
When asked about all these pictures, the guy who worked there mentioned that the owner travelled to every corner of India every year and bought these pictures from second-hand paper shops. I was like - totally amazed.
Oh, about the food - it was like eating a home cooked meal (like the one your mom makes at your home). So delicious and so tasty. Reminded me of home, right-away. I will definitely go to this place the next time I'm in Portland, and I hope you go there too.
I heard the food-trucks were awesome as well with cuisines of different countries available and cheap. Next time, I hope to try that as well.
For brunch on another day, we went to a place called Down to Earth cafe, which like the name suggested - was very simple, no-frills place. Great food and loved the fruit smoothies here.
Nature: There are a lot of great outdoors in Oregon, but sadly I didn't get to explore them enough. I did get a chance to go to a couple of snow parks, one with a view of Mt.Hood. Watching the colors change on Mt.Hood as the sun set was truly mesmerizing. Sadly, the camera can't capture what the eye can see - but maybe that's a good thing (!).
All in all, Portland is an amazing place - and I know I will visit it again. How was your experience there?