Portland, I am Coming..,

So my oldest daughter lives in Beaverton and we are planning our first visit next month. We will be staying near Washington Square. She has asked for ideas as to what we might want to see. We will be there for 3 days.

Any ideas?

Museums, Powell’s, areas looking over the rivers, brew pubs and bistros?

Multnomah Falls is always a popular choice as it’s pretty easy drive from the west side, but there is a timer reservation currently for parking to be aware of.
Cannon Beach is also great to see, a coastline dominated by Haystack Rock.
Powell City of Books shouldn’t be missed if you’re a book lover (make sure to tour their rare book room).
Eating at any of the food cart pods is nice, as well as walking around near Pioneer Courthouse Square.
I’m also a Beaverton resident and most of the time my wife and I go into the city we use Tri-Met to avoid having to park in the more congested areas.

I live in Hillsboro, and the list of things I could offer is… significant.

So lets set some parameters: how much driving are you willing to do? What mix of indoor and outdoor activities? How much walking/ hiking do you want to do?

I just came back from a short camping trip to the coast. Right now is a great time because the resident grey whales are right by shore in Depoe Bay. The central coast is stunning, in general. Devils Punchbowl is super enjoyable. Those are all about 2-2.5 hours away, but well worth it.

You can also collect fossils at Beverly Beach right there.

Cannon Beach is a top destination on the coast, for a reason. Haystack Rock dominates the view, and provides some of the best tide pools. Its location as one of the quickest and easiest to reach beaches from Portland does help too.

Go to Mt. Hood. A ton of options depending on level of activity desired. The Timberline Trail to Paradise Park is great, there is Mirror Pond down by Government Camp, Zigzag Falls is an easy access waterfall in a canyon, Ramona Falls is one of the most spectacular hikes and falls if you’re up for 8 miles total.

As @ironwulf mentioned they just went to a congestion permitting system for old route 30 from Vista House past Multnomah Falls. You can still see Multnomah Falls using the I-84 center lot without passes though. However the drive down old 30 past Corbett and Latourell is fantastic and provides half a dozen great short hike options to various 200+ foot waterfalls.

Silver Falls state park by Salem is quite spectacular as well. A few great hikes, including a few that take you behind large waterfalls.

Powell’s is a no brainer. The Saturday Market by the riverfront is also a good visit. McMenimans and Deschutes breweries are personal favorites.

The Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden, and Washington Park in general are must see places. Forest Park if you want nature hikes right in the city.

Realistically 3 days barely scratches the surface, and if there is any specific thing you want in more detail, I can give it to you :)

When you need a break, plant yourself at a McMenamin’s. Drink some beer. Eat some tater tots. Good times.

So far I have noticed 3 McMenamin’s fairly close to her place, maybe 10-15 minutes.

We have on prior vacations done the coastline so this trip is more about Portland itself. She has mentioned Pittock Mansion and the Japanese Garden. Is Fort Vancouver worth a peak?

We have also traveled the Columbia from Portland east.

Any recommendations for a nice mid-price dinner, sea food especially. Until recently she had pretty tight budget restrictions so I imagine she hasn’t taken advantage of the food scene.

I just went to the Pittock Mansion and Rose Garden on Saturday. Wonderful visit. The mansion itself is well maintained and a neat look at 100 years ago. The grounds are also beautiful.

McMenimans each of the locations is unique. For my preference I would say the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse is the best of them in the Beaverton/ Hillsboro area, very unique multiple building setup and wide grounds. The one in downtown Hillsboro is the most ‘conventional’ of the lot, lacking the charm of many of them. St Johns is another good spot but a but further. The Oak Hills and Cedar Hills locations are just the most suburban brewpub locations of them all. A big part of the appeal is how most locations take some historic or unique building and convert it.

Fort Vancouver is fun with kids. We took our kids and did the Junior Ranger badges there.

There’s a good seafood restaurant up between Multnomah Village and Hillsdale (both a little north and west of where you are staying) called Seasons and Regions I think. I’ve never been but my coworker raves about it and not being too expensive.

Other restaurant places in that area, Broder Söder is great for Breakfast/Lunch/Brunch. I like Mugen Noodle Bar for Ramen and etc.

The Washington Square Mall itself has some surprisingly decent chains like Din Tai Fung and local chains like Gustav’s and Ezels Fried Chicken.

Otherwise downtown Beaverton has pretty good food options like Top Burmese, Ex Novo, Big’s Chicken, Afuri Ramen, Nak Won all within a few blocks.

I actually just moved to Hillsboro in early July, and really apprecitate some of the recomendations in here.

Oh one more food. If you are in the mood for a burger, my favorite is Mr Bento Burger at Cornell and Cornelius Pass. They have a lot of good and unique burgers, my favorite is the Angry Bird with kimchee and a fried egg on it. They also serve with pot stickers and a house salad with a homemade ginger dressing. Incredible stuff. You can, and should, also order a side of sweet potato fries.

So, I have just returned from our 11 day trip up the coastline and into Portland. We went to Redding, to Eureka, to Coos Bay, to Newport and then on to Portland. We came back the I-5.

We spent 4 days in Portland. We stayed at the Embassy Suites at Washington Square, which was a nice place. The room was big enough for the three of us. And with my daughter living about 10 minutes away it worked out really well.

We visited the Pittock Mansion, Oregon Historical Society Museum and Powell’s Bookstore downtown. She also took us past her place of employment which is very near the Steel Bridge.

We had meals and drinks at Deschuttes downtown and WildFin in Beavertown. We tried to get into the McMenamin’s Schoolhouse location but the wait was more than it was worth. We spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon at Hamacher Winery with a bunch of my daughters friends. People we have know since they were small.

Overall we had a wonderful trip. Cheapest gas I saw was $4.15 on the Oregon Coast. Best meal might have been at Jack’s Seafood in Eureka. Between the 4 of us we spent probably $500+ at Powell’s. Damn that is a great bookstore, and I didn’t even know they sold beer there. We visited the Newport Aquarium again. Sadly the Puffin exhibit was closed.

I could see the homeless were a problem in Eureka and Portland. Eureka looks like a city trying to upgrade their waterfront (new restaurants and boardwalk) while trying to fight the pandemic and the homeless.

One sad moment was the drive from Redding to Eureka, on Highway 44 I think. Mile after mile of burned out forest, from a fire 3-4 years ago. A terrible site that was later contrasted by the beautiful green forests we went thru in Oregon.

Thanks everyone for the ideas and suggestion. Four days just wasn’t long enough.

Ah WildFin. Been there a few times for brunch and it’s alway solid but I always kinda forget about it.

A new Salt and Straw opened up in that parking lot. Not sure if the lines are still long but it’s always a good place to try more interesting ice creams too.

Glad you liked the Embassy Suites. I probably drove right by you multiple times shuttling my kids to and from soccer and sports and other things. The road construction down in that area is a hot mess right now though.

My wife works just off 217 and is coming from downtown Hillsboro. Believe me, I get the blow by blow

She is a stronger person than I. Because man, I did that once last week and wanted to just park my car and walk off into the woods forever.

The 217 south was a mess north of there. We did have lunch one day at the Thirsty Lion in Washington Square. Nice happy hour.

I was just down there visiting a buddie and hitting golf balls at the course near the mall. Love my home town.

My daughter loves it there. She is the happiest I have seen her in years. She has been there for almost two years and is now working her third job, each one a considerable upgrade. She has several friends there and they all seem to love it.

I think the only thing that surprised most of them was the snow.

Surely you mean the lack of snow.

Well, all of her friends came from central California where it doesn’t snow. People in places like Portland or Des Moines, where my niece moved, always say it just barely snows and that you will hardly notice it. But then it snows and the amount is more than a drylander is ready for. Next thing you know you are driving something 4 wheel drive.

Coming from Chicago I hardly consider the decorative color that doesn’t even fully cover the grass meaningful snow :)

But Californians understandably are amused by such prolific powder.