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Three must stops in Portland │ A Weekend in Portland, Oregon

Three must stops in Portland │ A Weekend in Portland, Oregon

Three must stops in Portland

and follow me around for a weekend away!


We went to Portland, Oregon to celebrate my sister’s birthday. She’s the ginger with the beer in the photo above. Rachel lived in Portland before moving to LA, so we had a great time spending time together in her old town. Let me take you through some great stops for next time you’re in Portland, Oregon and show you more of the Pacific Northwest beauty.


McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel


The McMenamins Kennedy School is a fun stop for a beer and a soak in the pool. It has beautifully landscapes grounds. It’s a funky, restored elementary school turned into hotel. You can stay here for a Portland visit, however we were staying in an Air BnB for our trip.

McMenamins Kennedy School is a fun stop for dip in the saltwater soaking pool. It’s open to the public daily! It’s quite warm, and your are extra buoyant from the salts. It’s also surrounded by beautiful plants so it’s a fun hangout. Grab and beer or a root beer and relax for a bit.


Julia tried her first root beer while the adults has actual beer. You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants at the school. I got a delicious vegan chickpea salad sandwich with tater tots. There’s also a few bars and other activities in the different rooms of the school.


Powell’s Bookstore


If you haven’t stopped in Powell’s before, you must stop in next Portland trip! Powell’s is a small chain of book stores in Portland, Oregon. Powell's City of Books is the largest independent used bookstore. You will also find new books as well, so if you want a new release you can still get it.


It’s a menagerie of books inside! Each section is color coded and there are plenty of staff to help you find the section you need. Here is a small look at the cookbook options they have. If you love reading you need to stop in. It seriously has any book you could be looking for and it’s great to support a local bookstore. I could spend all day in here and always end up with a few new to me, but pre-loved books.


Powell’s boasts of the largest PNW Children’s book selection. They had so many books to choose from my daughter was loving it. The Children’s section is broken up by reading level and content type. They have plenty of board books so we picked up a few used books abut colors for Julia.


I saw the Salt and Straw cookbook wile at Powell’s. I highly recommend this cookbook if you enjoy ice cream. The recipes are pretty easy to make and they show you how to make the best ice cream base. I don’t know if I’ll ever buy ice cream again!


Pizza time!


We stopped to get some lunch at Escape From New York Pizza on NW 23rd. It’s old style pizza, with fresh toppings and made in house dough and sauce. Pizza by the slice meant we all got what we wanted! They also have a great Caesar salad!


We enjoyed out pizza outside and Julia met a dog. We spent the afternoon window shopping in the Alphabet District (NW 23rd street) in Portland. NW 23rd is a nice area to walk around and grab a bite. There are lots of cute shops in what used to be homes. There are also a lot of good spots to get lunch or dinner. I had my 22nd birthday dinner at Papa Haydn's on 23rd, they also have some amazing desserts. If you haven’t walked around this area of Portland it’s worth a stop.


Salt and Straw is my absolute favorite ice cream shop. Before they added two Seattle locations in Ballard and Capitol Hill, we would always stop to try a new flavor when we were in Portland. They create unique and delightful flavors. Every month there is a seasonal rotation of five flavors and there are their classic flavors that stick around.

They source local ingredients and you can taste the difference. All their ice cream is handmade in small five gallon batches. They also have a cookbook if you want to try making ice cream at home! They also have vegan flavors as well.

My favorite of the classic flavors are the salted caramel and honey lavender!


We were in town for my sister birthday so we had a taco party at my cousins house. Here is my husband and Julia and Olivia (my cousin once removed) enjoying the nice weather!


We had Mother’s Day dinner at Kachka.

Kachka is a Russian restaurant in Southeast Portland. Only my sister had been here before so we got to try a lot of new flavors and things. They have many infused vodka served ice cold. Definitely try their dumplings, they have a few kinds and both we tried were packed with flavor. We tried the Herring Under a Fur Coat, and I am still thinking about it to this day. Right after dinner I went to my library’s website a places a hold on their cookbook. It was an amazing dinner and I loved the cozy atmosphere.


At the end of a lovely weekend we said goodbye to Oregon and headed North to Seattle. Julia promptly fell asleep for the three hours back home.

I hope you found a new spot to check out next time you’re in Portland, Oregon. What cities in the Pacific Northwest would you like to learn more about? What’s your go to stop in Portland? Let me know in the comments!


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