November 2nd, 2012
We'vecreated a series of useful and unique family travel itineraries. Each one is tried, tested and true by a VitaminDaily.com editor (and mom). This week, we're exploring Portland. For our Tots in TriBeCa itinerary, click here.
Portland is my family’s city-away-from-the-city, and we make the five hour drive from Vancouver often. It’s extremely kid-friendly (even at the brewpub!).
We always bunk at the Paramount: Clean, spacious rooms, helpful staff and a stone’s throw to all of our favourite spots in the city (including Nordstroms, just around the corner). Request a room with a balcony on the second floor. 808 SW Taylor St., Portland, www.portlandparamount.com
Director Park is the big-city answer to public space; a spacious, clean piazza with a café (the outdoor bistro tables are lovely), a giant chess set, an unofficial waterpark and tons of spacious, shaded seating. If the weather has forced you indoors, head to old-time toy shop Finnegan’s for some playtime and classic toys (try explaining a slinky to your kid). Finnegan’s, 820 SW Washington St., Portland, www.finneganstoys.com
You could eat six meals a day in Portland and never be disappointed. The food truck scene is famous for a reason: the options are cheap, delicious and fresh, with an abundance of trucks parked in one area for easy access. (For food cart maps, click here.) For a sit-down meal, I love casual and contemporary Southpark: the oysters are fresh and the corn risotto is a tasty take on contemporary food. Southpark, 901 SW Salmon St., http://southparkseafood.com
Portland has one of the most prominent craft brew scenes in the world, and the bustling brewpubs to match. Deschutes is a favourite, expect a fair line for a table on the weekend, but waiting is much easier with a Black Butte in hand (hey, that stroller cup holder comes in handy!). Yes, kids are welcome (last time we were there half the tables had kids, from breastfeeding newborn to an 8-year-old’s birthday party). 210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, www.deschutesbrewery.com
This no-tax haven is the place to splurge on big purchases – this year, I bought almost my entire fall wardrobe in Portland, including a Vince sweater coat with leather trim (pictured) at Nordstroms, LNA tops and 7 for all Mankind Gwenevere jeans from Nordstroms Rack, plus Rachel Comey boots from lovely boutique Frances May, which stocks upscale casual wear lines like ALC, Vena Cava and Suno. Frances May, 1013 SW Washington St., Portland, www.francesmay.com
One of the few cities where independent bookshops thrive, Powell’s is the granddaddy of hardcovers, packed to the risers with books both new and used. You could easily spend an afternoon exploring the different floors and deep collections; we buy my son a classic book on each visit. 1005 W. Burnside St., Portland and 4 other locations, www.powells.com
July 26th, 2012
The dream of the '90s is alive in Portland and so are our dreams of a great weekend escape.
It doesn’t get any more quirky – or more Portland – than a night in a McMenamins hotel property. Their flagship, the Kennedy School (pictured), will have you sleeping in a converted classroom, but the Chrystal Hotel is right downtown.
The fact that it’s well outside downtown makes St. Jack that much more charming. It doesn’t hurt that they serve French cuisine, like gratin de macaroni, that would satisfy any gourmand.
The Alphabet District in Northwest Portland is lined with small boutiques slotted between the likes of Restoration Hardware and Urban Outfitters. When you’ve worked up an appetite with all that shopping, stop into the unassuming Red Onion, which serves killer Thai food.
Stroll through the Portland State University Farmer’s Market on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll find all the organic, local produce you’ll need for a lunch al fresco Portland-style. —Kelsey Dundon
July 22nd, 2011
It’s only a few hours from YVR to PDX and yet the City of Roses feels like a world away. Herewith, our picks for Portland.
In the heart of the trendy Pearl District, the Ace Hotel is right by the easy-to-get-lost-in Powell’s Books.
Is it a music label or a made-in-Portland emporium? It’s both! Tender Loving Empire showcases the most stylish designs and newest tunes by Portland’s own.
Walk! Downtown PDX is perfectly laid out for strolling from food carts to riverside parks to boutiques and then back to more food carts.
Try the ever-changing tasting menu at Toro Bravo. Because you can’t eat every meal on wheels.
Happy Hour is elevated to an art in Portland so take the elevator to the rooftop and grab a seat with a view at Departure. —Kelsey Dundon
February 18th, 2010
The greenest city in the U.S. is a perfect mix of laid-back cool and thrilling buzz. An ideal weekend getaway, here are our picks for the City of Roses.
The Nines is a chic space with an impressive modern art collection.You may find yourself sharing the elevator with one of the L.A. Lakers at this downtown hotel that’s popular among the It crowd. From $159 per night. The Nines, 525 SW Morrison, Portland, 1-877-229-9995, www.thenines.com
A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, Portland-based Modi Soondarotok worked for Peter Som, Donna Karan and Armani before launching Idom, her line of colourful, vintage-inspired pieces. We swooned over every dress at her charming boutique. Idom, 827 NW 23rd Ave. Portland, 503-477-6818, www.idomdesigns.com
Named as one of the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America” by GQ, Ping lives up to the hype. Its menu is packed with mouth-watering “multi-Asian” fare. Start with a selection of the skewers (from $2) and you'll be dreaming about the laksa nonya coconut noodle soup ($12) long after the last bite. Ping, 102 NW Fourth Ave., Portland, 503-229-7464, www.pingpdx.com
When it’s time for a stronger bevy, head to the Doug Fir Lounge where you’ll find hipsters of all ages listening to live acts like Sloan or St. Vincent while enjoying local brews. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 East Burnside, Portland, 503-231-9663, www.dougfirlounge.com