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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Plan an Autumn Escape to Portland!

On this first day of Autumn, I'd like to invite you to visit Portland.

Fall is a great time to visit, we usually have good weather up until mid-October. In fact, usually September and early October are the most dependable weather time of year with average high temperatures ranging from 63 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you can visit, I've put together a list of things you might enjoy. This isn't the list you'll find on a travel blog as I'm not going to include the obvious things like visit Powell Books (which you probably should do). This is a list of lesser known things; places that I enjoy to go to and things I enjoy to do.

One disclaimer, because Portland is very much a city of neighborhoods, this list is slanted towards my neighborhood and it's surrounding areas (actually, everything on it is in NE Portland). Because of this, all of the places are easily accessible by foot or bike and no two places are more than 5 miles apart.


Let's start this list with a Local-NE Portland neighborhood secret. I don't usually give away these types of secrets because I don't want them overwhelmed but I'm going to make an exception for this one.  If you visit Portland on a weekend, by all means go to Helen Bernhard Bakery Sunday morning. Helen Bernhard has been a neighborhood bakery since 1924. Sunday is the one day of the week they don't bake anything and therefore just about everything in the store is half off! Forget Voodoo Donuts and head to Helen's for donuts, muffins, pastries, cakes and pies at half price!

Sticking with the bargain theme, if you like thrift stores Albertina Kerr in NE Portland can't be beat! There is a used clothing store where you can find like-new designer clothing and shoes for cheap, and there's an antique shop that has vintage jewelry, linens, dishes, and furniture. Visit during the week at lunch time and pop into the dining room for a light, fresh lunch. All proceeds from their shops and dining room go to benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.

If you're still in the shopping mood, a great place to wander is Mississippi Avenue and a unique store to visit is Half Pint. It's locally owned and they carry vintage boots, belts, and bags. It's the best place I've found to find a $200 pair of boots for $40!

Getting thirsty?  Lucky for you there are about a million (only a slight exaggeration) bars in town! However, visiting in September and October means you can pick up a fresh hopped beer at the over 100 brew pubs in the metro area. Oregon grows over 5% of the world's hop harvest and Fall is harvest time which means fresh hopped beers!  Almost all the pubs make great beer but I'm fond of Culmination Brewing and with 25 taps you're sure to find something you like.

How about a little exercise before dinner?  A neighborhood stroll around Alameda and Irvington neighborhoods will offer nice views of classic old Portland.  One hundred year old homes well maintained with beautiful yards as well as a nice view of the city from the top of Alameda Ridge await!

What's a trip to Portland without a vegan dinner? Make your way over to Alberta Street and pop into the Bye and Bye for some filling, tasty tofu bowls. They're all good but my favorite is the BBQ Brussel Bowl.

End your day (and stay the night) with a movie and or a dip at the outdoor soaking pool at the Kennedy School. This old Portland Public Elementary School, built in 1915, has been renovated into a wonderful hotel complete with a restaurant, bar, soaking pool and movie theater.

Last time I checked, plane tickets were cheap so plan your autumn escape to Portland!


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