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To Do List | Tourist-y Portland Top 5

After 5 months of settling into our new city, we are more than ready for some visitors to show around!

In just under two weeks, my biological and adopted sisters (Chelsea and Chelsea, or Chelsea Squared) will be coming to visit. Chelsea #2 helped us move back in February, but exhaustion and limited time didn’t leave much room for exploring together. The girls will be here for just under a week. A few days after they arrive, we will be joined by my dad and step-mom. After the long weekend, we will be off to Las Vegas for nearly another week. My current state of unemployment comes in handy here, as it leaves ample time for showing guests around town and hopping on a plane shortly after.

I have tons of things to do, see and eat on our agenda. The list, of course, includes some “tourist-y” items. When I lived in Vegas, I had a handful of tourist hot spots that I took guests, even when I’d lived there long enough to be jaded by cliches myself. With Portland, we’re still very new and exploring ourselves. Some of the to-dos are things we’ve seen before, and some we’ve saved specifically to experience with our visitors.

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Also mildly excited to show off our revamp of our itty bitty back yard to someone!

TO DO LIST: PORTLAND TOURIST SPOTS

Food | I honestly could make a full length list of all the food venues we will be visiting! Portland is becoming a major foodie destination. I have some tried and true spots we’ll be sharing with our guests, including Salt & Straw, Voodoo Doughnut, Kyra’s Bakeshop, Maki Sushi and Pastini Pastaria. We will all be trying out Mac! Mac and Cheesery together for the first time, and I’m hoping to maybe try some of the food carts downtown as well.

Powell’s City of Books | Any excuse I can find to head over to Powell’s, I will take! My little sister, Chelsea #1, is about to start her master’s degree in creative writing. I’m planning to find the shelf that her book will some day sit on and take her picture there.

International Rose Test Garden | Kevin and I visited this amazing place a few weeks ago. The trip was a bit rushed thanks to some minor dehydration, and I would love to go back and take another trip through. And guests to the Rose City can’t leave without seeing some roses!

Drinks at Departure | I’ve heard a lot about this hot spot with a view at the Nines Hotel downtown. What better time to find a new favorite drink than with visiting friends and family?

Oregon Coast | With the ocean so close to Portland, there’s no excuse not to experience your feet in the sand. I’m not sure whether we will be heading to Tillamook or Cannon Beach yet. Tillamook also has the Tillamook Cheese Factory, and Cannon Beach is a cozy, fun little beach town.

I better take advantage of the house cleaning time I have now!

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To Do List | Portland Restaurants

I love food. I am willing to pay more money for an amazing meal than clothes, and consider dining one of the Macaroni and cheesebest parts of traveling. I am an unashamed foodie, and will try most anything at least once. To me, food is one of life’s great joys, and should be an experience.

When I found out that we were moving to Portland, I was excited to discover that the city is a foodie destination of sorts. Local eateries out number the chain restaurants, and we’ve already tried some amazing dishes in the two months that we have lived here. From mac and cheese made to order at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (at right) and gluten free lemon basil cake at Kyra’s Bakeshop to fresh burratta at Fireside and burbon ice cream at Salt & Straw in the Alphabet District, I am surprised I haven’t managed to put on twenty pounds yet.

Through Pinterest and Portland news sites, I have built a running list of places for us to try next. Here’s the top five I am currently looking forward to most.

To Do List: Portland Restaurants

  1. Mac! Mac and Cheesery | Kevin often jokes that if you cut me open, I’ll bleed mac and cheese. This restaurant sounds like a goldmine for me. 17 varieties of mac and cheese. And all of them can be made gluten free! Is this heaven? It might be.
  2. Elephants Delicatessen | This deli has a couple locations, and is a frequent pin in the Portland tag on Pinterest. They now have dine in options, including a grill, wood fire oven, and cheese and charcuterie counter.  Though Kevin can’t always partake, I am all about fresh, warm bread.
  3. Urban Farmer PDX | I follow Urban Farmer’s stunning Instagram, and frequently find myself drooling over the photos. The steakhouse focuses on sustainable, farm to table fare and is located on the 8th floor of the Nines Hotel downtown. Kevin and I both appreciate a good steak once awhile, and will have to stop by the next time the craving hits.
  4. Toro Bravo | Tapas to me fit the idea of food as an experience perfectly. When we lived in Vegas, we used to love stopping at Firefly for an evening of small plates and drinks, and I dearly miss the food at Social in Fort Collins, Colorado. Toro Bravo looks like it could be our new tapas spot.
  5. Pok Pok | With every search for Portland restaurants I’ve done, this Asian eatery has turned up near the top. Their site notes that they’re not a “fusion” restaurant. Their dishes are researched and tested to ensure an authentic dining experience.

Ah, so many food comas ahead!

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