The perfect last-minute no-brainer getaway. Here are three reasons to go right now.
TRAVEL ADVISORY | Did you get sidetracked and forget to plan a vacation this year? No worries: you’ll always have Portland. It’s the perfect last-minute no-brainer getaway. You could fly, of course, but why not drive? If you leave Vancouver at 6 a.m. and ignore the siren call of Seattle, you’ll be in the City of Roses by early afternoon with plenty of daylight remaining to dive into interesting things.
Here are three irresistible reasons to visit Portland right now.
No Sales Tax
Even during high season Portland’s most stylish hotels are way less expensive than Seattle’s. For example, Seattle’s urban boutique Hotel Andrea and Portland’s downtown Hotel Modera are both members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, but this Friday you’ll pay $243 for a standard king room at the Andra and $170 at the Modera. (CLICK HERE for a few of my favourite Portland hotels, including the Governor, shown here.)
One hotel I like stay at with kids is the Embassy Suites in Tigard, just minutes from downtown Portland. Within walking distance of Washington Square Mall and Target, it has two-room suites, free parking and a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast. Not bad for way under $130, which is what it appears to cost you as we move into August. (CLICK HERE for the Embassy Suites.)
If food and restaurants are your thing, then Portland is your Mecca. James Beard Foundation Awards, a.k.a. the “Oscars of food,” recently anointed Gabriel Rucker of Portland’s Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro the 2011 Rising Star Chef of the Year, and they selected Andy Ricker of Pok Pok as the best chef in the Northwest. I’ve eaten at both Le Pigeon and Pok Pok (there just can’t be another restaurant like this one), and they are more than worth it. Serious foodies will also want to check out other Beard finalists Nostrana and Grüner. National pie connoisseurs consider Apizza Scholls on Hawthorne Street one of the top pizzerias in North America.
For tasty places to eat with kids, consider Portland’s famous food carts—The People’s Pig is a good one (CLICK HERE to see the array)—or try memorable sit-downs such as Huber’s, Portland’s oldest restaurant, and Doug Fir, the city’s most purposefully kitschy burger joint. Other Only-in-Oregon experiences include dinner-and-a-movie-together at a McMenamin brothers theater-pub: my personal favourite is The Bagdad (trust me, this is a seriously Oregon experience), or a severe sugar shock served up at Voodoo Doughnut, quite possibly this continent’s most original doughnut shop.
To Be Continued . . . C. Rule
Photos, top to bottom: White Stag sign, Governor Hotel, Le Piegon, Voodoo Doughnut