You've just deplaned at PDX. Stretch your arms, attempt to declot your bird's nest airplane hair, and prepare your stomach to expand: you have entered the Promised Land of the epicure, a city of divine feasting. From food truck to cafe, bakery to brewery, Portland is the Gemorah of gourmet gluttony.
It's actually ironic that we describe Portland with religious metaphor as it's one of the most religiously unaffiliated cities in the country. Nearly half the population of the greater area identifies a-religious. Yet it does seem that Portlandians sway to some higher wok sautéed power, an omnipotent and omnipresent force that dictates their urges and cravings deep within. In fact, there are 1,387 houses of worship in the city, according to OpenTable. These people are going to heaven, and we don't just mean that because they have reservations for Sunday brunch at Screen Door, where buttermilk fried chicken is sacrificed on the altar of sweet potato waffle.
With all the great food, it's fortunate that the city is walkable and is host to a number of urban parks, including Washington Park, which has its own rose garden, arboretum, and archery range. Additionally, a plethora of waterfalls hikes are within an easy drive from downtown, and in just an hour, year round skiing and snowboarding is available at Mt Hood. To refresh after an active morning, hit up one of the many vineyards and orchards on the Hood River Fruit Loop in the afternoon. Adventure and unique gastronomy await. Scroll down to read about our fun, food-filled trip in Portland.
We arrived in the morning at PDX and because of a great promotion, we opted for a ride sharing service to our hotel in downtown. Otherwise, the MAX red line tram departs every 30 minutes from the airport and takes about 40 minutes to reach the city center. While there are a number of great hotels in Portland, we chose to redeem some accumulated SPG points at The Nines Hotel, a Luxury Collection property conveniently located in front of Pioneer Square. Although we were booked for a superior room, we happened to share the elevator with the hotel manager up to the eighth floor lobby. After chatting a bit, the manager proceeded to check us in and upgrade us to a club level room, which granted us all-day access to the lounge and its bounty of drinks and snacks. That was the start to what would be a great foodie love affair with Portland. The entire hotel is modern and chic, so whichever category room you may get at The Nines, you're going to have a 10 experience. Whereas some hotels serve merely as a place to shower and sleep at night, The Nines is an oasis of luxury that's hard to leave.