Portland, OR


Portland has always been a dream city of mine to visit. I find it so bizarre that Frank and I have been all over the world but actually going places inside of the United States is far and few between. When we had Kett I told him this was our chance to really see our own country.

When I travel I always am overly detailed about places and times to visit and eat. In reality I think in my previous life I was probably a type of travel agent, but not the kind that just books flights but gives you detailed daily activities, how to get to each place and where to eat all on the smallest budget. I want to visit every place Alton Brown eats or Guy Fieri has visited, pretty much any spot the Food Network says to visit. Then I want to visit all the touristy spots and on top of that all the unique places that makes the city, where all the locals go!

This by far was the hardest trip for me to plan because I now have a 15 month old to consider when traveling and well lets be honest, he kind of is the boss right now. That in-between stage where we can't communicate, so he cries and then I cry and then we both have fits of not knowing what each other wants. Its a good relationship right now.

If you want more insight on everything that made our flights a million times better, check out this blog post here.

When I plan trips I research practically every place I can image and then pin it onto Google Maps and go from there. I try to stay in a particular area so its pretty easy to get around, you can view my google maps for Portland here. Usually when I find time before a trip I break it down by places, shopping and food but there was ZERO time for that this time, so I mostly just stuck to the areas.

Thankfully Kett is a pretty good sleeper and can really sleep anywhere as long as its in line with his usual schedule. So I knew I really needed to schedule everything around that and then kind of just go for it. I knew that food and sitting around would not be the most viable option with a toddler and planned places to eat that weren't far from parks in case we needed to get it to go. I also planned at least one or two things that were meant for Kett every day. Portland made it pretty easy to do so, they really have so much to offer.

So here is my overly detailed ideas on what to do in Portland with a Toddler!

We got into Portland around 7pm, carseat in tow and mustered a taxi up to bring us straight to the hotel. We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Vintage. By the time we got to the hotel and settled down it was almost 9pm so we searched for a nearby place to grab food Frank could go pick up and bring back to the room. We chose Portland Burgers and it was seriously so delicious.

Day 1 This was the beginning of the trip, we got a pretty good nights sleep, woke up early and got on the move. One of the biggest things to do in Portland is there Saturday Market and that was top on my list to see. From the hotel it was about a 15 minute walk and we chose to walk it along the River, passing Mills End Park, worlds smallest park and get a quick bite to eat at Bijou Cafe. I read the recommendations to eat there were the Oyster Omelet and the Tofu Scramble and seriously I wouldn't be able to decide between the two. When traveling with a toddler I realize the amount of time you get to eat is pretty limited so I researched places to eat in advance and the best things to eat there so when we sat we could order up and get it quick.

After the quick bite to eat we walked over to the Portland Outdoor Store to grab a picture with the sign and then headed straight to the Portland Saturday Market. So many unique shops and tents. All the food and things you could imagine. They had a band and we got a beer to share and let Kett stretch his little legs and run around. A lady with bubbles was in the park and there were dogs galore so he had everything to entertain him. We stopped to take pictures with the Skidmore Fountain and the White Stag Portland OR sign is right on the other side of the Burnside Bridge, walk along the river and its right there.

Just a couple block walk from there is the Keep Portland Weird Sign across the street from Voodoo Doughnuts. I definitely don't recommend going there on a Saturday if you can try. Its open 24 hours and its the same delicious doughnuts all day. After grabbing a few pictures with that mural I planned to either head back to the hotel to let Kett nap or head to the Portland Museum of Art, always options with the little guy! So the walk started with a cup of coffee from Barista and a hopeful mom that could get their kid to sleep and not have to take a hotel break... I put him in my Boba carrier and boom, asleep, those bubbles and dogs really did a number on him.

We walked and caught the last 2-3 hours of the Portland Art Museum. Kett woke up about half way through and literally screamed the whole way through. But not mad scream, just a cute loud ahh playing with the echos of each room. I apologized to every single person we walked by but his little Ahh and a whole lot of giggles to follow got a lot of smiles and laughs out of everyone we passed.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped by the Ira Keller Fountain Park, which the fountain wasn't working but it was still a nice little playground with a lot of stairs that kept Kett entertained for a bit before we went to grab food for dinner. Not a far walk was the Alder St. Food Cart Pod that came highly recommended, we had a little something from the Hawaiian BBQ place and a Poke Bowl that was seriously to die for so good. Then we grabbed some wine on the way home from the Target across the street and went back to the hotel.

Day 2 In the morning we got ready and headed out to Petunias Pies and Pastries, a vegan bakery. We had the most amazing waffles and gluten free biscuit with gravy. I definitely recommend their cute bathrooms they share with a few other stores. We got our Metro/Tram/Public Transportation passes, its all on the app making it a breeze to get a 5 day pass for $25 to hop on and off whenever we needed to. We walked to Powell City Books and walked around and marveled at the collections. Kett ran around the kids area and made friends with other parents and kids. We spent a little over an hour chasing him around there. It was really fun to watch him grab books and read to him.

Just around the block we stopped in the Ace Hotel to take pictures in their Photo Booth. That was well worth the stop and I definitely would have made it back there a second time if we had had the time. Its the old fashioned emulsion black and white Photo Booth, emulsion still on the prints when they come out. It was only $5 to get one strip done and the wait was about 5 minutes for them to print. But seriously the cutest little strip of photos I for sure will cherish the rest of my life. I can't wait to add it to Ketts baby book.