Portland is the perfect town for the solo traveler. This weekend itinerary will begin Friday evening and end Sunday night. Visiting in the summer will allow you to see the sun and sights a little more easily.
If you are flying into PDX, Portland’s airport, book a room at McMenamans Kennedy School. It was once an elementary school. It now houses a hotel, bars, restaurants, a movie theater and a hot mineral pool. You can taste local beer, see second run movies and sleep in a converted classroom. It’s a funky, social place that’s also popular with the locals.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Courtyard Restaurant at the Kennedy School, a transformed school cafeteria. Then, checkout the nearby local grocery store, New Seasons. They have an amazing deli area where you can get some food for a picnic lunch. Their sandwiches are made fresh and are divine.
If you feel like a clothing-optional adventure, drive 35 minutes and arrive at Sauvie Island’s nude beach (Collins Beach). Enjoy a walk or bask in the sun, or clouds.When you feel like a snack, head over to one of the nearby farms and pick your own berries. These u-pick farms let you do the hard work and give you a great price on fresh local produce.
Head back in the direction of your hotel and check out The Grilled Cheese Grill in the Alberta Arts District. It’s a food car inside of a school bus where you can sit and eat your meal. If you feel like something really hearty, try the Baby Cheesus, their patty melt. Then you can stroll the neighborhood and check out Portland’s art scene.
Have a nice break fast at Cup & Saucer Cafe, they make delicious omelets. Then take a 30 minute drive to Pittock Mansion. Located in SW Portland, this huge home was built in 1914. Henry Pittock, owner of The Oregonian newspaper, lived there with his wife. It’s now owned by the City of Portland and offers daily tours. There are rumors of ghostly activity.
End the weekend with an early dinner or late lunch during happy hour at Portland City Grill. It’s on top of a high rise over looking the city. The ambiance is awesome, with a piano player and cheap eats during happy hour, it’s a must.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you, as a solo traveler, see more than rain and enjoy some of Portland’s highlights.