Portland Solo Vacation 2018

After a solo trip to Seattle last fall, I decided to check out Portland, Oregon

Day 1

House on a Hill

Airbnb Living Room

My Airbnb had an awesome view of the Portland skyline.

Portland Panorama

Panoramic view from my Airbnb’s balcony.

Mt. Hood before Sunrise

Mt. Hood right before dawn.

Downtown at Dawn

The Portland skyline at dawn.

Skyline Selfie

Selfie in front of the Portland skyline.

Mt. Hood and Rising Sun

The sun rising over Mt. Hood

Thai Coffee

My Airbnb hostess made me some authentic Thai coffee that she had just brought back from Thailand.

Staircase on a Sunny Day

I had to walk this 203 step staircase to get up to my Airbnb.

Cliff House

This house, like the one I stayed in, was located right on the edge of a cliff, overlooking Downtown Portland.

Morris Marks House

Right at the bottom of the staircase was the Morris Marks House, a historic mansion that had just been relocated from downtown.

Morris Marks House Closeup

Closeup of the Morris Marks House, which obviously needs some work still.

Motel Sign

Cool googie motel sign, just downhill from my Airbnb.

Hill Houses

My Airbnb was way up on this hill.

Around Downtown

Pioneer Courthouse Closeup

Pioneer Courthouse, the second oldest Federal Courthouse west of the Mississippi.

Voodoo Doughnuts Sign

Voodoo Doughnuts. I’ve heard the lines can get pretty bad, but it was okay at 8am on a Monday.

Voodoo Doughnuts Case

Awesome looking donuts. I chuckled at the “Gay Bar”.

Bacon and Voodoo Doughnut

I got a bacon maple doughnut and the eponymous Voodoo doughnut.

Keep Portland Weird Sign

Portland is indeed weird, but Austin had the slogan first. (I checked.)

Chinatown Gate Dog

Two of these dog statues guard the gate to Chinatown.

Butte Hotel Sign

Butte Hotel sign. To quote Beavis and Butt-Head, “Heh heh, huh huh!”

Powell's Books

Powell’s City of Books was bigger and more amazing that I thought it would be. This is one of the few photos I snapped while perusing the shelves.

Oregon Trail Sign

I made this exact same Oregon Trail joke on Facebook before my trip.

Across the River

Hawthorne Bridge

Hawthorne Bridge, looking west. Here you can see the center portion that lifts up for boats to pass through.

Southwest Portland Skyline

View of Southwest Portland from Hawthorne Bridge.

Marquam Bridge

Marquam Bridge over the Willamette River.

Iron Sculpture

Cool iron sculpture just east of the river.

Tov Bus

Tov is one of the most amazing coffee shops in Portland, located in an old double decker bus.

Tov Egyptian Coffee

Egyptian Coffee at Tov, with a little piece of Turkish Delight.

Fried Egg I'm in Love

Fried Egg I’m in Love: Coffee, Mimosas and Puns.

Punny Menu

Everything on the menu is a music pun.

Kim Jong Grillin

More punny food trucks.

Original Stumptown Coffee

Stumptown Coffee, the original location on Division.

Walkens Welcome Sign

So many puns in Portland.

Salt and Straw Menu

Fancy schmancy ice cream at Salt + Straw

Mini Statue with Dog

These little bronze sculptures were all over Division Street.

Bula Kava House

I went a kava bar in Portland. Haven’t had kava since I lived in Samoa!

Kava in a Coconut Shell

Kava. It tastes like black pepper and makes your lips tingle.

Vintage Car

Awesome vintage car parked on Division Street.

Flying Cat Coffee Sign

I loved the sign on this coffee shop, but I had already had too much coffee to try it.

Mini Statue with Phone

My favorite mini-sculpture on Division Street was this guy on his phone.

Transit Mall Statue

I really liked this sculpture on the Portland Transit Mall.

Power and Light Building

Amazing Art Deco sign.

Aerial Tram

Portland Aerial Tram Cables

The Portland Aerial Tram cables, from below.

Mt. St. Helens and the Willamette River

Mt. St. Helens and the Willamette River.

Mt. Hood over Southwest Portland

Lots of development in Southwest Portland.

Portland Aerial Tram Car

I rode the Portland Aerial Tram on a sunny day. Awesome views!

Marquam Hil Portrait

Picture of me at the top of the Portland Aerial Tram.

Bronze Bird Statue

Loved this realistically sized bird sculpture.

Mt. St. Helens over Portland

Mt. St. Helens looming over the city.

Mt. Hood over Portland

Mt. Hood on a sunny afternoon.

House on the Hill Foundation

This was the house across the street from my Airbnb. With the way it was propped up on the hill, it blew my mind every time I looked at it.

Deschutes Brewery Burger

Tasty hamburger and fries at Deschutes Brewery.

Cat Street Art

I like street art and I like cats. ‘Nuff said.

Day 2

Rainy Morning

Pine State Biscuits and Gravy

Delicious biscuits and gravy at Pine State Biscuits.

Art Fills the Void Mural

Art fills the void! Very cool pop art.

Portrait with Banana Mural

I have a banana in my ear.

Moss Covered Roof

I love this little bathroom building downtown, with its mossy roof.

Camel Elephant

Camel or elephant?

Big Legrowlski

The Big Legrowlski, yet another pun-based business.

Yellow Chairs on a Rainy Day

These bright yellow chairs in front of Courier Coffee really brightened up a dreary day.

Book and Coffee

Nothing like coffee and a good book on a rainy day.

Brewery Hopping

Hair of the Dog Growler

I really liked the shape of this growler.

Rainy Day Blossoms

Blossoms on a rainy day.

Cascade House of Sour

Cascade Barrel House was one the places I looked most forward to trying, and it lived up to the hype.

Cascade Tapping

I arrived at Cascade just in time for a barrel tapping.

Cascade Hot Cherry Sour

Hot (as in temperature) sour cherry beer. It was the best beer I had on the trip. Too bad this was the last of the keg.

Goat Dogs

Goats or dogs?

Day 3

South Park Blocks

Downtown Skyline on a Cloudy Day

Downtown Portland on a mostly cloudy morning.

Moss Covered Wall

I loved this moss covered wall.

Moss Covered Staircase

The staircase was a workout, but it was absolutely worth the views.

Chief Joseph Statue

Statue of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce.

Egyptian Apartment Block

Egyptian themed apartment block.

Blossoms and Bricks

Blossoms and bricks.

Victorian Mansion

I love this old Victorian mansion.

Theodore Roosevelt Statue

Teddy Roosevelt in front of the Portland Art Museum.

Abraham Lincoln Statue

Abraham Lincoln statue in the South Park Blocks.

Drinking Fountain

I saw these old drinking fountains all around the city. The water is always bubbling out. I thought it was wasteful at first, but it rains so much that it’s not really a waste.

More Downtown Wanderings

Capax Infiniti Mural

Capax Infiniti: This was hands-down my favorite street mural (though the banana was a close second.)

Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star Donuts. Not as funky as Voodoo, but just as delicious.

Blueberry and PBJ Donuts

I got a blueberry glaze and a spicy filled peanut butter and jelly donut.

Case Study Coffee Sign

Case Study Coffee was probably my favorite place on the trip. (Though Tov was a close second.)

Case Study Coffee Interior

I absolutely love a busy coffee shop like this. If I lived nearby, this would be my go-to cafe.

Case Study Masala Latte

Masala latte: like a chai with coffee instead of tea.

Director Park

Director Park: one of Portland’s newer downtown plazas. Really pretty.

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square, a/k/a Portland’s Living Room.

Pioneer Square Steps

I like how there’s a ramp hidden amongst these brick steps.

Pioneer Square Statue

Another one of my favorite sculptures. Love the red tie.

Towers Over Pioneer Square

Towers loom over Pioneer Square.

Bronze Beaver Statue

There were little beaver and duck statues alongside Pioneer Courthouse.

Pioneer Courthouse East Facade

Pioneer Courthouse, as viewed from the east.


Mills End Park

Mill Ends Park, the Guinness-certified smallest city park in the world.

Mills End Park Leprechaun House

Mill Ends Park is home to Portland’s leprechaun population.

Willamette River

The Willamette River on a partly sunny day.

Morrison Bridge

Morrison Bridge. Not the most exciting bridge downtown, but still cool.

Portland Tugboat

This old tugboat has been turned into a maritime museum.

USS Oregon Memorial

This war memorial is taken from the battleship USS Oregon.

Skidmore Arcade

I really liked this arcade.

Skidmore Fountain

Skidmore Fountain, which unfortunately hadn’t been turned on for the summer.

Skidmore Fountain and Ankeny Square

Skidmore Fountain and Ankeny Square.

Coffee Should Be Dope

Coffee is dope. Pretty sure I’m an addict.

White Stag Sign

The White Stag sign, an iconic symbol of the city. It originally advertised White Stag Sportswear, a long defunct apparel manufacturer.

Steel Bridge

Steel Bridge. Probably my favorite of the downtown bridges.

Clean Up After Your President

Clean up after your president.

Portland Sign and Water Tower

The Portland sign with a cool old water tower.

Over the Bridge

Downtown from Burnside Bridge

The downtown skyline from Burnside Bridge.

Wildcards, Misfits and Dabblers

Long live the wildcards, misfits and dabblers. I agree.

Colorful Building

I love the loud exterior on this new development.

Turtle Tile Art

Tile art on a random mini mall.

Fried Halibut

I went up to the north side of town just for the halibut. Seriously, The Original Halibut’s had the best fish and chip I’ve ever had.

Volkswagen Van

My parents used to have a Volkswagen van like this.

Fox Mural

Another awesome mural.

Blossoming Tree

Beautiful cherry blossoms on my way to Baerlic Brewing.

Avocado Doodle

I went to a happy hour with the Portland chapter of AIGA, my graphic design professional group.

Pencil Shaving

Pencil shaving. 😀

Fat Cat

This might be one of my favorite drawings of Murray. I wish I had kept the original.

Last Day

Mossy Morning

Mossy Path

Last day in Portland. I found this path up on the hill near my Airbnb.

Moss Covered Log

Moss everywhere.

Hill Apartment

I would love to live in one of these apartments, though I’m sure it’s well out of my price range.

Mossy Old Building

Not sure what the purpose of this old building was, but I sure thought it was cool.

Moss Covered Rock Wall

More moss and rocks. We don’t have anything like this in Dallas.

Coffee and Airport

Salmon Hash

Salmon hash with eggs over easy. It was very tasty.

Water Avenue Coffee

Water Avenue Coffee was another one of my favorites.

Water Avenue Coffee Photoshoot

I happened to arrive at Water Avenue Coffee as they were doing a photoshoot for the point-of-sale vendor.

Good Coffee with Cream

Pouring cream into my Americano at Good Coffee.

Hippo Hardware

Hippo Hardware on East Burnside. The buildings along this stretch of road all have these arcades of the sidewalks, a remnant of a road-widening many years ago.

Purple Rain Street Art

Portlanders are used to riding bikes in the rain, even the Purple Rain.

Towering Hill House

Another impressive house near my Airbnb.

Stumptown Coffee PDX Airport

I had to get one last coffee (or two) before heading back to Texas. Thankfully the was a Stumptown Coffee in the airport.


Have you ever taken a vacation to Portland? Have you ever lived there? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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