A Perfect Autumn Day in Portland Oregon

Every year we wait with anticipation of fall, its so gorgeous in Portland Oregon. I wouldn’t consider this a typical crisp fall day, but Oh the colors! South Park Blocks a favorite spot of Portland University students is filled with local families and hand in hand lovers. The coffee houses along the street have a hefty fragrance of java in the air beckoning all who stroll by. Reaching towards the sky golden autumn leaves were falling like snow onto the path before us.

A beautiful fall day in Portland, Oregon

A beautiful fall day in Portland!


Portland tram system coming to a stop at a local park

Tram coming into the park. Portland has a great transportation system.


Statues of Theodore Roosevelt sitting proudly atop his Rough Riders sturdy steed and bigger than life president Abe Lincoln for some reason made me think of the movie “Night at the Museum”. Squirrels in search of acorns beneath as the last of the summer birds sitting atop added to the atmosphere of fall. Long wooden benches still had people relaxing and chatting with friends enjoying the last of the good days before winter hits.


Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in Portland Oregon

Statue of Theodore Roosevelt


Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in Portland Oregon

Another view of Theodore on his equine friend


Our next stop the Alphabet district, a must for all visitors to Portland is a trendy street that also gives Portland is weird mystique has a 60’s-ish  feeling. But don’t Bohemian shops of semi psychedelic remnants of the past scare you, there are also quality shops there too. My favorite reason to spend time here is the food. Restaurant, cafes and bakeries line the street, you have so many choices its hard to choose. One of the busiest restaurants is Papa Hayden’s, the closest to a traditional French Cafe in Portland. It has everything from quiche to Croque Monsieur, salads to pasta or soups to steak and frites. What really makes Papa Hayden’s one of the most popular eateries is their fresh made desserts. Oh my goodness they are incredible and you want to try them all! Starting with delicate Parisian macarons you can go hog wild with creamy boccone dolce cake. There is so much to choose from.

Since we ate before driving to Portland we passed on a restaurant meal and went straight for the sweets. Most people who visit know about VooDoo Doughnuts but we much prefer Blue Star here. But maybe we should have some heavenly ice cream at Salt and Straw. It was a hard decision but we had both! Blue Star unlike VooDoo has a very short wait but the quality is so much better. Unique artisan flavors like bourbon berry, basil lemon, passion fruit, Valrhona dark chocolate, Tiamasu or maple bacon just to name a few. They also have plain glazed and fritters if you like traditional doughnuts.


Fresh donuts sitting on a tray at a donut shop

They don’t overdo with loads of donuts in a display case. There are a few out on the counter at all times of each flavor but plenty in the back of the shop.


Chocolate glazed donut dripping in ganache

Dripping in chocolate. Am I making you hungry yet?



Can we say yummmmm?


Girl biting into a chocolate donut

My son’s girlfriend biting into a fresh one.


Salt and Straw quickly becoming one of the most iconic designer ice cream makers in Oregon. You will love the choice of flavors like goat cheese marionberry habenero, rhubarb crumble with toasted anise, lavender & honey, olive oil & bitter orange, carrot cake or avocado strawberry sherbet to name a few. These unique flavors may not fit your sweet tooth, for those who like more traditional the sea salt caramel is delish as with chocolate, vanilla and my fave Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon. Those flavors alone are enough to make even the most healthy eaters drool!


menu of ice cream flavors

Look at all these cool flavors


ice cream in a cup

Here is my coffee bourbon ice cream!


Walking along the fall colors, gorging on delectable sweets it was time to take in some Portland history. We got in the car and drove to Lake Oswego to visit the first Iron Furnace site west of the Rockies. Built along the Willamette River in 1867 the business was key in putting Portland on the map by hiring many to work the mill. The small town of Lake Oswego grew quickly with homes, hotels, even an opera house. The original furnace is still standing today along with a few smaller remnants of the past. Its also a fun place for swimming in the summer with a small beach to sunbathe.


The main furnace of the Lake Oswego Iron Works near Portland Oregon

The main furnace of the Lake Oswego Iron Works is still standing!


Along the Willamette River at the Iron Furnace at Lake Oswego Oregon

Along the Willamette River at the Iron Works is so peaceful.


Its been a fun day and nice to get away from typical life. Hope you enjoyed our short adventure in Portland with us!


  1. Nice and informative. Nice pictures by the way.

  2. Any time I visit Portland it’s a perfect day! Like you, it almost always included donuts too! I love that city!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Exactly! Portland and donuts are like peanut butter and jelly, goes together so well!

  3. Fall is my favorite time of year, and Portland sounds like a great place to experience it! Especially with all those yummy snacks you mentioned…

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      There is just something so special about Fall. All the colors, all the great foods, it’s perfect!

  4. Portland is my favorite city in the US, and I’ve been proud to call it home before. Your photos are great, and I miss the autumn colors there. While my current home base of Edinburgh has a lot of similarities to Portland, the trees there are certainly better.

    Oh, and Voo Doo Donuts are definitely overrated! I’ll have to try Blue Star the next time I’m in town.

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      OMG are you living in Edinburgh, Scotland? My husbands family is from there, what an awesome place to live! Between Portland and Edinburgh you have had the best of both worlds. Also completely agree with you about the trees they are much better here in the Northwest. 🙂

  5. I have yet to visit Oregon and I really want to do some great hiking there. Portland looks like a cool place to explore and take advantage of all the good eats!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Oh yes, the hiking here in Oregon is incredible! The Cascades are close to Portland with most trails having a hidden surprise around every corner. And the foods in Portland are never ending. You will love it here just for those two reasons alone! 🙂

  6. The more I see of Portland the more I want to visit, it looks like a nice city to explore and the colour of autumn make it look rather lovely!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Portland is one of our favorite cities to visit. Between the great culinary vibe and historic character of the city you can’t beat it. Hope you can make it out west to see it yourself sometime!

  7. We were in Oregon City, close to Portland. Oregon is pretty like Seattle with the Fall charm of the Pacific Northwest.

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      So true Carol Portland and Seattle both have amazing colors to gaze at in the Fall. Nothing like finding a nice grove of tree’s with your coffee to enjoy the season!

  8. Really? Who doesn’t like autumn? The changing of colours is just too pretty!

  9. Thanks for sharing a nice post about fall in PDX. The “eating donut” photo is pretty funny. I have still never waited in line to go to Voodoo Donuts, I’m impatient. When did you go to the shop? Also, that furnace, cool, love historic treats like that! Cheers.

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      You have not had to wait at VooDoo Donuts yet? Wow, that is incredible! Every time we have gone the line is around the corner, I need your secret on how you do that! 🙂 It’s usually late morning or early afternoon when we get there. Although we do prefer Blue Star Donuts over VooDoo.

  10. The colours of October are indeed fascinating. Come autumn the earth seems to have worn a multi coloured dress with intricate designs and hues. The chocolates look really too good to eat!

    • twotravelfanatics@gmail.com

      Nothings better than the brilliant colors of autumn and Portland is filled with some of the best chocolates in the U.S. too.

  11. Wow, it looks so pretty! I love the shots. The donuts also look amazing 🙂

  12. Looks like a great day! I LOVE Autumn (as we call it in Aus). And that doughnut tho… YUM.

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