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