Portland, Oregon is the perfect destination for your next girls trip. It’s the dream destination for the outdoor enthusiast in your life and your fellow foodies. Portland may not be the first place you would think of for a girl’s trip, but just wait until you learn what this gem of the Pacific Northwest has to offer!
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Your Perfect Girlfriend Trip Itinerary to Portland
If you’re looking for Portland’s best restaurants, hotels, landmarks, day trips, or even the perfect Instagram spots – I have you covered! I’ve created the ultimate Portland guide to plan your perfect girls trip!
Must See in Portland, Oregon
The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a calming escape from city life in the heart of downtown. There’s a teahouse inside the garden where you can sip hot tea with your girlfriends and take in the beautiful ambiance.
Admission: $12.95 | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. |
What girl doesn’t love roses? The International Rose Test Garden embraces Portland’s nickname as the “City of Roses”. It’s the longest-running rose test garden in the country with over 10,000 beautiful rose bushes just waiting for you to smell and photograph!
The garden is located in Washington Park with skyline views of downtown and Mount Hood. The primary purpose of the garden is to serve as a testing ground for new rose varieties.
The roses are in bloom from late May through October. Did I mention the entrance is free?! Make sure to not miss out on this gorgeous free Portland attraction.
Admission: FREE | Hours: 07:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The Portland Japanese Garden is tucked within Washington Park. These gardens are filled with gorgeous cherry blossoms and koi ponds with the essence of a zen-like tranquility flowing through every detail. It’s the perfect spot to appreciate a serene place filled with nothing but beauty.
The Pittock Mansion is a must see for anyone who enjoys architecture and history! Pittock Mansion sits on top of a hill with photocard photo worthy views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood. If you visit on a nice day, the ground outside the mansion is a popular spot for a picnic.
Admission: Free to walk the grounds, $12 to tour the mansion
You can’t visit Portland without visiting the largest independent bookstore in the world! Powell’s City of Books has over a million new and used books. You’ll find a genre for every interest with books floor to ceiling across three floors, nine rooms, and 3,500 different sections.
Powell’s has four locations around the city, but the flagship location that has over 1 million books is on Burnside Street.
“Hop” on a BrewCycle
Craft beer and bicycles- it doesn’t get more Portland than that! Portland is known for its craft beer scene. What better way to try different local breweries than on a beer bicycle! BrewCycle is perfect for groups of all sizes!
Each ride is two hours and you’ll visit 3 different breweries for 25 minutes at each bar. We stopped at Base Camp Brewing, Lucky Lab Brewing and Rouge Eastside.
Cost for the BrewCycle is $35 per person
The Most Instagrammable Spots in Portland
Do it for the ’gram! These iconic landmarks are guaranteed to show off Portland’s personality and rack up the likes.
St. John’s Bridge
St. John’s Bridge is one of the most picturesque bridges in Portland. The best photo is on the ground level right underneath the bridge at Cathedral Park. The architecture looks stunning from this angle! This is a great spot to spend some relaxing time in the park with your friends.
Old Town Portland Sign
The white stag welcomes passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists crossing the Burnside Bridge. Originally a sign for White Satin Sugar, it’s now a designated Portland historic landmark. The best photo angle of the Old Town Portland Sign is on the pedestrian side of the Burnside Bridge!
If the bubblegum pink boxes and colorful murals outside the shop aren’t instagramable enough, then the outrageous donuts will steal the show. Fruit-loop coated donuts, bacon bars and voodoo doll-shaped donuts filled with jelly “blood” are just the beginning.
Portland Marquee Sign
The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, that locals call the “The Schnitz,” is most recognizable by its bright marquee and “Portland” sign. The best spot to photograph the marquee sign is across the street.
Where to Eat in Portland
Brunch at Broder
Broder brings a new twist to the Portland brunch scene with a Scandinavian inspired menu.
For the best experience order both sweet and savory dishes! Start with Danish aebleskivers ( fluffy pancake balls) to share for the table with homemade lingonberry jams. For lovers of Bloody Marys, you must try their “Danish Mary” made with aquavit.
Lunch at Cheese and Crack
I still dream of these beautifully assembled cheese boards at Cheese and Crack! Every charcuterie features a different cheese from around the globe and your choice of cured meats, olives, honey, housemade cookies, crackers and baguette. To drink they have a variety of local craft beer, wine, frosé (frozen rosé wine slushies) and prosecco on tap. Service here is quick and casual. For larger groups plan to arrive earlier in the day to snag a table.
Dessert at Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw in Portland is known for their unique handmade ice cream flavors. They’re made with all-natural dairy and local ingredients, as well as some imported ingredients from handpicked farms.
Pear and blue cheese or strawberry honey balsamic are just a few of the types of flavors you’ll find at Salt & Straw! If you can’t pick just one – you can have a “split-scoop” of two different flavors, or a “tasting flight” of six different flavors to savor or share.
Blue Star Donuts takes the crown for the best donuts I’ve ever had! The glaze and fillings they use have real organic fruits, and the difference speaks for itself in their incredible flavors. I loved Blue Star’s blueberry bourbon basil, or the raspberry old fashioned donut!
Where to Stay in Portland
Tiny houses are all the rage now, and if you want to know what it’s like to share 120-170 square feet with your friends, this is the place to give it a try! Here’s the link to the exact Tiny Cabin we stayed in!
We fell in love with this “Tiny House” just 15 minutes from downtown. It couldn’t have been more charming, and it had everything we needed! It is in fact “tiny”, and I would only recommend it for two people. We rented a car, and with free parking at this AirBnb it was so much easier than paying for parking in a downtown hotel.
If it’s your first time using AirBnb, use my link here for a free credit off your stay!
The Society Hotel is perfect for travelers looking for a chic ambiance on a budget. It has a trendy coffee shop in the lobby with a stunning rooftop bar with views of the city. You can choose to stay in a shared room, share just a bathroom, or opt for a private suite. It’s located in the Old Chinatown neighborhood just a short walk away from Lan Su Chinese Garden.
Walking inside The Kimpton Hotel Monaco, you’ll feel as if you stepped inside the home of a world traveler, with whimsical and vintage touches everywhere you turn. \
Heathman Hotel $$$$
If you like history, fantasy, and ghost stories, then you need to stay at The Heathman Hotel. There are rumored to be ghost stories surrounding this historic hotel – even those the hotel staff will quickly deny this. Rooms ending in “03” have been reported as seeing the most paranormal activity.
But aside from the ghosts residing inside, The Heathman Hotel takes luxury to a whole new level. The hotel was built in the 1920’s with elegant décor, and guests will love the hospitality from their professional staff.
Portland Travel Tips
What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Portland?
Portland is the perfect summer destination! If you want to spend more of your time outdoors, I would plan visiting during the summer.
May through August are your warmest months, but these months will have the most visitors. For fewer crowds in the summer, visit during a weekday rather than over the weekend.
How Long Should I Stay in Portland?
You could easily spend weeks in Portland and the surrounding area. If you’re looking to stay in the city, you could easily see the main sites of Portland in 48 hours.
If you’re interested in taking day trips to the Oregon coast, wine tasting, or hiking waterfall trails in the Columbia River Gorge, I would add 2-3 extra days to your trip. I recommend taking at least one day trip outside of Portland!
Should I Rent a Car?
Portland has a convenient MAX light rail and bus system, but if you plan on taking my recommendations for any day trips, I recommend renting a car! If you rent a car, parking downtown is easy and low cost. We never paid more than $15 a day for downtown parking.
The city also has several bike share programs (including Biketown which has 100 stations across the city) if biking around downtown is more your style. Portland is very bike friendly!
Best Day Trips Outside of Portland
If you’re interested in taking any trips outside of the city, I recommend renting a car. A car will give you the freedom and flexibility you need to explore the various regions near Portland.
The Trail of Ten Falls, Silver Falls State Park
Trail of Ten Falls Loop Hike
Distance: 7.8 Miles
I highly recommend a day trip to hike this gorgeous trail in Silver Falls State Park to see not one, but TEN waterfalls! Silver Falls State Park is 70 miles from downtown Portland.
The whole trial is all within a 7.2 mile loop through the beautiful lush foothills of the Cascade Mountains. They have well-marked trail signs with the name of each waterfall so you know you won’t miss them. Some trails even go behind the waterfalls for stunning views!
I would recommend around two to three hours to complete this hike. If you don’t want to complete the full loop, there are different shortcuts you can take.
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is beautiful! This is where you’ll find the famous Multnomah WaterFall that should be on everyone’s itinerary! In the Columbia River Gorge you’ll find hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls, and wineries.
Final Thoughts on Portland
You can’t go wrong with a summer girls trip to Portland! You’ll burn off all the amazing food you’ll eat on beautiful trial hikes or a bike ride. Spend an afternoon browsing the books shelves at Powell’s, and end your day with ice cream at Salt and Straw. No matter what you decide to plan for your Portland trip you’ll appreciate all of Portland’s unique quirks that truly makes “Portland Weird”.
Would you plan a girls trip to Portland? What things in this Portland guide would you want to do the most?
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