As the city that’s bred Nike, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and conveniently benefits from the decriminalization of marijuana in Oregon, it’d be easy to call Portland “chill.” But that’d be totally selling this town short.
Because whether you stick to the downtown city limits in the vicinity of your (fabulous) hotel or venture out to Willamette Valley’s wine country, the destination reveals a much more complex layer of flavors than initially meets the eye. With its diverse restaurant scene, the biggest bookstore in the world and no shortage of outdoor activities, it’s true, “You Can, in Portland.”
We visited PDX to get a pulse on the opening of a new hotel by the Provenance Hotels. This Portland-based hospitality team doesn’t just talk about memorable experiences in their tagline, but truly embodies a guest-first mentality in all they do. With six properties in their portfolio in this city alone, we had to ask, what’s the deal with Portland? Turns out, all we had to do was check-in to find out.
Woodlark is the latest to open under the Provenance Hotels umbrella, with an aim to truly bring a fresh offering to the quickly growing hotel market of the city. A labor of love with deep-rooted history, this chic spot was the product of prime real estate meeting opportunity as two buildings become one to create this 150-room hotel. The Woodlark building was once home to Portland’s first pharmacy and the former Cornelius Hotel. They’ve since been restored, renovated and reborn as Woodlark.
The hotel represents the city’s community of artists, tastemakers and local business owners. With so many unique touches — from cleansing palo santo sticks by local florist Sea of Roses to coffee served up by family-run Good Coffee — guests are sure to feel right at home. Only trouble is, the rich velvet touches in the rooms will have you unsure whether to pass your free time curled up in bed or enjoying the company of like-minded travelers in the communal area. | Book Now >>
Another fantastic downtown option within the Provenance Hotels’ portfolio, Sentinel is an ideal fit for a traveler seeking a more old world luxury vibe. Suites are finished with dark wood accents and cozy checkered blankets drape the bed, making you feel right at home. With in-room fireplaces, you’ll feel so cozy after checking in that a night in with your new read from Powell Books may be just the ticket. We especially love the Terrace Studio Suite, giving you a private outdoor area to relax and take in views of downtown Portland.
Provenance Hotels ensures guest will have a strong connection to local businesses here too as many of the in-room amenities draw on authentic made-in-Portland products like Salt + Straw ice cream. But if you want a little extra something to snack on, head to “The Room at the End of the Hall.” Guests booked into rooms on the sixth floor of the hotel’s West Wing have access to this executive lounge outfitted with tea, coffee and light bites. | Book Now >>
Tasty N’ Adler: The only hard part about eating here is getting in. Their incredible brunch has foodies lined up well before their 9am opening, so don’t be discouraged by a little wait, we assure you it’s worth it. Plates here are meant for sharing; don’t be shy! We recommend ordering the Radicchio “salad” (we use that term lightly as it’s doused in bacon lardons, manchego and topped with a six minute egg) and anything that involves a biscuit. You can thank us later.
Brunch at Tasty N’Adler
Blue Star Donuts: This one needs no explanation, but let us gloat about it anyways. Going to Blue Star Donuts is a rite of passage in PDX. Here, gourmet donuts aren’t just “made for adults” but made for travelers who love supporting local business. The team here is innovative; so expect to find fun flavors like bergamot chocolate, made with the tea of local company, Smith Tea, for a little something extra.
You can’t leave Blue Star without trying *at least* two flavors
Terrane Italian Kitchen & Bar: Located inside the Porter Hotel, a part of Curio Collection, this authentic Italian gem was made for all the carb-lovers out there (so, basically that’s everyone, right?). The chef here makes the pasta on-site, making every bite somehow more enjoyable. Try the ‘Hay & Straw Tagliolini’ made with cream, prosciutto and poppy seeds for something unique to Terrane.
Shallom Y’All: Managed by the same restaurant group as Tasty N’Adler, we love this place for an Israeli flair. You can’t go wrong with anything here; seriously, you could close your eyes and point to something on the menu and we swear it’ll be delish. They have recently expanded to have two locations, so consider venturing to their SE location for a slightly more expanded menu.
Bullard: A project more than two years in the making, Woodlark’s restaurant, Bullard is meant to reflect both chef Doug Adams’ Texas upbringing and his current Oregon home. As a top three contestant on Top Chef, Adams focuses on carefully sourced meat, fish and produce alongside veggie-forward Southern sides. Don’t expect your standard BBQ foods here, folks.
“Where Texas meats Oregon” courtesy of Chef Doug Adams
Little Bird Bistro: As soon as we posted up at the bar for dinner at Little Bird Bistro, we knew it was the kind of place we could get cozy and stay awhile. Sure, maybe the oyster special helped, but then again, maybe it was the manhattans? Either way, we like it here. The seared duck breast is simply fabulous.
Food Cart Scene: So, Portland is all about food no matter which way you slice it, but specifically, food trucks. Some favorites recommended by friends include 808 Grind for their Soyu Chicken, Koi Fusion for the Bulgogi Burrito and Dump Truck for, well, dumplings (duh!). How to find them, you ask? Aside from the easily spotted food truck squares, you can always peruse the latest foodie guides, like this one from Thrillist.
Distilleries + Breweries
A city known for it’s drinking scene, it’s not rocket science. Here are some tastings spots to consider.
Wild Roots: This Portland-based vodka distillery realized that the Willamette Valley’s rich soil, pure water, and exceptional climate allow fruit to develop unparalleled taste and balance, which is crucial for creating an authentic tasting spirit. Stop into their location on Distillery Row in Central Eastside Portland anytime from 12pm to 6pm Wednesday through Sunday for a tasting.
Base Camp: Perfect for the beer-lover in your crew, Base Camp is a distinctly Northwest brew. To experience the latest from the frontier of craft beer, visit their at our brewhouse and taproom in the heart of Portland’s brewery district. Open daily, with extended weekend hours.
If you’re a wino or just someone who loves getting out of the city to explore the countryside, a day-trip out to the Willamette Valley is non-negotiable. We partnered with local experts, The Grape Escape, for a private half-day tasting and loved every minute! With over two decades of experience crafting custom wine experiences in Oregon’s wine country, owner Ralph Stinton is a pro. His long-standing relationships with wineries all over the valley ensure that guests get a top-notch experience.
When a travel advisor partners with Ralph’s team to create a customized tour for their client, it’s all about tapping into The Grape Escape’s detailed knowledge of the nuances of these wineries. So whether you are a wine novice, aficionado, or somewhere in between, they’ll create an outing with wineries matched to you. You’ll take the scenic way out from Portland (approximately an hour drive, dependent upon your first stop) and en route, your expert guide will share info matched to your level of interest.
A highlight of the tasting with Ralph was his genie-like ability to appear with a cheese plate or charcuterie right when you least expected it! One moment we’d be chatting with the resident winemaker over our tasting, and the next, a perfect pairing of bites would appear. Not to mention, several of the wineries in the Willamette Valley do tastings by appointment only. So, partnering with an expert ensured that our visits were all pre-planned. Long-standing relationships with each local winery was a crucial element to the day’s success.
Oh, where do we even begin with the shopping here? Let us just start by saying, there’s no sales tax in Portland. Yep, you heard that right. Shop guilt-free knowing that it’s basically like everything is on sale!
Powell’s City of Books: You can’t go to PDX without a stop in their massive book store, Powell’s. It takes up an entire city block and proudly takes home the title of largest used and new bookstore in the world. Seriously, who knew?
Will Leather Goods: A global traveler, founder Will Adler explores the world to discover unexpected materials and unique worldwide artisans to create the WILL collection. WILL works with factories across the globe who are best suited to make each of their high-quality products.
Danner: This American-made boots company has roots in Portland dating back to 1939. For superior craftsmanship on your next set of boots, look no further. Bonus, there’s a Danner shop right across the street from Powell’s, so you have no excuse not to stop (and shop!).
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West End Select Shop: This women’s shop located in downtown Portland specializes in emerging designers from all over the world.
Wild Fang: The crew here is self-described as a band of modern day Robin Hoods raiding men’s closets. Their aim is to liberate tomboys, one bowtie at at time. Needless to say, we love everything about this place.
Woodlark Hotel | 813 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205
The Sentinel | 614 SW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Tasty N’ Adler | 580 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Terrane Italian Kitchen & Bar | 1355 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97201
Bullard | 813 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205
Little Bird Bistro | 215 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Wild Roots | 135 NE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97232
Base Camp | 930 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214
Custom Wine Tour: The Grape Escape
Powells City of Books | 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209
Will Leather Goods | 816 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
Danner | 1022 W Burnside St i, Portland, OR 97209
West End Select Shop | 927 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205
Wild Fang | 404 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205