welcome to portland, i’m so glad to have you here! i have lived in PDX for a little over two years now and it has easily become one of my favorite cities on this earth! from the abundance of plant based cuisine to quaint neighborhoods and curated boutiques, there is so much to experience in this fun and rather small city. this is my first post in what i hope to be a series of travel guides helping you navigate new cities in a sustainable manor. in this post i’ll be featuring my favorite local places to visit in portland, oregon, should you only have a weekend to do so. shopping, dining, a little pampering, and more. let’s go!
WHERE TO STAY
i kicked off my weekend in portland by checking into the iconic and historic Ace Hotel, located in a neat area in downtown Portland. the Ace Hotel sits above the infamous Stumptown Coffee, which makes for a convenient treat in the mornings. i was even able to bring my tea mug from Stumptown up to my room, so as to avoid the single use to-go cups that always seem to be hanging around. the room has so many cozy details like a record player, old fashioned room key system, and a gorgeous clawfoot bathtub with a sliding wooden door that opens to the rest of the room. a literal dream. the Ace Hotel also has bikes for rent, which is such a wonderful (and sustainable) way to get around the city as it’s very cyclist friendly. on the sustainability front, the Ace uses up-cycled/recycled furniture for their interior needs, and refrains from supplying single use plastics in each room — no mini shampoos here folks. i think these are such wonderful initiatives and so thrilled to have a hotel in portland leading the way. if you are looking for an authentic stay, i can’t think of another place more prime than the Ace Hotel!
health + wellness are no strangers to portland. not only is portland an incredibly green city when it comes to the environment, but it is known for it’s abundance of health food stores, plant powered cuisine, and of course, wellness. one of my favorite places to refresh my mind and body is Barre3, a yoga/pilates/ballet bar studio which was founded in portland. you can find Barre3 studios all over the country, but i can’t help but be bias to the studios here in portland as this is where it all began. their classes are refreshing and push you in all the best ways! my favorite is the pearl studio, where these photos were taken at — the natural light makes working out so much more enjoyable. such a wholesome company with focuses on female empowerment and positivity. they also sell some seriously cute activewear by some of my favorite brands! it’s really easy to pop in for a one-off class, so i would certainly recommend Barre3 if you’re looking to loosen up after your travels to the city.
another local business that i admire so very much is the Blooming Moon Wellness Spa, portland’s first and only eco-friendly spa. from nail polish to facial ingredients, they use all natural, ethically sourced, sustainable products, which i LOVE. whether i am getting a manicure or massage, i always feel at peace knowing that everything that is being put on my body is free from harsh chemicals. the spa is located in a charming northeast portland home, converted into the business. with neutral tones, essential oils diffusing, and soft music, you are sure to feel zen from the moment you walk in. truly cannot recommend the Blooming Moon enough!
before your session, you are greeted in a beautiful and bright lounge with yummy herbal tea to sip on. on this particular day i went in for their custom sixty minute holistic facial + eyebrow waxing — the perfect treat after a travel journey or just when you’re feeling a little on edge. i met with Ashley Wagner, one of the four estheticians at the spa and she was so sweet. we had great conversation as she talked me through everything she was putting on my skin, which you can see in the image above! it was a tranquil experience with a dimly lit room, wonderful aroma, and soft music playing as i was getting my facial, which also included a relaxation massage of the neck, arms, and hands. sign me up.
portland has no shortage of plant based cuisine, and i might even say it is the best place to live with a plant powered diet. i could go on for hours about plant based eateries in PDX, but for now i will list a few that really stand out! first up is Virtuous Pie, an entirely plant based pizzeria serving intricate pizzas, amazing salads, and drool worthy vegan ice cream to top it all off. i recently popped in to try their new menu items and could cry tears of joy. i know i sound dramatic, but do yourself a favor and come taste for yourself! to leave no waste at the end of your meal, you can request that your pizza be served without parchment paper underneath. otherwise, they have a great landfill, recycling, and compost system in place. Virtuous Pie is conscious when it comes to the environment by sourcing compostable to-go cutlery/containers and donating excess food to Urban Gleaners, a portland based non-profit dedicated to keeping food waste out of landfills by giving it to those in need around the city. such wonderful efforts and such a sweet eatery.
the second eatery i would like to highlight is Canteen, a wholesome health food cafe serving plant based bowls, smoothies, and fresh juices amongst other things! i am such a fan of literally every item on the menu here — you really can’t go wrong. something that i love about Canteen, aside from it’s cute interior atmosphere and steamed kale (idk what they do differently but it’s just the best i’ve ever had), is that they serve everything in actual glassware when you’re eating in. i can’t think of another juice bar that serves you in real cups; it’s always a plastic to-go cup, lid, and straw regardless of if you are eating in or not. Canteen does it right and i really admire that about them! my favorite menu items pictured here — parfait with cashew cream, walnut taco salad, post standard juice, tropical greens smoothie, and E3Live shot for a little extra morning boost. but like i said, you can’t order wrong.
fun fact: canteen has a sister company called SIP, which is a small juice cart, located on NE Alberta Street. they also serve in real glasses when dining “for here”. for those who are looking to take on the go, SIP uses compostable cups and offers rewards to those who bring their own reusable items! i don’t know about you but i’m definitely signing up for that.
if you’re wanting to do a little shopping while you’re in town, i would make a stop at EcoVibe Apparel, located on NE Alberta Street. not only is EcoVibe a member of 1% for the planet (a neat charitable organization), they also make it easy to shop your values by labeling each piece with some key factors about the product and how it came to be. i personally am keen on clothing made with natural fibers, so i loved being able to browse and use the tags for reference! EcoVibe has mostly women’s apparel and accessories, but they do have a small men’s section as well. i was really drawn to this modal jumpsuit of theirs and put it to test at the beach…it is the softest, most comfortable article of clothing i have ever put on my body and i would highly recommend to any and all. i swear i felt better knowing how my clothing was made. love this shop and i hope you do too!
another local business that i absolutely admire is Seven Sisters, a boutique shop dedicated to consciously curating small brands with a focus on natural fibers, small batch ethical production, organic and natural products, and women owned brands. jillian, the owner, is so super sweet & curates the most beautiful products from apparel to natural skincare to really cool tote bags and compostable earrings — she is queen and this shop rules. i picked up some organic cotton, made in the usa intimates from Pansy Co, which i have been eyeing for sooo long as well as this 100% cotton tee from Le Bon Shoppe and really bold linen dress from Rachel Craven, also made in the usa. seriously could purchase just about everything in this shop with a smile on my face. if you are gal who loves all things natural and ethical, this is the shop for you.
one of my favorite things about portland is simply walking around and enjoying the great outdoors. if you happen to be here on a saturday, i would absolutely take a morning stroll around the PSU farmers market. multiple blocks of local produce & small businesses. grab a reusable bag & head out — it will not disappoint!
another great stroll is through the iconic powell’s book store, the largest new & used book store in the world. you don’t even have to make a purchase, but spending some time surrounded by books is certainly good for the soul. you can even trade in your used books for cash or store credit. love this system!
if you are looking for something with no cost, yet still enjoyable, spend a few hours in mt tabor park in SE portland. tons of simple walking trails, shaded areas for lounging or picnicking, and such a tranquil escape from the city. i love that this park is right within the city but feels like you’re many miles away. the best activities in life are free!
wrapping things up for this post — i hope you enjoyed reading and were able to gain insight on how to experience portland in a wholesome way. if you happen to take on any of these activities, let me know over on instagram, it would certainly make me smile. enjoy portland and be well. until next time.