Oregon will always have a special place in my heart. My mom and I visited for the first time in November 2018 and immediately fell in love with the state! It has a way of pulling you in and leaving you speechless and the coast is full of beauty! I can’t recommend a trip to Oregon enough and this guide to help you prepare for your amazing trip!
1. Every gas station has an attendant and it is illegal to pump your own gas. Once you pull up the attendant will come over and ask you how much you want filled and then you pay in cash. It’s definitely a perk in the winter!
2. A lot of the streets in the city are one way. Make sure you follow your GPS to a tee or else you’ll be doing lost of circles around the block.
3. Many shops in downtown Portland don’t open until 10 am. So sleep in a little and then grab a coffee at one of the many cafes before you go shopping.
4. We had no idea weed was legal here until we went to the grocery store and there was a dispensary across the street. Oregon is very open minded and that’s something we love about the state!
5. The drivers are so nice and courteous but that can also make it dangerous when letting pedestrians cross. It is shocking how little we heard people honk their horn, it’s very peaceful!
6. Try and be in the city before rush hour traffic or else it’s terrible trying to navigate the highway and bridges. We stayed in an Airbnb about 15 mins from downtown and when we went downtown for dinner it was always a nightmare because you have to cross one of the many bridges. Therefore either take public transportation or leave early so you don’t miss a reservation.
7. We were pleasantly surprised that most stores are plastic free so you either bring your own bag or get a paper bag at grocery stores and when taking things to go at restaurants.
8. Portland has nature all around, they have many parks and hiking trails in the city. The Colombia River Gorge has a variety of hikes and hundreds of waterfalls only 30 min from downtown.
9. Everyone is so nice and helpful. I have never met kinder people who ask you how your doing or just say hi when you’re walking around the city. A great memory is when my mom and I went to Dutch Bros Coffee and ordered a hot chocolate. We asked for directions so a few of the staff came out and gave us great directions and asked us where were we from. We said from Toronto and this was our first time trying this company and the barista gave us the drink for free!
10. There are food trucks everywhere, they are popular and quite cheap. 5th avenue food cart pod is an entire block of food trucks serving many Middle Eastern and Asian dishes.
11. The food in Portland is unreal, you will rarely have a bad meal! Some of my favorite spots include Pine State biscuits, Thai peacock, Victoria bar, Drunken noodle and Grassa. My favourite dessert places are Voodoo donuts which are a must, Salt and Straw for the best ice cream EVER and Pip’s original donuts!
12. A lot of people park on the roads so it makes it hard to navigate the side streets since they can be narrow.
13.The head quarters of Nike are here so they do have an outlet with discounted items! To be honest they don’t have the greatest deals from what you would find at an outlet in Canada.
14. In Oregon there is no tax which is a nice change and helps save a little money!
15. Eating out here is very interesting, all the restaurants we ate at except one, someone actually served us. Almost all restaurants will have you order at the cash before you sit down, give you a number and the food is brought to you and then once you’re done you’re free to go. The only confusing part is that when you pay with debit/credit they prompt you to tip them but if they aren’t serving you it’s confusing on why they would ask for a tip. A couple places even made you bus your table once you are finished. I guess if you don’t want to tip then try and pay cash when eating at restaurants that don’t serve you. Overall, it was a very weird experience and not something I have ever seen before.
I hope this post has helped you know what to except when planning a trip to Oregon, you won’t regret it! Or if you have been, i’m curious what your experiences were. Have you experienced any of the things I have mentioned above?