By Forbes Travel Guide Correspondent Melissa Wilmot / SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
Whether you spend two days or a whole week in Portland, Oregon, you’ll never feel like you had enough time exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of this city on the banks of the Willamette River. Of course, the hope is that you soak in as much as you can in the time you are here, so we have distilled some of our favorite places to stay and play for those looking to savor a quick visit to Oregon’s central city.
Whether you’re a repeat visitor or it’s your first time, you surely know by now that Portland is a city dedicated to bicycles. Riding downtown is safe, easy and a great way to explore. There are several rental options a short walking distance from Hotel Lucia. Once you’re ready to get pedaling, begin with brunch at the chic but comfortable Mother’s Bistro & Bar. The crunchy French toast and egg scrambles are a delicious way to start your day.
Hop back on the bike for a couple blocks to reach Portland’s Waterfront Park, which runs parallel to the Willamette River. For one of the best views of the city and to feel like a resident, ride the two-and-a-half-mile loop that takes you onto the Eastbank Esplanade and over two bridges.
Eventually, cruise back to Hotel Lucia to get into your car. Drive a half hour northwest of the city to Sauvie Island, the largest island in the Columbia River. Spend the rest of the day exploring family farms, a wildlife refuge and sandy beaches. In the fall, have fun and challenge yourselves at the Pumpkin Patch corn maze or stop by Kruger’s Farm to pick as many berries and fresh produce as you can eat before driving back to the city, happy and tired.
As Portland is known for the more than 500 food carts that line streets, make the final dining stops of your stay at a few of these stalls, so you can properly enjoy tasty food while supporting locally owned businesses and chefs. Whether you choose vegan at Juniper, Hawaiian from 808 Grinds or Himalayan at Momo Cart, you’ll surely find something to delight every sense. And doesn’t that kind of perfectly sum up your two days in the City of Roses?