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Thing That Makes Me Happy: #62

July 1, 2010

I’m in Oregon right now with my fiance, Erik, on mad dash across the Portland metro area in an attempt to secure a photographer, videographer and DJ for our wedding. But even though I’m on “vacation”, I can’t stop the momentum of “Things That Make Me Happy” considering I have a mere 3 months to finish my 101 item list! Since I’m in Oregon right now, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to share a bit about what makes me so happy about Oregon.

#62: Oregon

I am not one of those people who moved across the country as soon as she could because she loathes where she comes from. I love where I come from. I could sing the praises of Oregon until the cows come home. When I tell people I’m from Oregon, a common response is, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to go there. I hear it’s beautiful!”

Well, my friend, it is. Here are some examples:

The Oregon Coast

A bit of Portland from the Portland Rose Gardens

Mt. Hood

Trees. We have a lot of these here.


Occasionally I actually hear from people who are going to be visiting Oregon and they ask me if I have any suggestions for them (actually, I generally don’t wait for people to ask, but in the hypothetical land of “Allison Minds Her Own Business,” this is what I would do). Here are my top things to do if you ever visit the City of Roses:

Allison’s Top Things To Do in Portland:
1. Powell’s Bookstore:

By far, this is my happy place. Land of books. They have an online store where you can purchase books at a ridiculous discount and it is lovely, but their story is even lovelier. Divided into “topical” rooms that are colored, you have the Blue Room for Literature, the Gold Room for Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Purple Room for History and other social sciences, and the Red Room for Travel/Spirituality/Health and other “improve yourself” subjects. Love, love, love. Considering it is located in Downtown Portland, there is no reasonable excuse any of you could have for not going. So there.

2. Multnomah Falls and the Gorge

Multnomah Falls (see the picture above) is gorgeous, and while a quintessential Oregon tourist stop, it is well worth the visit for the view, especially in late spring/early fall when the runoff water from Mt. Hood is at its highest. Multnomah Falls is actually forty-five minutes due east from Portland, but assuming you’ve rented a card, this should definitely be added to your sightseeing list.

3. McMenanmin’s

On your way back from Multnomah Falls? Then stop by northwest born-and-bred brewery, McMenanmin’s Edgefield in Troutdale. Not up for a road trip? Then stop by any one of the dozen or so McMenamin’s hot spots in the Portland area. Up for pizza and beer while watching a move in the theater? Hit up the Baghdad theater on NE Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne is also decorated with funky shops that give a real eclectic, hippie feel to Portland. McMenamin’s will give a visitor a true taste of a Portland pub without being too difficult to find or out of the way.

4. Northwest 23rd

Not into hippies? No worries. On the other side of town (and about ten blocks from Powells) is Northwest 23rd, a tree-lined street filled with charming boutiques, a delicious deli with to-die for desserts and my favorite new age bookstore. Are you a fan of crepes? Head down a few blocks to Vivace, where their funky antique chairs complement their delicious sweet and savory crepes and, of course, a perfect cup of Portland coffee (just be warned – it can get crowded!).

5. Saturday Market

No trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Portland’s Saturday (and Sunday!) Market in downtown Portland, just across Front Avenue from the Willamette River. Open from spring until Christmas, the Saturday Market is home to hundreds of local artisans and craftspeople and some very yummy vendor food. My favorite thing to do there is get a bit of henna done, and I’ve also picked up some handmade jewelry. Performance artists and musicians also abound, so it’s perfect for browsing – both the goods and the people who visit!

If you are planning a visit to Oregon, please let me know! I would love to point out a few more specifics and get to know more about what you like to do.

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5 Comments
  1. July 1, 2010 10:06 AM

    I’m sure I’ll be emailing you closer to the end of the summer. We will be in Portland October 9-11, running the marathon on the 10. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to go to the giant bookstore!!

  2. July 1, 2010 10:36 AM

    Ok thank you for making my decision for grad school that much easier. I’ve had the University of Oregon on the top of my list so far (I’m from Ohio, so it’s kind of far away) and now it is even higher (if that’s possible). Ahhh it is beautiful, and I can definitely understand why it makes you happy :)

  3. Autumn permalink
    July 1, 2010 10:48 AM

    Reading this post makes me homesick. I miss Oregon. Great shot from the coast btw.

  4. July 1, 2010 12:29 PM

    Really, I have always wanted to go there. :) Ever since my first grade best friend Carrie moved to Oregan and I never heard from her again. LOL.
    It does look beautiful.
    Good luck with the wedding stuff.

  5. July 2, 2010 10:03 AM

    Oh so funny you wrote about Oregon today, we were just watching that BBC Earth documentary on Life and it’s all nature and how animals survive etc. and they were showing Oregon! It looks so lovely there. And bookstores = SWOON :)

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