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A Love Letter to Portland {& The Top 9 Places You'll Love, Too!}

The City of Roses is red,

Violets are blue,

Shout out to Portland,

This one's for you.

My fiancé, Taylor, was recently on spring break from being the Teacher of the Century and we knew it was the perfect time for a little engagement-moon. Because now that baby-moons are a thing, we think it's only appropriate to celebrate this new chapter of our lives, too. I had been to Portland, Oregon about 10 years ago when I snowboarded on Mt. Hood (insert nostalgia here). It has since been a place that I knew I wanted to return to with someone special. And thanks to the locals, (and to a few close friends for the suggestions) our time was everything I wanted it to be and then some.

To spread the love and put some good wanderlust vibes into the world, here are the top places you should visit on your engagement-moon, baby-moon, divorce-moon or whatever milestone you're seeking to celebrate.

{p r e l u d e} Before we even get to the secret sauce, let's let this marinate. Because if you go to Portland and you don't have a place already lined up, no need to panic. Rent an Airbnb. It allows you to stay in some of the best places at a decent price. The Airbnb that we stayed in was called, "Tiny House Portland," located in the Southeast part of the city. Southeast Portland has a lot to offer; cute shops, great restaurants and a lovely neighborhood feel. The highlight in the neighborhood was most definitely the Horse Brass Pub, an English-style pub that's been a staple in the city since the 1970's.

Also, why not drive a Mercedes smart car that makes it too easy to park while you're checking out a new city? It took one day to register and become a member. We enjoyed the comfortability and independence that this service provided us in addition to the occasional Uber or public transportation jaunt.

Okay, okay. Let's get this party started.

Address: 1100 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97202

You guys. They make these biscuits right in the restaurant. Taylor and I managed to drool over every item on the menu before deciding on the "Hash up" and the "Biscuits with meat." I would eat there every single morning. Shout out to Melissa from Pine State who gave us great suggestions on places to go while in Portland and even gave us the tip, "Portlanders love lines, but they are not very good at them." Touche, Melissa. Touche.

{t w o} Pittock Mansion,

Address: 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210

This beautiful home was built in the 1900's and provides one of the best views in the city. We drove our Car2Go up the steep incline and parked it for a bit to check out the sights. If you wanna see the killer views, don't bother bringing your wallet. It's free if you simply want to sneak a peek.

{t h r e e} Powell's Books

Address: 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Taylor and I could spend hours in this bookstore. It's one of the largest book stores in DA WORLD. Seriously though, you gotta go. Taylor and I grabbed a couple treasures and walked over to Deschutes for some brews and reading.

{f o u r} WildFang

Address: 1230 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Okay, my stylish ladies. This place is for you. Taylor and I have been ordering from this website for years and we finally had the chance of checking out their home turf. It was as great as I suspected and we managed to leave the place with only a floral blazer and a "Wild" sweatshirt. PS: I rock their "Feminist" hat and "Wild" hat just about every weekend.

{f i v e} ¿Por Qué No?

Address: 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

Let's just say we went to this place twice. They serve you margaritas while in line. Do I need to say more? Oh, and the tacoooooossssss. This place provides you with the perfect backdrop for conversations and late night bites. I recommend you get the homemade salsa & guacamole, 1 carnitas taco and 1fish taco! But I'm just speaking from a friend, of course.

Their donuts slaayyyyyy. I got the donut covered in bacon and goodness. We heard a lot about Voodoo doughnuts but after lots of talk, we decided to give Blue Star Donuts a try. And we were NOT disappointed. The staff was super friendly and the donuts were out of this world. I might have to ship some my way to fix my next donut craving.

{s e v e n} Multnomah Falls

{s i d e b a r} Make sure to bring:

a rain coat


and your hiking shoes. The hike to the top of the falls is worth it. (For my camera people: I hiked with my Hasselblad, Tripod, and Mark diii. It was a bit heavy, but loved having all my gear there to capture the beauty, Plus, I was able to get both of us in a photo!) Taylor and I took the scenic route which is about 45 minutes outside of Portland. It was well worth the drive since we were able to stop along the way to visit other beautiful spots and waterfalls.

{e i g h t} Pok Pok Portland

Oh my goodness, Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. You get fresh chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized Vietnamese fish sauce and garlic and served with Cu Cai (pickled vegetables). We also got the Phat Khanaeng, which was stir-fried brussels sprouts with Thai chilies, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce. OMG!!! I am having withdrawals just writing this... wahhhhhhh.

Have a glass of wine and get the clam chowder. We sat in a booth that looked over Haystack Rock which had one of the most gorgeous views! It was a perfect way to end our trip. Trinh Le was our server (who was fabulous) and she provided us with other great places we will have to venture to next time we are in Oregon.

*mic drop*

While you're here, binge on this. Or, check out the top five places to visit in Pittsburgh!

All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.

For more information, please contact Emma at

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