There were a lot of ohs and ahs when I told people I would be visiting Portland. And I have heard great things about this city for quite awhile. So the bar was set pretty darn high. So did it live up to expectations? Read on and find out...
Bright and early Saturday morning we arrived in style on the SS Legacy. Portland was the last stop on our UnCruise Adventure Rivers of Adventure journey. After disembarking we loaded onto a bus for a tour of the city. Fairly short and sweet it provided an excellent overview of the city and helped us to get our bearings. This is how I typically like starting out my visits to new cities when possible.
One of the places we got to check off our Portland to-do list was the Rose Test Garden. A signature landmark of the city, there are over 10,000 varieties of roses featured. The garden is open daily and admission is free. While great city views are offered year-round, the best rose-viewing months are May through September. Between the sights and smells it's a lovely sensory overload. Tip: combine this with a visit to the adjacent Japanese Garden. We had to return the next day as our bus tour continued.
After our tour wrapped up, we popped into our hotel but as it was still before noon our room as anticipated wasn't ready. So seeing as it was Saturday it was obvious to us what our next move had to be...the Portland Saturday Market! The largest, continuously operating open-air arts and crafts market in the country it's a mecca of locally handmade arts, crafts and foods from the Pacific Northwest. After a week on a small cruise-ship we had become accustomed to three squares a day and it was lunch hour, so the food carts were our first stop! If you don't know, now you'll know...Portland is legendary for it's food cart scene! Unique in that unlike mobile food trucks in other cities, most here are stationary in groups dubbed pods. There were a wide variety of choices in this pod and it was a tough call but I had to go with a pupusa. It did not disappoint, trust.
The Rose Hotel