Portland is a quaint but simultaneously up-and-coming city nestled in the northwest corner of Oregon, surrounded by evergreens and mountain views with only a short drive to iconic coastal sights such as Astoria and Canon Beach. While many locals complain that this city has lost a lot of it’s “Portlandia” charm due to the rising population of nonnatives, there is still plenty of idiosyncratic art, self expression, and eccentric beauty that keeps this city alive.

While there are countless food carts, wall murals, artistic bridges, and locally owned boutiques scattered throughout Portland, I wanted to highlight a few iconic sights for any sightseer passing through who doesn’t want to miss the top beauties of this coffee drinking, bike commuting, dog loving, Oregonian locale.

Pistils’s Nursery

This little nursery on Mississippi Avenue brings it’s own plant style to North Portland with an assortment of indoor and outdoor greens and every tool an experienced or just getting started gardener needs. If you want to try out your green thumb true Portland style but aren't ready to commit to anything big, Pistil’s offers small cacti for just $3-$5. 


Solabee Flowers and Botanicals

Florals are a big part of the Portland way of life so I couldn’t resist adding another nursery to the list of PTown’s top sights. One fun fact, Solabee did Jonathan and I’s wedding florals so this cute little shop in North Portland always feels close to home. Not only can their arrangements be purchased from their shop on Killingsworth, but they also offer custom wedding and event decorating.


Salt and Straw

With multiple locations throughout PDX there are a couple of givens whenever you go to Salt and Straw for a cone: you will have to wait in a 30 minute line (totally worth it) and then surprise yourself by tasting unconventional flavors such as “Bone Marrow” or “Apple Stuffing.” This is the only ice cream shop in town where employees do not mind handing out 7 samples per person, in fact they encourage it. Salt and Straw also offers many options for those with food allergies so that even the lactose and gluten intolerant individuals leave satisfied.


Tea Bar

Bubble tea at it’s finest comes in little mason jars served up with colorful straws in a bright room filled with plants and cozy chatter. Flavors like lavender, rose, and earl grey can not only be ordered in tea form but also requested as a soft-serve frozen yogurt. This is the perfect place to come on a school break with friends or business meeting with clients. The atmosphere is inspiring and rejuvenating and also provides perfect lighting for a good Instagram photo.


Ace Hotel

This hotel not only provides uniquely decorated rooms but also creative event spaces and little quiet nooks for reading or simply catching up with a good friend. Placed in the middle of fast-paced downtown, it is a perfect location for travelers to stay while seeing the city sites.


Powell’s Bookstore

Powell’s takes the word “bookstore” to a entirely new level. This is a place where people go to spend hours browsing, drinking coffee, checking emails, sitting in corners with a good book, or picking out fun arts and crafts to take home. If you don’t know your way around, it is very easy to get lost in this multileveled facility and an hour doesn’t go by without a lost individual’s name being announced over the intercom. However, the trick is to memorize the color of each room and ask the information desk when in doubt.


Pittock Mansion

Bulit in 1914, Pittock Mansion is Portland’s largest historical house and open to the public to tour and walk around it’s grounds. The Pittocks were one of the most influential families during the early days for Portland’s industrialization and their home lives on to tell their story and the story of Portland. For those who do not want to tour the inside of the house, the grounds are free to visitors and offer beautiful sight over the bustling downtown portion of PDX.


Voodoo Doughnuts

“Good things come in pink boxes” and “The magic is in the hole” are just a few slogans from this iconic independent doughnut shop. While there are many good doughnuts to be eaten throughout Portland, Voodoo Doughnuts sells not only sweets but also an eclectic experience. With spooky music, revolving glass displays, voodoo priest logos, sensual menu titles, and pink boxes, this doughnut pitstop will be an unforgettable experience.


White Stag Sign

While this sign is visible during the day, at night when it lights up and shines over the Willamette River, it is a beautiful sight to look at. The best close-up views of the sign are from Burnside Bridge but it can also be viewed from I-5 to all drivers passing through the city. During the holiday season, the stag’s nose tip is illuminated in red to resemble Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Co-collaborator: @jordanpitzl

Meghan Mathews