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Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Austin, Texas
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Itinerary for 3 full days in September

We (my husband and I, mid-30's, no kids) arrive in Portland on a Saturday afternoon and will be leaving on Wednesday afternoon, and I'm trying to figure out how to divide our time. We're staying downtown at the Hotel Monaco and will have a car.

Here's what we know we want to do/see:

Saturday Market (on Sunday)

Underground Portland Walking Tour

Visit Powell's and Voodoo Doughnut

International Rose Test Garden

Japanese Garden

Sample at a few breweries/brew pubs

Take a scenic drive on the Columbia River Highway to see the Falls and maybe visit a winery or two

What do I need to add to the list? We like wandering around in interesting neighborhoods with good shops and places to stop for a bite to eat or something to drink. We also like scenic areas with good photo taking opportunities. I like interesting museums, and think the Museum of Contemporary Craft looks interesting, but I'm not sure I can convince my husband of that. Husband mentioned something about a river cruise, but I don't want to spend an entire day on a boat, and I'm a little nervous about riding the jet boats on one of these tours - http://www.willamettejet.com/index.php

Restaurant advice is also greatly appreciated. I've got Toro Bravo, Lincoln, and Castagna on my list based on things I've read in food magazines and on various blogs. We'll eat just about anything, with the exception of Indian food, which my husband doesn't care for. For dinner, we're ok with meal totals up to $100 for both of us.

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

united states
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1. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Well, the good thing is that in September the days will still be pretty long so you have lots of daylight to work with.

You might actually enjoy the sternwheeler cruise in the Gorge- there are several short options that last just a couple of hours and include lunch or dinner or a sunset viewing and I'm pretty sure that contnues into September. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise as we saw eagles and hawks and went through the locks which was fun. If you want to see the Gorge anyway, you could easily slip one of the short trips into the day and learn about the importance of the waterway to our economy.

I think that you could incorporate Powell's and Saturday Market into the same day without any difficulty- Powell's is open until 11pm every day.

The two Gardens are located in Washington Park as is the Pittock Mansion which is a very interesting mansion built in 1914 with quite a view . The Rose garden is free to visit, the Japanese garden does charge a fee. On a clear day you really can see forever from up there, so take your camera!

Windjammer will faint if he reads this, but taking the OHSU tram may interest you as well. Though I have long ( and publically) held that a hospital transportation device is not a place to be a tourist, I have finally come to understand that part of the intent of building the thing was to offer an interesting tourist option for visitors while expanding the user base to help pay for it, so far be it for me to continue to be a nay-sayer!! :D

You might find the Oregon Hisorical Society and the Portland Art Museum an interesting visit; the architecture in that area would provide some great photo subjects. Tey are down in the SOuth Park Blocks near the PSU campus.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Am I the only one that thinks the underground tour is kind of a disappointment?

united states
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3. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Don't know Oregone....haven't seen much commentary about it since I've been posting....

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

This is the tour we were thinking about doing - portlandwalkingtours.com/tours/underground_p…

I've read somewhat mixed reviews online, but it seems that most of the disappointment comes from people who were expecting to actually walk underground in tunnels, which is only a very small part of the tour from what I understand. We were more interested in the history aspect of it.

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5. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Sounds like a great trip is planned! You may want to consider spending some time in the Nob Hill area of Portland. Paley's Place and Wildwood are two great restaurants in this area. Le Pigeon is another very good restaurant in Portland with an innovative menu. Have fun! :)

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

I don't know, oregone, but if you are, it might be because you're the only local who's ever taken the tour. ;-) I have heard/read good things about Portland Walking Tours' Culinary Excursion, though........

Couple of different winery options, MrTed. Either continue on out the Columbia River Gorge and visit a few around Hood River, or spend an afternoon in wine country an hour southwest of Portland. Choice would depend on what kind of wine you prefer. Those out in the Gorge generally produce warmer climate varietals, whereas pinot noir is king in the vineyards southwest of the city. Personally, I think the wine-tasting experience is much better in pinot country.

Neighborhoods worth wandering: Hawthorne Blvd., Alberta Street; my wife's new favorite shop is on Mississippi Ave.

As for restaurants, you've got the start of a good list, but add Fenouil if you're looking for a celebratory kind of place. It recently stole the executive chef from another of Portland's top restaurants.... should be very good, though maybe on the high side of your budget. Others to consider... Metrovino and Sel Gris, if they can manage to reopen by the time you get here. On the more casual side, Caffe Mingo, Fratelli, Pok Pok, Navarre, Belly.... Ned Ludd. And if you happen to be near them when you're hungry, Kenny & Zuke's, Tanuki, or Bunk. No worries about going hungry in Portland!

Oh, by the way, your profile photo looks familiar. Where was that taken?

Edited: 08 April 2010, 19:33
Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Thanks for the winery advice, mistletoe. I LOVE pinot, so sounds like a trip southwest of town should be added to the plan. Any specific wineries you recommend out that way?

Thanks to everyone for the restaurant advice. I'll take a look at menus and add to my ever-growing list.

The profile pic was taken at Playa Pan de Azucar (Sugar Beach) on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. We went in February and it was fantastic.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

You'll have 200+ to choose from, MrTed, but you'll get a good sense of the various styles by picking several wineries in the Dundee Hills. Great wines, beautiful settings, and spectacular views. Choose one from Domaine Serene, Archery Summit, and Domaine Drouhin, then maybe De Ponte and/or White Rose and/or Vista Hills and/or Torii Mor. Save some time at the end for some bubbles at Argyle in the center of Dundee, then walk across the street for a bite at Dundee Bistro.

No, the photo I'm remembering wasn't Costa Rica, but might have been a north Pacific coast beach. A close match to yours though, right down to the toenail polish color.

Austin, Texas
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9. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

Thank you for the winery recommendations, mistletoe. Dundee Bistro also looks great!

10. Re: Itinerary for 3 full days in September

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