A Weekend in Portland [Our Second Anniversary Trip]

For our second anniversary, we decided to make a weekend adventure to Portland!

Now that we’ve moved, Portland is only about 3 hours away from our new home! We haven’t had a lot of opportunity to leave since we moved away from our favorite dog sitters— thank you Kelli & Ashley! But determined to get away, I found a dog friendly hotel and we brought our fur child with us (which is a new adventure in itself).

Side note: I wanted to name this post, “Koda goes to Portland” because much of our trip was based on what we could do with/without Koda reasonably. Anyone in Seattle like dogsitting?

After work, we piled up the car and drove south. We ended up hitting rush hour traffic which was not as bad as I expected, and then it was smooth sailing.

Once we arrived and dropped our belongings off at the hotel, we asked the front desk for a recommendation on a later-evening dinner nearby. We had actually stayed in the same area (just outside of Portland) in 2015 so we were somewhat familiar with where we were. The front desk agent suggested Golden Valley Brewery.

Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant

980 East 4th Street, McMinnville, Oregon 97128

Going into a pub/brewery type restaurant, I am always a little skeptical of the quality of food. I was impressed with my dish (which had a portion large enough for 2 meals): Steak Gorgonzola Pasta (Angus Springs Ranch beef tips, Gorgonzola sauce, alfredo sauce, mushrooms, shallots, thyme, rosemary, parsley and Cavatappi pasta). We also tried a couple local ciders on tap, which rotate weekly.

Something outstanding was our waitress. I asked her what her favorite things to do in Portland were, and she went out of her way to write down and share some of her experiences in the area. We only had time to do a few of them— including checking out Water Avenue Coffee.

Portland Saturday Morning Market

2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204

The next morning, we all (including Koda) ventured out to the Saturday Morning Market. The Portland Saturday Market is recognized as the largest continuously operated outdoor market in the United States (according to Google). The market offers arts, crafts, food, drink, and other goods.

We parked and wandered around downtown Portland to visit the market and to the park bordering the market (Tom McCall Waterfront Park) to view the blooming cherry blossom trees.

We ended up buying some unique NW products: Soilent Green (Hard Times Sauce Company), Blackberry Cider (Atlas Hard Cider Company), and some dog treats for Koda. I was a little worried Koda would be an issue, but she was well-behaved and stayed close. She also enjoyed getting lots of love from strangers.

Hours: Open every weekend March through December 24.
Saturdays – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sundays – 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Powell’s Books

1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Even though I know it’s a tourist attraction, I still love Powell’s. We visited back in 2015 for my birthday trip. There’s just something so cozy about a giant bookstore that I can’t stay away from. My dad had requested a t-shirt, so we walked over from the market to pick it up. Brighton had to wait outside with Koda, so I didn’t stay here long.

Water Avenue Coffee

1028 SE Water Ave #145, Portland, OR 97214

One of the suggestions from our server on Friday night was to visit Water Avenue Coffee, located in East Portland. She told us about their coffee soda, and we were curious so we ordered one of their S’mores lattes and their coffee soda. It had an interesting flavor, almost like a La Croix soda water with a hint of coffee flavor.

We sat outside and enjoyed our drinks in the sun with Koda on their patio. The barista was so excited to pet Koda after making our drinks.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

33814 S Meridian Rd, Woodburn, OR 97071

Fueled by coffee, we set out for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, located about 45 minutes outside of Portland. I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again. I love tulips! Especially when there are LOTS of them. I’ve been going to the tulip festival in Salt Lake (Thanksgiving Point) for a few years, so I am glad I found some out here in the NW too.

This was a great option for us because it was a fun seasonal event and it’s dog-friendly! It was easy to get to, and they even had hot air balloons and a little open-air arts market.We wandered around the fields taking photos and sat down with a snack. Brighton enjoyed an elephant ear— basically fried dough with sugar (like every fair type food). We got many compliments that Koda was so well-behaved.

At one point, we passed a wooden shoe. I sat in it, and then Koda wanted to try so we got her to jump up and sit in it. We gathered a small audience which were all skeptical that I could get her to sit in it. Isn’t she adorable?!

2018 Dates: March 23rd — May 6th
: Open 9am – 6pm Daily
Admission: $5 per person

Pittock Mansion Overlook

3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210

After we felt like we had gotten our $10 worth, we drove back to Portland. Last time we visited, it was cold and cloudy so we drove up to Pittock Mansion to see if we could spot Mt. Hood in the distance— which we did!! Exhausted after running around all day, we relaxed for an hour or so. Koda was also exhausted from all the love and excitement, so we turned on the TVs in the suite and locked her in the bedroom (which she promptly went to sleep).

Bamboo Sushi

836 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

After refreshing and changing into nicer clothes, we ventured out again to find a unique Portland sushi experience. Their name is Bamboo Sushi, and sustainable is their game. It’s one of the first certified sustainable sushi restaurants in the US when established Bamboo Sushi’s original location in Portland, Oregon.


While it has a slightly upscale feel and price point, their prices are on-par with other sushi houses of their category. Their sushi is so fresh, you can taste the difference and feel less guilty about how it’s impacting our natural resources because you know they are doing the research for you. While the sushi bar was backed up the night causing the food to be delayed, it was worth the wait and everything we ate (including Brighton’s burger) was delicious!

Poplandia Gourmet Popcorn ~ Saint Cupcake

740 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

While we waited for our table to be ready, we popped into Poplandia. 😉 All I have to say was: WOW. OH. MY. GOD. SO. GOOD. Try their unique flavors and see what you like best. My favorite was the black truffle sea salt. We got a bag to go which I enjoyed on the drive home.

Cider Bite

1230 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR 97209

After our dinner, we had to do some cider flights at Cider Bite as a way to top off our night. The bartenders were knowledgable and helpful. We tried about 10 different ciders, and ended up loving “real ginger” by Thistly Cross (Scotland). With a growler in tow, we headed back to the hotel for the night only to find Koda sprawled out on the bed. She’s very naughty, but at least she’s cute! *Facepalm*


Latourell Falls Loop Trail

Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019

After the devastating Eagle Creek wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge in 2017, many of the trails in the area are closed for restoration. One option is the Latourell Falls trail. There’s a loop trail as well as a short walk over to the lower falls. We only had time for the short walk, but it was still impressive nonetheless.

On our way back through Portland to lunch, we grabbed a Honey Cardamon Latte from Heart Coffee.

Pok Pok

3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

According to the Internet, we couldn’t leave Portland without trying Pok Pok. This is one of the most highly rated restaurants in Portland, and has been expanding rapidly. I would hazard to guess there’s a bit of a cult following 😉 Their signature/popular dish is fish sauce wings.

Now, I may be attacked for this opinion… but while I thought it was tasty… it was not my favorite place ever. It may be that Thai is not my favorite type of food, or that I felt that it was a little overhyped… but I’d be willing to try other dishes. Either way, I was happy to give it a try and experience a “Portland classic”

Overall, it was a lovely trip to Portland– perfect for a dog-friendly weekend getaway.