Beginning with the acquisition of land for the 5,000-acre Forest Park in 1903, Portland has always been ahead of its time in its appreciation and reverence for green spaces. Today, Portland boasts over 250 public parks and gardens, 150 miles of walking trails, and both the breathtaking Mt. Hood National Forest and lush Tillamook State Forest within an hour’s drive. Whether you choose to spend a day rafting on the Clackamas River or hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, you can’t help but feel the adventurous spirit of Lewis and Clark as you breathe in the sharp scent of Douglas firs — and you’re only a short distance away from enjoying Portland’s best-loved urban comforts when you’re ready to unwind.
With only 24 seats tucked behind a bookcase inside of Thai restaurant Paadee, reservations at the intimate Langbaan are notoriously hard to come by — that’s because just about everyone wants a taste of Chef Earl Ninsom’s bold flavors. Ninsom’s inventive tasting menu focuses on regional Issan Thai cuisine, and is a testament to Portland’s rise as a global food destination. Langbaan offers a prix fixe takeout menu in sizes that feed two to four, for pickup Friday through Sunday. Or choose the first-ever “reverse steakhouse,” G-Love in Northwest Portland features a menu that showcases locally grown, farm-sourced vegetables picked at peak flavor. With deliciously imaginative vegetarian and vegan dishes (plus a couple of meat selections if you can’t imagine a meal without legs), the freshness and creativity of the Pacific Northwest will be evident in every bite. The entire menu is available for takeout and delivery.
Angel Face wows bar patrons with a delightfully feminine, floral interior, featuring a large oval-shaped bar as centerpiece. Instead of offering a drinks menu, bartenders at this boozy French drinkery craft cocktails matched to the mood, flavor preferences and eccentricities of the one doing the ordering. The success of this charming little bar hinges partly on its clientele knowing their own tastes and having faith in the experts behind the bar. You can pick up Angel Face’s fantastic French-Mediterranean-Italian cuisine to go from either Navarre, in Northeast Portland, or Luce, on East Burnside St., Wednesday through Sunday. For coffee, choose Deadstock Coffee, located in Chinatown is the brainchild of former Nike shoe designer Ian Williams. With fancy footwear on display and lattes sporting carefully stenciled sneakers on the foam, Deadstock is a place that celebrates both sneakerhead culture and the excellent craft coffee that Portland is known for.
Head to Washington Park to snap photos of the infamous flora and fauna at the Hoyt Arboretum, covering 190 ridge-top acres and 12 miles of hiking trails, just minutes from downtown. The conservation area was founded in 1928 to protect endangered species, which today fosters 2,300 species of trees and shrubs from six continents. Or find a moment of zen at the famed Japanese Garden; meander through eight separate meticulously landscaped designs and finish with a traditional service at the Tea House on site. Cathedral Park is both a park and a neighborhood in North Portland bordering the eastern bank of the Willamette River, with the park itself located just underneath the iconic green St. John’s Bridge. Earning its name because of the appearance of its Gothic arches, it’s a popular location for weddings, walks and Instagram selfies.