After spending weeks in the remote portions of Canada and Alaska we both welcomed a few days of city life. Don’t get me wrong, we both love nature and all, but we hadn’t been to a major city in weeks! We decided to solve this road trip dilema by visiting the Pacific Northwest. We spent a few days in Vancouver, BC before we left Canada and made our way to Portland, OR. We spent a total of 4-nights in the area and had a wonderful time exploring two new cities and experiencing the city life.
Visiting the Pacific Northwest Vancouver, BC
No road trip to Vancouver is complete without a stop off on Granville Island and a tour through the Granville Market. Local markets are one of our favorite places to visit. They give you an opportunity to interact with lots of locals, sample local goods, and really tap into a city’s culture.
We also took a stroll through Chinatown, and enjoyed some of the local dim-sum in addition to going in and out of all the little shops and grocery stores.
Our favorite part of the city though was Gastown! Filled with great architecture, many little shops, and tons of great restaurants and bars it was a great place to finish up our evening! We spent a bit of time exploring the area and made a stop by one of the local landmarks, the steam-powered clock!
We also enjoyed the local architecture quite a bit.
We found a great restaurant and brew pub called Steamworks and would highly recommend it to anyone who visits. Their collection of micro-brews can be sampled for a great price!
The food was also top-notch pub grub! I ordered the Mediterranean lamb burger with a side of the Canadian classic poutine and I was thrilled with the dish!
Visiting the Pacific Northwest Portland, OR
After a great day in Vancouver we were sad to leave the next morning, but it was time for us to make it back to the United States. We decided to head south to Portland, OR. It’s a city we missed on our last visit to the Pacific Northwest when we spent a day in Seattle instead. We left our hotel relatively early the next morning and said good-bye to Canada…
And Hello to the United States!
The US Border crossing took about 30 minutes and then we were off to our La Quinta Inn in Vancouver. No that’s not a typo, we booked our hotel right outside of Portland and ended up saving about $30 a night, in the town that was coincidentally called Vancouver, WA. The next morning we decided to head out to downtown Portland and see what the city was all about. We knew 3 things about Portland before we arrived. Everyone appears to be stuck in the late ’90’s (thanks Portlandia), they have a TON of beer breweries, and you can get AMAZING doughnuts! It turns out all three are true :-)
Our visit to Portland began at a local landmark called Voodoo doughnuts. (our review here) They’ve been featured on the Food Network and for good reason! We stopped in and gave it a try. Lauren had a delicious raspberry jelly filled voodoo doll which was delightful.
I had the “No Name Doughnut” which is a classic doughnut covered in chocolate, rice crispies, and drizzled with peanut butter (don’t judge me it was amazing!)
Afterwords we decided to take a visit to the Pearl District, which houses quite a few brew pubs and distilleries along with a bunch of shops. If you visit the Pacific Northwest I highly recommend you spend some time in some of the breweries. We started off at Deschutes Brew Pub. I had their Black Butte Porter while we were in Alaska and it was excellent, so we decided to order a couple of flights to sample the rest of their line. We were more than pleased with what they had to offer and would definitely recommend the food and beer to anyone visiting the area.
After drinks and lunch we spent some time walking through some of the shops and then mysteriously found our way the Rogue Distillery and Public House. We’re both fans of Rogue so we decided more flights were in order.
Once we had our fill of the Pearl District we made our way to south Portland to visit Salvador Molly’s. I had heard about it on the Food Network and decided I had to give it a try. Molly’s is famous for one appetizer on their menu, Great Balls of Fire Habanero Fritters. We decided to be brave and we ordered 3 to share.
One fritter later I decided I was done :-)
After lighting out mouths( and throats and bellies) on fire we were happy to see our entrees arrive. The menu features an eclectic mix of fusion island flavors which were both authentic and delicious! Lauren had the Kulua Mojo Pork while I enjoyed a delectable Tandori Lamb Sandwich.
After spending the day in downtown, an afternoon of drinking and a great dinner, we decided to call it a night. Welcome back city life, welcome back!
Please leave your comments below and enjoy our visiting the Pacific Northwest Gallery.
You can read more about visiting the Pacific Northwest in these related road trip articles.
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