5 Ways To Enjoy Portland Like a Local

March Madness is upon us, and whether that means sports, spring break, or sanitizing your home top-to-bottom, Portland Bloggers Roundtable has joined forces yet again to bring you a curated list of our favorite Portlandy things that visitors and locals alike should be partaking in, like right now. Enjoy!

Happy Hour

Portland is a shining example that a city can’t have too many bars. You could go out every night for a month and never go to the same bar twice. However, some watering holes require a second or third visit because they are just that good. Rain or shine,  Swift Lounge is my choice for best happy hour drinks and noshing. Bordering the Sullivan’s Gulch & Irvington Neighborhoods, Swift is a whole lot of boozey, hipstery goodness crammed into a really small space. Drinks are cheap and served in varying sizes of mason jars, fondue fries will make you feel like a better human, and loud, loud music will require you to sit reeeeeaaaally close and cozy with whomever joins you. Plan accordingly. Know before you go: You will get carded, so bring your ID. If this happy hour doesn’t appeal to your better senses, head over for a weekend brunch instead and order a mimosa rimmed with Pop Rocks. 

you can buy art, too!

 Not To Miss

If you do a quick search for Portland Events you will get a long list of food, drink and music festivities happening around the city at any given month throughout the year. March happens to be Portland Dining Month, a yearly event that brings together some of Portland’s best dining experiences to the masses. You can partake in delicious and inspired 3-course meals for an affordable $29! Although I love the food culture in Portland and am awed by the never ending selection of restaurants, I usually cook at home or hit up food carts. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a friend date and dinner at Touche, one of the participating Portland Dining Month’s eateries. Serving Italian and Mediterranean inspired fare, we enjoyed fresh salads, a meaty entree and mouth watering Tiramisu. Along with a few glasses of wine and a sunny spring day, and this made for a splendid evening at a new restaurant on the west side. Know before you go: Some restaurants may experience a higher volume of  customers during this event, so call ahead and make a reservation. Also, it will make you feel fancy.



Wild Card

March is the gateway to spring, bringing formidable week-long rains and blooming cherry blossoms, and sometimes its hard to know what to do with yourself during this wild weather shift. Flannel is still #1 in your wardrobe rotation but warmer seasons are on the horizon. I recommend McMenamins Kennedy School for a surprisingly un-creepy soaking pool experience. Located at the historic school-turned restaurant/bar/movie theater/hotel, the soaking pool allows the general public to enjoy its thermal waters in an outdoors environment surrounded by lush vegetation. You can enjoy an adult beverage and an eclectic mix of patrons while relaxing Pacific Northwest style. Be sure to check out McMenamins Historic Edgefield for even more soaking pool action. Know before you go: There are specific hours the soaking pool is open only to hotel guest, so check out available times if you are just visiting for the day.  {photo: mcmenamins.com}



Free Activity

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to search: Top 10 Free Things To Do in… Most of the lists will have similar suggestions, but it gives you a good idea of where to start to get the most out of your visit. Even if you are a resident, it can remind you of all the cool, FREE stuff going on in your city that you may have overlooked. When I’m stuck in town and need to beat the heat of summer, I love visiting Jamison Square Park to take advantage of the momentous people watching and water revelry in children and adults alike. A large community fountain with mini cascading falls, you can roll up your work slacks during a lunch break or bring the whole family on the weekend to enjoy the continuous ebb and flow of the ‘tidal pools’ filling and emptying. Don’t worry, the water is treated and continuously circulated. Know before you go: The park does not have the water running during the winter/spring months, but it is still open to the public.


Day Trippin’

It should be no surprise by now that this Portland day trip will include water… and hot, hot water at that. Bagby Hot springs are located approximately 65 miles southeast of Portland and make for a great early morning adventure into nature. It is a 30 minute easy hike from the parking lot to the host springs, and once there you will find 3 separate bath houses, each with a varying number of private and public wooded bath tubs you can fill with hot thermal water goodness. There may still be snow on the ground if you go in March, but that is what makes this day trip even more perfect! Know before you go: Clothing is optional so you will see some stuff. Don’t be afraid to share a public tub with others, just don’t harsh the mellow. You have to pay for parking or you will definitely get a ticket. And, most importantly, if you see garbage on the trail or around the hot spring, please pick it up and pack it out along with your things. Thank you!

{photo: oregon.com}


By no means is this a definitive list of things to see and do in Portland, but it is my starting point to enjoying the city and the surrounding beauty. I hope you enjoy, and check out the other Portland Bloggers Roundtable member suggestions to having a kick ass time in Portland.

PBR member posts coming soon!!

Did I miss any thing?? What would you add to the list to make it perfect?… Leave your suggestions in the comments below!




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