Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2-day budget itinerary for Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

What would your perfect itinerary for Portland, Oregon look like? My 48 hour itinerary includes taking in city views, gorgeous park walks, sampling delicious local brews, feasting on mouth-watering donuts, and even a visit to a waterfall.

I stayed at Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse, conveniently located in the northwest area and within walking distance to downtown. The hostel staff is experts on the area and happy to share their knowledge. In fact, the majority of my activities were based on guidance provided by the staff or found while perusing the many information boards within the hostel and guesthouse.

The following are my recommendations for the perfect 48-hour itinerary in Portland, including the budget breakdown.

Planning a trip to the Northwest? Check out Tasting Pike Place Market and my local guide to Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

Day 1: Portland, Oregon

Washington Park

Portland is known as ” The City of Roses” and the place to see those roses is in Washington Park. A sprawling public space, Washington Park is home to an international test garden featuring hundreds of rose varieties.

The park is so tranquil and relaxing, it is hard to believe that you are only walking distance from the city. Visitors can be seen meditating, practicing Tai-Chi, unwinding under the shade or meandering along one of the trails.

Washington Park is also very child-friendly with playgrounds, a children’s museum, and the Oregon Zoo.

Washington Park, Portland, Oregon

Exploring downtown

This is a city made for walking! It is possible to walk all over downtown in a day or two while taking in the colorful urban landscape.

I enjoyed wandering along W Burnside Street, traveling west to east. Along the way, I stopped at Powell’s Bookstore, which is a bookstore so large that it has become a tourist attraction. The vast selection and uniquely categorized sections will keep you enthralled for hours.

Further east along W Burnside, you will pass the Chinatown area before reaching 3rd Ave. This is a popular section with the infamous Voodoo Donuts and “Keep Portland Weird” sign directly across.

3rd Ave, Portland, Oregon

If you get hungry while walking, there are plenty of food carts scattered throughout the downtown area. One of the largest clusters being the Alder Street Food Cart Pod, located on SW 10th and Alder streets. Here you will find food carts serving dishes of almost every cuisine you could imagine.

Fancy a little shopping? Head south to Pioneer Place and enjoy the benefit of tax-free sales in the state of Oregon.

Fat Head’s Brewery 

A casual brew house with a great selection, Fat Head’s Brewery was my pick for a couple of cold ones and a happy-hour priced pizza with a friend.

at Head's Brewery & Saloon, Portland, Oregon

Day 2: Portland, Oregon

Blue Star Donuts

During my last visit, we sampled some of the much loved Voodoo Donuts. This time I decided to try Blue Star Donuts, another popular Portland treat.

What makes Blue Star donuts different is the dough, which is made from Brioche. I sampled the “Dulce de leche with hazelnuts” and “Lemon Poppy” donuts. Both were absolutely scrumptious and surprisingly filling.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, Oregon

Westside Riverwalk

The Westside Riverwalk runs along the Williamette River and is dazzling on a beautiful day. Bicyclists, runners, and ramblers will be out in full force to soak up the sun.

Multnomah Falls

The perfect trip to Portland needs an outdoor adventure. I would recommend Multnomah Falls, which is a quick 30 mile (48km) drive from downtown. This breathtaking waterfall is right off the highway, providing easy access to an enviable Instagram pic.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Don’t have a car?  No problem! An alternative outdoor adventure is the 4T Trail, which provides an opportunity to experience the city’s transportation system. Traveling by train, trail, tram, and trolley, this route will take you to the highest point in Portland.

The Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse offers guided tours of the 4T and also provides written instructions if you prefer to go solo. Back in 2011 on my very first trip to Portland, I also stayed at the NW Portland Hostel & Guesthouse, exploring the 4T as part of their guided tour.

4T hike in Portland, Oregon

Northwest Brewery Tour

As the state of Oregon has one of the highest populations of craft breweries in the nation, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Portland has an incredible selection of places to drink beer. The NW Portland Hostel & Guesthouse offers a free guided brewery tour for guests. I happened to be in town when the  Northwest Brewery Tour was scheduled. 

Lead by our warm and outgoing guide, Andrew, we began our exploration of beer at 10 Barrel Brewing followed by Rogue and BridgePort Brewing Company. The night was full of laughs, swapping travel tales and sampling delectable brews. It was the perfect end to my two-day visit.

Rogue Distillery and Public House, Portland, Oregon

Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse

As I still had good memories from my stay at Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse in 2011, this was the first choice for accommodation for this visit.

Upon arrival, I felt immediately welcome by the friendly reception staff. Every question was answered thoroughly and every possible need attended to. The lodgings and common areas were exactly as I had remembered, with ample spacious areas to socialize or just relax.

Northwest Portland Guesthouse

On my last trip, I had enjoyed the social aspect of staying in one of the seventy-four dorm rooms that the hostel offers. There are also private and family rooms available for those who prefer a little more privacy or are traveling with a group. The European-style guesthouse has twenty-two private rooms and shares many of the common spaces with the hostel.

Currently, there is construction underway to expand into a new building. Due to be opened later this year, the new addition will include three floors of dorms and family rooms, a new front desk and lobby, a community room and even a cafe/brew pub.  It is the owner, Jim’s wish to create a social space that will “allow merriment to continue into the night without disturbing sleeping guests”.

Northwest Portland Guesthouse Room

Budget breakdown: Portland

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (US Dollars). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse offers shared dorm rooms, private rooms, and guesthouse rooms. For current prices refer to Rooms & Rates.

Food: Breakfast is complimentary for guests staying at the Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse.

Day 1 – Lunch at Khao San ($19.50), dinner and drinks at Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon ($33).

Day 2 – Blue Star Donuts ($6), Lunch at  Elephants Delicatessen NW ($8), Coffee and Tea at Ken’s Artisan Bakery ($7), drinks at 10 Barrel Brewing and Rogue ($25.50), dinner and drinks at BridgePort Brewing Company ($20.50).

Activities: The Northwest Brewery Tour is free of charge for guests staying at the Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse (cost of drinks are included above). Refer to Events at the Hostel for a schedule of activities.

Average daily spend: $30 USD each* ($39 AUD, the exchange rate as of 14 April 2016) excluding accommodation costs.

*The majority of my costs were from drinking and eating out (the food and beer in Portland are incredible – I couldn’t help myself!). You could significantly reduce your daily spend by cooking your own meals. The Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse has multiple kitchens with ample space for visitors to prepare food.

I was a complimentary guest of Northwest Portland Hostel & Guesthouse, however, my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.

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Adoration 4 Adventure's 2-day budget itinerary for Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. including Washington Park, Multnomah Falls, local breweries, and restaurants.

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