My Guide to Portland

I've tried to write a recommendations post about Portland for so long and each time I do, I get overwhelmed by all that I want to say. So now I am going to extend myself some grace and say that I could not possibly include EVERYTHING I love in Portland so these are the go-to's. Phew.
Ok. Here we go.

First off, Portland is divided into 4 sections. There is SW (downtown, Portland State, Goose Hollow), NW (The Pearl, Alphabet District, Slabtown), NE (Alberta, Mississippi, N Portland, etc.), and SE (Division, Hawthorne, Laurelhurst, etc.). The Willamette river divides east and west and Burnside street divides north and south! Downtown and The Pearl district divide at Burnside (as a general spot) near Powell's Book Store. Highway 405 divides The Pearl and the Alphabet District. 

So now that we are all situated...

T I M E   T O   E A T
1. Tasty & Alder- go for cocktails or dinner but you NEED to go for brunch. Also their radicchio salad is in my top 10 favorite things I've ever eaten list. 

2. Kiva- delicious acai bowls and smoothies (pictured above)

3. Ava Gene's- an amazing culinary experience every time I go. It's Italian. That should say enough.

4. Tilt- delicious burgers and tator tots. Definitely a good low key spot.

5. Bamboo sushi- super fresh and delicious!

6. 23 Hoyt- I like their brunch but dinner is also good!

7. Food carts- I love whole bowl

8. Ken's Artisan Pizza- AMAZING! 

9. Tusk- delicious middle eastern fare and the decor is 100%

10. Grassa- handmade pasta!

11. Matador- a chain but great for street tacos

12. Por Que No?- a classic but I do love their tacos and aqua frescas

13. Produce Row- fun happy hour place. Sit on the patio!

14. Sweedeedee- go for brunch! It's small but worth it!

15. Please Louise- delicious pizza!

16. Pine Street Market- like an adult cafeteria. You have to go for lunch. Don't forget Wiz Bang Bar (that's Salt & Straw soft serve for ya!)

17. Pip's Original Doughnuts- YOU HAVE TO GO HERE. This is my favorite doughnut spot hands down. Sure, go to Blue Star, do what you want, but you HAVE to go here.  

18. Guero- delicious Mexican tortas

19. Vivienne Kitchen and Pantry- go for brunch!

20. Olympia Provisions- love their brunch. 

21. Podnah's- their bacon is the best of all time. Now you have to go just to see if I'm right. 

22. Prost- a German bar and restaurant that has a large selection of only German beers.

T I M E   F O R   A   D R I N K

 1. The Rambler- my favorite bar on Mississippi. It's in a house and they have a killer back patio and fire pits out front. 

2. Multnomah Whiskey Library- worth the wait! Put your name in then go explore downtown.

3. Departure- rooftop bar!! It's part of The Nines hotel.

4. 10 Barrel Brewing- delicious beer and they have a rooftop patio.

5. Bar Bar- also on Mississippi. This is a part of Mississippi Studios so there are usually concerts happening right next store. Maybe you can snag a ticket!

6. Dig a Pony- I love the feel of this place.

7. Bit House- one of the oldest bars in Oregon! Right across from Dig a Pony too!

8. Vault- I've made every friend in town meet me here for a drink. I love their Habanero martini!! Also best happy hour!!

9. Pope House- also in a old house!

10. Church- there's a photobooth!

11. Eastburn Public House- they have swings!

12. Kask- tiny & intimate.

13. Irving St. Kitchen- They have a really good happy hour and a delicious drink called the Berry Blast.

14. Rontoms- one of the best happy hours and a really fun spot.

 (Friends at EastBurn)

D O N T   F O R G E T   C O F F E E
 1. Heart Coffee Roasters- my favorite. Hands down. They do cupping classes and different brewing methods that are fun for the coffee addict!

2. Upper Left Roasters- great spot to sit down for a while and their coffee is 100%

3. Never Coffee

4. Barista- my favorite is the one on NW 23rd

5. Tea Bar- obviously a tea place but you have to go

6. Sisters Coffee- the cutest and coziest

7. Chai at Pips' Original Doughnuts- my favorite is heart of gold

8. Coava Coffee Roasters

9. Ristretto Roasters- go to the one in Schoolhouse Electric and shop around!

10. If you have to go to Stumptown, go to the one in the Ace Hotel.

11. Water Ave. Coffee

12. Cathedral Coffee

13. Good Coffee- big influence on giving back

14. Kainos Coffee

T H I N G S   T O   D O

1. Walk the waterfront. I recommend going over the Tilikum bridge. I like walking on the east side of the river (opposite of downtown).

2. Visit the rose garden in Washington Park

3. Catch a concert at the Doug Fir Lounge or Mississippi Studios

4. Walk up and down Alberta St., Mississippi St., Hawthorne, and/or Division. 

5. Walk around NW 23rd. Stop at Salt & Straw.

6. Go hike the Gorge. I like taking people to Multnomah Falls then Horsetail and climbing the upper Horsetail. If you are feeling like a longer, more intense hike, do Tunnel Falls.

7. Hike around Forest Park.

8. Beach day on Sauvie Island in the summer. In the fall visit the pumpkin patch there!

9. Wine tasting in the Willamette Valley. See THIS post.

10. Explore Hood River. Drive the fruit loop and taste delicious ciders. You can do this after the gorge!

11. Do a brewery tour- you could go to 10 Barrel, Rogue, Deschutes, Fat Heads, and Bridgeport all in one afternoon and they are all right next to each other.

12. Visit the Grotto. 

13. Relax in Laurelhurst Park. Bring a frisbee.

14. Go to the beach! I love Cannon Beach and Pacific City!

15. Drive up to Mount Hood. Tell him I say hello. Eat something at the historic Timberline Lodge.

16. Catch a movie at the Living Room Theaters

17. Shop in downtown & the pearl- I love Tender Loving Empire, Poler, Ecru, Boys Fort, Porchlight, Made in PDX, Bridge & Burn, Work/Shop, Union Way, and Alder & Co. Oh, and get lost in Powell's!

18. Saturday Market in Downtown

19. Portland Farmers Market on the Portland State campus

20. See if there is a '90's night at the Crystal Ballroom. If so, GO.

21. Pack a picnic or get food to go at Pine Street Market and sit by the waterfront

22. Relax in Cathedral Park.

23. Go to Mt. Tabor, Rocky Butte, or Pittock Mansion for some pretty views!

24. Buy a distillery row passport and try out some of the amazing, local distilleries!

W H E R E   T O   S T A Y

I recommend staying in downtown or NW for easy transportation and use of the streetcar and the MAX (our modes of transportation out here). If you are planning on renting a car, then maybe an AirBnB on the east side would be a good idea! You can rent bikes at any of the Nike Biketown locations for easy access to bikes and another mode of transportation other than walking (they are bright orange and you can't miss them!). 

I've had friends and family stay at the Residence Inn in the Pearl (great location), The Nines (in downtown), and an AirBnB on the east side. Most everyone else has just stayed with me so I'm not incredibly helpful with recommending a place to stay. If you need something cheap and are willing to be more adventurous, there is a nice hostel in the Alphabet District that was just redone! 

Phew!! That was a lot. You still with me?
With this list, you are bound to have a good time in Portland. Send me pictures!

Why Knot Explore:: Charleston

Going to Charleston has been a dream of mine for quite some time. If you look back to THIS post (hello 2013), you'll see that I've always felt that Charleston was a kindred spirit kind of city. For my sister and I's graduation trips, we spent 8 days around Charleston. Our home base was with our cousin on Seabrook Island just south of Charleston and we took day trips into Charleston, around the greater Charleston area, and to Savannah. I'll do another one day guide for Savannah but for now I want to share with you my little guide to Charleston. 

I had done a LOT of research prior to our trip on where I wanted to eat, shop, drink, and walk around. So that's how I'll break this down! This is going to be a guide for the greater Charleston area since we spent a decent amount of time not specifically within the city of Charleston. :)

T I M E   T O   E A T!
(obstinate daughter!)
 1. Minero- delicious Mexican food!!
2. The Ordinary- best oysters of my life. Pricey but worth it for HH oysters!
3. Cru Cafe- delicious, fresh food that was a HUGE crowd pleaser
4. Obstinate Daughter- on Sullivan's Island and 100% worth it. I got the Lieutenant Dan pizza!
5. Beardcat's Sweet Shop- yummy gelato right below Obstinate Daughter!
6. Monza- amazing pizza 
7. The Daily- their breakfast tacos were unlike anything I'd had before.

(the ordinary- in an old bank!)

W H E N   Y O U   N E E D   A   D R I N K

1. The Watch- rooftop bar!
2. The Ordinary- they specialize in rum based cocktails!
3. The Living Room- at The Dewberry hotel and the people that work there are THE BEST
4. 48 Wine Bar- on Kiawah Island and they let you taste so many different wines all at your own pace! 
5. Rise Coffee Bar- so cute and they had some delicious latte flavors
6. Firefly Distillery-  on Wadmalaw island and they have a sweet tea flavored vodka and 1000 other delicious flavors.
(Rise coffee bar)
** there were so many more places I wanted to try but my sister is still underage and we didn't want the whole trip to be centered around alcohol and cool bars ya know?**
   T I M E   T O   E X P L O R E

(Boone Hall Plantation)
 1. South of Broad- the CUTEST homes. I could walk around there for hours.
2. King Street- shopping!
3. Boone Hall Plantation- loved the tours and the grounds were un.real.
4. Angel Oak- so cool
5. Sullivan's Island- the beach as well as eating at Obstinate Daughter!
6. Cannon Street- walk down Cannon St. and go inside the cute shops. I liked Cannonborough Collective (the shop owner was SO sweet), mac & murphy, and Sugar Bakeshop. 

** we also toured the Calhoun Mansion and were NOT impressed. I would not recommend paying the money to tour the house. I ADORE touring old homes and plantations but this looked like a hoarders dream and our tour guide was pretty rude. The new owners have JAM PACKED the place with old artifacts. Just an FYI.**

Overall, Charleston was a dream. As I mentioned before, we spent a decent amount of time on Seabrook Island (the beach is pictured above) but I also saw so much of Charleston and totally get why people love it! I can't wait to go back with a group of girlfriends sometime.