Time to stop and smell the City of Roses. With its arty vibe and impressive food and wine scene, laid-back Portland has tons to sniff at these days.
Thread counters check into the plush Hotel deLuxe (729 SW 15th Ave.; 866-895-2094), a revamped art deco spot with Old Hollywood appeal. For an edgier experience, bunk at Ace Hotel (1022 SW Stark St.; 503-228-2277). Pendleton blankets, wall etchings, and vintage turntables adorn modern barracks-style rooms. Caffeine provided by Stumptown in the lobby.
Order an Oregon pinot noir and popcorn shrimp at the cozy (if crowded) Driftwood Room (729 SW 15th Ave.; 503-223-6311). Or experiment in the liquor lab at Saucebox (214 SW Broadway; 503-241-3393). Try the “best drink” — and ask no further questions.
Take a side trip to Paris at Le Pigeon (738 E. Burnside St.; 503-546-8796). Sit at the counter to watch chef Gabriel Rucker work magic with beef cheek and monkfish. Another winner: 23Hoyt (529 NW 23rd Ave.; 503-445-7400) for zucchini-ricotta gnocchi and lavender honey crème brûlée. Ken’s Artisan Bakery (326 NW 21st Ave.; 503-248-2202) is a local fave for its hallowed pizzas.
North Mississippi Avenue is the talk of the town. Pick up scented candles, unique stationery, and vintage jewelry at Flutter (3948 N. Mississippi Ave.; 503-288-1649). Handmade chocolates and specialty salts satisfy multiple cravings at The Meadow (3731 N. Mississippi Ave.; 503-288-4633). Add to your wardrobe at Phlox (3962 N. Mississippi Ave.; 503-890-0715) and Gypsy Chic (3966 N. Mississippi Ave.; 503-234-9779).
Quirky Northeast Alberta Street is a hidden gem. Office (2204 NE Alberta St.; 888-355-7467) brightens the work week with cool cube supplies. Stop by Mabel & Zora (1468 NE Alberta St.; 503-335-6169) for Angela Arnold baubles and retro clothes and Imp (1422 NE Alberta St.; 503-282-7467) for Urban Bird cards (now closed).
Retreat to Aequis Spa (419 SW 11th Ave.; 503-223-7847) for aromatherapy, a warm footbath, and the legendary medley massage. Chill out post-knead with green tea at the venerable Powell’s Books (1005 W. Burnside St.; 503-228-4651).
The only thorn in your side? Eventually you have to go home.