We know a lot of you are parents - and parents of young kids at that. One of the worst things our writer Kate Neidigh was told when she was pregnant was that she'd "never travel again" once baby was born. Well guess what - that doesn't fly with us! There are plenty of places that are baby-friendly around these parts, and we've sent Kate and her one year old baby June on a series of family-friendly adventures to prove it to us. She'll help you navigate your way around must see (baby friendly) spots in the state and beyond. It's all about how to satisfy your wanderlust with kids in tow. So far, Kate's traveled to Whidbey Island, Mt. Rainier and Orcas Island. This is Part Four: Party in Portland .
Traveling to Portland from Seattle is so easy, and I don't use the term 'easy' lightly whenever it has ANYTHING to do with a baby or traveling. You could always drive, but for this trip we decided to take the 3.5 hour train. The train had plenty of leg room, snacks and most importantly, WINE. Another added bonus is that kids 2 and under travel for free (just like flying).
Our little party of three: myself, my husband and our now one-year-old June stayed at the Inn @ Northrup Station in the Nob Hill District (completely walkable from the Portland train station, which was important - it was kind of scary being in a city sans car!) It's a super funky place with lots of bright colors, and surrounded by an eclectic collection of boutiques, galleries, salons, brew pubs, and restaurants. It's also located on the Portland Streetcar line, and super close to downtown Portland and the Pearl District. Our room had a complete kitchen, plenty of room for a portable crib and a living room area for playtime. Nailed it!
After checking into our room we ventured out to explore. One thing that makes Portland so awesome is how walkable it is. My fears about being without a car were quickly assuaged. There's something new and cool to checkout from block to block - and they're not kidding when they talk about how epic the food scene is. We headed to Please Louise and quite possibly ate our bodyweight in pizza. We also made friends with just about everyone in the restaurant due to our highly social baby. She likes to wave at everyone now, it's a big deal.
The second day we walked to the Pearl District (gotta walk off that pizza, right?) where we had brunch at Pearl Tavern. We stumbled upon this place by chance and gladly so. The staff was friendly, the food delish (get the avocado toast and chicken and waffle). After brunch we checked out Powell’s City of Books - crazy. So many books! June loved it. I suggest you grab a map to navigate the nine color-coded rooms, and lose yourself in the largest used and new bookstore on EARTH (no joke). It literally covers an entire city block. This is a Portland staple.
Another Portland staple: Voodoo Doughnut. Be prepared to wait in line. Our babe was asleep in the stroller so waiting in line for nearly an hour was no biggie for us. The shop is unique, along with the doughnuts. We bought a dozen (I know, but we couldn't resist). Anything that's covered in sugar, frosting and Captain Crunch is a must. We had an early dinner with friends that came up for the night from Seattle at Deschutes Brewery. I absolutely loved how adult AND kid-friendly this place was all at the same time. Plus there's BEER...so, 'nuff said.
The next day we went to Rogue Distillery and Public House before walking up to 23rd to shop. Lots of great shopping and restaurants and again, its super close to our hotel (perfect if your baby needs a nap and won't nap on the go). We had ice cream at Salt & Straw, which houses amazing flavors like Rose City Riot, Pear & Blue Cheese and Arbequina Olive Oil. Weird-sounding but awesome-tasting. The line is pretty packed so I suggest going during the week in the early afternoon to avoid crowds.
The next morning we jumped on the Seattle-bound train and headed home. There are so many cute neighborhoods that are baby-friendly to explore in Portland, we can't wait to go back! For more info on what to do, CLICK HERE. March is actually Portland Dining Month, so there's no time to visit like the present! You'll leave Portland with a full belly and fond memories.
***Next Stop, Aloha! Hawaii!