Most people in Seattle visit Portland for tax-free shopping, I on the other hand just needed a break from Seattle ????
The decision-making process
Its been almost two weeks since my last trip to San Francisco and I was itching to go out and explore some other city. I really wanted to do a ferry ride to a nearby island or city. One of the options was San Juan islands, the closest ones to Seattle, but for obvious reasons, they didn't have many activities during winters. Another option was visiting Vancouver or Victoria in Canada, but before I could start planning for it, I realized I needed to have a Canadian visa being an Indian Passport holder, which I didn't have at the moment.
But, since I really wanted to go somewhere, I decided to make it simple and finalized Portland.
How to reach Portland from Seattle
I booked the earliest Amtrak train from Seattle to Portland for the coming Saturday and the train back to Seattle was on the next day (Sunday evening) from Portland. And the best part, the total cost for both trains came out to be just 70$ ????. For other Amtrak options, you can check their website here. If you want to travel by road, you can either take your own car or hire one, which most of the people do, but be wary of the traffic that you can find on the interstate highway. But if you still want to travel by road but not worry about driving, you can book a bus from Wanderu. There are so many cheaper options here ????. And finally, if you don't like road or rail journeys, I am sure there must be good flight options as well ????
The train journey
I didn't sleep much the night before the travel date, but with the excitement of the trip I woke up early and then slept all through my way till Portland. Sadly, I missed the beautiful waterfront views outside (if any!) ☹️
Where to stay in Portland
Hostel! Hostel! Hostel! There were not many hostels available 1 week before the trip, so I booked one of the very few remaining, Travelers' House hostel. It had a good bus connectivity which was a positive because of my zero driving skills ????. The only issue with the hostel was that it did not allow booking for just one night, so I sent them a mail requesting for a one night stay and they were kind enough to agree and help me with the process. More about the hostel later.
How to reach the hostel from Union Station
With an excellent bus connectivity in the city, it was really easy to reach the hostel from Union Station.
It was a 7-minute walk to the bus stop from the station, from where I got a direct bus to the hostel. Uber or Lyft are the next best options if you are not much of a public transport person. Or you can also rent a car just in case you are planning to drive on your own.
The hostel- Travelers' House
I reached the hostel around 12 pm and was allotted the room immediately. It was a small cozy home located in the suburbs of Eastern Portland.
I left the hostel soon after freshening up and decided to take a stroll along the Alberta street. The weather was warm with a little drizzle. Alberta street is one of the most vibrant streets of Portland lined up with small cafes, local boutiques, and galleries. It also has one of most amazing murals that I have seen so far.
Brunch at PineState and IceCream at Salt&Straw
Pine State Biscuits is famous for its gravy biscuits and biscuit sandwiches. People had warned online of the long queues outside the restaurant and I could see one when I reached the place. Since I was alone, I got my chance a bit early with the seating at the bar. I ordered mushroom gravy with biscuit and iced coffee for breakfast. The food was a little overrated for me but super filling.