Winter in Portland

This town’s motto of “Keep Portland Weird” creates its reputation of not only supporting local businesses but also self-expression, local art, and leisure activities.   With an abundance of restaurants and outdoor activities, one weekend here just isn’t enough.  


Look for the City’s Murals

My favorite types of murals are of women because of their curves, make-up, hair, and clothes.  After going wedding dress shopping for my friend, there was a mural of a woman in a white dress on the side of the building located on SW Washington and 11th Ave  

On Division Street, west of the Ford Building is a huge mural of a geisha.  If you look closely, her hair is made up of live plants.

These murals are part of the 2nd Annual Forest for the Trees – a city-approved mural festival that unites local artists to create contemporary public art.

Visit Mother Foucalt’s Bookshop

If you loved Powell’s Books, this is your next stop.  We were about to walk past this store but the array of rare and vintage books stopped us.  The cozy shop feels like an old living room with books in every crevice of the place. It was a beautiful mess.

Walk the Morrison Bridge at Sunset

This bridge sets the stage of a skyline of Portland on both sides of the bridge.  It was the perfect scene with pink and purple skies and tons of trees and hundreds of black crows sitting on the perches of the branches.

Run (or bike) a 10-mile loop around the waterfront

While my friends were training to run their very first half marathon, I along with my other friend rented Nike bikes. With Nike’s Headquarters located in Oregon, it wasn’t surprising that their bikes are all around Portland.  Just download the app and pay as you go, we followed our friends running while we biked all around the Portland waterfront. It took us a little less than 3 hrs. In the winter, be sure to bring your gloves and warm socks.

Find the map here

Go Cosmic Tubing at Mt. Hood

Sliding down a snow mountain that feels like a rave?  Sign me up! From Portland, it’s a 1-hour drive to Mount Hood.  At night, they have music blasting and show lights while you can ride tandem with your friends down a steep snow mountain.  

Hike Crater Lake in Snowshoes

A 4-hour road trip from Portland, trek around the deepest lake in the U.S.   Comparable to the Grand Canyon, one of the best sights I’ve set my eyes on. The lake is formed by a collapsed volcano where the water is bright blue, clear, and so still that it creates a mirror-like image of the snow-capped mountains.

Discovery Point trail is a 2 mile moderate to strenuous hike around the lake in snowshoes.  Look for the free snowshoe tours in which snowshoes are provided free of charge.

Experience a night in a Tiny Home

I highly recommend booking a tiny home through AirBnb after the hike at Crater Lake instead of driving back to Portland.  We decided to stay the night after our tiring road trip and strenuous hike so we can enjoy the Umpqua Hot Springs the next day (which btw was only a 15 min drive for our tiny home). Tiny homes are known to custom-built, mobile, and sustainable.  If your someone who is claustrophobic like I am, no need to worry! This place was comfortable and spacious. It included a living room, full shower, kitchen, refrigerator and could sleep, 6 people.

Relax at Umpqua Hot Springs

The Umpqua Hot Springs is open from dawn until dusk so we decided to get there at dawn to beat the crowd.  The parking fee is $5 and you just drop it into the box and hike up a short and a little bit of a steep trail.  There are wooden handrails to help guide you. Once you get there, you’ll see three hot springs on one level and a makeshift hut, which we hang our clothes on (clothing is optional).  It was a peaceful and rejuvenating experience.

It’s truly amazing how these natural hot springs are just sitting near the edge of this cliff.  The water in the pools was just the right temperature. Although getting out was the hard part because it’s winter and 40 degrees Fahrenheit ladies and gentleman!  Hot springs are known to even have some health benefits like soothing aching muscles (great for after that Crater Lake Hike) and the minerals in the water are soaked into your skin, ridding the body of unwanted toxins and nourishes the skin.

Get pierced!

Okay, so this one you can pretty much go anywhere, not just in Oregon.  But sometimes when I travel, I like to get a permanent souvenir. 🙂 We went to this shop called Black Hole Piercing and Tattoo.  I haven’t gotten my ears pierced in any other shop other than Claire’s so I was amazed at how many options of earrings, sizes, and the info you need to know to run it.  I was happy to know that our piercer was diligent in her work and was not trying to rush us. There was 4 of us at the end of the day, I felt bad but she seemed really happy to pierce our conches (her favorite body party to pierce).   I ended up getting a mid-sized opal earring pierced in the conch. I was probably the most nervous and I went last. Bad idea, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I love the end result.