In case you haven’t heard, Portland is having a moment. People from across the country (and the world) are flocking to the hipster mecca of foodies, coffee snobs and self-dubbed weirdos. If you're wondering how to tell the wannabe hipsters from the true Portland natives, just look for whoever rolls their eyes when you tell them you’re about to do one of these things. After you've done them at least once, you can be right there with them.
Eat at the food trucks
Portland likes to boast that they had food trucks before they were cool – but don’t hipsters say that about everything? To get the true experience, head downtown to Adler Street between 9th and 11th – home to one of the biggest food truck pods the city has to offer. We recommend walking around the block at least 4 times debating which hunk of metal you want to eat your lunch from, though fair warning that after the third trip around the carts will start to blur together in your head and you might end up trying to order pizza from a Chinese truck – don’t say we didn’t warn you. You can’t go wrong with Nong's Khao Man Gai for famous chicken and rice, or The Grilled Cheese Grill if you’re looking for some next-level comfort food. Once you have your dish of choice in hand, walk the few blocks over to Pioneer Square to eat (and stare longingly at the food of someone who definitely handled the pressure of choice better than you).
Go to Voodoo Donuts (and get married, if you want)
Is there a better way to spend your time in Portland than waiting in line for a doughnut that has a name you’re embarrassed to say out loud? We can’t think of one. There might not be a place that better personifies the weirdness of Portland than Voodoo Donuts - even the “Keep Portland Weird” sign across the street thinks so. Alongside doughnuts with names like Triple Chocolate Penetration and Cock-N-Balls, Voodoo goes the extra mile for its customers by offering legal marriages — we’re not kidding. For as little as $300 you can be legally married and get a dozen donuts to boot. Isn’t that what every girl dreams of?
Go for a “hike” at Multnomah Falls
Not exactly within Portland's city limits but still almost always crowded, Multnomah is Oregon’s tallest waterfall and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and Portlanders who like to pretend they love the outdoors. Just take the 30-minute drive east out of the city and see for yourself. If you can throw enough elbows to get through the crowd at the bottom of the falls, there’s a teeny tiny hike you can take up to the Benson Bridge — all the better viewpoint for your Snapchat story. I mean, if you go to Multnomah Falls and don’t post about it, did you even go? Bonus points for a “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” caption.
Get Lost in Powell’s
When we say “get lost” in Powell’s, we don’t mean lovingly wandering the endless shelves looking for your new favorite book. No, we quite literally mean you should pick up a store map the second you set foot in this place because at some point you will be (what feels like) miles deep in a maze of bookshelves. Trust us, it could save your life. While you’re not preoccupied with trying to wind your way out of the shop, you might actually be able to enjoy the cozy library-esque vibes and endless titles — so long as you steer clear of the children’s section.
Wait in line forever to eat at Pok Pok
It’s debatable whether the Thai food at Pok Pok is so good that it’s actually worth waiting 45 minutes for, but judging by the long-ass line up for a table at 3 pm on a Tuesday, it might be. A lot of places claim to offer “authentic” Thai food, but Pok Pok claims to be as authentic as you can get. That means say goodbye to Penang Curry and hello to dishes like Kai Yaang, the dish that claims to be the original inspiration for Pok Pok. Described as "Charcoal roasted, Mary’s fresh pasture raised, air-cooled chicken", this dish should reassure you that authentic or not, Pok Pok’s menu doesn't shy away from piling on the hipster-friendly adjectives.
Drink a cup of Stumptown Coffee
By now it’s been established that Portland probably has more coffee shops per capita than is good for them, but one reigns supreme above them all — Stumptown. I mean sure, you can get Stumptown Cold Brew in that fancy glass bottle at your local Whole Foods, but that feels like cheating. For the real experience, go to one of Stumptown’s six Portland locations – the Division location is the original, but we like the Belmont one for its big windows and prime people watching opportunities. Let them carefully craft you a pour over in one of their fancy Chemex coffee makers, but be sure to add in an extra 10 minutes to your stop. A Chemex doesn’t care if you’re running late.
Visit the Acropolis...once
What’s that old saying – we go together like steak and strippers? Well, that’s what it is at The Acropolis. Part steakhouse, part strip club, and painted to resemble the ancient Greek landmark, The Acropolis is a one of those places you go to check it off your bucket list and then never go again. We’re not totally sure that this is what the ancient Greeks had in mind when they built the actual Acropolis, but leave it to Portland to make things weird. If strippers and steak are up your alley, it’s your lucky day – The Acropolis boasts a wide selection of beers on tap and steaks at affordable prices. All for the best, as your dollar bills probably have better places to go in here.
Have you recently been somewhere cool and took some awesome videos? Submit them to #VIVAStories for the chance to win a $10,000 trip! Watch the video below for more deets, and enter now.