Club Wyndham Portland Waterfront Park is in Portland and until the assignment came up, I never thought about traveling to the area. I love seeing new places but this just not had made my list yet.
A trip to Portland for me starts with a flight since this is a near coast-to-coast journey at over a 7-hour flight and several thousand miles.
Video by Through My Lens
Day One Travel and Arrival
Landing at the airport in Portland after a smooth flight was nice. This is a smaller airport, but it does qualify as an international airport. I picked up my bag and rental without much issue, then headed towards the resort.
From the airport to the resort was only an 11-mile drive, and it took less than 15 minutes. If you do not want a rental here, you could certainly do without one how close the resort is to the airport.
When you look at the Wyndham site, it is interesting that the headline is when you are looking for a little quirk this is for you. I think that recognizes the area’s free spirit and unique look at life. The area has many artists and free spirits of all kinds. Surely 2020 saw issues in the area, but as I drove the streets now in 2021, I did not see signs of those issues now.
Looking for what to do in their area before my flight, I found this local tourist site of value. There are many helpful notes on locations and local experiences that you can find before your trip.
Once I arrived at the resort, I discovered that there is no on-site parking at the resort itself, but there is a local provider close by that allows parking for $39 a day with unlimited in and out privileges. Given that this was the only game in town, I made those arrangements. I think the lack of parking is because this location is so central to Portland’s downtown that most feel they do not need a car rental when in the area. If I had paid attention, I would likely not have gotten the rental knowing this in advance, so just be aware.
The majority of the villas here are 1-2 bedrooms but they do also have some studios available. I had booked a 1-, so I had more room to move around and relax in.
My one bedroom was a presidential, and it was sizable at just under 800 sq ft. This size gave you a nice full kitchen, a large living room area, and the standard size bedroom and bath. Everything was nice and modern. The shower was fully tiled and clean and had a waterfall showerhead that I know many people enjoy. The bed was a comfortable king-size, and the kitchen had plenty of space to fix full dinners or meals.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Fitness Center
- Convenience Store
- Owner Lounge
- Fire Pit
After getting sorted and all my clothes put away, I refreshed with a shower and then headed out to find something to eat. I had spent most of the day traveling and had not eaten really anything yet today.
About 2 blocks from the resort, I found Kells Irish Pub, and I ordered a black and tan and a fish and chips and I was soon a happy man. Many of the other restaurants in the area had a very vegan feel, so if that is your thing, you are likely going to be a happy traveler. Me, I was happy with the fish and chips but missed the bangers and mash not being on the menu.
Day Two Seeing the City
Portland does have some beautiful senary and locations. I wanted to get a feel for the area as a whole, so that is why I started my day from a good vantage point.
Pittock Mansion has a great view of downtown Portland, and it is a historical mansion built in 1914. You can take a virtual tour online to see if this is for you, but make sure you check the photos of the views here before you decide they are what really draw people here.
You can take a self-guided tour here and then visit the grounds for the amazing views of the city. It is amazing to me that as unique as the locals are that they too seem to love this place, that is a clear example of wealth from an era that seems so long gone here now. But reviews online and even the locals you might talk to seem to have a fond affection for the mansion if they were born in the area.
Little known fact, Portland has more breweries in one location than any other place on the planet. The current count is 70, with several more likely in the plans by local brewers who dare to dream.
I opted for a bus tour of the breweries via a small business called City Brew Tours. This is a tour that includes up to 12 people and is less than $100 per person. It lasts 3.5 hours from start to finish and includes some VIP access at several breweries and up to 12 beers of your choosing. There are also private tours available and other options as well.
This was a full afternoon. All I was up for after those many drinks was a stumble to another local restaurant after I was returned to the resort and some dinner.
Few things soak up beer better than a pizza. I stayed on the same side of the street as the resort and walked about a block to Captain Ankeny’s Pizza. There must be something unique about the water in the area because the crust here was one of a kind and reminded me of pizza crust in New York City where the dough just seems to be lighter and crisp better in the oven.
I had a specialty pizza and some soda to help me stumble back less on my walk back to the resort. I was not out of sorts after a good meal. I felt street legal again, even if just for walking.
Day Three in Portland
After breakfast in my room, I wanted to see some landmark spots of a different sort while in the area. One that I chose first today was a local bookstore that somehow still survives in a world that has Amazon.
This bookstore is a giant. Covering a full city block it offers hundreds of thousands of books all under one roof. Here you can put your hands on limited titles, and find books that you just would not find doing a search on the internet. There is something we are losing when we only have books online. Something that Powell maintains at scale at this location.
I purchased more than a few books but cleverly arranged for the shipping of them back home via the store and UPS. It was cheaper than checking them on a plane these days for sure, and much less hassle.
Next on my list was Voodoo Donut which is a local legend and at almost any hour of the day you will find a line here. I am not a line, really. I just do not have the capacity to weigh anymore. When I arrived, however, the line was not too bad, so all in, I think I waited maybe 12 minutes to get 2 donuts to try.
This location was over 1,500 miles from my home, but I had never tried these donuts before, even though they have locations in Florida and many areas near me now on the East Coast.
The donut was good, but I did not feel it was life-changing or better than other specialty donut stores near me. Maybe Virginia was the hidden donut capital, and I did not know it.
I would normally have gone to the Oregon Zoo next, but I had recently been to the San Diego Zoo and I was so impressed that I felt another zoo now would be underwhelming. They do have over 2,600 animals at the Oregon Zoo, so if I do make it back this way, I may well check it out on another trip.
You can view the Zoo map here and see it is a sizable zoo for sure. Ticket prices are low at only $20 and if you like a good Zoo, this looks like a nice one to visit for sure.
The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the most impressive outside of Japan or Hawaii. Open W-M closed on Tuesdays. Their hours are 10 AM-5:30 PM. Admission is almost $20 but worth it for the tranquility and views. They offer discounts for seniors, students, and youth as well.
Once in the garden, I booked a reservation for the Umami Café on my phone and then went there for a great tea and dessert experience. The tea and snacks are great, but the setting is really what you are getting here with your reservation.
The garden has an impressive waterfall and photos of this have been seen Worldwide because of its beauty.
At the end of my day, I am glad that I have come to Portland. The tours were fun, but I think the Pittock Mansion was my favorite experience in the area. Certainly, the resort offers a great location close to so many things to do in Portland.
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