Last year Todd and I took a 10 day road trip from Winnipeg to Portland, then back along the coast to Astoria. It's incredible how full 10 days can feel when you're traveling, seeing new things and making memories. I don't think I'll ever forget that trip, and if I do, no problem. I took 2000 photos to help jog my memory!
I love AirBnb and tell everyone who hasn't tried it out that they're missing out! Staying in actual neighbourhoods on our travels has enhanced our experience of the cities we visit. A great example of this was our Airbnb stay in Portland's Mt. Tabor neighbourhood. We chose this location as home base because of it's proximity to beautiful Mt. Tabor park. Usually I wouldn't be too keen on hanging out near a volcano, but Mt. Tabor has been extinct volcanic vent for over 300,000 years. A beautiful natural park graces it's elevation, giving visitors a scenic view of Portland and Mt. Hood in the distance.
The Airbnb we stayed in was attached to a family home on a residential street. It had it's own private side entrance and enclosed patio. Our host greeted us even though we rolled in after dark. After showing us around the cute studio apartment, we settled in to plan for the next day. The guide books left for us were really helpful in giving us ideas of where to start off.
The next morning we started off our day with a light breakfast and coffee at Coquin. After breakfast, we took a walk around Mt. Tabor Park, climbing sets of stairs that lead to the summit. This park is a peaceful oasis in a bustling city with great views and tons of shade.
If you enjoy walking or biking, you can get to Portlands popular off beat shopping strips on Hawthorne and Belmont from the Mt. Tabor neighbourhood. There is easy public transportation available as well if you get sick of hoofing it. I wrote about Vintage Shopping in Portland here a few months ago. On our walk to that worthwhile destination we got a better sense of what it would be like to live in a Portland neighbourhood. There is a lot of green everywhere, big beautiful roses sprouting from boulevards and gardens, lush trees and vines creeping up century old buildings. Churches and character homes house coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques. There's always something to stop and look at. Just my kind of place!
Portland is known as The City of Roses. They're not kidding. Everything from wild brambly roses to full cabbage roses adorn the streets. Big blue and purple hydrangeas were total showstoppers. Portland has a popular garden dedicated entirely to roses (The International Rose Test Garden)!
There are also a lot of old theatres in the neighbourhood. We loved spending one night at the Avalon which has a big vintage arcade and bar. If we lived in Portland, we'd probably spend a lot of time here. Todd entered the Space Invaders tournament but the machine lost power when the tesla coil started up. That was a weird show. Thanks Portland!
Airbnb rentals have helped us explore the cities we visit so much. Staying within a neighbourhood really gives you the sense of what it would be like to live there yourself. All those lesser known places to eat, grab a drink, shop, listen to music, or enjoy the view are so much more accessible. It's all part of the adventure of traveling!
If you would like to try Airbnb out, use this link to sign up. You'll save $45 CAD on your first booking! Worth it!