Conscious Girl's Guide to Portland

Portland is what all my dreams are made of. Small businesses are thriving, innovate and creative concepts are EVERYWHERE, and the whole city seems to be supporting and rooting for the hundreds of independent artists and makers who live there. Consider the fresh farm-to-table style food on every block- and it is a creative dreamers paradise.

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I’d spent quite a bit of time in Portland before this trip to visit my sister (she just moved up to teach there and let me tell you- she will be seeing a lot of us!) but this time was different. Traveling with baby only allowed for so much exploring during each day. I spent zero time at bars or hanging in nightlife hot spots, but I gained a whole new insight to all Portland has to offer during the day. I've been known to indulge in the food, coffee, and shops but this visit I spent more time at the parks. Here are some of my favorite spots, divided up by the districts of the city.

Alphabet District:

Tender Loving Empire- Founded by a husband and wife with intentions of sharing their friends’ art and music, this ten year old, highly curated shop now showcases dozens and dozens of Oregon creatives with records, beautiful prints, cards, jewelry, housewares, apparel and accessories. A must see for curated handmade shop junkies like myself.

Parachute- High quality Egyptian cotton, European flax and Turkish cotton are used to create the sheets, linens and towels at Parachute. Designed in Venice, CA and responsibly manufactured by expert craftsmen around the globe. Added plus: they donate malaria-preventing bed nets to children in need through a UN Foundation’s campaign.

 Parachute, Portland, OR

Parachute, Portland, OR

Pearl District: (Which is a nice walk from the alphabet district!)

Made Here PDX- So. Many. Portland. Made. Goods. A very large collection of quality goods from Portland-based designers, artists and makers. Also a must see for the handmade shop lovers.

 Made Here PDX, Portland, OR

Made Here PDX, Portland, OR

Powell’sYou knew this one was coming! It’s on every city guide for a reason. It’s absolutely worth visiting, and if you’ve got a whole afternoon to spare- you can spend it there easily.

Prasad Cuisine inside Yoga Pearl- For the very health conscious! Juice bar, smoothies and an organic, gluten-free menu.

Waterfront Park- A great walk after you've enjoyed Prasad (or Voodoo Donuts)! They have a Saturday Market that is worth checking out, otherwise a walk along the water is great!

 Mama, Avi & our friend Brandon at Waterfront Park

Mama, Avi & our friend Brandon at Waterfront Park

Division Street:

Eb & Bean- Some of the most delicious (and organic) frozen yogurt! I tried the vegan hazelnut pudding with bourbon caramel sauce and cookie dough chunks. I almost died, it was so dang good.

Little OtsuA paper lover’s dream!! Must-see for those who love paper products and japanese made office supplies.

Near that area is a MUST visit vintage, industrial modern, antique and art shop called Urbanite.

 Urbanite, Portland, OR

Urbanite, Portland, OR

Also nearby, Mt. Tabor Park. A massive, stunning, dormant volcano great for walks, hiking, a picnic + taking the kids to the park there.

 Mt. Tabor Park, Portland, OR

Mt. Tabor Park, Portland, OR

St. John’s Neighborhood:

Pier Park. Small and quaint. Suuuper green.

Etcetera Gifts + Goods- Fair trade, sustainable and locally made goods! Lots of beautiful jewelry and housewares.

Home Grown Smoker- Think vegan fast food. Delicious, vegan fast food. 

George Park- Beautiful, dog-friendly, kid-friendly park under a bridge, along the water. 

 Mama and Avi, enjoying St. John's Park!

Mama and Avi, enjoying St. John's Park!

Northeast Alberta:

Tin Shed- My absolute favorite restaurant in Portland. All of their food is super fresh, their breakfast menu is amazing and their homemade biscuits and jam are to die for. Dog friendly, kid friendly + indoor/outdoor seating.

 Pretty excited about my brunch at the Tin Shed!

Pretty excited about my brunch at the Tin Shed!

Grasshopper- The most precious children’s store. Lots of french toys and a beautiful little book selection.

Collage- Curated art + craft supplies, lots of DIY project sets, books and ephemera. I always leave with some new hobby crafts and having spent a little too much money.

Zig Zag Wanderer- An eclectic little store of vintage clothing, housewares, jewelry and a mix of handmade.

Eco Vibe- Shoes, accessories and super soft clothing ethically sourced and manufactured.

Bristlecone- A sweetly curated little vintage shop with a great selection of clothes and accessories and very affordable!

 Bristlecone, Portland, OR

Bristlecone, Portland, OR

I didn’t get to spend much time on Hawthorn or in the Hollywood District but I hear Harlow, the sister restaurant to Prasad, is amazing. And I once got my hair done at Nightbird PDX a few years ago. Honestly, it was the best cut and color I’ve ever had. Also, Jet Black for coffee and beautiful atmosphere. All vegan cafe; I tried the GInger Spice Chai with coconut milk and it was yuuum!

I could have made this list so much more extensive because Portland is SO full of sustainable and handmade shops and restaurants- but I wanted to make something short enough to just touch on a few places in each area I visited, so I hope you enjoy- and look out for the Conscious Girl’s Guide to Portland Part dos after my next visit!

Ashley Ayala