Guest post by Deb Lamedman
Exploring Portland, Oregon
It’s wonderful to share experiences and vacation time with others. But there is definitely something to be said for picking up and taking off on your own. One of the best destinations I know for women traveling alone is Portland, Oregon. If you are a woman traveling alone, friends traveling together, or a lesbian couple who want to experience a fun weeklong get-away, Portland is an exciting city that offers opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking as well as cultural events such as museums, theatre and art galleries.
Portland is chock-full of friendly people and opportunities to partake in all types of activities. If you’re on a budget, the Portland International Hostel and Guest House in the trendy Northwest section of town is not only affordable, but is also in a great neighborhood that provides convenient access to many of the city’s prime visiting spots. Plus, I cannot say enough about the staff and volunteer who are happy to help with any questions you have regarding their fair city.
If you are visiting Portland for the first time, staying at the hostel feels like you are staying with old friends. Plus, for the gal on a budget, they are offer plenty of freebies such as free bread, maps of Portland, free wireless Internet access, free storage and free parking. They also offer opportunities to go on pub crawls, walking tours of the city and often host live music on certain nights of the week.
One of my favorite things about staying in this hostel is the people you will meet. There are many single female travelers staying here and it’s a great opportunity to meet women from all over the world. This particular neighborhood in the Northwest district of Portland is home to a large variety of unique shops, cafes and coffeehouses.
Additionally, the hostel is in very close proximity to the Macleay Park Trailhead in Forest Park and offers beautiful hiking trails and an opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery around. The trails in Forest Park range from beginner to advanced, the scenery is spectacular and your fellow hikers that you will meet along the way will give you a kind nod and a warm smile!
The best time of year to visit Portland is in the summer and fall. After October, there tends to be quite a bit of rainfall through March and the weather may not always be predictable. To take advantage of the bike paths, boating and outdoor activities indicative of Portland, I would recommend you schedule your trip during the warmer, drier months.
Whenever you decide to go, you will find great food, hospitable locals and some really beautiful scenery. Discover the Northwest and put Portland on your vacation “to-do” list!
Guest blog organised by Chelsea of Lesbian Dating where our Women Travel Blog site is named as one of the top 20 Lesbian Travel Blogs
My friend Dolores luckily had a lot to do in Portland as she waited for the train, and we still had 1.5 hour drive to the Gearhart on the Oregon Coast before we were home, after enjoying dinner at Yummy – an excellent wine bar at Seaside.. The next day we hit some of the local beaches – Cannon Beach and Mansanita – both lovely seaside towns with boutique shops and lots of people on the beaches – but NONE in the water – the locals obviously feel it is too cold – with only small children trying the waves. There were signs that it was a good surfing spot, but I did not see anyone except paddlers like me on the edge of the waves.
That night it was back to Portland – Dolores had got front row seats to a Melissa Etheridge concert – we were in spitting distance – right in front of a speaker, so it was something you definitely felt as well as heard. I enjoyed it, I am not that familiar with her music – but she is a great performer and her lead guitarist was AMAZING.
This is her Revival Tour and she essentially sang her way through her life – leaving Kansas and heading for California, a failed relationships, the search for love, breast cancer, and more recently her political activism with Al Gore (she did the soundtrack for Incovenient Truth) and the Democrats (she is singing at their convention next week). A great night out in a fabulous older concert hall (the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall) filled with Portland lesbians and a few staunch men. I think I will get some of the tracks off itunes when I get home.
Sunday – a visit to Astoria Sunday markets was in store – unfortunately it rained, so browsing was not too much fun, though I did manage to buy some fruit for the train journey. We were a bit late leaving and got caught in some traffic heading back to Portland – nearly had an Amtrak moment ourselves, as I was close to missing the train – but got there with 10 mins to spare.