Regularly touted as one of the trendiest cities in the world (losing the number one spot to Brighton last year), Portland is a lively, creative and unique hotspot in America's vast Pacific Northwest - and a haven for hipsters, as anyone who's watched the hit show Portlandia can attest. Home to the sprawling headquarters of Nike, as well as the site of a flurry of new hotels - including The Hoxton - more and more people and businesses are travelling further up the West coast to make America's capital of cool their home.
Here's how to plan your visit...
With its affordable, urban aesthetic and ideal location in the heart of Portland's eastside cultural district, the Jupiter hotel has long been a popular spot for those looking to stay somewhere a little different. Now, guests have a wider choice, thanks to the launch of sister hotel Jupiter NEXT - an elevated, more sophisticated version of the original, situated right next door. The new lodgings feature the same focus on original design, art and creativity, but combined with more luxurious rooms and additional amenities. Immerse yourself in the local art on display, enjoy excellent coffee in the lobby bar, or book yourself a table at Hey Love, the new restaurant on the ground floor, which opened in November 2018 and was swiftly voted Most Beautiful Restaurant in Portland.
Book now at Jupiterhotel.com
Literary fans won't want to miss Powell's City of Books, which is the largest used and new bookstore in the world (based on shelf space; Barns & Noble in New York takes the top spot in terms of floor space). Lose hours browsing the shelves piled floor-to-ceiling with books of every genre and description imaginable. You'll find sweet hand-written recommendations from staff pinned to the shelves to help you make your choice. It's a Portland institution.
For more, visit Powells.com.
To say that Portland likes its food would be an understatement; Portlanders like to eat, and they do it so well. Canard (French for both 'duck' and 'hoax') is the newest restaurant from award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker, who already boasts two other Portland foodie favourites - Little Bird Bistro and Le Pigeon, Canard's neighbour. Serving French bar food, Canard is a more casual affair than Rucker's two other eateries, with the idea being, he says, to make his cooking more accessible to a broader array of diners. Having sampled it for ourselves, we're firmly of the opinion that as many people should enjoy it as possible.
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining. For more, visit Canardpdx.com.
Portland considers itself one of the original homes of the food truck, of which there are nearly 700 to be found throughout the city. Take a food truck tour with Brett Burmeister, owner and managing editor of Food Carts Portland, who has been tracking and chronicling the carts since 2008. With his passion for food and local business, plus his knowledge of the city's history, Brett's tours are equal parts fun and fascinating - plus you'll get to sample some of the finest culinary treats that Portland has to offer. Right out of the back of a truck.
For more, visit Foodcartsportland.com.
For a glimpse of local Portland nightlife, grab a drink at the Doug Fir Lounge, which is situated in the corner of the Jupiter Hotel property (and is worth a visit whether you happen to be staying there or not). The warm, wood panelled interiors of the upstairs bar are complemented by toasty open fires during the winter, giving you the feel of hunkering down in a cosy alpine lodge, while there's an elegant outdoor patio area to make use of come summer. If you're keen to discover some new bands while you're in town (of which there is plenty in Portland) head downstairs to the live music venue, which plays host to some of the hottest acts in town.
For more, visit Dougfirlounge.com
If you enjoy a drink then there's plenty for you in Portland, which is home to a vast array of wineries, breweries and distilleries. If whiskey is your poison of choice, you can't leave without visiting the Multnomah Whiskey Library - one of the city's best kept secrets. Settle down in one of the mismatching leather chairs and marvel at the frankly astounding array of distilled spirits on offer. The staff have an encyclopedic knowledge of the offering so have fun testing them out. Whether you prefer your whiskey neat or in cocktail form, there's something here for everyone. It's not always easy to get in though; it operates on walk-ins only unless you're a member - and even then reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more, visit Mwlpdx.com
For a Spanish sharing feast, head to Toro Bravo, a buzzy, vibrant restaurant created by chef John Gorham. The rotating menu of tapas and charcuterie changes daily based on local produce and seasonal variations, so you never know quite what you're going to get (but you can rest assured that whatever it is, it will be delicious). The extensive wine list features options from Spain and the Pacific Northwest, so you can keep it as authentic or as local as you'd like. With modern twists on old favourites, you'll want to come back just to try more.
For more, visit Torobravopdx.com
While Oregon isn't the most likely destination for a Japanese Garden, Portland in fact boasts one of the best you're likely to find outside of Japan. The serene space covers 12 acres with eight different garden styles, including meandering streams filled with koi (carp), charming bridges and walkways, and an authentic Japanese tea house. Utterly peaceful, you'll feel calmer upon leaving than you did arriving. Autumn is a particularly attractive time to visit as the leaves turn. It's also conveniently located next to Portland's famous Rose Garden, which features more than 10,000 roses of approximately 650 different varieties, and offers spectacular views of downtown and Mount Hood.
For more, visit Japanesegarden.org