Gift Shopping at PSU Saturday Farmer's Market + Breakfast - Downtown

Open all winter, this is the best farmer's market I have ever visited. Plenty of fresh season produce, food carts, and often live music, all in a beautiful setting. Go hungry and enjoy some of Portland's best casual breakfast food + tons of free samples.

Woodburn Outlet + Golfing Option + Aurora Colony Antique Shopping - Day Trip

Woodburn Outlet is Oregon's #1 tourist attraction, even over Crater Lake or Multnomah Falls. That's because visitors love tax-free shopping and this outlet mall has a lot of appealing stores. Make the most of your drive south with a less-commercial shopping stop at Aurora Colony antique shops on the way home.


Distillery Row Tastings + Dinner at Afuri - SE

Work up an appetite by tasting at three Portland distilleries, then end the day with dinner at Portland's ramen hotspot, Afuri (reservations not required). There are skewers and dumplings for parents who do not have adventuring palates, and the meal served in a setting that they will not forget.


Powell's Books + Chocolate Shots + Pearl Shopping + Deschutes - W Burnside

No trip to Portland would be complete without a trip to Powell's City of Books. This daytime outing starts at Powell's, recharges your battery with liquid chocolate shots at Cacao, impresses parents with high end shopping, and ends with a square meal and a beer at Deschutes. These places are within four blocks of each other and can be easily walked to.


Shopping & Lunch on Mississippi Avenue - NE

Salt tasting, taxidermy, terrarium gardening, and some of the best clothing boutiques in the city: you'll find it all on Mississippi Avenue. There's even a "construction paradise" for the guys!


Float On Salt Soak + Whole Bowl Lunch - SE

If you:
  • Are hosting tired guests with sore muscles
  • Needing some solo time to relax
  • Want to give someone an experience they will never forget
...then take them for a 90 minute session in a float tank at Float On!


Walk Leif Erickson Road - NW

If you don't mind facing fog or little drizzle, grab a raincoat and walk along Leif Erickson Road. This lush, scenic road runs right through the heart of Forest Park and is semi-paved so that your shoes don't get too muddy. 


Oregon Coast Aquarium + Rogue Brewery Tour + Tillamook Cheese Factory - Overnight

If you're really bored and itching to escape the rain, nothing beats the Oregon coast. The stretch of coast nearest to Portland has a lot to see and do, with an overnight stay in Newport recommended for everyone's sanity.


Lunch at Salty's + $3 Movie at the Kennedy School - NE

There are very few places in Portland that my parents can recall by name, but the Kennedy School is one of them. Start this day off right with giant plate of seafood on the river at Salty's, followed by a movie and beers at the Kennedy School. Here's your map.


Portland Spirit + Tax-Free Shopping + Portland City Grill + Dinner at Jake's Seafood - Downtown

This is a very touristy but memorable day that includes a sightseeing cruise of Portland, shopping downtown, a cocktail 30 stories high at Portland City Grill, then dinner at Jake's. It's a great way to show off our bustling downtown while also fulfilling the number one request of most people visiting Portland: to eat seafood.


Bob's Red Mill Tour + Columbia Outlet + Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden + Otto's Sausage Kitchen - SE

Located out in Milwaukie by Dave's Killer Bread, Bob's Red Mill has top-notch soup and hot sandwiches, extensive shopping, and a large bulk food section. It's a great place to stop on your way out of town, especially if you are hungry. Note: they are closed on Sundays. Here's your map.


Breakfast + Wine Shopping in Multnomah Village - SW

Multnomah Village is an adorable neighborhood that is filled with good-looking, friendly yuppies and their well-dressed babies. It's a bit south of town, but worth the trip to eat breakfast at Marco's Cafe, go wine shopping at John's market, and window shop as you stroll through the quaint downtown. Here's your map.


Breakfast & Shopping & Sweet Treats on NW 23rd Ave - NW

Upscale NW 23rd is meant to be walked and has something for everyone: coffee, snacks, boutiques galore, and people watching. Walking this famous Portland street is a great rainy day activity that only takes an hour or two. This 18-block walk starts with the best breakfast in town and ends with getting steaks for dinner at Zupan's.


Walk the Waterfront Loop + Hot Tea at the Lan Su Chinese Garden - Downtown

Do your parents like to walk and/or you enjoy tiring them out? Great! They'll love this beautiful tour of the Portland waterfront that ends with a hot cup of tea in the unforgettable Lan Su Chinese Garden. Here's your map.


Eat in McMinnville + Evergreen Aviation Museum + Wine Tasting - Day Trip

Have a memorable breakfast in McMinnville, stand in awe of the Spruce Goose, then wind your way back to Portland as you stop at world-class wineries along the way. The scenery is breathtaking even in the wintertime and your day ends with everyone having a fun little buzz.

Oregon Historical Society + Higgins - Downtown


This impressive museum is a great way to tickle your dad's love of history while also showcasing some fascinating features of modern Oregon. The Oregon Historical Society has rotating exhibits and costs $11.00 for admission. Continue to impress with a dinner at Higgins afterwards - on the same block!


Pittock Mansion + Walk Down the West Hills + Lunch at Papa Hayden's - NW

Grab an umbrella and a smartphone with Google Maps for this trifecta of high brow activities that your parents will love. The day starts with a tour of Pittock Mansion, a downhill stroll through the upscale houses of the West Hills, and ends with a well-earned lunch or dessert at Papa Hyden's on NW 23rd. It's a parent's perfect afternoon!


Multnomah Falls + Vista House + McMenamin's Edgefield - Day Trip

This Portland day trip takes you west on I-84 to Multnomah Falls, then leisurely backtracks to the Vista House at Crown Point and to McMenamin's Edgefield for lunch. Extra time even allows for a little tax-free spending at the Columbia Gorge Outlets. Here is your map.


The Grotto + Movie at Cinetopia - Deep NE/Vancouver

Are your parents religious? Get them to the Grotto right away! The Grotto offers 62-acres of impeccably maintained gardens and walking paths, studded with chapels, over 100 religious statues and shrines, and reflection spaces. Yes, it's very Catholic-focused, but the Grotto is one of Portland's largest green spaces and best kept secrets, plus you get to take an elevator ride up an 110 foot cliff. Here's your map.


St. John's Bridge to Sauvie Island - Deep NW

You know what's fun to do in the rain? Drive around and look at stuff from the comfort of your car. This sweet little day trip takes you across the stunning St. John's Bridge to Sauvie Island, where you can drive around admiring the countryside, bird watch, look at cute house boats, or see the sandy banks of the Willamette River.

Wine Tasting in SW Washington + Maryhill Museum of Art + a Night in Hood River - Day Trip

If you have the time and money, plan an afternoon of wine tasting followed by a a night in Hood River. Located just 60 miles west of Portland, Hood River offers a small-town vibe crossed with "this is what it must feel like to be a rich person on vacation in Aspen" feeling. The downtown is adorable and filled with boutiques and quaint restaurants. Full Sail Brewery is also located here and a fun place to visit.

Crab Feast at Home - Anywhere

Safeway and Fred Meyer's have sales on Alaskan King Crab and local crab frequently during the winter. If your parents are not from the NW, they'll flip out for crab legs that cost $35 a plate at a restaurant back home. The crab legs come pre-cooked when you buy them in the store, but serving them at home is an adventure in itself and eating them is silly, messy fun.

Dinner at Park Kitchen + First Thursday Art Walk - The Pearl

Fine dining and fine art: it's a one-two punch that would impress anyone visiting Portland, parents included. Obviously this perfect night is a matter of timing, so plan ahead by making a dinner reservation at Park Kitchen for the first Thursday of the month. 


1000 Acre Dog Park - Day Trip

If you have a dog and enjoy walking, bundle up and head out to the 1000 Acre Dog Park in Troutdale. This enormous canine playground is entirely off-leash and filled with happy dogs and people, especially on the weekend.


OMSI & OMSI After Dark - SE

Sure, it's more fun to go here with your stoner friends, but OMSI is a wonderful museum and a great place to wander around for a few hours during the day. OMSI offers a unique feature: you can still be with your parents here but not having to entertain them the whole time. Instead, everyone can drift off and get lost in their own thoughts or listen to audio guides via headphones.


Bonneville Dam + Bonneville Hot Springs Resort - Archived / Closed

Unfortunately this resort is now private and closed to the public. If you're sick of being in town and want to do something different, head east on I-84 to the Bonneville Dam to witness the awesome spectacle of electricity being generated by water, then hop over the Bridge of the Gods to Bonneville Resort, which has pools and tubs filled with natural mineral water. You'll leave feeling terrific!

How This Blog Came to Be

The first time my midwest parents came to visit me in Portland during the winter, we spent a lot of time indoors just staring at each other. Bars, bowling, and live music were not an option, so it got me to thinking: what do people do in Portland when it rains? I started keeping this list.

My brother also took my parents to the Florida Room on Killingsworth to get a drink once, and I've been trying to correct my parents' tarnished image of Portland ever since. Seriously, who takes their conservative Republican parents to the Florida Room? From that moment on, I decided my parents would only see the natural beauty, ritzy neighborhoods, amazing restaurants, and unique culture that lured their kids out here in the first place.

I hope you enjoy this blog and I would love to hear from you. If you have any suggestions, you can reach me at amydpogue@gmail.com.

Also, be sure to check out my words website http://www.words-to-use.com/