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!

This series of events requires two cars and is going to take a little bit of planning on your part, but it's well worth it. You'll need to park one car near NW 23rd and NW Irving. You are going to see signs everywhere that parking is 90 minutes, but that restriction is only for the Timber games/dates listed on the sign, so park freely. After parking, hop in the other car and drive up to Pittock Mansion. Here is a map.

Sitting at 1000 feet above Portland, Pittock Mansion is my midwest parents' favorite place in all of Portland, without a doubt. But don't get in a huff about wasting your precious afternoon on some stuffy mansion because you'll love it, too, for the the views and Portland history.

Sometimes you can even see the cloud line
Pittock Mansion is open 11 AM to 4 PM every day. The house is closed in January for yearly repairs, though you can still drive up to look at the view. On sunny winter days you can even see past downtown to the surrounding hillsides and mountain tops.

This place is nicer than your house
A gift shop created for moms
After the tour, walk down past the gatekeeper's house, then take a sharp left down a short street towards the hillside neighborhoods. There is a chainlink fence with a right-sided, open entry for pedestrians (pictured below). Go through it and start exploring...but use Google Maps on your smartphone and pay keen attention because it's easy to ge lost. Click here for a walking map.

The entry to the West Hills
These windy streets lead to NW 23rd and are lined with beautiful and funky houses, including a couple of mansions. These hillside houses are admirable for their architecture, enviable views, and open floor plans that allow street-side viewing through vast windows. If your parents think that all houses in Portland look like the rundown 1960s shanties of the SE, this million dollar tour is sure to change their mind.

A magical land where 2,000 sq. feet costs $800,000 

A word of advice: try not clomping down the hills as it can be hard on the knees. Also, be sure to wear comfy shoes. The entire walk down takes about 30 minutes and is an easy activity since it is all downhill.

Also, don't forget about the car you parked at Pittock. If there is anyone in your family who is not up for the walk, they can drive the car to NW 23rd as you walk the West Hills.

I like to imagine this casa is owned by drug lords
If you follow this map, you should end up at Papa Hayden's, which is a fabulous restaurant with a remarkable menu that never disappoints. Though a bit on the pricy side, this place will charm the socks off your parents with its Victorian-inspired decor, well-dressed wait staff, and desserts so pretty you won't want to eat them.

You earned this dessert by walking here
I've seen my brothers and my Dad put down their fair share of food here, so don't worry about Papa Hayden's being too dainty for them. And if you are drenched in rain and wearing tennis shoes because of the walk down, don't worry, it's still Portland and people dress casual. 


Unknown said...

Thank you for the rainy day ideas!

Julieanne said...

Wonderful ideas!

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