After Eugene it was another quick hour drive to Salem, which is the capital of Oregon. The only reason I wanted to check out Salem, honestly, was because of the name. I know it is not the same Salem that held all the witch trials, but just having that “connection” made it intriguing. Looking back now, this was a town that we did not need to visit. It’s pretty bland honestly. There was a small dingy downtown/ main street, a brown polluted river going through the middle of town, and just not much to do.
However, there are plenty of winery’s around the town, and that is exactly what we did. We ended up going to two different wineries, both pretty good, but not amazing. The views however, were beautiful, with rolling green hills and vineyards all around. The first place we went to was Cubanisimo Winery and then we went down the road to Eola Hills Winery, which was a bit more pricey/fancy. Wine tastings can be pretty expensive, so we felt two was enough, and we needed some food. We ended up at a brewery Gilgamesh, which I was not all that impressed with.
By this time we were a bit tipsy and bored, it was starting to get dark and rainy, and we didn’t want to go back to our Airbnb just yet, so we decided to go see a movie- Shazam. I know, silly movie, probably never would have paid to see it, but bored times calls for action.
Conclusion: I don’t recommend staying in Salem or really even visiting unless you are going to the vineyards on the outskirts.
Airbnb – Our airbnb was actually really nice. The room was very clean with a private bathroom (but no shower) and a very comfortable bed. The hosts were super sweet and seemed down to earth. Their home was amazing, with great decorations, not too big, and a huge backyard. They made us breakfast and coffee in the morning. Recommend.
One you’re are most likely familiar with. Portland was interesting…think Portlandia, they do a great job showing you how the city is. It was very hipster, like you expect. Some parts of the city were flat and felt like you were just in a typical neighborhood, with unique older homes and again everyone had awesome gardens. Then other parts of the city are more city like, with the large buildings, chaotic driving and a downtown. Where we stayed was sandwiched between two hoppin streets- Division st. and Hawthorn blvd. We walked both of them, doing some shopping and eating along the way. Definitely worth checking out, but doing so does not take all day.
So we wondered what else we could do. We went for a “hike” at Mt. Tabor, an old volcano. That was nice and relaxing with a sorta view of the city at the top. Then we went to the other side of Portland and checked out the Pittock Mansion (http://pittockmansion.org/). We just walked the grounds which is free, and was welcomed with a wide view of all Portland. You can go inside the house too, it costs $12. We also went to the zoo, that is always fun, but it was also kind of depressing. A lot of the animals seemed to be alone and depressed, which in turn made me feel bad, but they are all rescue animals, so hopefully their lives are a bit better. After the zoo, we went to downtown and had lunch at Deschutes brewery, and then wandered over the famous massive Powell book store. I could have spent hours there, and the funny thing is I didn’t even buy a book, yet my boyfriend bought 2! and he rarely reads.
We were pretty exhausted from our trip at this point so both nights in Portland we were in bed pretty early. Didn’t check out any of the hopping night scene.
Airbnb – I have mixed feelings. The house was in a great location and the host was nice. She had two giant fluffy cats and a sweet golden-doodle. Our bed was super comfy, but the room didn’t have a lock on it, we had to share a bathroom, and the house was very old, meaning the walls are paper thin. The host was just stomping around doing her thing and we could hear everything!
Stay tuned for Part. 3 next week.