The Ultimate Girls’ Weekend Guide to Portland
It’s no wonder Portland is a go-to spot for a girlfriend getaway: the Oregon state motto is “She Flies with her Own Wings.” When the sun comes out from its soggy hiding place in spring and summer, there’s nothing better than this Pacific Northwest town—home to 10,000-acres of lush parks, a booming locavore restaurant scene (James Beard was from here, and it shows), and, of course, legal cannabis. Here, where to stay, eat, shop and play.
Lined in pink flamingo wallpaper, the newly opened Delores is an ode to chef BJ Smith’s Polish mother and serves elevated comfort food: potato truffle pierogies with caviar beurre blanc, buttery house rolls with herbed cream cheese and smoked trout roe, and s’mores with CBD chocolate.
The reigning Queen of Portland’s restaurant scene, Chef Naomi Pomeroy and her staff churn out six course dinners at Beast that are a foodie's paradise. On the menu: Hokkaido sea scallops with meyer lemon, jamon iberico, and crisp saffron rice, and chocolate pistachio opera cake with cardamom and coffee ice cream. Or, pop by for the quicker three course brunch—there really is nothing like starting your day with spiced apple clafoutis and smoked pork shoulder hash with poached duck eggs.
Sweet tooths beeline to Michelle Vernier’s new women-run bakery for many reasons—the house-made focaccia, pepperoni rolls and fresh-piped cannolis made with housemade ricotta among them. Stop in for a breakfast board (herb frittata, mixed greens, focaccia and seasonal fruit), shot of Trailhead Roasters espresso, and a sfogliatella so beautiful it could have been an extra on The Sopranos.
If you equate hotels with pampering (who doesn’t?) and hate being nickel and dimed, this Fountain District hideaway is your spot: guests are treated to $15 minibar credits, gratis Pure Cycle loaner bikes, and 24-hour concierge service, should you need to decide where to sip negronis at 2 a.m. Oh, did we mention there’s a fire pit ablaze at all hours in the courtyard for late-night hangouts?
Newly opened in December 2018 in two grande dame buildings—one, a 1908 French Renaissance-style stunner, another a 1912 Beaux-Arts former pharmacy—Woodlark is arguably Portland’s chicest new place to play your head. It’s dotted with photographs by Imogen Cunningham (Portland-born in 1883) and paintings by Maja Dlugolecki; rooms are fitted with Italian linens, clothes steamers and Instagrammable green channeled headboards. Downstairs, there’s a swanky cocktail bar, Abigail Hall, named for Oregonian suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway.
Two blocks from the Willamette River waterfront, this newly opened 16-story high rise is Hilton’s unabashed attempt at Millennial cool--and it works. Rooms are generous (290 square feet minimum), with hipster-leaning touches like wood and leather headboards, Frette bathrobes and towels, and a stocked honor bar. Hit the top floor Xport Bar & Lounge for flourless chocolate cake and Gourd-geous cocktails (espolon reposado tequila, licor 43, dolin blanc, squash, and lemon).
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Just opened by rising Instagram stars Jade Daniels and Harlee Case, this is the “women-positive” spot for feminist finds like t-shirts emblazoned with the words Girls Support Girls and Mary Jane paraphernalia such as holographic ashtrays and pink Weed sweatshirts (a likely nod to Reed, Portland’s highly regarded university).
Opened by female former Nike employees, Wildfang is a self-proclaimed band of “robin hoods raiding men’s closets.” The cheeky clothes for sale include “Wild Feminist” t-shirts and black bomber jackets with bold statements like “I really care, don’t u?” written on them. The Wildfang brand is growing, with new stores in New York and Los Angeles in addition to their Portland flagships.
Barkeep Jessica Braasch painstakingly created the interior of this new boite with pre-Prohibition era furniture and accessories (down to the antique crystal glassware), which makes it an instant step back in time. Ladies on the lam should order the Gypsy Queen, with Grey Goose, Benedictine, and Angostura Bitters.
With a clubby vibe, brick walls, cozy leather couches and low-lighting, the Multnomah Whiskey Library is worth the wait for any liquor enthusiast. Settle in and order from the highly curated list of ingredients (which now includes Hedonism The Muse from London-based whisky maker Compass Box and Catcher’s Rye from Michigan).
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SEE + DO
When oenophiles go to Oregon, a Willamette Valley winery crawl is a must—but who’s driving? You can hop in a Mercedes 300, Tesla Model X SUV or Mercedes Sprinter in groups of up to 14 for a whirl around the region’s top vineyards—including a lunch amid the vines. Tours are customized to your group, but make a point of asking to see both LEED certified Sokol Blosser and Ponzi Vineyards, where you can play bocce with a glass of Pinot Gris in hand.
Ladies who DIY together, stay together—or so the saying goes. At this Northeast Portland watering hole owned by two brothers, you can choose from a handful of quick projects—from embossed leather wallets to bracelets made of hex nuts—to complete while sipping cider on-top.
It’s not a proper girl’s trip without relaxing spa time together, is it? This Scandinavian spa is pure hygge (if Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has covered it, you know it’s ideal for a certain highly-manicured type of woman). Stop by for R&R in their cedar saunas and a signature treatment, such as the rosemary and seaweed detox foot soak or a 30 minute massage with a birch Arnica body oil scrub. Pure bliss.
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