7 Fun Date Ideas in Portland, Oregon!
oh portlandia. where we do even start with you for fun date ideas in portland, oregon? i am glad amanda started this series because i don’t feel like i give enough love to city that i’ve called home for more than 5 years!
since it does rain here quite a bit (we are generally in the same weather pattern as seattle), the city has had to come up with eclectic and entertaining things to do so not everyone moves away when the winter hits and (then winter stays around longer than an awkward acquaintance you see at the 80’s dance party).
that being said, be warned that the summers will trick you because they are so glorious that you believe a little rain is no big deal. this cycle has been happening for 5 years now.
my husband and i love dates and we make it a priority to even schedule love days. these are the top spots for dates around portland that we’ve been on recently!
1) 80’s video dance party!
we’ve done this a few times and it’s pretty tubular, dude! most people get dressed up in their favorite pair of parachute pants and vibrantly colored shirts. i usually throw my hair up in a side pony, find bright pink lipstick and get crazy. more details here but it’s every friday night at the crystal ballroom and $6 bucks to get in while everyone dances and snaps to 80’s music videos!
2) walk the waterfront
we are pretty fortunate to live 73 steps away from the waterfront and now that we have a puppy, we get to walk along it often. one of our favorite dates is to grab our favorite coffee from barista, and do the 3 mile loop from the hawthorne bridge to the steel bridge, over & back!
you can also rent bikes to ride along here and throughout the city too. we aren’t really bike people – don’t tell portland.
also, from march until christmas eve, the portland saturday (and sunday) market happens every weekend along the waterfront. you can buy awesome and zany things from the people of portlandia! and kettle corn. don’t forget that. oh and elephant ears (doughy, massive pastries covered in cinnamon and sugar).
3) powell’s bookstore date
believe it or not, powell’s stretches an entire city block and they have 4 other locations too! it’s a book lover’s oasis. we happen to love browsing books together and then usually end up at a restaurant nearby. each and every time we go, i go straight to the business/public speaking section and make my husband take a picture with new his book on the shelves there. extremely proud wife right here!
make sure you go to the “rare book room” while you’re there too!
4) distillery tour
fine, portland is better known for having the largest amount of mico-breweries (31 to be exact) than any other city in the country but
beer sucks we prefer liquor or wine. there is now something called ‘distillery row‘ which features 7 independent distilleries crafting vodka, gin, rum and whiskey!
i’m going to suggest you go to le bistro montage and get some crazy mac ‘n cheese (with or without alligator, your call) to soak up some of that booze afterwards.
5) happy hour galore!
portland is packed with excellent restaurants and bars that serve up happy hour right! if we are feeling fancy, then we like to go to departure’s rooftop bar and plan to
take over see the world.
in the winter, it gets dark at like 4:15pm here so you can still catch the night lights during happy hour (4-6pm and then 10pm-close tuesday through thursday).
portland city grill has an excellent happy hour too (one of the best burgers) with an awesome view of the city (when it’s not gloomy out).
or if you go there for lunch, any glass of wine is only $5…including this champagne that is usually $25 for a glass. i don’t even like champagne that much but i had to get it because i know a good deal when i see it. dates can happen during lunch too, folks! that’s what’s called “afternoon delight.”
there are a ton of quirky bars all over portland and you really can’t go wrong. one that sticks out is the totally vegan bar (which in no way means healthy) the bye and bye. happy hour 4-7pm every day!
6) private karaoke party
this may be more of a group date thing (or not because serenading each other could be sexy fun or just hilarious, in our case) but you can affordably rent out your own private karaoke room at the voicebox in both NE and SE portland! i’m talking like $5-$8 an hour (per person) for less than 10 people or there are group rates!
i’ve dropped britney spears in there, tom petty and some trey songz just to be well-rounded. they also serve food and booze if you need a little extra motivation. duets are strongly encouraged.
7) get your sweet tooth on!
for some reason, many of our dates involve going to get dessert and portland is the perfect place to indulge.
of course if you’re visiting, you’ll want to check out voodoo donuts because everyone will ask if you did. plus you can buy underwear there that says ‘the magic is in the hole,’ and that makes me laugh.
our favorite places include salt+straw very fancy ice cream (their flavors will blow your mind in a good way). please note the raindrops on my glasses because it’s portland.
our other favorite place to go on a special date night is papa haydn! it’s spendy but worth it. i’ve never eaten a full meal there but have been countless time for desserts. it’s a popular place so if you don’t want to wait to be seated to eat your cake, you can get it to go and sit elsewhere (or in your car because it’s probably raining).
i’ll just leave this right here:
this list has inspired me to put together a longer list of fun things to do when you come visit portland so be on the look out coming soon!
join up to feature your favorite date spots in your city if you so feel like it!
2) how do you feel about publicly singing and dancing?
3) last date you went on?