See the gorgeous greens of Portland.
Portland, OR is known as a city populated by outdoor enthusiasts. It has more parks than any other US city -- a total of 37,000 acres. Included in the count are tiny parks as well as the 5000-acre Forest Park -- the biggest natural landscape in a city. Bicycling through these open spaces or even seeing the city of Portland via bicycle are great options. Portland has been ranked the number one cycling city. If snow sports are of more appeal to you, then head to nearby Mount Hood, which has a very long season. In the Mount Hood area there are numerous options: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing, and hiking. If traveling in a group--whether it be an organized tour, friends, or family--you'll want a welcoming restaurant to enjoy some delicious food after an active day.
Russell Street Bar-B-Que
Crowds of friends and families pile into the booths at Russell Street Bar-B-Que. The atmosphere is casual and cheerful and befitting to the home-cooked southern barbeque menu. There are red and white vinyl tablecloths along with pig knick-knacks. The menu features an assortment of barbequed goodies: ribs and smoked meats, and even tofu, along with five different barbeque sauces to sample. Customers can be heard debating about which is the best. Traditional southern side dishes are also favorites: think mac 'n' cheese, candied yams, and "bar-b-que beans."
This warm Spanish restaurant can be a fun spot to visit with a group, as you can sample various tapas dishes. Tapas are small plates designed to be shared. Cold tapas plates include various meat and cheese options. Some examples of hot tapas menu items are: shrimp sauteed in garlic and olive oil, scallops wrapped in serano ham, a roasted vegetable stew, and fingerling potatoes with chorizo. Patanegra is also known for its paella, which can be ordered for a minimum of two diners. There is an extensive wine list and sangria is also a popular choice at this cozy, but slightly pricey establishment.
Bluehour has been in the Pearl District of Portland for almost a decade. This Mediterranean restaurant may be a good spot for a large group to celebrate a special occasion or to gather casually with friends. You can reserve a central table, which seats up to 14, in the dining room. The bar/café is available for more casual occasions, and Bluehour is well-known for its after work happy hour. Sample a Zefiro or a special martini. Entrée favorites include the bacon-wrapped scallops and gnocchi with black truffle.
Jessica Richter is a social worker in Philadelphia, Pa. Trained at Bryn Mawr College, she is committed to helping her clients grow in all areas of mental and emotional health. She has written widely on topics such as teen pregnancy, the foster care system and substance abuse. She enjoys sharing her passion for writing and research in human mental health, emotional health and pleasure.
portland isle image by Dariusz Kowalczyk from Fotolia.com