CoolKid Globetrotter: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon has become a place we go frequently to visit grandparents, but we usually get stuck doing the same things over and over.  Hawthorne, the Pearl, Northwest, Mississippi.  If you know the area, you know these spots that are abundant in great food, handmade goods, vintage aplenty and of course, people watching.

As we started on our journey up to Portland, we began planning an itinerary out of the ordinary.  We were determined to expand our horizons and venture off our normal path.  Here are my FAB FIVE places to visit when visiting Portland with kids, that are not your typical tourist spots.

5.  St. John’s Bridge/Cathedral Park:  This spot was beautiful with views of the Columbia River and even a little sandy “beach” for the kids to get their feet wet safely.  We walked around and then up directly under the bridge where the photo opportunity was undeniable.  Definitely worth a visit to get your fix of nature and views.


4.  Rent a Pontoon Boot at SK Watercraft: For $250 we were able to rent a Pontoon boat that seats 12 and cruise up and down the Columbia River from Portland to the Gorge.  This was one of my favorite new activities.  The water was cold, but we still jumped in and drank in the experience of swimming in this amazing waterway.  The boat was fast enough to have fun but not so fast you feel out of control.  Definitely a must do!


3.  Audubon Society of Portland:  Usually we go to Washington Park for a hike through the Arboretum, however we wanted to explore a different part of the wilderness.  We stumbled upon the Audubon Society of Portland, where we found a perfectly sized nature trail complete with Wildlife rehabilitation and nature center, where we were able to get up close with a Peregrine Falcon!  This trail was up in the Forest Park area, and wound quaintly around a meandering creek.  Easy enough for my 2 year old, but enough greenery and scenery to keep the adults entertained as well.  Definitely worth a visit!


2.  Mary’s Waffle Window:  If you know me, you know I couldn’t leave this post here without an incredible food discovery!  Mary’s Waffle Window has been open for many years but seems to be picking up steam.  There was a wait of 45 minutes when we visited!  My favorite is always the cold chocolate dipped waffle, but the creations are endless!  There is always some sort of panna cotta or other delicious topping of the day.  You cannot visit Portland without visiting Mary’s!


  1. Edelweiss European Deli:  Ok another food option, I know.  But how could I resist?  Edelweiss is a find European Deli and Market with the best selection of Haribo gummies you have ever seen.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out yourself!  Also do yourself a favor and get the Schweinbach.  Then go home and fry it up.  You are welcome.  Enjoy!


I hope if you find yourself in Portland, you will have the chance to check these fun destinations off your list!  Always exploring!


CoolKid Mama


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