I've realized that I know less about the city near me than I do about Paris! So it was time for staycation in Portland,Oregon.
Embassy Suites-Portland Downtown provided a home base convenient to the places I wanted to see and included breakfast. The hotel is a few blocks away from the city's "living room" Pioneer Square, Portland's Saturday Market, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Voodoo Donuts, and close to Waterfront Park where festivals happen.
After an easy walk to Veritable Quandary, we fell in love with the dinner menu of fresh vegetables, pillow-y gnocchi, perfect King Salmon and great wine list. Dessert was a heavenly chocolate hazelnut souffle.
We met our affable guide Herb of Epicurean Excursion Walking Tours in the morning. This is my top tour recommendation to learn about Portland's fabulous food scene. Sip cacao, learn about bread, taste pizza from an eco-focused company, lick your way through artisan ice cream, sample brews, and feast on a food-truck sandwich that built a brick and mortar empire.
Saying goodbye to new friend Herb, we headed up to the lush, contemplative Japanese Garden. Hurrying to the hotel to change for a hot night of jazz at Jimmy Mak's with The Mel Brown Sextet, we whizzed right past mega bookstore Powell's Books; we'll visit next time.
Here's a great promo online to share. Sign up and choose to earn double points or double airline miles with "Double Your HHonors." Book and complete your stay by August 31, 2015.