Pretty Portland: Plan A Perfect Zen Escape in This West Coast City

Pretty Portland: Plan A Perfect Zen Escape in This West Coast City

We have all heard that Portland is weird, and proud of it. Yet what there’s less buzz about is the pretty side Portland, of which there is plenty to be explored.

The Hi-Lo Hotel in Portland.


Stay at Hi-Lo Hotel, Autograph Collection

In an up and coming part of the city, downtown boutique hotel Hi-Lo shines bright and welcomes you with a airy lobby that strikes a balance between a contemporary design and elements inspired by Oregon’s natural landscape (such as the oversized planters, forest green chaises longues and tree stump tables). The rooms are just as inviting with crisp white bedding and modern concrete walls softened with by the punches of colour found in the modern artwork and throw pillows.

Portland’s famous Rose Garden shows why it’s known as the Rose City.

Stop and smell the roses at the International Rose Test Garden

Just across the street from the exquisite Portland Japanese Garden, said to be one of the most authentic of its kind outside of Japan, is the International Rose Test Garden. The longest-running rose test garden in the United States features more than 7,000 roses on its 4.5 acres (in bloom from May to September) and if you can tear your eyes away from the beautiful blooms, its spot in Washington Park also offers superb views of downtown and Mount Hood.

Strolling through the trails at Mount Tabor.

Forest bathe at Mount Tabor

The stunning Multnomah Falls is about a half-hour drive out of Portland. While the 611-foot waterfall and hiking trails are well worth the trek, you can also stay right in the city and get a healthy, zen escape at Mount Tabor. This extinct volcano is a grassy park where you’ll find loads of locals walking their dogs. You can easily stroll this urban forest on your own, or to learn more about the city’s history as you walk, book a hike with First Nature Tours.

The perfect, beautiful meal at Tusk restaurant in Portland.

Eat brunch at Tusk

Brunch is practically a religion in Portland, with long lines pouring out of restos and down the street the norm. Worth the wait for an exceptionally delicious and equally visually appealing brunch is at Tusk. Some dishes have an international inspo (such as the mujadara plate featuring rice, lentils, crispy onions, labneh and sumac) and foodie ’grammers will covet the charming pastel bowls and plates (and be grateful for all of the natural light flooding the elegant space).

Get in a bit of spa time at Löyly

Rejuvenate at Löyly

Sometimes the best beauty solution is enjoying a moment to yourself—and a face mask doesn’t hurt either. At Löyly, the spa facilities are simple but this communal Scandinavian-inspired spot is a peaceful escape. Soak your tired feet, mask your complexion to a glow and then sweat out any tension in the cedar sauna, and emerge a new, more glowing version of yourself.

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