I live in San Jose, California and often I am on the lookout for quick weekend getaways. Portland is one, if you find cheaper flight deals. Usually Alaska Airlines has some nice deals throughout the year. You can subscribe to those on the Alaska Airlines website and keep a lookout for deals in your inbox. I travelled to Portland, Oregon with a friend of mine for the weekend as we got really cheap flights for 290$ round trip for both of us. This post will give you itinerary ideas if you decide to visit Portland for a weekend.

We arrived at Portland on a Saturday morning around 8am from San Jose. We left on Sunday around 8PM from Portland.


Treehouse by the Washougal River

We looked on airbnb for a nice little place, and found this amazing treehouse by the Washougal river. This place is 15 minutes drive from Portland Airport, however it’s on the Washington side. The setting of the treehouse is just breathtaking. You sleep peacefully to the sound of the flowing river. You can make reservations for this treehouse on airbnb here


Our trip had spanned over a couple of days.

Day 1

We grabbed our breakfast quickly and started driving towards Silver Lake State Park in Eugene, Oregon. It’s a roughly a 2 hour drive from Portland airport. The drive itself is gorgeous. You should be able to find Silver Lake State Park on google maps. Once in the park, drive to the South Falls parking lot. You need to collect a parking permit for the day at the parking entrance it costs around 5$.

The best thing to do here is to hike the trail called “Trail of Ten Falls”. This trail is roughly a 6 mile loop offering breathtaking views and as the name goes, you would get a chance to see ten different waterfalls. Some portions of the trail take you behind the waterfalls too. The trail is well shaded, cool and offers a lot of greenery. If you are a nature lover, you would love this place. This is a easy to moderately strenuous trail. Once you park at the South Falls Day-Use area, take the canyon trail and complete the loop and come back to the parking lot via Rim trail.

This would pretty much take up most of your day. You can drive back to Portland, and spend some time in Portland Downtown and get back to your accommodation for the night and call it a day.

Some pictures from the trail.

South Falls
Lower South Falls
Drake Falls

Day 2

We just drove along the OR-30 scenic byway (also called as Columbia River Highway). This runs parallel to interstate 84. There are a lot of view points on this route and offers some breathtaking views, waterfalls and lots of scenery. You can do many short hikes which take you close to the waterfalls. The round trip’s for these hikes are between 1–3 miles.

You also have the Multonmah Falls on this byway and is almost towards the end of it. This waterfalls is the second highest flowing waterfalls in the United States. You can hike to the top of this waterfall and its about 2 miles to the top. The hike is very strenuous because of the steepness of the trail. You should consider doing this hike because the views are worth it. You can find the driving directions for this byway here

Some pictures taken from various points on the byway.

Vista House
Columbia River Gorge as seen from the Vista House

This drive also takes pretty much most of your day. You can grab some dinner and head back to the airport. Send me a tweet if you have any questions on the itinerary.

Food Recommendations

We had got some suggestions from our friends on some food places which we could explore. Here is the list:

  • Zell’s Cafe - A very cute breakfast place. Make sure to have their pancake of the day. They are delicious. Address: 1030 SE Morrison St, SE 13th Ave, Portland, OR.
  • Bollywood Theater - A very hip indian place. You get some great India food. The vada paav’s are delicious. Address: 2039 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR.
  • Salt & Straw’s - Who knew salt in ice cream’s can be tasty? This is right next to the Bollywood Theater. Grab some desert from the place.