All Portlandia jokes aside (trust us, we love ’em, too!) — there is something about the Pacific Northwest’s star city that artisans, inventors, crafters, and local-loving denizens can’t get enough of. It’s just a special place, living beyond its hype, and after spending some unseasonably sunny time in PDX, we can totally see why it’s “where young people go to retire.”
Until that day comes, though, we’re working hard to give you the ultimate guide to the city so you can hit up all the best indie establishments in one go. Luckily, Portland is only a short plane ride (or a very, very long drive) away from S.F., so it’s the perfect weekend jaunt.
And, to inspire your journey, we scoured every inch of the city to bring you the best shops, restaurants, bars, and places to stay. It really wasn’t hard, considering the cocktail and culinary scenes are dynamite and the retail offerings had our wallets begging for mercy. Our advice: Pack those bags, brush up on that Portlandia trivia, and book your ticket, stat! You can thank us later.
Upon stumbling into this store (literally), we were instantly taken aback by the vivid colors, quirky wares, and oh-so-sweet staff. Owner Sarah Radcliffe does an incredible job of mixing in vintage duds with enviable new pieces. The store is chockfull of cutesy vignettes of the girly and colorful variety. And not only is the brick-and-mortar spot-on, but the online store is a high-fashion e-commerce experience. If you plan on shopping in Portland, skipping this store would be a travesty.
Beam & Anchor
Okay, this retail gem isn’t a joy to get to — it’s kind of off the beaten path, if you will. But, once you walk in you will quickly realize the trek was totally worth it. This locally driven store is brimming with Americana-inspired relics from all over — we even spotted Oakland’s own Marisa Haskell up in there. The raw layout, rustic accoutrements, and relaxing music will make you feel right at home. This is a shopper’s paradise.
Itching to get your hands on some A.P.C., Rachel Comey, Rag & Bone, MM6, and other notable brands in PDX? Then mosey on into Frances May — its star-studded selection definitely wowed us and it was refreshing to see such hard-to-find labels smack-dab in the middle of the downtown Portland area. The minimal spot really allows the merch to take center stage. If you’re looking to score some sleek and stylish threads, you’ve met your match.
We don’t think Palace could possibly get any cuter — sprinkled with lovely little home accessories, soaps, clothing, and purses, it’s definitely on our must-shop list for a reason. It offers a fun assortment of local brands and hard-to-nab designers, with an overall craft-like, very down to earth ambiance. It may have been the smell of Diptyque candles that lured us in, or the quirky colors, but either way — we’re glad we popped by!
The biggest perk that comes with shopping in Portland? There is absolutely no sales tax! So, you don’t have to feel that guilty when you board the plane with a slew of shopping bags. And another spot that ranks high on our retail radar is Lowell. Packed with teeny-tiny trinkets and other miscellaneous artifacts, this store is one you could spend days prowling around. Seriously, if you are the least bit into antiques, this is a shop you need to scope out. It is primarily focused on Southwestern art pieces, but does have something for everyone. We bet you didn’t even know you needed a sculpture of two bears balancing on a seesaw, did ya?