City Stories: Portland, OR

“My family moved from Brooklyn, New York to Portland Oregon in July 2015, we’ve been exploring this beautiful city and part of the country ever since. Getting out into nature was one of the reasons we moved cross country and Portland has not let us down. We’ve been spending the year getting out and experiencing everything Portland has to offer while building traditions like visiting our favorite u-pick farms each season and frequenting our favorite restaurants week after week.” – Lindsay Meyer-Harley

Here’s Lindsay’s guide to Portland. Enjoy!


Grant Park – This beautiful park is a few minute walk from our house and we spend A LOT of time here, from after school play to weekly picnics with friends. There are tons of huge trees providing extra shade on sunny days and loads of park benches to set up camp at. The kids love the Beverly Cleary statues/splash pad and it holds a special place in my heart too.

If we’re feeling like getting out of our hood we head to Washington Park Playground. We call this the playground in the forest, located in Washington Park it’s a stones throw from the Children’s Museum and Oregon Zoo. Sometimes a crowded trip to the Zoo puts us all in a grumpy mood, what’s better than making a pit stop at Portland’s largest playground to run out some energy!


Flower Festivals – like this Dahlia Festival at Swan Island.

Sauvie Island – This is our happy place and we escape the city and drive the 30 minutes to Sauvie every chance we get. For Summer and Fall concerts at Kruger Farms, berry picking at Bella Organics and Sauvie Island Farms and beach play, it’s not the ocean but it’ll do when we need some sand and swim. Since it’s not the ocean the water is super calm and great for kids.


Portland has no shortage of food options and it can be somewhat overwhelming to make the choice. For this reason the many food carts offer the best of both worlds, allowing everyone to choose their own food and come together to dine at the communal tables, win win! We often hit up happy hour at our favorite restaurants with the kids for a early dinner with smaller plate offerings and savings. Our favorites are Life of Pie, Lardo, Por Que No and New Seasons Market for delicious to go sandwiches for park trips and picnics

Sweet Spots:

While my husband and I are not big sweets eaters (give me French fries!) the kids love their ice cream and donuts so we take them to city gems like Salt and Straw and Pips Donuts, both of which really are delicious even to those with a sweet tooth. We also take the kids to Eb and Bean for organic frozen yogurt in delicious flavors like Meyer Lemon Creme Fraiche.


When we have out of town visitors we tell them to stay at the centrally located Ace Hotel Portland, it has such a Portland vibe and we flock there when out running errands for coffee and use of the photo booth in the lobby. I hope we have years and years of photo booth strips to look back on.