Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oregon - The West Coast Kiss

Oregon's West Coast Kiss

My visit to Oregon was amazing, diverse and filled with nature. I started off in Portland, Oregon. The vibe in the Hawthorne District was really cool. The streets are filled with tea houses, live music, art, hipsters, environmentalists, skateboards and a melting pot of people. The food cart business is a jumping scene. Foodies enjoy eating a gourmet meal anchored by a recycled school bus. I was lucky enough to check out the Waffle Window! Waffles in Portland have tomatoes, basil and brie cheese.

I checked out the Freak Mountain String Band at The Kennedy School, a refurbished school morphed into a music venue with cafe's and a really cool cigar bar called "Detention". Let's just say I spent a lot of time in detention and it wasn't like grammar school!

You can't pass up a visit to downtown Portland, especially on a Saturday. The Saturday Market is loaded with indie artisans and west coast culture. Make time to find the Voo Doo Doughnut shop. These are the most famous treats on the West Coast, most likely for the CoCo Puff doughnut. YUM!

Notice the LEED certified building trends incorporated into the infrastructure while you are roaming around. I really liked how Portland planted vegetation near sewers to naturally filter the water collecting in city drainage systems. Some buildings are using solar panels as awnings. I even found a gym that used renewable energies to run their fitness center.

I hopped in a car and ventured off to the coast. After visits to several beach towns, I fell in love with Manzanita, Oregon. The scenery is breathtaking. En route to Manzanita, Van Duzer winery is a great place to make a pit stop. I also checked out a really cool surfer beach. The waves were amazing. The water was cold, however there were a lot of surfers catching a wave.

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