Snoqualmie Falls

Located about 35 minutes East of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is a must-see for anyone in the Pacific Northwest. A great part about visiting the falls is the gorgeous drive there and the beauty of the mountains and lush green forests that surround you.  Make sure to check the weather ahead of time, we were lucky enough to go on a warm sunny day. There’s a lot of hiking and fun things to do in the area but we wanted a short trip with the kiddos so we pretty much stuck to the falls.  We got there around 10:30 on a Sunday and the parking lot was filling quickly.  We had to park in the lot across the street but luckily there is a small bridge over the road so you don’t have to worry about dodging cars and it’s pretty entertaining for the kids.

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The Salish Lodge is located to the left of the park.  I’ve heard it’s a great (but pricey) place to stay.  To the right are restrooms and the gift shop with t-shirts, trinkets and coffee. Head up a set of stairs to get to the falls. There are 3 viewing points at the upper falls.  It got a little crowded but there were plenty of chances to get good pictures.  There is also a trail where you can hike down to the lower falls but the little ones weren’t very cooperative so we didn’t chance it. You are also able to drive to and park at the lower falls but we were told there are about 20 spots and they fill rather quickly.

After gazing at the beauty of the falls, we stopped off at the Snoqualmie Brewery for some pizza and then let the kids loose at the nearby Sandy Cove Park.  Located along the river, Sandy Cove is a small, natural spot with an open grassy area, perfect for picnics and letting the kids run around.  Apparently there are 35 parks in Snoqualmie so check out The city of Snoqualmie parks site before going, to plan your picnic.

Top 6 Things to do in Portland

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Powell’s City of Books

Powell’s has several locations but the original is located at 1005 W Burnside St. between 10th and 11th Ave. in Portland. Their site describes it as “A book lover’s paradise, the largest used and new bookstore in the world, open 365 days a year. Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, and occupying an entire city block, the City stocks more than a million new and used books. Nine color-coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles”

It’s a great place to go with or without the kids.  They have an extensive kid’s section with a really cool local section that features books like “Three Bears in The Pacific Northwest” and “Larry gets lost in Portland”.  I had a tough time getting my daughter to narrow it down to 3.

more info about Powell’s

• 68,000 square feet packed with books.
• They buy 3,000 used books over the counter every day.
• Approximately 3,000 people walk in and buy something every day.
• Another 3,000 people just browse and drink coffee.
• They stock 122 major subject areas and more than 3,500 subsections.
• You’ll find more than 1,000,000 volumes on the shelves.
• Approximately 80,000 book lovers browse the shelves every day in Portland and via the Internet.

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Portland’s Aerial tram 

http://www.gobytram.com/

Designed as transportation to Oregon’s Health and Science University, this amazing aerial tram travels 500 feet in 3 minutes and gives you incredible views of Portland. The fare is $4.35 with children 6 and under being free.  When you get to the top, exit the the terminal and take a right to enter an outdoor patio with seating and views of the terminal, the surrounding region and, on a clear day, Mount Hood and Mount St Helens. Also, Summit Espresso is located a short distance away inside OHSU.

The tram is located at 303 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239
(503) 494-8283

It operates weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m          It is closed on Sundays.

Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) http://hopworksbeer.com/

2944 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

Located at 2944 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, Hopworks is a family friendly eco-brewery that happens to also have amazing food.  Great for a date night or family outing, they use fresh, local ingredients and keep 15 of their organic beers on tap at all times.  They have a separate section for family dining with a huge chalkboard wall, and tables of toys to keep the kids occupied while the grown ups drink and dine.  This is our go to restaurant.

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Washington Park  http://washingtonparkpdx.org/

This park has it all, besides a great playground, it also houses Japanese and rose gardens, the Oregon Children’s Musem, the Oregon Zoo, an Arboretum, and the Forestry Discovery Center.  To get a general idea of where to go, the rose garden address is 400 SW Kingston Ave.  The playground is not far from there.

Voodoo Doughnuts http://voodoodoughnut.com/

I had heard about Voodoo Doughnuts several times before moving to the Pacific Northwest and then every time someone mentioned Portland, someone would say “You have to go to Voodoo Doughnuts!” which actually made me not want to go, along with the fact that I knew there was always a crazy long line.  Such a trendy and popular thing can typically lead to disappointment for me so I had just kind of written it off. Then, one day I was in Portland and someone told me that the 2nd location doesn’t have the crazy line and that was enough nudge to get me to check it out.  We picked out several doughnuts, my favorite ended up being the Old Dirty Bastard doughnut, which you can call the ODB if ordering while your children are present 🙂 it is described as “raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s™ and peanut butter!” and it was Ah-mazing.  I guess some things are worth the hype. But millenials beware, they are Cash Only

Here’s the info:

Voodoo Doughnut Too (TWO)
1501 N.E. Davis St. in Portland Oregon, U.S.A.
phone 503.235.2666

OPEN: 24 hours 7 days a week.
CLOSED: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day & Groundhogs Day.

And if you HAVE to go to the original and stand in a line:

Voodoo Doughnut ONE (original location)
22 SW 3rd Avenue Portland Oregon, U.S.A.
phone 503.241.4704

Open same hours and cash only also

Multnomah Falls http://www.oregon.com/attractions/multnomah_falls

Last but certainly not least is Multnomah Falls.  While not exactly in Portland (it’s actually about 30 minutes away) Multnomah Falls is very much worth the drive. Described as “a 611-foot-tall roaring, awe-inspiring cascade of icy water”, this is Oregon’s tallest waterfall.  This two-drop cascade attracts visitors of all types and ages, the parking lot is right off the highway and a short distance to wheelchair-accessible viewing platforms.  There are also steep hiking trails that lead all the way to the top. Fed by rainwater and snowmelt, the falls’ steady stream runs year-round, so anytime is a good time to visit the falls (except maybe a weekend in the Summer when it is sure to be a lot of people!).  Directions can be found here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/crgnsa/home/?cid=stelprdb5139466

Sequalitchew Creek Trail

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S.Creek A paved path  leads you through the forest

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The Sequilatchew Creek Trail is a beautiful 2.4 mile (round trip) hike in Dupont, Washington. This trail lets you lets you feel as if you’re leaving civilization and walking through an enchanted forest. Follow a wide paved trail as the Sequalitchew Creek meanders next to you until you reach the Puget Sound.  This is a great trail for kids and we were able to easily maneuver a jogging stroller for most of the walk and then parked it nearby in the rocks along the beach. This is definitely a must see and worth a drive. When you’ve finished your hike, reward yourself at the nearby Forza Coffee with a gelato or italian soda.

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