On our road trip we spent a day in the Portland, Oregon area, including some time at Multnomah Falls. We have been to this area many times over the years and always include time here, when we can.
We have had trips many different times of the year, but this is the first trip to the area in August that we have taken. We couldn’t believe how crazy, busy it all was! We have never seen it like this!
Parking at Multnomah Falls
Parking was crazy! We ended up parking in the area for Wahkeena Falls. It is about 1/4 a mile from the Multnomah Falls Lodge.
There is a small road by where the cars are parked, opposite of the falls, that leads to more parking, a restroom, and a picnic area.
From Wahkeena falls there is a trail that will take you to the Multnomah Falls visitor center. There is another waterfall area on the other side of Mulnomah with parking as well, but it seemed much farther away and I don’t remember the name.
On our way home, we saw that there were areas for parking and taking a shuttle. It would be a better way to go when the parking is so difficult.
Multnomah Falls Lodge
At Multnomah Falls Lodge you can find food, bathrooms and a gift shop. The restaurant at the lodge does take reservations, it is a good idea to check for reservation information when you have your trip details in order.
If you want just a snack and something more low key, there is a food cart outside the lodge.
We have hiked the falls once, but didn’t have time on this trip. We had planned to at least hike up to the bridge, but the crowds were so large we decided to forgo that, this time, as well.
Off to Portland
We had big plans in Portland and didn’t want to eat at the falls, because of those plans. We also aren’t big on crowds, so we didn’t stay very long at the falls.
Needing to eat gluten free, Portland is a wonderful place to go! We had been to Corbett’s Fish House on Hawthorne the last time we were in Portland and have been looking forward to going there again, ever since! Lunch was a little later than we were hoping for, after the long time it took to park, at Multnomah.
When we saw Calamari was on the menu, we had to try it! It was surprisingly good. (I am not a big fish eater and so even the fact I want fish and chips is huge!) My daughter was a little freaked out by the calamari and was determined to try it. She had to psych herself up by saying things like: “I am a mermaid. I can do this. I eat things like this. I am a mermaid.” I think she ended up eating two of the little, crunchy, octopus things.
We were hoping to check a new place out (new to us, anyway), but when it was time to leave Portland and head for our hotel no one was hungry!
Powell’s Books- Portland
This was a Pinterest find my daughter ran across. As a homeschool family, we love books! So, finding that Portland has the “World’s Largest Independent Book Store” and that it is also called “Powell’s City of Books“, we had to include it in our trip!
It was amazing and we are so glad we made the stop! The family is already talking about making this a permanent stop anytime we go through Portland! In fact, we may have to go through Portland regardless of whether we “need” to or not!
Powell’s is an entire city block, store! It has 3 levels and you need a map to get around. There are 9 color-coded rooms!!! You can take a tour of the bookstore, if you are there on a Sunday, but make sure you plan for the 45 minutes that will take. (First come, first serve)
Our homeschool is showing
We had two of our daughters on vacation with us. Our 21 year old who is studying to be a concert pianist and our 17 year old, high school senior.
The 21 year old spent ALL of her time in the music section of the store, gushing over 100+ year books and more. She ended up with 6 books!
Our 17 year old, spent a lot of time in the language section of the store. She picked out 5 books, covering 3 different languages, that she is working on learning. However, she did explore the store more than anyone else.
We also picked up a criminology book for another daughter who is a writer and didn’t go on the trip with us.
Prices were great and with all those books we still spent less than $50!
Conclusion of our day at Multnomah and in Portland
For a quick trip, we packed in a lot of our must dos and we are so glad we didn’t skip either one of these places. It would have been easy to just say, “let’s do it next time!” Now, we know we have to go back to Powell’s!
Maybe next time we can find a new food place. Portland has several all gluten free places to eat. It is so much fun to go somewhere and know that you can eat anything on the menu, safely! No one wants to get sick, but especially on vacation!
Food place on my list to try is Cultured Caveman! (Evidently, they also have a food cart!)