Spectacular Waterfall Trails to Hit Now

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Shake off the summer heat with an awesome adventure filled with dense woodlands, volcanic ridges, and a rushing cascade (or two). From the Columbia River Gorge to the Cascade Mountain foothills, the following are six of our favorite waterfall hikes, all located within sixty miles of the Portland area. Whether you’re looking for a level, stroller-friendly path or a dazzling misty payoff, these trails will give you just the experience you need to shake off the COVID blues. Read on for all the details.

Pothole Falls by Carrie Uffindell
photo: Carrie Uffindell

Pothole Falls at Lacamas Lake Park

For a quick hike in the metro area, head to 312-acre Lacamas Lake Park. At the play area, follow the gravel path circling the lake through the trees. Nestled a short distance off the main trail is the falls, named for the round holes punched into the rock. An unexpected highlight is the fish screen and dam, located on the south side of the lake. With several sections of moderately steep terrain, this walk isn’t suitable for strollers. Make a day of it with visits the park’s other two waterfalls, also located off the main loop.

Pandemic Status: Open
Round-trip distance: 1.2 mile (Round Lake Loop)
When You Go: Free. The park is located 15 miles east of Vancouver, WA off Highway 14. Spots in front fill up fast, so look for the large overflow lot at the north end..

Munson Creek Falls

The short, winding path – perfect for little legs – follows along the creek to an impressive 319-foot tumbler, the tallest in the Coast Range. The protected site, located south of Tillamook, is a 62-acre timber-turned-natural area, so be sure to enjoy the old-growth western red cedar, moss-draped maples, wildflowers, and other flora and fauna along the way. In late fall and winter, the waters are home to spawning salmon.

Pandemic status: Park is open dawn to dusk with reduced services.
Round-trip distance: 0.6 miles, out and back
When You Go: Free. From Portland, take Highway 26 west approximately 77 miles. Turn left on Munson Creek Road. Note: Parking is limited and no restrooms are available.

South Falls by Carrie Uffindell

Silver Falls State Park

Peek behind a 177-foot torrent of water at this 9,200-acre Oregon park, situated in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Of the ten waterfalls sprinkled throughout the park, South Falls is one of the most accessible – and dramatic – for families. From the South Falls lot, follow the main path (and the sound of rushing water) past the lodge to a viewpoint above. From there, descend 400 feet to explore a cave behind the falls. For the full 2.6-mile loop, continue on to Lower South Falls. Or, for a shorter 1-mile walk, return via the scenic bridge.

Pandemic status: Expect reduced services. No showers. Camping reservations required (no walk-ins). Day-use visitors should plan to turn around if parking lots are full.
Round-trip distance: 2.6-mile (Maple Ridge Loop)
When You Go: $5/vehicle. Head south some 55 miles to Silverton. From Silverton, take Highway 214 almost 16 miles south until you reach the park. Follow the signs to the South Falls Day Use Area.

photo: Chi T. via yelp

Multnomah Falls

One of the the most popular waterfalls hikes in the Gorge. This 611-foot-tall roaring force of nature lets visitors get up close and personal with its power. According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. And this spot is magical. This hike can be made shorter or longer as there are multiple tiers that offer different views. Each is spectacular, but the lower hike is more appropriate for families with younger children or elderly grandparents.

Pandemic status: Open
Round-trip distance: A moderate, 2.2-mile hike with 700 feet of elevation gain to the top of Multnomah Falls, or a difficult 5.4-mile loop to Wahkeena Falls with 1,600 feet of elevation gain.

featured image: Jonathon L. via yelp

—Annette Benedetti



Best Summer Hikes for Portland Families

The Best Hiking Spots in Portland for Kids

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Put out the tortilla chips, mix up the guacamole and mark your calendar for May 5 to celebrate the history and heritage of our neighbor to the south. This Cinco de Mayo, families in Portland can celebrate all things Mexican with a series of community festivities that include road races, carnivals, traditional markets and live performances. Read on to find out more about Portland’s best Cinco de Mayo events tailor-made for kids.

photo: S Pakhrin via flickr

33rd Annual Portland Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
You’ll find a little something for everyone at the 33rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, which will take over Tom McCall Waterfront Park for three fun-filled days in May. Carnival rides? Check. An entire village of skilled Mexican artisans? Check. A live butterfly exhibit, free craft-making and free face-painting? Check, check and check. Just be sure to catch at least one performance of Mariachi Guadalajara and the Ballet Folklórico, both of which will perform daily alongside several other local and traditional musical acts. Check out the complete entertainment schedule here.

When: May 5-7, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Cost: $10/Adult (13 years & older), $10/Child (6-12 years), Children 6 & under are free

Tom McCall Waterfront Park
1020 SW Naito Pkwy.
Online: cincodemayo.org

Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, the Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk is the perfect activity for those who suffer from a bit of enchilada guilt. With a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K and a kids’ half-miler to choose from, this feel-good activity is something the entire family can do together. Registered participants can enjoy food and live music after the race, and adults are even eligible for a commemorative race t-shirt. Kids, meanwhile, will be enthralled by Olive and Dingo, the fun-loving local clowns known for their songs, stories, bike rides and unrivaled skills in face-painting and balloon-twisting. Find complete registration information here.

When: May 7, first race is at 7:45 a.m.
Registration: $79-99/Half-Marathon; $59-79/10K; $39-54/5K; $8-12/Kids’ Half-Miler
SW Broadway and Taylor Street (Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K) and SW Broadway and Alder Street (Kids’ Half-Miler)
Online: terrapinevents.com

photo: photosavvy via flickr

Visit the Portland Mercado
You’ll find so much more than Mexican cuisine and influence at the Portland Mercado, the city’s very first Latino public market that opened its doors in 2015. The food, grocery, retail and service businesses here are a celebration of Latino culture, history and heritage, with indoor shops and outdoor carts that span the map of Latin America. Treat your kids to savory carnitas on freshly pressed tortillas at Tierra del Sol, a little something sweet at Don Churro or a special piñata to celebrate the day at Fiesta Tradicional. In short, the Portland Mercado is a one-stop-shop to create a Cinco de Mayo fiesta of your own.

When: Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (exact hours can vary)
7238 SE Foster Rd.
Online: portlandmercado.org

photo: S Pakhrin via flickr

Visit Your Favorite Mexican Restaurant
Whether you’re searching for tasty take-out tacos or a boisterous dining room with an air of celebration, you’ll have plenty of options for Mexican-inspired cuisine this Cinco de Mayo. Join the ever-present line of patrons outside Por Qué No? for crunchy chips and sweet aguas frescas, bring home a rotisserie chicken with salsa verde and black beans from Pollo Norte or savor incredible tacos de puerco in the lively dining room at Nuestra Cocina. Verde Cocina, Taqueria Nueve, the list goes on and on—each offers tasty food and a stress-free atmosphere that kids (and parents) will love.

Por Qué No?
3524 N Mississippi Ave.
Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Online: porquenotacos.com

Pollo Norte
5427 NE 42th Ave.
11 a.m.-9 p.m.

2935 NE Glisan St.
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Online: pollonorte.com

Nuestra Cocina
2135 SE Division St.
Tue.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.
Online: nuestracocina.com

What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

Green Thumbs Up: Gardening Classes for Kids

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Whether  you’ve got a windowsill, a pot or a whole garden plot, it’s that time of year when sowing seeds and planting bulbs is calling. We’ve found a variety of spots for kids to get their garden on with kid-friendly classes and planting activities at local public gardens, nurseries and shops. Read on for the dirt.

photo: Jason Mulcahy via flickr

Al’s Garden Center
Are your little ones itching to learn how to grow strawberries, edible rainbow gardens and colorful blooms for Mother’s Day? Simply register for Al’s Garden Center Kids’ Club and they’ll be planting, potting and getting their hands dirty in no time. Each class introduces a theme and a gardening project for your tykes to take home—and with locations in Gresham, Sherwood and Woodburn, Al’s adds a dose of convenience to any gardening education.

Cost: $7.50/person
Hours: Days and times vary by location and can be found online.

Al’s Garden Center of Gresham
7505 SE Hogan Rd.
Gresham, Or
Online: als-gardencenter.com

Al’s Garden Center of Sherwood
16920 SW Roy Rogers Rd.
Sherwood, Or

Al’s Garden Center of Woodburn
1220 N Pacific Hwy.
Woodburn, Or

Think of the terrarium as the ultimate party favor—and one that your kids can joyfully build at Artemisia. The shop’s friendly staff are always eager to help children through the process, and they supply the sand, rocks, moss, plants and other small treasures of nature. The store even hosts terrarium-making birthday parties for $22-$35 per child, sending each one home with some new gardening know-how and a unique creation to display around the house.

Hours: Anytime during operating hours: everyday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

110 SE 28th Ave.
Online: collagewithnature.com

photo: Michel Curl via flickr

Farmington Gardens
Green thumbs between the ages of five and 10 will feel right at home with the Garden Buddies at Farmington Gardens, a family-owned Beaverton nursery that first opened in 1994. For a small fee that covers containers, soil and plants, your kids can participate in regular gardening activities and classes, such as spring terrarium-making. Just remember that each child must be accompanied by an adult and ready to learn some fascinating facts about how plants eat, drink and breathe.

Cost: $5/child
Hours: dates and time vary and can be found online.

Farmington Gardens
21815 SW Farmington Rd.
Beaverton, Or
Online: farmingtongardens.com

Leach Botanical Garden
Open to the public since 1983, the Leach Botanical Garden is a quiet urban respite that protects nearly 2,000 species of plants on the former estate of John and Lilla Leach. Children will find special enjoyment in exploring the grounds with Honeybee Hikes, a weekly series of guided excursions that allow kids to spot wildlife, visit the bees, work in the Children’s Discovery Garden, listen to stories and make crafts to take home. All you’ll need is a pair of walking shoes and $3 per child (ages 2-5 accompanied by an adult) to tour this 17-acre expanse.

Cost: $3/perchild
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Leach Botanical Garden
6704 SE 122nd Ave.
Online: leachgarden.org

Oregon Garden
With 80 acres and 20 specialty gardens that showcase plants and flowers from the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Garden is a delight in every season. But the highlight for kids is the whimsical Children’s Garden, where they can dig up dinosaur bones, visit animal-shaped topiaries and let their imaginations run wild in the Hobbit house. The Oregon Garden’s Junior Gardeners Club is also open to all ages, offering regular events that focus on the outdoors, gardening, arts and crafts and community awareness.

Cost: Adults $12, Seniors $10 Kids (5-11) $6, Free for kids 4 and under
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.- 6p.m.

Oregon Garden
879 W Main St.
Silverton, Or
Online: oregongarden.org

photo: Jessica Lucia via flickr

Portland Community Gardens
Do you love to tend your own plants but lack the necessary yard space at home? Consider renting a plot from Portland Parks and Recreation and grow your own fruits and vegetables in one of the city’s 51 community gardens. Simply submit a garden plot request form to the city, which assigns plots on a first-come, first-served basis beginning each February. You may get the immediate go-ahead or be added to a waiting list—either way, you’ll soon be teaching your kids how to plant, nurture and grow their own food.

Cost: Cost varies and can be found online or call for more info.

Portland Community Gardens
Locations across the city
Portland Parks & Recreation
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks

Zenger Farm
A longtime leader in urban farming, sustainability and environmental stewardship, Zenger Farm is famous throughout Portland for its educational workshops and community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. But did you know that the farm offers a variety of camps and activities for children as well? During the five-day Spring Break Camp, K-6th graders will make nature-inspired crafts, explore wetlands, dig in garden beds and cook produce fresh from the fields. Summer camps are also available.

Cost: Spring break camps cost $60/day, summer camps cost $295/week (scholorships are available)
Hours: Spring and summer break camps run from 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m.

Zenger Farm
11741 SE Foster Rd.
Online: zengerfarm.org

Where in Portland do you indulge your green thumb? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

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You may not have run cross-country back in high school, but as an on-the-go parent, you’re more than ready for a 10K, a 5K or a fun-filled kids’ run this spring. As the ground begins to thaw and the memory of a snow-filled winter starts to fade, these beloved local foot races will add an extra dose of energy, fun and charitable giving to your weekends. So get a head start on your 2017 resolutions and register your little ones for one of these wonderful Portland family fun runs.

photo: Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office via flickr

Dogwood Dash
Whether or not your children attend St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Milwaukie, the second annual Dogwood Dash is a wonderful chance to raise money for a local school. Push yourself in the 10K or the 5K and be eligible for a cash prize—or simply watch from the sidelines as your kids compete in the 1K fun run. Either way, you’ll get the weekend off to a great start with food, drinks and family entertainment after the races.

Sat., April 8
Milwaukie Waterfront Park
1855 SE Jefferson St.
Milwaukie, Or
Distance: 10K, 5K and a 1K kids’ run
Cost: $43/10K; $27.50/5K; free for kids running the 1K
Registration: Register here
Online: runsignup.com/race/or/milwaukie/dogwooddashor

Bridge to Brews
Beloved among families, runners and beer enthusiasts alike, the annual Bridge to Brews has the unique distinction of being Portland’s only foot race that crosses the Fremont Bridge. So enjoy the unrivaled views of downtown, the West Hills and Mt. Hood as you run the 10K, 8K or fun-filled kids’ half-miler. Best of all? You’ll receive a commemorative t-shirt, a cup and 10 tasting tickets for beer, cider, wine or spirits at the festival that follows. Cheers, parents!

Sun., April 9
Waterfront Park
Front Avenue between Morrison and Burnside Streets
Distance: 10K, 8K and a kids’ half-miler
Cost: $49-79/10K; $49-79/8K; $8-12/half-miler (shirt not included); $10/commemorative medal
Registration: Register here (by March 24 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: terrapinevents.com/event/bridge-to-brews-portland

photo: Maine Running Photos via flickr

Stoller Community 5K Run/Walk
Support your children, friends and neighbors who attend Stoller Middle School by participating in the Stoller Community 5K Run/Walk and 1K Junior Jaguar Jog. The proceeds of the race will help the school’s physical education and health teachers enhance their fitness lab and wellness programs, while the neighborhood course will be lined with local bands and cheerleaders. Free child care (for ages 2 & up) will even be available from 8:45 until 10 a.m.

Sun., April 23
Stoller Middle School
14141 NW Laidlaw Rd.
Distance: 5K and a 1K Junior Jaguar Jog
Cost: $30-35/adults; $20-25/Beaverton School District staff and students in the 5K; free for kids running the Junior Jaguar Jog; $5/youth t-shirts
Registration: Register here (by April 3 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: stoller5k.com

Moms, dads, kids and runners of all skill levels are welcome at the 2017 Mommathon-Daddython, which will take over Liberty High School in Hillsboro on May 6. Get a brisk morning workout on the 10K or 5K course, or watch your kids (ages 2-11) race around the track. Every child will receive a ribbon and every 10K or 5K finisher will go home with a flashy medal—and all participants will be treated to a variety of tasty snacks afterward.

Sat., May 6
Liberty High School
21945 SW Wagon Way
Hillsboro, Or
Distance: 10K, 5K walk/run and a Kidathon
Cost: $35/10K; $30/5K; free for kids running the Kidathon
Registration: Register here
Online: uberthons.com/mommathon-1

Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk
With brand new start and finish lines that promise a flatter, faster course, the 2017 Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk will be an exciting adventure for even the most dedicated annual participants. Choose from a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K or a kids’ half-miler led by the beloved clowns Olive and Dingo (who specialize in face-painting, guitar-playing and balloon-twisting fun). Parents will be rewarded with a new tech shirt, a medal for the half-marathon and 10K and two beers (or root beers) at the post-race party.

Sun., May 7
Central Eastside Industrial District
Distance: Half-marathon, 10K, 5K and a kids’ half-miler
Cost: $69-99/half-marathon; $49-79/10K; $34-54/5K; $8-12/kids half-miler
Registration: Register here (by April 21 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: terrapinevents.com/event/cinco-de-mayo

photo: Marcus Calderon via flickr

Portland Parks & Recreation 5K Series Fun Runs: Fernhill Park

Lake Run
Celebrating its 41st year in 2017, the Lake Oswego Women’s Club Lake Run offers a 10K, a 5K and a kids’ dash around Oswego Lake for every type of runner in your family. Just be sure to stick around for a day of eating, face-painting and craft-making at the Family Fun Festival in Millennium Park Plaza. The proceeds of the race and the festival will go toward Clackamas Women’s Services, Child Advocates Inc. and other fantastic, family-oriented organizations.

Sat., May 13
Kids’ dash begins at Evergreen and 2nd Streets
Lake Oswego, Or
Distance: 10K, 5K walk/run and a kids’ dash
Cost: $40-45/10K; $30-35/5K; $15/kids’ dash
Registration: Register here (by April 30 to ensure a free shirt)
Strollers allowed: In the 10K/5K
Online: lowwomensclub.org/aboutlakerun

Aim for the Cure Melanoma Walk
Are you in search of a new charitable cause for 2017? Consider working with your kids to raise funds for the annual Aim for the Cure Melanoma Walk. There’s no fee to enter this 5K run/walk, but participants are encouraged to raise at least $50 to benefit the melanoma tissue bank at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Your efforts will help melanoma patients in Portland and beyond—and you’ll enjoy an uplifting day of walking on the South Waterfront.

Sat., May 20
South Waterfront
2730 SW Moody Ave.
Distance: 5K walk/run
Cost: None, but each participant is encouraged to raise $50
Registration: Register here (by April 20 to ensure a free shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: walk.aimatmelanoma.org/portland2017

Do you have a favorite spring fun run? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at These 5 Cookie Shops

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Whether you’re popping a batch in the oven or bringing home a haul from the holiday office exchange, there are few sweet treats more craveable than cookies. Between the chocolate chips, the roasted nuts and every last buttery crumb, these bite-size confections can turn even the toughest school days into distant, fuzzy memories. So the next time you’re in need of a holiday platter, a tasty reward or a scrumptious afternoon pick-me-up, visit one of these local bakeries to sample some of the best cookies in Portland.


photo: Steven Yeh via flickr

With a name that doubles as “a light-hearted chide for a mischievous little girl,” it’s little wonder that Coquine’s cookies bring out the chocolate-loving child in us all. This darling bistro has earned raves for its seasonal menu and succulent whole roasted chickens, but we suspect that people really keep coming back for the Coquine Cookie—a chocolate chip confection with smoked almonds and salted caramel. Best of all? These addictive little treats are available to pre-order or ship—so you’ll never have to risk arriving to find empty shelves.

6839 SE Belmont St.
Online: coquinepdx.com

Farina Bakery
Discover a welcome taste of Paris at Farina Bakery, a charming and whimsical bakeshop on the edge of Ladd’s Addition. The décor is cheerful and unique and the staff always friendly—but it’s the Parisian macarons that truly steal the show. Choose from 12 daily flavors that range from raspberry and marionberry to seasonal tiramisu, or make a special bulk order one week in advance. Either way, you’ll enjoy delicate macarons that are soft, crisp, airy and rich—miraculously, all at the same time.

1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Online: farinabakery.com


photo: Szymon Kochański via flickr

Ken’s Artisan Bakery
Whether you’re searching for the perfect loaf of crusty country bread or craving pizza on a drizzly Monday night, you’ll find a warm and aromatic welcome at Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Nob Hill. Since opening in 2001, this friendly neighborhood spot has turned out countless sweet Oregon croissants and some of the best chocolate chip cookies in all of Portland. The chocolate is rich, dark Valrhona and the cookie is crisp, perfectly browned and oh-so-buttery. The generous size makes them perfect for sharing—but really, why would you want to?

338 NW 21st Ave.
Online: kensartisan.com/bakery

The refined French techniques of owner-patissier Marius Pop are on full display at Nuvrei, the beloved Pearl District bakery known for its sleek display of flakey croissants and pastries. But the cookies at this minimalist bakeshop are equally special, from the flourless chocolate with walnuts to the sweet-and-salty French almond. In 2014, Pop also opened the Mac Bar in the basement, an inventive subterranean showcase of Nuvrei’s wonderful macarons, which are also available for bulk and custom orders.

404 NW 10th Ave.
Online: nuvrei.com

Nuvreiphoto: Tammy Strobel via Flickr

Pearl Bakery
Pearl Bakery has grown up alongside its neighborhood since opening in 1997, and its bread is now found in restaurants (and homes) across the city. But do yourself a favor and try the cookies the next time you’re in—you’ll find a rotating assortment that includes Valhrona white chocolate sandwiches, classic snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and a variety of shortbreads. The Parisian macarons are also tasty and creative, from the pistachio apricot to the huckleberry orange.

102 NW 9th Ave.
Online: pearlbakery.com

What are your favorite cookies in Portland? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien


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I scream, you scream, we all scream for—frozen yogurt? It may not attract the same level of attention as its creamier cousin, but frozen yogurt is the perfect antidote to that nagging summer sweet tooth. Choose from classic flavors, inventive blends and endless varieties of fresh and crunchy toppings—all while avoiding the infamous warm weather ice cream lines that wrap around the block. So the next time you and your family are craving something sweet, try one of these Portland favorites to help beat the heat.

Picking Toppings

photo: Anna Banana via flickr

Eb & Bean
Parents (and kids) will find so much to love about Eb & Bean, the frozen yogurt shop that Portland mom Elizabeth Nathan named after her children, Eben and Sabine. Since training in Paris with world-famous ice cream maker Martine Lambert, Nathan has consistently produced original, organic and delicious flavors of frozen yogurt—from the classic Madagascar vanilla and Valrhona chocolate to seasonal favorites such as Meyer lemon crème fraiche and non-dairy coconut cream caramel.

1425 NE Broadway
Online: ebandbean.com

The Maple Parlor
Since opening in 2015, The Maple Parlor has become a Hawthorne favorite for its unique flavors, locally sourced ingredients and sweets that adhere to nearly every dietary need. You’ll find vegan, paleo, gluten-free and low glycemic options in the rotating selection of flavors, including pineapple mango, coconut lavender, berries & cream and avocado lime coconut. Looking for something just a bit more classic? Be sure to try the signature maple soft serve topped with crunchy candied bacon.

3538 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Online: themapleparlor.com

Girl with frozen yogurt

photo: Anna Banana via flickr

Nectar Frozen Yogurt Lounge
Designed to serve as a friendly neighborhood gathering space, Nectar Frozen Yogurt Lounge boasts two welcoming locations in Multnomah Village and Sellwood. You’ll find 10 flavors on tap in each store—which currently include graham cracker, peach melba, cake batter, and Eurotart—as well as an extensive array of toppings. Cheesecake bites? No problem. Sea salt? Of course. Cinnamon-sugar? Coconut flakes? Tabasco? You bet.

1631 SE Bybee Blvd.
Online: nectarfroyo.com

7847 SW Capitol Hwy.
Online: nectarfroyo.com

You won’t be serving yourself at Skinnidip, but this West Burnside shop is a reliable go-to for tasty (and locally sourced) frozen yogurt—whether you get it in a cup, a smoothie or an individual or nine-inch pie crust. Looking for something a little bit different? Choose a flavor of frozen yogurt and as many as four toppings to create a Fro Storm, a delectable blended creation that will keep you coming back again and again.

2230 W Burnside St.
Online: skinnidipfrozenyogurt.com

Sunny’s Legendary Frozen Yogurt
As Portland’s only Oregon Kosher-certified frozen yogurt shop, Sunny’s has attracted a legion of fans to its various low-fat, non-fat, non-sugar, non-dairy and gelato-style yogurts. You’ll find flavors that range from salted caramel corn and toasted marshmallow to Irish mint and caramelized pineapple—as well as a variety of delicious and decadent frozen yogurt cakes. Pick up a ready-made mud pie or design your very own creation for a celebration your family won’t soon forget.

4397 SW Vermont St.
Online: sunnysfrozenyogurt.com

Kids eating frozen yogurt--cc--Yoel Ben-Avraham via flickr

photo: Yoel Ben-Avraham via flickr

Are you one of those frozen yogurt eaters who really only goes for the toppings? You’ll feel right at home at TartBerry, where the sheer volume of topping options will leave you overwhelmed. Choose from yogurt flavors that range from dulce de leche to melon-berry creamsicle—but be sure you leave space for the plethora of chocolates, gummies, fresh fruit, mochi, bacon bits, and sauces that will make your creation a masterpiece.

915 SW 9th Ave.
Online: tartberryinc.com

536 SW College St.
Online: tartberryinc.com

Owned by Portland native Andre LaGrande, YoChoice is the perfect option for frozen yogurt purists who enjoy classic flavors such as cookies ‘n cream, Alpine vanilla, chocolate, raspberry and original tart. The toppings are also traditional in the best sense, as YoChoice even stocks Mother’s Original Circus Animal Cookies. And if those little pink-and-white wonders don’t get you there, just about nothing will.

4941 NE Fremont St.
Online: yochoiceyogurt.com

What is your favorite frozen yogurt in Portland? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year—the sun is out, the flowers are in bloom and gas prices have yet to reach their mid-summer spike. So why not pile in the car for a scenic road trip outside of Portland? These three beautiful, kid-friendly spots offer everything from beaches and parks to museums and trails—and they’re all less than two hours driving time from downtown Portland.

Road Trip #1: Manzanita

Driving time from Portland: One hour and 40 minutes

The northern Oregon Coast is rife with treasures, but few are as well-located and family-friendly as Manzanita—the quaint town and seven-mile stretch of beach dubbed by the Oregon Coast Visitors Association as “the third most photographed scenery in Oregon.” Nestled between Neahkahnie Mountain and Nehalem Bay, Manzanita’s beach is wide, sandy and backed by dunes, offering plenty of room to run, fly kites and play hide-and-seek.

Begin the morning with a breakfast picnic on the beach, starring homemade cinnamon rolls and English muffin sandwiches from Bread and Ocean. In the mood for a family hike? Head four miles north to Oswald West State Park, where the level 2.4-mile Cape Falcon trail offers striking views that the entire family can access. Spend the rest of the day playing in the protected cove of Short Sand Beach or watching for wildlife on the bay view bike path in Nehalem Bay State Park six miles south. Just be sure to leave enough time for dinner at Marzano’s Pizza Pie, a favorite among locals and visitors for its casual atmosphere and deliciously fresh ingredients.

photo: Jason Lander via flickr

What are your favorite short road trips from Portland? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

Eat Up! 8 Bakeries Perfect for a Pi Day Slice

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For some of us, pi is a number—3.14159, or as many digits as we can remember from our math class back in high school. For the rest of us, pi is the inspiration for Pi Day—a holiday on March 14 (get it?) best celebrated with a feast of sweet or savory pie. Celebrate the big day by visiting one of the following bakeries, where you’ll find the flakiest of crusts, the sweetest of fillings and some of the friendliest bakers in town.

Berry pie--cc--mgstanton via flickr

photo: mgstanton via flickr

Bipartisan Café
It’s all about the variety at this Montavilla neighborhood coffee shop, which was founded as a community gathering place for people of all backgrounds, ideas and walks of life. If you’re stopping in for a simple, buttery slice, you’ll almost always find key lime, marionberry, strawberry rhubarb, apple and cherry pies to choose from. But with more than 30 fruit, cream, gluten-free and vegan pies available for pre-order, you can just as easily bring home your seasonal favorite.

Bipartisan Café
7901 SE Stark St.
Pi Day hours: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Online: bipartisancafe.com

Grand Central Baking Company
Perhaps you’re hoping to celebrate Pi Day at home, but you have not yet mastered the art of buttery crusts and detailed lattice work? Simply stop by one of the seven Portland locations of Grand Central Baking Company, which offers frozen, ready-to-bake pies to bring home to your family. Whether you opt for classic apple or Oregon marionberry, you can count on all-natural ingredients, local produce and the general excellence Grand Central is known for.

Grand Central Baking Company
Beaumont, Cedar Mill, Fremont, Hawthorne Blvd., Multnomah Blvd., Sellwood, and Woodstock locations
Pi Day hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (Hawthorne and Multnomah are 7 a.m.-7 p.m.)
Online: grandcentralbakery.com

Lauretta Jean’s
In search of a charming vintage pie bakery with some of the most delicious sweets in the city? At both the southeast and downtown locations of Lauretta Jean’s, you’ll always find a seasonal selection of classic flavors (think heirloom apple, pumpkin, chocolate cream and tart cherry) and more creative options (we’re talking salted pecan, s’mores and spiced pear streusel). Looking to take home an entire pie? Just give the shop a call to order one of owner Kate McMillen’s master creations.

Lauretta Jean’s
3402 SE Division St.
Pi Day hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Online: laurettajeans.com

SW 6th Avenue & Pine Street
Pi Day hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Online: laurettajeans.com

Boy eating pie--cc--Brittany Randolph via flickr

photo: Brittany Randolph via flickr

Mehri’s Bakery & Café
A beloved small shop, known for its homestyle comfort food, casual breakfasts and warm and welcoming environment, Mehri’s Bakery & Café is equally loved for its fresh baked biscuits, breads and pastries. Chief among the baked goods are the pies, which include blue gooseberry, rum chocolate pecan, pumpkin chiffon, sweet potato and so many more. But if it’s banana cream or bust this particular Pi Day, simply give the wonderful staff a call to place an order for your favorite.

Mehri’s Bakery & Café
6923 SE 52nd Ave.
Pi Day hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Online: mehris.com

Pacific Pie
Since it opened in 2009, Pacific Pie has been a go-to place for savory pies and pasties, the creations of husband-and-wife team Chris and Sarah. The menu is full of comfort classics, including steak and cheese pie, chicken pot pie, chicken burrito pie and roasted lamb pie. But that’s not to say that Pacific Pie neglects the sweets. You’ll have your choice of seasonal fruit and cream pies (chocolate raspberry ganache, anyone?) and special order options, including bite-sized sweet pies that are perfect for the littlest hands and stomachs.

Pacific Pie
1668 NW 23rd Ave.
Pi Day hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Online: pacificpie.com

1520 SE 7th Ave.
Pi Day hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Online: pacificpie.com

The Pie Spot
If there was ever a grievance to air about pie, it could be that it’s difficult to slice, serve and eat without making a mess of that sweet, sweet filling. Enter the pie hole, the ingenious feat of confectionary engineering by the wonderful bakers at the Pie Spot. Also known as the cupcake of pies, these individual servings have no need for a knife and fork—simply use your hands to devour delicious, flaky bundles of brown butter pecan, brandy apple and banana cream and salted caramel. And with just 24 hours notice, these wonderful flavors come in whole pie form as well.

The Pie Spot
521 NE 24th Ave.
Pi Day hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Online: pie-spot.com

Chocolate pie--cc--Ginny via flickr

photo: Ginny via flickr

Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery
Cozy and casual, this neighborhood coffee shop and café is a favorite among northeast Portlanders for its fresh ingredients and richly flavored savory and sweet pies. Whether you’re in search of a slice, a whole pie or a specialty confection, Random Order makes all-butter crusts to complement fillings that include Tahitian vanilla sugar salted caramel apple, brandied peach, lemon meringue and Oregon cherry.

Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery
1800 NE Albert St.
Pi Day hours: 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Online: randomordercoffee.com

It all begins on a Sunday morning, when you join what feels like the rest of Portland to have breakfast at Sweedeedee, the darling café known for its sweet atmosphere and delicious corncakes. You order a slice of salted honey pie to tide you over as you wait, and that pie ends up being the star of the meal. Lovingly made from fresh local ingredients, Sweedeedee’s pies can also be ordered over the phone—and whether you opt for marionberry, salted honey, pecan or cherry, you know you’ll be in for a treat.

5202 N Albina Ave.
Pi Day hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Online: sweedeedee.com

Where in Portland do you go for your favorite piece of pie? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

Read next

Even the most romantic night of the year can seem less than sweet when trying to juggle early bedtimes, wee babes and the ever-so-hard-to-find babysitter. So this year, play it smart and plan a daytime date. You’ll get that wined-and-dined experience and still be home before bedtime. Read on for our favorite Portland restaurants offering earlier Valentine’s meals perfect for parents.


photo: Andina by eyeliam via flickr

A centerpiece of the Pearl District since its founding in 2003, Andina is a celebration of traditional Peruvian ingredients, sourced by organic farmers in both Oregon and Chincha, Peru. But when you add in brilliant modern techniques and beautifully creative presentations, you’ll discover some of the best Novo-Andean cuisine in the country. Make a reservation in the elegant dining room to enjoy specialties that include a mushroom quinoa risotto, Peruvian-style paella and lomo saltado, the wok-fried beef dish beloved throughout Peru. Just be sure to save room for canutos de quinoa—the quinoa-studded cannolis filled with passionfruit mousse.

1314 NW Glisan St.
Lunch hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Price range: Shareable plates $8-$27; entrées $16-$19
Reservations: Recommended
Online: andinarestaurant.com

On a holiday known (and often resented) for the omnipresent prix-fixe menu, why not go big and enjoy the mother of all prix-fixe meals? If you’re two of the lucky diners who secure seats at Beast for Valentine’s Day brunch, you’ll enjoy a four-course, market-determined menu prepared by James Beard Award winner Naomi Pomeroy. Thanks to its optional wine pairings and communal tables that encourage conversation, the ambience at Beast is always fun and celebratory. So just take a seat, sip your wine and wait to be surprised by each and every wondrous course.

5425 NE 30th Ave.
Hours: Seatings at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Prices: Four-course brunch is $45/person; wine pairings are $25/person
Reservations: Essential
Online: beastpdx.com

Since opening Paley’s Place in 1995, Vitaly Paley has been known to some as the dean of Portland chefs. And in 2012, he opened Imperial, a downtown outpost of his Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine—and Willamette Week’s 2015 restaurant of the year. The Imperial dining room is cozy, dim and comforting, while the menu is constantly changing. But for the perfect holiday splurge, try the impossibly crispy buttermilk fried chicken, served with sinful homemade biscuits and barrel-aged hot sauce. One bite and you’ll fall in love all over again.

410 SW Broadway
Brunch hours: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price range: Entrées $11-$16
Reservations: Recommended
Online: imperialpdx.com

lauretta jeans pie--cc--lauretta jeans via yelp

photo: Lauretta Jean’s via Yelp

Lauretta Jean’s
In search of a charming, no-fuss pie bakery with some of the most delicious sweets in all of Portland? Stop by the southeast location of Lauretta Jean’s to spend a quiet afternoon with your sweetheart, sipping coffee, people-watching from the window seats and splitting a specialty slice of pie. If you have a hard time choosing between the blackberry-raspberry streusel, the chocolate cream, the heirloom apple and the salted honey, do yourselves a favor and try a slice of each.

Lauretta Jean’s
3402 SE Division St.
Hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Price range: Pastries and entrées $3-$11
Reservations: Not accepted
Online: laurettajeans.com

In a city where Sunday brunch is practically a religion, it seems only appropriate that the staff at Muscadine aims to act as “food missionaries,” celebrating Southern history and heritage through lovingly crafted food. Led by chef Laura Rhoman, they do it brilliantly, serving delectable fried chicken and catfish, homemade biscuits and beignets and Southern staples such as red eye ham. So what makes this northeast eatery so perfect for Valentine’s Day? It’s the casual-yet-intimate ambience, like a timeless country café right in the middle of the city.

1465 NE Prescott St.
Hours: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price range: Entrées $6-$14
Reservations: Not accepted
Online: muscadinepdx.com

Olympia Provisions--cc--Wendy via flickr

photo: Wendy via flickr

Olympia Provisions
For some people, the language of love is best communicated with red roses and chocolate; for others, nothing says “I love you” like handcrafted charcuterie. Thanks to its elegant décor, fascinating open kitchen and intensely flavorful meats, every meal at Olympia Provisions feels like a special occasion. But if you and your partner treat yourselves to the Spanish charcuterie board—an unforgettable combination of chorizos, ham and a piquillo pepper salad—you’ll be talking about this Valentine’s Day brunch for months to come.

107 SE Washington St.
Brunch hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Price range: Sandwiches, entrées and boards $8-$18
Reservations: Recommended
Online: olympiaprovisions.com

1632 NW Thurman St.
Brunch hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Price range: Sandwiches, entrées and boards $8-$18
Reservations: Recommended
Online: olympiaprovisions.com

Papa Haydn
Are you entertaining a serious sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day? Grab a table at Papa Haydn, a Portland mainstay that has been operated by Heidi and Jeff Van Dyke for nearly four decades. Inspired by the famous coffee shops and cafés of Vienna, Papa Haydn is known for its charming atmosphere, towering layer cakes, silky mousse tortes and other indulgent desserts. Chocolate lovers will even find a cremeux for two, a rich flourless chocolate torte topped with toasted meringue.

701 NW 23rd Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (brunch until 3 p.m.)
Price range: Desserts $5-$10
Reservations: Accepted
Online: papahaydn.com

5829 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (brunch until 3 p.m.)
Price range: Desserts $5-$12
Reservations: Call for availability
Online: papahaydn.com

Do you have any daytime plans for Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien

Fuel Up for These Fantastic Winter Road Trips

Read next

Skier or snowboarder, swimmer or beach-comber, there’s an Oregon winter landscape for every age and stage to enjoy. So why not pack up the kids and hit the road for an adventurous and affordable winter road trip? As the temperatures drop, keep in mind these gorgeous destinations—all within an easy three-hour drive of downtown Portland. Read on for our fave four.

skier-cc-annecn via flickrphoto: AnneCN via flickr

Driving time from Portland: 3 hours

Between its countless opportunities for mountain biking, fishing, hiking, beer-tasting, and rafting the Deschutes River, it’s no secret that Bend is a beloved summer destination for Portlanders of all ages. But it’s also an ideal place to have a family-friendly winter excursion. Got some little skiers in tow? Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort features 3,700 acres of lift-accessible terrain, a free beginner chair lift, the Snowblast Tubing Park and an unbeatable deal that allows children 12 & under to ski for free with the advance purchase of a three-day adult lift ticket. Planning to visit Bend during the holidays? Be sure to book a horse-drawn sleigh ride along the Deschutes River at the Sunriver Resort, just 17 miles south.

Mt. Bachelor Resort and Ski Area
Online: mtbachelor.com

Sunriver Resort
17600 Center Dr.
Sunriver, Or
Online: sunriver-resort.com

beach kids-cc-frans persoon via flickrphoto: Frans Persoon via flickr

Driving time from Portland: 1 hour & 40 minutes

In the warmer months, seven miles of pristine sand make the town of Manzanita a perfect locale for sunbathers, kitesurfers and boogie-boarders. But the Oregon coast can be equally thrilling in December and January, as 18,000 grey whales—or nearly 30 each hour—migrate south along the coast to reach their breeding grounds in Mexico. So pack a pair of binoculars and grab a nearby perch at the Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker on Highway 101 or Ecola State Park 18 miles north—you might just catch a glimpse of a spout or a breach.

Not in the mood for whale-watching? Keep in mind that the winter months are also a wonderful time for beach-combing at nearby Oswald West State Park and piping hot pizzas at Marzano’s Pizza Pie right in town.

Ecola State Park
Cannon Beach, Or
Online: oregonstateparks.org

Oswald West State Park
Arch Cape, Or
Online: oregonstateparks.org

Marzano’s Pizza Pie
60 Laneda Ave.
Manzanita, Or

Driving time from Portland: 2.5 hours
Nestled in the shadow of the Three Sisters and Black Butte, this charming western town is known for its quaint shops, downtown art galleries and wonderful opportunities for winter recreation. The Hoodoo Ski Area, situated 22 miles outside of town between Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Washington, has 800 acres of terrain and one of the largest tubing parks in the western United States. Care to warm up after a long day on the slopes? Grab a hot chocolate and settle in for the evening at the Sisters Movie House.

Hoodoo Ski Area
Sisters, Or
Online: skihoodoo.com

Sisters Movie House
720 Desperado Ct.
Sisters, Or
Online: sistersmoviehouse.com

snowboarder-cc-yug_and_her via flickrphoto: Yug_and_her via flickr

Timberline Lodge & Ski Area
Driving time from Portland: 1 hour & 20 minutes

For winter sports enthusiasts, Timberline Lodge and Ski Area is famous for its 1,415 acres of skiable terrain on the slopes of Mt. Hood. A total of 41 ski trails, one-quarter of which are ideal for beginners, traverse 3,690 feet of vertical terrain—the most in the Pacific Northwest. But no matter if you’re a snow bunny or a novice, this beautiful Depression era lodge offers countless activities for the entire family. The heated outdoor swimming pool is open year-round, while a mountain hot tub, rental DVD players, a game room and a lending library create the perfect conditions for a cozy winter night.

Timberline Lodge and Ski Area
27500 E Timberline Rd.
Timberline Lodge, Or
Online: timberlinelodge.com

What are your favorite winter road trips from Portland? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien