If you’re looking to get away for a few days or even a week, there are always places to go and experiences to be had—especially when you get to visit one Southwest’s 99 cities across the United States and 10 additional countries! Nobody knows a city and its hidden gems better than the Employees who live and work there. Check out a few of our Employees' favorite places in the Portland area and share your hidden gems in our comment section below!
Columbia River Gorge, located just east of Portland
No visit to the “City of Roses” can be considered complete without a short side trip out into the magnificent Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Make sure to view the country’s second tallest waterfall, which is also Portland's most mispronounced word. Multnomah(muhlt-noh-muh) Falls is a spectacular natural wonder. After seeing the falls, take the time to enjoy a cold Ruby Ale at the state’s hippest beer campus. McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale has live music, an onsite brewery vineyard, multiple restaurants, exquisite gardens, a disc golf course, spa treatments, hotel accommodations, and really something for everyone. Cheers!
—Richard Nylander, Customer Service Agent
Multnomah Falls is a spectacular sight just east of Portland.
Sometimes called Stumptown, City of Roses, River City, Rip City, Bridgetown, or Portlandia; Portland has just as many things to do as it has nicknames. If hiking is your thing but you don’t want to leave the metro area, check out Macleay Park in northwest Portland. Here you can take a short walk to visit an abandoned stone structure known as the Witch’s Castle, or you can hit the five-mile trail to the historic Pittock Mansion. Portland is also known for its food, and one of my favorites is the Observatory on SE Stark St. Not only is the food excellent, but there is an extensive list of specialty cocktails such as Hibiscus-Acai Margaritas, Lavender Gin Lemon Drops, or Guava-Ginger Mimosas. Be sure to try the cinnamon-sugar bread pudding for a special treat after your meal. Enjoy!
—Greg Brown, OPS Agent
View of Portland, Oregon, overlooking the Willamette River on a fall afternoon
Portland has a vast number of things to do. Within 1.5 hours from the hustle and bustle of Portland is Camp 18 in Elsie, Oregon. The restaurant is the perfect stop for any breakfast lover. The first thing you’ll notice about the restaurant is its architecture; the building is a tribute to the area’s logging industry. The interior is dominated by large log beams supporting the entire structure. But the greatest allure of this eatery is the delicious food it serves up. You will not leave hungry because the meal portions are as grand as the log building! But if you are more in the mood for the great outdoors, there is beautiful Mount Hood, which I call my home. You won’t see anything else like it anywhere else in the world. As the tallest peak in Oregon, Mount Hood is legendary, awe-inspiring, a real tribute to the rugged spirit of the Pacific Northwest. If you’re looking to stay in the area, there is lodging on Mount Hood at Timberline Lodge with year-round skiing and mountain biking trails in the summer. But perhaps Timberline Lodge’s biggest claim to fame is that this is where the movie The Shining was filmed.
—Jan U’Ren, Ramp Supervisor
View of the Columbia River from Mitchell Point, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon