The Best Souvenir Shopping in Portland
After a visit to Portland, you’ll hopefully head home with a few things: a belly full of Voodoo Donuts and Hopworks beers; memories of fun times exploring the city; and sore hamstrings from an awesome hike in Forest Park. But if you’d also like take back something a bit more permanent, check out these quintessentially Portland souvenirs—just pack (gently) in your suitcase to bring a little of the Pacific Northwest’s beauty home with you.
It’s hard to find a trendy store, restaurant, or hotel in the city that isn’t decorated with a beautiful glass vessel sprouting an air plant. Make your own from the colored sand, stones, shells, and wide variety of plants at Artemisia. They’ll expertly pack your creation for airplane carry-on, or help you design a packable kit so you can assemble the terrarium at home.
Jewelry and ceramics
Handmade local crafts are a big deal in Portland (after all, it’s home to the twice-annual Crafty Wonderland fair with more than 200 vendors). Carter & Rose stocks only small-production, made-in-Portland items, including leather bags, wall planters, art pieces, ceramics, cards, soaps, and jewelry. Your best bet? A pair of super-cool geometric earrings from Essie Day Jewelry, and a colorful jewelry dish handmade by the owners to display them in-between wearings.
Bring home a beautiful letterpress card from local printers Egg Press to stick on the fridge, or opt for a frame-ready art print. Two stores that stock great ones (including lovely portraits of animals wearing civilized human outfits, from local artist Ryan Berkley) are Tender Loving Empire and Land Gallery. Voila! Portland on your walls.
Hopefully while in town you got a taste of the delicious wines from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Since you may worry about a bottle getting cracked in your checked bag, instead pack a can of Underwood Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris —yes, good wine in a can—from Union Wine Co.
Based in Portland, Sarah Z. Wexler is on the Oregon beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @SarahZWexler.