The Frisky Guidebook: The City Of Roses
You’ll be struck by the greenery—Forest Park is the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United States, and Washington Park’s rose garden is worth a visit—and the friendly vibe of Portland, Oregon. Straddling the Willamette River, Portland is home to funky bars, a terrific underground music scene, and restaurants that would delight any foodie. Sure, the area has a reputation for rain, but what’s sexier than snuggling up with your significant other during a rainstorm? Check out these hot spots, and you’ll forget all about the weather.
The Circuit Bouldering Gym
6050 SW Macadam Ave (Southwest)
(503) 246-5111, TheCircuitGym.com
Get in shape with your man at one of the world’s largest bouldering gyms. $12 gets you a day pass and a guaranteed adrenaline rush. No specialized training required, but you get bonus point for flexibility.
The Sugar Cube
SW 9th Ave (Downtown)
Feast on the My Goodness My Guinness cupcake (replete with ginger and stout) and the liquor-infused, chocolate-dipped Amy Winehouse cupcake. Both will have you screaming: “Yes!” Take advantage of your sugar buzz and stroll four blocks south to a leafy, green oasis in the heart of the city, the South Park blocks.
1332 West Burnside (Downtown)
(503) 225-0047, McMenamins.com
With a sprung hardwood floor, you bounce while you dance at this concert venue and dance hall. Owned by the McMenamin brothers (purveyors of great brew), you’re likely to get carried away by the strong drinks and loud indie-rock. You may have to muscle your way in on Saturday nights, but the acoustics are worth it.
1001 SW Broadway (Downtown)
(800) 551-0011, HeathmanHotel.com
Don your fedora and get old-school at the historic Heathman Hotel, known for its romantic lounge, piano bar, and all-day Thursday happy hour. You’re within a stone’s throw of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and the Portland Art Museum.
400 SW Broadway (Downtown)
(503) 225-1717, HotelLucia.com
A boutique hotel with mahogany and olive-green accents, you’ll feel spoiled by the Aveda bath products, 24-hour room service, and accommodating staff, who promise to satisfy any desire (just press the “Get it now” button on your room phone). Not to be missed: posh Bo Restobar adjacent to the lobby and Typhoon! restaurant next door.
Springbrook Hazelnut Farm
30295 N Highway 99W (Newberg, OR)
(503) 538-4606, NutFarm.com
Venture 20 miles outside the city to this B&B located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. The secluded, romantic locale is worth the price. Rated one of the “Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest,” it requires you be in the mood for some nookie.
New Old Lompoc Brewery
1616 NW 23rd Ave (Alphabet District/Northwest)
(503) 225-1855, NewOldLompoc.com
When the rain stops (for those thirty-eight days of the year), singles flock to the beer garden at this Northwest watering hole that retains its laidback style, despite the trendier spots cropping up in the neighborhood. With beer on tap at upwards of 6.9% a/v, conversations are sure to turn interesting quickly.
5008 SE Hawthorne Blvd. (Hawthorne District)
Housed in a former brothel, this French-themed bar is swathed in red light. Prowling singles convene for martinis and small plates (don’t miss the salmon corn cakes). The hunt got you hungry? Dig into the pomegranate glazed steak with a creamy sweet potato mash.
Hip Chicks Do Wine
4510 SE 23rd Ave (Southeast)
If you’re rockin’ the single life and tired of the usual bar scene, grab your girlfriends and head to the Hip Chicks tasting room, a bare-bones, cozy barn on the eastside. Leave pretension at the door and kick back with their Drop Dead Red, Wine Bunny Blush, or Bad Girl Blanc. $10 buys seven tastes.
ROMANTIC DINNER A DEUX
2411 SE Belmont St (Belmont District)
(503) 232-4458, WildAbandonRestaurant.com
Nothing gets a girl frisky like oyster shooters. You’ll find oysters and more—risotto, a burger to die for, even sashimi—at this neighborhood joint. No need to be turned off by the tin exterior. Cuddle in the garden out back, and don’t say you weren’t warned about the aphrodisiac-laden menu.
2074 NW Lovejoy (Alphabet District/Northwest)
(503) 227-4300, Swagat.com
Spicy Indian fare, like chicken vindaloo and palak paneer, is served up family-style with generous portions of fluffy nan. The décor is kitschy, but you’ll be too busy swooning over the food and your date to care.
807 NW 21st (Alphabet District/Northwest)
(503) 226-4646, CaffeMingoNW.com
This Italian gem is known for its friendly service and fantastic wine list. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Italy. Don’t miss the sweet eye candy: the wait-staff.
3731 N Mississippi Ave (North Portland)
(503) 288-4633, AtTheMeadow.com
You’ll find pure decadence at this shop. Gourmet salts, drinking chocolate, truffles, wine, and liqueur are elegantly-packaged and make for sexy, sophisticated gifts.
Oh Baby Lingerie
1811 NE Broadway (Northeast)
(505) 281-7430, OhBabyLingerieShops.com
Their classy lingerie will put you in the mood for footsie and ear-nibbling, the kind of moves that make for slow seduction. Starting at $30, these flirty pieces will meet your budget, and owner Laura will help you find the perfect fit.
The English Dept.
1124 SW Alder St. (Downtown)
It sounds prim and proper, but this little shop sells everything from the perfect party frocks to wedding night lingerie. Owner Elizabeth Dye’s line of glam party wear is a special standout.