Great Dates in 50 States: Portland, Oregon

Welcome to another great guest post in our Great Dates in 50 States series! Please welcome to the stage Kelly Burbidge and her great dates in Portland, OR:

Portland is The City of Roses, but its true beauty comes from the wonderful people you can meet here. Portland is full of charming, artistic people, and is a great place to find romance. I have lived here most of my life and I never get tired of taking my sweetheart out to explore our great city. Simply stroll along our waterfront at sunset for an unforgettable experience with someone special.

1st Thursday

1st Thursday is the monthly free art walk through the galleries of the Pearl District. This event happens on the 1st Thursday of every month, and is the perfect activity for a first date. You can stroll through the Pearl popping into galleries for a look at their current show, and indulge in some cheese or wine that’s being offered. This is an especially great date for the summer since the warmer weather brings more independent artists to the sidewalks. A great way to get to know someone; I met my future husband at 1st Thursday and the art was a great conversation starter. Check out their website for a complete listing of galleries.


For a truly sensual evening step into another world at Marrakesh on NW 21st and Northrup. Inside you will be transported to Morocco and be prepared to have all of your senses delighted. The food is unique bringing exotic flavors to your palette and tantalizing aromas to your nose. As you sit on cushions dining at their low tables you will hear the music of the region and if you’re lucky enough to visit from Wednesday to Sunday you will be delighted by the belly dancers. An absolutely memorable experience. Check out their website here.

Montage & Guardian Games

If you want at great geeky date try starting at Montage, under the Morrison Bridge on 3rd in SE Portland’s Industrial area. This is a great fun place to share a meal whether you’re looking for some great macaroni and cheese or jambalaya. You can dine early or late at Montage and when you’re done you may want to get in on some of the fun at Guardian Games. Just 5 blocks North at 3rd and Pine you will find a true geeks paradise. They have a huge gaming space where you can play RPGs, Magic the Gathering, or WoW. Check out their calendar of events here. Of course you might just be in the market for the perfect set of dice for your sweetheart; you’ll find anything you need to satisfy your inner geek.

Rimsky Korsakoffeehouse

Rimsky’s is the epitome of Portland’s unique eateries and coffee houses. This is an excellent place to go for coffee and desert. Located on 12th just past Morrison in SE Portland, 707 SE 12th Ave, you will find a large red craftsman house with a promise of fun just through the door. On the weekends you will find the coffee house full of the sounds of live piano or violin and a funky atmosphere that you have to experience for yourself. You will want to return again and again to try finding the best seat in the house, but be forewarned not every table in the house is just a table (some of them move). When I go to Rimsky’s I am always delighted by Charlotte Perkins Gillman peeking her head out of the yellow wallpaper and I always order the Raspberry Fool. They really do have some of the best treats in town. Check out their blog to see what’s new.


Portland has a variety of international flavors and Andina brings the flavors of Peru to the Northwest. Located in The Pearl at 1314 NW Glisan it has an extensive menu of tapas that you can share, and a dinner menu with Peruvian inspired dishes. The restaurant usually has live jazzy music and wonderful service. They even offer private dining for larger groups. The atmosphere is warm and glowing with soft light. There are so many choices on their menu that, like me, you will want to return again and again to this classy restaurant to try all they have to offer. Check out their website here.

Historic Columbia River HWY

If you’re seeking a little adventure and scenic beauty take a leisurely drive on the Historic Columbia HWY. To plan the trip that’s just right for you go to their website. I recommend accessing the highway in Corbett, OR by taking exit 22 off of I-84. You can stop at the Crown Point Vista House to take in the view and then make your way East stopping at the waterfalls along the way. Of course one of the highlights is Multnomah Falls which is the 2nd tallest waterfall in the US. If you want more than scenery I recommend any of the trails that can be found at the individual falls there are several wonderful hikes that will give you new views of the falls. For a great adventure and a little romance I recommend Horsetail and Ponytail Falls. Ponytail falls is unique because the trail cuts behind the waterfall. It’s a refreshing way to stay cool on a hot day.

Kelly Burbidge is a local Portland artist and teacher. You can see her mosaics at Triskel Studios and can follow her on twitter. When she has the opportunity she teaches art classes or works on improving her skills as a photographer.

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