Author Archives: Gemma

Portland Itinerary: What do in 3 days (Oregon)

Portland Sign lit up at dusk

‘Portland – where young people go to retire!’ This quote has been doing the rounds on the old viral trail ever since the ‘marmite’ (love it or hate it) TV show, Portlandia, coined it. 

Discuss a Portland itinerary with anyone from this Pacific Northwest city and the response will be something along the lines of beer, bikes, noms, and nature.

By the end of this article, we hope that you agree that Portland certainly is a very liveable and loveable city in Oregon, USA.

Here’s our guide on what to do in 3 days in Portland also known as the city of roses and PDX.

You may also like our guide to coastal towns in Oregon and our Portland in winter guide.

Portland Itinerary: 3 Days in Portland

Day 1 – Morning – Downtown Portland 

When you first arrive you definitely want to check out the Portland points of interest in the centre of the city and the waterfront.

Take in the unusual looking buildings, the cherry blossoms at Waterfront Park (Spring, approx March/April), how many bridges can count over the Willamette (rhymes with ‘dammit’)? There are 12 in total.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is home to the weekly farmers’ market (Mondays in Summer) and holiday-tree lighting party if you are visiting Portland for the Christmas holidays.

If you are keen on art, or if it is raining (it does that come Autumn/Fall, a lot), you might want to swing by Portland Art Museum (1219 SW Park Ave) or the Oregon Historical Society (1200 S.W. Park Ave) to see local and historical artifacts.

You will also find the very instagrammable 65 foot Portland sign ‘the Schnitz’ in Downtown Portland, outside of Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 

Looking for a tour with a local?

Check out this 2-hour walking tour of Downtown Portland.

Look out for the Benson Bubblers water fountains.

Not to be confused with old-school candelabras, there are 52 bronze fountains dotted around the city named after the businessman Simon Benson who donated money to the project.

Benson Bubbles Downtown Portland

For elevenses, grab a Frankenstein style pastry from the original Voodoo Doughnut store (22 SW 3rd Ave). Expect anything and everything from marshmallows to bacon!

Strange story but…

I was using my Travel Portland tote bag on an island in Nicaragua (Ometepe) and a rad (or radge as we would say in Scotland) looking guy was like ‘hey, are you from Portland?’ as he sipped a drink on the wall of a restaurant. We started chatting and it turns out that this rad was actually the owner of Voodoo Doughnut.

Mind is blown.

An island in Nicaragua.

What are the odds I’d be using the tote bag and he would notice?

Anyway, we took a celebratory photo of me holding my phone displaying a picture of me eating a Voodoo doughnut in Portland.

I love travelling. Any strange travel stories to share?

Tell me in the comments below.

Voodoo Donughts Portland

Can’t agree on what to eat for lunch? 

That really is not an issue in Portland because this city is home to food carts. 

Alder Street Food Cart Pod (S.W. 10th Ave. & Alder St) is the biggest selection of food carts in downtown Portland and offers Thai, Indian, Mexican, yup pretty much every food genre is covered.

This works a treat for us because we are not food compatible.

Portland Food Truck with red front

Day 1 – Afternoon – Pearl/River District

This is one of the ‘most hipster neighbourhoods in the world’ Head to ‘City of Book’s aka Powell’s Bookstore to see the world’s largest independent bookstore to kick off the feel of Portland.

There are five stores in Portland, 1005 W Burnside S is the flagship store.

Powell’s Bookstores boasts of over 500 author events per year.

Small businesses and free-from chain store status is definitely the vibe of this city.

If you visit during the weekend, be sure to check out the Portland Saturday Market to pick up food, crafts, art and jewellery (Saturday/Sunday, March-Christmas Eve).

Visiting midweek?

You don’t have to miss out, browse and purchase local Oregon gear at Made Here PDX (40 NW 10th Ave).

Next, for an afternoon pick me up, pop into Stumptown Coffee Roasters for a brew – they’ve been taking coffee very seriously from source to sip since the lates 90s.

This fair trade coffee shop (five stores across the city) offers a variety of coffees, hot or cold and also teas.

If it is a dry day, take out and drink while people watching and totem pole exploring at Jamieson Square.

See what the Elizabeth Leach Gallery (Tuesday – Saturday/417 NW 9th Ave) and the photography gallery Blue Sky (Tuesday – Sunday122 NW 8th Ave) are exhibiting.

Catch a show at the Portland Center Stage at The Armory which is known as the “crown jewel” of the Brewery Blocks redevelopment.

Alternatively, if you are here for the hard brew, book into the Beer and Bikes Tour.

This 2.5-hour guided tour covers multiple breweries, but don’t worry, the largest part of the cycle is done while sober. 

Powells Books Portland

Day 1 – Evening – Pearl/River District

Take the alcohol bus on a quick detour around to 350 W Burnside St and snap a selfie with the Keep Portland Weird mural, who said it first – Austin or Portland?

End the night at 70 NW Couch (cooch not couch) – the famous Portland, Oregon sign.

Like the city itself, the sign has gone through many changes at the hands of whoever owned the building. Initially, it advertised White Satin Sugar, then White Stag Sportswear.

Most recently The City of Portland took over the rights.

The sign you see today will be the final version as, like many of Portland’s old houses, it is protected.

This pleases Portlanders as the red nose, which is put on the stag at Christmas, is a bit of an institution in itself! Definitely make a visit to the sign one of the things to do in Portland at night. 

Have your wits about you here in the dark, people are friendly but it is a city.

We stayed at The Society Hotel, a really cool new boutique hotel which has kept its roots. It’s basically a modern-looking time capsule!

Check out our review here.

The Stag Portland

Day 2 – Morning – Downtown

There are two options for this morning depending on your city travel style.

Option one, do as Portlanders and bike! Join a bike tour around the city to stretch the legs and to explore what is on the other side of those bridges (we did this with Cycle Portland Bike Tours in January and it was very pleasant weather wise)!

Biking is big and it’s not just one of the many hipster things to do in Portland!

There are cycle paths, bike traffic lights, and left-hand turns (although some are blighted by the tram tracks – don’t get stuck in them)!

7.2% of people commute by bike in Portland. To put this in perspective, the national average is a mere 0.5%. Cyclists have the same rights as cars when it comes to lanes.

Although the passion for the pedal is respected by most, Portlanders still like to show that they are vulnerable by staging a naked cycle protest once a year! Being naked in public is actually lawful, it falls under artistic license – keeping Portland weird.

Option two, make your way to Washington Park to discover over 650 rose varieties in 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares) of parkland at the Rose International Test Garden.

Bushes at the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park in Portland,

This feels like Alice in Wonderland territory.

If you only had 2 days in Portland I would suggest doing a tour a day one (I like to get my bearings through tours) as this will most likely cover downtown and the riverfront then visit Washington Park in the morning of the second day and Nob Hill in the afternoon/evening.

We also featured more activities in downtown Portland in our guide to free things to do in Portland, Oregon.

Portland waterfront

Day 2 – Afternoon – Self-Guided Food Tour or Nob Hill

If you are a foodie you’ll want to sample the food trucks in Portland.

There are approximately 848 food units in the city, with clusters around 3rd and 5th Avenue.

Alternatively, head to the city’s first food market, Pine Street Market (126 SW 2nd Ave) which is located in the cool historic Carriage and Baggage Building (every day).

If you like Korean food, check out Kim Jong Smokehouse, we tried one of the chef collective’s food from at the Kim Jong Grillin’ food truck.

Tasty and photogenic.

Kim Jong Grillin Portland

Another option is to make your way to the Nob Hill neighbourhood.

Nob Hill is the area Northwest of the Portland and is affectionately known as ‘The Alphabet District’ because of its naming of the streets in alphabetical order.

This is the more affluent neighbourhood in the city and you can expect upmarket shopping and eateries. There are cultural activities too though, for example, Pittock Mansion, an impressive 100-year old family home which is situated 1,000 feet above the city.

Yes, that means spectacular views of the Portland and Mount Hood.

Forest Park can be found in the Nob Hill area too.

There are 70 miles of trails which are enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. An easy access point can be found adjacent to Macleay Park (Lower Macleay Trail).

Starting to feel like Portland has gone all normal on you at Nob Hill?

Think again with Freakybuttrue (spell it out) Peculiarium, museum/gallery/interactive weird sh*t with ice cream as the cherry on top.

Lawn and building of Pittock Mansion museum in Portland

Day 2 – Evening – Nob Hill

After dinner at one of the many Nob Hill restaurants (American, Italian, Steakhouses, Spanish, Korean) it is time to ‘brew ‘n’ view’ at one of Nob Hill’s cinemas (Cinema 21).

Look out for film festivals and sing-alongs or McMenamins Mission Theater – showing throwbacks like Clueless and The Craft, dining options available), which serve local craft beers. 

Don’t go wild tonight because tomorrow you are day tripping but I do have to add, Nob Hill has karaoke rooms at Voicebox Karaoke Lounge.

Many of the cool places in Portland can be found at the upper-market Nob Hill area.

Day 3 – Portland Day Trips

Nature in Portland

One of the things to do near Portland (Oregon) is visit Multnomah Falls (45 min drive) which is Oregon’s tallest waterfall.

Visiting the fall isn’t just a Summer activity, we went in January when there was a bit of frost and it was just lovely, making it one of the best day trips from Portland. 

On a clear day, you can see Mount Hood in the background during the journey.

The hike can be as easy or intermediate as you like. We saw families there so a safe bet for things to do in Portland with kids.

If you don’t have a car you can join this 4 hour guided tour which picks you up from your hotel and takes you not only to Multnomah Falls but also Wahkeena Falls and Horse Tail Falls as part of its Columbia River Highway tour.

If you like wine and want to make a day of it, this 8-hour day trip from Portland offers the above plus lunch in Hood River with wine sampling options.

Multnomah Falls Portland Day Trips

Transport in Portland

Nate explained Portland’s transport system into four T’s – trail, tram, trolley, and train!

Like Seattle and Vancouver, TriMet tickets are valid for 90 minutes which means you can commute between two, three modes of transport.

Uniquely, Portland has an aerial tram! It was purpose built for students to get between campuses but tourists can also try it out.

Portland, Weather

Yes, it rains in Portland hence the lushness of its surroundings. Portlanders are cool with it, they’ve even named it the cute ‘Portland mist’.

However, Portland doesn’t even make it into American’s top 10 rainiest cities for rainfall so don’t fret! If you don’t like rain then the best times to visit are summer, July, August and often September.

May and June are drier than April and March. Mid October sees the rain appear again.

Things to do in Portland When it Rains

There are heaps of things to in Portland when it rains. There are a variety of museums to suit every interest from Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels to the Art Museum.

Portland has lots of brewery tours where companies take you on a sampling trip by foot, bike, or bus.

Obviously, there are lots of shopping opportunities in Portland when ducking from the mist, the city has mainstream big named shops, small businesses, Portland’s Saturday market and the institution itself, Powell’s Book Shop.

Rainy day outside ofThe Society Hotel Portland | Boutique Hotels

Christmas in Portland

North America really knows how to make Christmas sparkle and one of the benefits of visiting Portland, Oregon in December is that the weather is not as harsh as the East Coast (sorry, New York!)

Here’s a list of festive activities that make Portland a well-worth Christmas trip.

  • Christmas tree lighting (Pioneer Courthouse Square)
  • Christmas Ship Parade (50 boats cruising)
  • Santa pub crawl (he’s merry!)
  • Christmas at Pittock Mansion
  • ZooLights (1.5 million LED lights to transform the Oregon Zoo)
  • PDX Pop-Up Shops (local makers at Pioneers Place)
  • Holiday Ale Festival (5o festive ales to try)
  • Heaps of choir and stage action
  • Red nose goes on ‘White Stag’ sign
  • Hood River train ride

Find out more in our Portland in winter travel guide!

Colorful lights seen through a tent

Watch Our Video Guide to Portland (+ Seattle)

Portland Frequently Asked Questions

What is Portland known for?

On one of Portland’s slogans is ‘keep Portland weird’ and the mantra of being a little out of the ordinary is definitely evident in this Oregon city.

Portlanders are proud of their culinary scene which covers lots of regions (we were told there is even a Frying Scotsman food truck!)

The craft beer scene here is strong as is the wine. Portland is also known for supporting local businesses.

Can I visit Portland and other places?

Definitely! We teamed up a trip to Portland with the city of Seattle in the neighbouring state of Washington (coming from Vancouver in Canada).

Check out this guide to Oregon beach towns and this guide for Washing’s beach towns.

The Pacific Northwest road trip is a popular driving route which can extend is predominantly the warmer south, California but you could extend up if you wish.

Check out our San Fransisco itinerary here.

Keep Portland Weird sign with cars

When is the best time to visit Portland?

The cherry blossoms at start blooming at Waterfront Park in Spring (March/April) and the drier seasons kick off around May/June and the warmer months are July-September.

The rain reappears around October time. However, we visited in January after a freak snowstorm and still fell in love with the city.

Portland features in our post – the best US destinations to travel to in January. Lots of the activities we recommend are indoors (especially all the food and drink!) so there is always something to do.

What’s a good itinerary for 1 week in Seattle and Portland?

I would follow our guide for things to do in Portland then check out Seattle’s Pike Place Market food tour, Museum of Pop Culture and of course, the views of the city from the Space Needle. Check out our Seattle itinerary too.

Portland Oregon sign at night

Final words

Portland is Happening Now

This Portland 3 day itinerary only touches upon some of the factors which I feel back up that Portland is happening now.

I know I’m not alone in my views because according to the census, in terms of population growth, Portland was the 15th fastest among America’s fifty largest metro areas.

Unfortunately with popularity comes competition and many young people can’t afford the property.

The solution?

Tiny houses!

Hover over image to pin to your Portland inspiration board

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Disclaimer:  With thanks to Travel Portland, Cycle Portland Bike Tours, Kim Jong Grillin’ for hosting us and our family – Erin and Ian for letting us do a wash! I really did love this city, check out more cool things to do in Portland via our fellow blogger, Taylor.

Have you been to Portland?

22 Unique Things to do in Austin Today

Man on horse South Congress buildings

When I say Texas you think of cowboys and Conservatives, right? Wrong! Say hello to Austin – the hipster Texas city in The Lone Star State.

Just over 950, 000 people reside in Austin and during our three visits, we’ve met around 30 of them and one even married us. Yes, you heard that right.

We love this city so much we got hitched by Lady Bird Lake on Lou Neff Point.

Here’s our guide to unique things to do in Austin today, which are awesome!

Visiting for Christmas? Here’s our festive guide too.

Get Your Bearings 

The main areas you are most likely to spend time in during your trip to Austin are the Downtown, Red River, Sixth Street, Rainey Street, East 6th, South Congress and Zilker. 

While some of these Austin activities are not unique in Austin they are definitely unique to Austin.

Where else in the world can you eat Tex Mex and drink craft beer while listening to any genre of music possible?


Unusual Things to do in Austin

1. Eat Breakfast at Juan in a Million

The first thing to do in Austin is to grab a Tex Mex breakfast and Juan in a Million (2300 E Cesar Chavez St) is the legend you get to meet.

Not only does the ex-high school teacher, Juan Meza’s sell no frills, great homemade food, he also greets every single customer at the door with his signature handshake! Now that is a personal welcome.

Juan in a Million | Cool things to do in Austin

Our taxi driver said one day he drove past and couldn’t believe the size of the line, Juan had just made it to the big screen.

Casey Webb from the notorious hit TV show Man v Food had taken on the challenge to eat eight Don Juan tacos stuffed full of eggs, potatoes, bacon and cheese.

Don Juan El Taco Grande Juan in a Million | Austin all day breakfast

Think you can make it on the ‘Juan of Fame’? Webb managed four and a quarter…

Tell us how many you manage in the comments below!

Juan-in-a-Million-refined-beans-rice-tacos

2. Mimosas + Tacos at Ciscos

You are not hard-pressed to find breakfast tacos in Austin but Cisco’s (1511 E 6th St) is an iconic diner on East 6th Street.

As soon as you sit down next to the cute tiled wall, a friendly server will hit your table with glasses of water, salsa and delicious taco chips.

Ciscos Chips Austin Texas

Breakfast tacos with eggs, cheese and meat for under $5 and a liquor licence are just what to the doctor ordered after a night of partying in Austin.

Lots of visitors also hit up the popular chain, Torchy’s Tacos. Check out Torchy’s secret menu recipe.

Guys! You can buy my t-shirt (below) here. ‘Guid’ means good in Scottish.

Food Austin Cisco Cafe East 6th Street_

3. Stroll Along Lady Bird Lake

Austin’s hike and bike trail is bustling come spring/summer.

What better way to blow the city cobwebs away than to hire a bike and pedal along the Colorado River?

This 2-hour sightseeing tour is done via bike and includes a ride along Lady Bird Lake.

Even better, why not hire a paddle board and get in?

During our first and third trip to Austin, we stayed at the HI Hostel (private room) which was an absolute steal during Austin’s South by Southwest festival.

Those who are familiar with the festival will know that accommodation prices triple during the 10-day tech, digital and music festival.

Since the hostel is located by the lake, we walked along the designated path cooing at the cute dogs and dodging the runners to get to the parties in the city.

The lake itself is dominated by kayaks, boats, river bikes, birds and turtles.

A stroll by the lake with the sun on your face is one of the more romantic things to do in Austin so much so, we returned in 2016 to say ‘I do’ with the lake as our backdrop.

We eloped to Austin! Read our wedding story here.

Lady Bird Lake Austin Texas attractions

4. Make a Splash at Barton Springs

Barton Springs (2201 Barton Springs Rd) is a natural spring for the public to sunbathe around, kayak, and swim in. Or sunbathe on your kayak as I saw some girls do.

Located in Zilker Park, there are two options for the pool. The first is to pay to use the swimming pool style spring which has a nice grassy hill to sunbathe on. The sun can get pretty powerful so remember your factor 30.

Love the water? Check out our guide to the best beach towns Texas has to offer.

Barton Springs Austin | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

The second option is to use the area next door (there is only one fence that separates the two) for free.

Don’t make the mistake we did – take the turning before the bridge and use the concrete hill for sunbathing. We were stuck on the muddy and stony ground which was fine with a towel.

The locals will laugh and ask if you went into the water…

We walked there from the HI Hostel which took around 50 minutes and then cycled back. Save some cash a pack a picnic.

Barton Springs | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

5. Cool Off at High Heights

The Azul Rooftop Bar and Lounge (310 E 5th St) at the Westin Hotel allows non-members to use their rooftop swimming pool free of charge (as well as towels).

However, do expect to pay skyrocket prices for drinks.

Personally, I think it is worth the hit on your purse as the cold slush cocktails and summer vibes music was just what we needed to chill out after the madness of South By.

Azul features in our most Instragrammable places in Austin guide.

Azul Rooftop Pool and Bar Austin Westin Hotel_

6. Beat the Hook!

One of our recommended downtown bars, HandleBar (121 E 5th St), has a cool rooftop which is ideal for hot nights and it really is set up to provide a lot of fun.

There is one game which simply consists of a hoop on a string. The aim is to swing the hoop onto the hook.

It sounds pathetic but honestly, friends have fallen out over this game.

Next door is the Speakeasy, Floppy Disc Repair. The door staff are total douchebags and we’re not the first to say so. Read the reviews.

7. Get Crafty

There is now an explosion of craft beer breweries in Austin, to Craig’s delight.

One of his most recommended is Lazarus Brewery on East 6th Street.

Expect an audience of all ages, drinking flights and wine while listening to live music play outside on the bandstand. Furry friends welcome.

Beer Flight Lazarus Austin Craft Beer Brewery_

8. Catch a Band

Across the road from Lazarus is Zilker Brewing Company which also puts on shows.

In fact, these two craft breweries are just two of the over two hundred live gig venues in Austin.

Some say that Austin is the musical capital of the world. You can see a show any night of week at different areas around the city.

There is always something going down on Dirty 6th but please be warned, that street gets messy at the weekends.

Other notable venues include:

  • Mohawk.
  • HandleBar.
  • Cheer Up Charlies.
  • Hotel Vegas.
  • Emo’s.
  • Latitude 64 (which becomes the BBC Music Embassy during SXSW).
  • The North Door.
  • Stubb’s Bar-B-Q.

Want more music? This three-hour music tour led by a musician sells out fast

9. Be Cute at Austin’s Rainbow House

I’ve died and woke up in social media photography heaven.

Cute Nail Studio (1211 E 7th St) actively encourages you to come to see their bright and awesome salon!

This unique rainbow building just off East 6th is a wonder to behold.

Clever marketing by the Cute team and they are kick ass on Insta too.

If you’re quite into unique architecture, check out our guide on treehouses in Texas you can book!

Cute Nail Studie Austin

10. Up For Swinging?

There are two spots that you can climb into a hammock while you drink an alcoholic beverage or coffee (hot not recommended).

First up is the area outside of Revival Coffee Shop (1405 E 7th St) which is shared with a food truck.

The next hammock stop can be found at the food trucks on East 6th, across from 1660 food trucks.

Revival Coffee Shop Austin Hammocks

11. Food Trucks

You can’t go to Austin and not eat from a food truck.

What do you want? Colombian? Brazilian? Tacos? Burgers? Pizza? Poke Bowls?

You name it, there’s a truck that does it.

We even saw Peruvian desserts being sold near Barton Springs.

Now that’s niche!

12. Sinful Desserts by Nuhas

The seven deadly sins definitely result in diabetes at this food truck located next to Terry Black’s BBQ on Barton Springs Rd.

The brownie is to die for.

Nuhas Sinful Desserts Austin Texas

13. BBQ, Austin Texas Style!

Do it as Texans do! Some of the most popular Austin attractions are the BBQ houses.

Franklin BBQ, on the east side, is the most talked about BBQ joint. Therefore, you have to get there fast (11 am opening) and expect to wait in line. It closes when the food is gone.

During our trip, a taxi driver recommended Blacks (Guadalupe St), on our way there, we stopped for directions and a local pointed out Green Mesquite so we settled for there.

No need to settle, Green Mesquite serves up a decent plate of two types of meat and two sides! This Austin restaurant is very close to Barton Springs so you can bathe and then BBQ, just don’t burn baby.

We’ve now dined at Blacks and the Copper Pit and have to say that we prefer Mesquite.

We’re not really a fan of cold food and by the time you wait in line to choose your sides, your meat and then pay your food, your plate cold.

I also hate the amount of single-use plastic. There’s no need at a sit-down restaurant.

Do your bit of the environment, purchase Bamboo cutlery set US / UK. Super cheap at under $10 and helps save the plastic tide while you dine.

If you have time, head out to Lockhart to try Kreuz BBQ. Best green beans I’ve tasted.

Find out more in our road trip guide.

Green Mesquite BBQ | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

14. Wander Along South Congress (SoCo)

Dirty 6th is a cool, messy street full of filthy bars and definitely one of your first stops for things to in Austin at night but if you are looking for a street that is laden with seriously gorgeous looking people (everyone has fully committed tattoos, even saw a girl with a leg sleeve), see SoCo.

South Congress is lined with lots of vintage shops and delicious eateries.

On Saturdays, a pop-up market sells artwork and jewellery. Look out for the topless cowboy on a horse. Yes, that happens.

You may also like our guide to free things to do in Austin.

South Congress | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

15. Biscuits at South Congress Cafe

Can’t say much for the front of house service. I’m assuming the chick who served us our drinks was hungover.

Positively, the waiting servers were super friendly and the biscuits melt in your mouth.

South Congress Cafe (1600 S Congress Ave) made it to our best restaurants post. Find out who else managed to take a spot on our Austin foodie bucket list.

16. Shop for Treats at Big Top Candy Shop

Aka heaven for me! This circus-themed candy shop also sells ice cream and floats on South Congress (yes, I adore this area).

Not just one of the things to do in Austin with kids, it’s for big kids too right? Their stock will fill you with nostalgia as well as sugar.

You can even buy seasoned bugs! We took some home for my eleven-year-old cousin to try.

Big Top Candy Shop So Co | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

17. Get Snap Happy – Street Art in Austin

There is a lot of street art in Austin but unfortunately, much of it is spread quite far apart. Close to downtown, you can catch:

  • The I Love You So Much Wall on So Co (see below).
  • I Hate You So Much Wall on Rainy Street (see below).
  • Let’s Band Together heart on East 6th Street.
  • Historic 6th Mural at 5582 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, 78701.
  • Ninja Style graffiti on Lamar Boulevard Bridge.
  • Pop Art Girl at Colorado St. and W 5th Street (is she still there, didn’t see her this year)?
  • Tau Ceti triangle at Brazos and Second.

A little further afield is the famous:

  • Jeremiah the Innocent at 21st and Guadalupe.
  • You’re My Butter Half at 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (Alamo St.)

We were really disappointed to see that Hope Outdoor Gallery at Castle Hill has now be closed down. This is where we got our wedding photos taken.

Rumour has it that Hope will be reopening at a spot near the airport. If you like street art why not visit us in Fife, Scotland! This lesser-known area of our home country has an emerging scene worth checking out.

We never made it to the Cathedral of Junk but if you like art and trash it might be worth a quick visit if passing by (it’s smaller than most people imagine).

Some of the murals are quite spaced out so this electric bike tour can cover more grounds than by foot.

An Austin Elopement - Capitol Hill, Austin Texas - Corey Mendez Photography

Back at South Congress, you’ll see a large gathering at the end of a shop – this is the ‘I Love You So Much’ wall.

As the story goes, the artist spray painted the message, I love you so much, on her girlfriend’s shop wall after they broke up.

I Love You So Much Wall | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

Not up for all that smooshy love crap? Well, Austin has something for everyone.

There is an alternative message, the ‘I hate you so much.’ Not a direct response from the shop owning girlfriend thankfully!

The message was ruined but you can see a third version (the second was put on wood but warped) on the wall in Bungalow (bar) on Rainey Street.

  • I love you so much wall: 1300 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704.
  • I hate you so much wall (3rd version): Bungalow 92 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701.
I Hate You So Much Wall | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

18. Rainey Street

If you are looking for things to do in Austin at night head to Rainey Street.

We ate curry at G’raj Mahal Cafe which is a typical (for the area) wooden house style restaurant decked out in not so typical bike wheels and umbrellas.

A starter samosa, two curries and two naans came to $44.59.

If you are having a few beers, remember it gets hot come March (check out how sweaty we are!)

Stay hydrated and consider packing these hydration tablets US / UK for the next day, there’s nothing worse than a hangover in the heat.

A British doctor in Cuba recommended them as a hangover cure, I don’t travel without them now.

PS – this area has exploded! You heard it here first. Rainey Street is now packed with places to eat in Austin.

It’s also a go-to area if you are seeking out the free South by Southwest music events.

Rainey Street | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

19. Hire a Bike or Scooter

Be like a local and hire an electronic scooters or bike to get around town.

Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Lime have dumped e-scooters by the side of the road and you just use an app to activate and then scoot.

Be cautious of cars and don’t drink and drive.

20. Stay in an Airstream

A what?! All over Austin you will see silver food trucks in little clusters like outdoor food courts or standing proud individually.

Well, some homeowners take these food trucks, remove the cooking equipment and kit it out with kitsch home stuff and let you stay in them!

Airstream | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

21. Attend South by Southwest

Honestly, it is a fun ten days full of free parties, gigs and swag.

Catch intimate music shows with big artists, watch movies in Austin’s cute theaters and get lost in the madness.

You will need a holiday after this festival!

22. Head to Big Bend 

If you can find enough time to build an Austin to Big Bend National Park road trip into your visit I highly recommend it. 

We did this 11 stop West Texas itinerary over four nights and ate the best BBQ, saw art installations, stargazed and hiked in Big Band among the dusty roads and bluebonnets. 

Prada Marfa Post Shop Art Texas

BONUS: GET HITCHED IN AUSTIN!

Craig and I loved Austin Texas’ points of interest SO MUCH  we went back the following year and eloped!

We headed back to the lake and married at Lou Neff Point, took photos around the city, ate Italian, and then partied to Junior Boys at Mohawk.

Read our wedding story.

Capitol Hill, Austin, Street Art in An Austin Elopement - Corey Mendez Photography

Accommodation in Austin

We’ve stayed in seven different areas of Austin over the fours years. Our preferred choice has to be the HI Hostel at Lady Bird Lake if on a tight budget and happy to walk.

Best Austin Tours

Austin Packing List

You can’t survive a trip to Austin without:

  • Warm layers, it was freezing when we arrived in March and didn’t heat up until a few days into SXSW
  • A waterproof coat like this Marmot Precip US / UK
  • Comfortable walking shoes and hiking boots – I swear by Salomon Ellipse trek shoes US / UK
  • Sunglasses for the sun and hiding behind.
  • Tattoos, you won’t fit in without one.
  • Camera and battery
  • Battery pack for your phone – I vouch for Anker’s range US / UK
  • Osprey bag cover US / UK
  • Eco water bottle as there are heaps of places to fill up for free – the practical Tree Tribe US / UK
  • Filter and purifying water bottle like Water To Go [quote TSA15 at checkout for 15% off]
  • Bamboo cutlery set US / UK – So annoyed at the use of plastic at the BBQ joints.
  • Skross universal travel adaptor with USB slots US / UK
  • Pacsafe safety net US / UK
  • Hydration tablets US / UK if participating in some Austin boozing!

You May Also Like Our Other Austin Guides

Final Words

I know what you are thinking – where are the bats?

We’ve never actually managed to experience over a million bats flying from Congress Avenue Bridge.

Have you?

Needless to say, we’re still happy with what we’ve accomplished in Austin, the city that will always have a special place in our heart!

41+ Things to do in Vancouver at Night (All Year Round)

Kayak at sunset in Vancouver_

Too many guides on things to do in Vancouver at night fob you off with a list of restaurants to dine at, and while Vancouver does have a vibrant cuisine scene we think that’s lame advice when there are so many things going on after sundown.

Here’s our guide to Vancouver at night, for all seasons. Did we leave anything out? Tell us in the comments below. 

Don’t miss our one day in Vancouver itinerary – with lots of options 

What to do in Vancouver at Night 

All Year Round 

1. Vintage Movie House  

Fancy a movie? Although the Rio Theatre was initially built in the 1930s, it has all the mod cons of a 21st-century movie house.  

If you drink, you can purchase alcohol at the Rio and enjoy your movie with a beer, wine, cider or cocktail. “An experience you can’t download” – say it all!

2. Vancouver Nightlife  

Love it or hate it, Granville Street is the main drag for bars and clubs in Vancouver’s city centre.

You can find anything from craft beers to cocktails, Irish bars to games on TV. There are even a few music venues jammed amongst the mayhem. 

Expect busy bars and late-night food shops, great for people watching. 

We were sitting outside having a pub meal one night and across the road from us someone used bear spray on another guy. Not something you forget!  I wouldn’t advise staying on Granville Street. Here’s our guide to the best places to stay.

Granville Street lights Vancouver

3. Live Music in Van

Looking for live music? Check out the lineup at the Commodore Ballroom, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Imperial

Be careful at night, Vancouver is super friendly but it is a city. Craig was mugged after leaving the Imperial. 

He returned home covered in blood which is not a pleasant experience to wake up to.  Check the above event spaces for updates. I’ve linked to their Facebook pages above.

4. Go Ice Skating  

There are eight ice rinks in Vancouver and some of these are not seasonal. 

Head to Britannia Rink on Napier for all year round skating. You can hire skates there, just remember to wear something warmish. 

5. Watch Football 

Catch or watch a Canadian Football team, BC Lions the BC Place Stadium.

Sport Game BC Place Vancouver_

6. Vancouver Canucks

Come on, it is Canada! 

Support the National Hockey League (NHL), Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. 

7. Freak Me, Shake Me 

What do unicorns, Scottish shortbread and hashtags all have in common? 

They’ve been used in an Off The Grid Waffle freakshake. Open late and looking great.

8. Vancouver Brewery Tour  

Craig fully immersed himself in the craft beer scene in Vancouver. 

I’d go as far as to say his six months of drinking Ruby Tears (Parallel 49) ruined drinking for him back in Scotland, as although the scene is improving, it certainly hasn’t hit every pub, yet. 

Do an independent tour of the craft beer bars up Main Street or take a brewery tour and learn from the experts.  

9. Sunset Sea Activities 

Hire a kayak or paddleboard and drift with the sun going down. Therapeutic! One of the many outdoor activities in Vancouver that are a great de-stresser.

Kayak at sunset in Vancouver_

10. Space Shows at Macmillan Space Centre  

See the stars and learn about Mars at the evening events hosted by the H.R Macmillan Space Centre. 

This is actually where Craig proposed to me!

11. Yoga, For Cheap 

Yoga is a massive part of Vancouver life. At Karma Teachers yoga classes you pay donations as the teachers are in training. One of the cheaper indoor activities in Vancouver. 

I did a morning class in the very light and welcoming studio but there are evening classes if you need to unwind and stretch after a full day. 

12. Vancouver Lookout 

See the city lit up at night from a great height. 553.16ft (168.80m) to be exact.  

On Canada Day (July 1st), you can view the fireworks at night from up there too. 

13. Lost Souls Gastown Tour

Take a walking tour through the Victorian buildings of Gastown and learn some dark stories about intriguing Vancouverites.

14. Pub 340 Pinball Arcade

Play games and drink beer (or not) at Pub 340 Pinball Arcade on Cambie Street.

Pub 340 Pinball Arcade on Cambie Street

15. Do a Team Quiz 

It doesn’t matter what night of the week it is, there is a trivia quiz going down somewhere in Van! Check out this extensive list for more details. 

16. See a Show  

Watch out of the lineup at the Vogue Theatre, Pacific Theatre and Queen Elizabeth Theatre for festive shows including the Nutcracker ballet. 

17. Have a Laugh

Check out the comedy and improv scene at Yuk Yuks, The Improv Centre, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Massey Theatre and Granville Island. 

18. Waffles and Ice cream at Nero Waffles. 

Mini waffles sprinkled with sugar, cooked with falvour or piled with fruit and cream.

Granville Island Market Sign_

Things to do in Vancouver at Night in Summer 

19. Outdoor Movies at Stanley Park  

If you visit during summer, be sure to check out the Stanley Park outdoor cinema. Pack some chairs, snacks and a top for later. 

Note: it is not advised to go to Stanley Park alone in the dark. 

20. Richmond Night Market 

This is the largest night market in North America and may also be the busiest! 

On weekends during the summer months, Richmonds Night Market is packed with stalls with food from all over the world. There is also entertainment on the stage and games to be played. 

21. Sunset Swims 

Second Beach Swimming Pool in Stanley Park is open until 8:30 pm during the spring and summer months. There’s even heating!

Sunset at beach in Vancouver

22. Swim in Saltwater Pool 

Kitsilano swimming pool, North American’s longest saltwater pool, has just been renovated and is open late during the spring and summer months. 

23. Street Art at Main Street 

One of the free things to do in Vancouver involves taking a stroll along Main Street to check out the street art murals. 

Thanks to Vancouver Mural Festival and local artists there is lots of work to look at. Here’s the map

24. Festival of Lights 

For a full week in July, fireworks take over the skies in Vancouver at the Honda Celebration of Light. 

It is the longest offshore fireworks competition which promises a bang. 

For nearly three decades, countries have been competing for the best light show over English Bay.  

We joined the masses at the bottom of Davie Street as English Bay was too busy. Arrive early to avoid disappointment. 

25. Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is open until 10 pm so you can enjoy nature with fewer crowds. 

Will you do the Grouse Grind or take the Grouse Mountain Skyride?  

During summer there is the Rusty Nail BBQ for dining, as well as other all-season options. 

Grouse Mountain lifts blue skies_

26. Sunset Cruise 

Quite a romantic way to spend an evening in Vancouver! 

Enjoy live music and a Pacific Coast cuisine buffet while you sail by Canada Place, the North Shore Mountains and the West Vancouver skyline after dusk. Check out the 5* reviews here.

27. Enjoy Jazz

One of the biggest summer events in Vancouver is the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

For 12 days, 500,000 jazz fans listen to nearly 2,000 artists over 300 concerts in the city. Headliners have included Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Erykah Badu, and Buddy Guy.

28. Follow the Vancouver Biennale Trail 

Hands up! This is not a summer-specific activity to do in Vancouver but lighter nights give you more freedom to see this public art exhibition. 

The bi-annual Biennale introduces sculptures, new media and performance work to Vancouver’s public parks, beaches and urban plazas. 

Most notably, Giants by OSGEMEOS (Brazil) and A-maze-ing Laughter, Yue Minjun (China). Get amongst the art, take photos and tag @van_biennale. Here’s the map

As mentioned previously, there have been police warnings not to enter Stanley Park alone at night. 

Street art in Vancouver Craig with laughing man_

29. Listen to Folk Music

Head to Jericho Beach for the Vancouver Folk Musical Festival in July to hear local talent and international big names. 

Looking to learn? There are workshops as well as concerts.

Vancouver at Night Activities in Winter 

30. Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge 

From November to January, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park becomes illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights. 

I do have to warn you that this festive event is really busy and can be unpleasant if you don’t like crowds. 

There are free shuttle buses from Downtown Vancouver. 

31. Go Night Skiing 

It’s not Whistler, but Vancouver does have its mountain called Cypress. 

During winter, the trails are lit up for night skiing. 

32. Snowshoeing at Cypress

Don’t fancy skiing or boarding? Snowshoeing is an easy sport where cramps are attached to your shoes (make sure they are waterproof). 

The last tickets are sold two hours before sunset. 

33. Snow Tubing 

Cypress has all the fun activities in winter! Kids and big kids who love a thrill can fly down Gnarly’s tube park. 

34. Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train 

Three million lights are used to bring the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Park Train Plaza to light!  

35. JFL NorthWest Comedy Festival 

Enjoy 10 days of comedy at Vancouver’s Just For Laughs Festival including stand-up, podcast, improv and sketch performances.  

There’s also a JFL Movies segment for those who want a night in with popular Hollywood comedians. 

36. Light Walk at Grouse Mountain  

Capilano is not the only light show in Vancouver!  

Grouse Mountains gets you to whack on your snowshoes and cleats to discover its enchanting lit up snow alleys and pathways around Blue Grouse Lake.

37. Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Garden

Choir songs fill the air and the warm glow from the installations light up kids rosy faces, what else says Christmas than the Festival of Lights at the Botanics in December? 

Note: this winter event gets extremely busy. It is advised to use public transport and be prepared to wait in line. 

Here’s our full guide to Vancouver’s best Christmas activities and events.

Christmas Lights Botanic Gardens Vancouver

38. Vancouver Christmas Market 

Gluhwein, goulash and good times are best served at night at Vancouver’s Christmas Market. 

The market is packed with 80 Christmas huts resembling a German Christmas market. Local choirs entertain visitors while they sip on hot drinks in festive mugs. 

The market at Jack Poole Plaza, Canada Place, isn’t too busy as Christmas events go in Vancouver. 

Gemma with Christmas mug at Vancouver Christmas Market_

39. Burnaby Village Museum 

Christmas trees, lights trails and of course, the big man himself, Father Christmas! 

The Burnaby Village Museum cranks Christmas up to another level during the festive period. Visitors can bake in the Farmhouse, listen to live music and ride the indoor carousel.  

One of the most popular festive things to do with kids at night during winter in Vancouver. 

40. Christmas at Hycroft

I have never seen anything like the Christmas experience at Hycroft Manor. 

This Edwardian mansion is dipped in Christmas sparkle like a kid’s artwork is dipped in glitter. 

Looking to do some Christmas shopping? Hycroft has the longest-running fair selling craft from local makers and artisans.  

Hycroft House at Christmas with lights, Vancouver_

41. Coquitlam’s Lights at Lafarge

Walk under the 1.2km light loop around the lake and explore the themed zones with friends and family.

The Lights at Lafarge is free and easily accessed using public transport!

Pin to your Vancouver board for future planning

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Final Words

There are many fun things to do in Vancouver at night which don’t stop when the sun drops.

From indoor activities to free attractions, food good enough to eat as well as take photos of, and sporting activities in the city.

Tell me in the comments below, what did you do in Vancouver at night?

Jam-Packed One Day in Seattle Itinerary

Pike Place Market sign at night

Sea air, mountain views and of course, Pike Place Market, Seattle in Washington, not to be confused with DC, is a ‘real’ city.

A visit feels like a trip to a worn-in town as opposed to a tourist stop overrun with visitors.

Our one day in Seattle itinerary details the best things to do in 24 hours which will leave you wanting more. 

You may also like our guide to Seattle in fall, Washington bucket list, and Washington’s coastal towns.

24 Hours in Seattle Itinerary

Morning

Belltown: 9:00

Belltown is a grungy Seattle area brightened up by street art and trendy cafes.

Grab coffee or breakfast here if your accommodation doesn’t offer it but don’t eat too much as you’ll want an empty belly for the Pike Place Market experience.

Olympic Sculpture Park – Bonus: 10:00

This is a free park was created and is managed, by the Seattle Art Museum. 

Take a quick stroll through the nine-acres, walking among the big art sculptures with the mountains in view.

It takes 15 minutes to walk to the park then 30 minutes to Pike Place Market, going back on yourself, so only do this part of the itinerary you have spare time.

Pike Place Market, Seattle Downtown: 11:00

If you ask anyone what are the best things to do in Seattle, Pike Place Market comes out on top every time.

Since 1907, farmers and consumers have met around this spot to sell and buy wholesome goods.

Arcades were soon created by a wealthy businessman and this is the space where Pike Place Market stands today.

It isn’t just a market selling food though.

Pike Place Neighborhood comprises of food businesses, drink companies, craft makers and other services. It’s loud, busy and has a real buzz.

An attraction you can’t miss, even if you only have 1 day in Seattle.

Pike Place Market at night

Pike Place Market, I took this at night as we stayed close

Oldest Starbucks: 11:00

Look out for the first Starbucks to grace the state’s soil.

Can’t see it? Look harder. It blends (boom boom) in.

Pike Place Market Food Tour: 11:30*

Food is great, but food with a story is even more filling.There are a variety of food tours that run in Seattle. You can even take a tour of the market with a professional chef.

We did the tour with Savor Seattle and ate our way around seven vendors hearing the backstory to their success and sampling their goods.The first food stop, Economy Market to try some sugary delights at Daily Dozen Doughnuts.

Continuing with the sweet stuff, taste not one but two different types of Ellenos Yogurt, across from the famous Pike Place Market sign which has been lit up since 1937!

As the morning progresses, you’ll make your way through the different sections of the market, following your nose, guide and their pink umbrella.

Routes and vendors vary but if you’re lucky you’ll get to enjoy Martha Stewart endorsed cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Chukar’s coated cherries and a first for us – (award-winning) chowder.

A vendor even threw in some free hot cider, purely out of kindness. Pike Place Market is built on this kind of positive behaviour.From the beginning, the Market has encouraged a sense of community among sellers and locals alike.

The market you will meet today was set up to give immigrant farmers a decent wage, removing the power from the big bad businessmen who were abusing it.In addition to this, it gave locals quality food, hence the market’s slogan ‘meet the producer’ – putting the market in the heart of the community.

Your guide will share lots of examples of this community support; one that has stuck with me is the story of a shop that stood in Piroshky Piroshky’s place.

The original owners of the Russian pastry shop had migrated to Seattle and decided like many other producers to set up shop at Pike Place Market.

Being media savvy, the family had contacted the local press and asked them to help advertise their opening day, to which the press obliged. 

As the day grew closer the family managed to forget about two important ingredients for success – butter and flour! 

In a blind panic, they called all channels in the hope that they could reschedule their grand opening, alas the papers said no, and the owners were destined for failure. 

The day before the opening a surprise envelope full of money found its way to the family!

Who would be the likely candidate of this kind gesture? A journalist? A politician?

No, a fellow Russian vendor who was so thrilled to have another Russian shop at Pike Place Market!Another endearing fact about Piroshky Piroshky is that they donate leftover food to the local food bank.

Although honestly, I cannot imagine there being much leftover, the shop line is massive.Since you are part of the tour, you’ll get to jump the line.

Food your thing? Check out more top things to do in Seattle, heaps of food tips.

*Choose the best time slot for your itinerary.

Afternoon tours also available.

Pike Place Market Cheese

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

The Gum Wall: 13:30

Now that you are content and full, it’s time to be put off your food.The Seattle Gum Wall at The Market Theater (1428 Post Alley) has been dripping since the 90s and has only been cleaned once.

During the steam clean of 2015, Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority workers spent 130 hours collecting 1.75 tons of gum.

This left a blank canvas for locals and visitors to start leaving their saliva on this Seattle landmark again. Horrid or hilarious? Let me know in the comments below.

Gum Wall Seattle

Seattle Gum Wall, gross?

Afternoon Itinerary 

You now have two options for what to do in Seattle, depending on your interests.

Option one includes getting high and then very low at the Sky Observatory then underground tour.

Option two sends you up the famous Seattle Needle then playing drums on the ground at the Museum of Pop Culture.

Option three hits the water on a one-hour cruise.


Seattle Sky View Observatory: 14:00

Take the elevator up the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center (933 ft/284 m) and enjoy 360 views of Seattle skyline including Puget Sound, Lake Washington and its islands. 

And since you’re not up the landmark Seattle Needle, you will be able to snap it.

Feeling peckish yet?

Grab a light bite and drink at the Sky View Cafe.

Expect inflated prices since this is a tourist attraction.

Book your ticket through GetYourGuide here for no extra cost and receive instant confirmation and a mobile ticket to show when you arrive.

Seattle Underground Tour: 16:00

As everyday bustle goes on above you at Pioneer Square, take a tour of the underground passageways which once made up the city in a swamp.

Learn about Seattle’s history from the 1890s during this one-hour historical, yet light-hearted tour which explores four city blocks underground.

The meeting point is 47.6028407,-122.3341458, Beneath the Streets sign.

Seattle Cruise: 16:00

Hop aboard this one-hour cruise to learn more about Seattle’s historic waterfront.

The fully narrated cruise sets sail from Pier 55, and powers through Elliott Bay and Seattle Harbor, passing city highlights such as the Port of Seattle, Colman Dock, Pier 90, Alki Beach, the Space Needle, Hotel Edgewater, and the Great Wheel.

Panoramic views also take in the Olympic Mountains to the west, Mount Rainier to the southeast, and the Cascade Range to the east.

This tour can be booked throughout the day so if you’d prefer to cruise in the morning you can switch the itinerary around.

Striking sunset over Lake Washington Seattle

Seattle Central Library: 17:30

Head back to Downtown via the Seattle Central Library (1000 4th Ave).

How will I know I’m there?

You can’t miss it.

This futuristic 11-story building looks like a shiny house went wrong but in the right way.

Do you agree that it is one of the US’s top 150 buildings for architectural genius?

Continue along 4th Avenue to Westlake Park.

Option Two

It takes 25 minutes to walk between the Gum Wall and the Space Needle.

If you missed out the Olympic Sculpture Park during the morning itinerary it can be tagged on here as part of the walking route heading towards the Needle.

Alternatively, you can hop on the Seattle Monorail from Westlake Center which is a 10 minutes walk from the Gum Wall to Monorail Seattle Center Station.

It takes just under 15 minutes to ride between the two stops.

Seattle Space Needle: 14:30  

Although not as tall as the Seattle Observatory at 605 ft/184 m high (observation at 520 ft/160 m), this lookout is the most popular and is seen as the icon of Seattle.

Enjoy the 41-second elevator ride to the top.

There are two viewing levels at the Space Needle including the world’s first revolving glass floor, The Loupe.

The viewing levels are connected by the Oculus Stairs. 

While the Seattle Needle (400 Broad St) costs more than the Observatory you can purchase the Seattle CityPASS which includes a number of city activities including the Pacific Science Center and Museum of Pop Culture.   

You may also like must-see areas in Washington State

Museum of Pop Culture: 16:00

Who do you have to thank for Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam? Seattle.

Where can you find out more about the birth of the grunge scene in Seattle?

The Museum of Pop Culture (325 5th Ave N).

Even since then Seattle has produced some of the best bands such as Death Cab For Cutie/Postal Service, Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes.

Learn about the city’s music scene, bash on some drums and visit the ever-changing exhibitions on pop culture.

Reinventing itself as many times as Bowie, the Museum of Pop Culture was formally called EMP.

Head back the same way to Westlake Park before 18:30 to enjoy some food truck dining.

Museum of Pop Culture Seattle_

Museum of Pop Culture

Westlake Park Food Trucks: 17:45

I know know, not more food but eating at regular dining times is hard to do in a foodie city like Seattle.

Food trucks are such a massive part of the Pacific Northwest culture so I’d be robbing you if I didn’t squeeze a visit into this 24 hour Seattle itinerary.

Westlake is a food truck park which means there are different trucks selling meals.

These types of dining experiences are great for Craig and I because we’re not the most compatible when it comes to food and Craig is fussy as.

What’s unique about Westlake is that the trucks rotate so you can visit often and still try new food.

Heading to Portland next? Here’s our three-day itinerary.

Things to do in Seattle at Night

Evening itineraries are trickier to create because not everyone has the same idea of a good night out.Here’s a list of activities to consider:

  • Eat chocolate popcorn and see a movie at Cinerama in Belltown
  • Brewery hop, there’s no shortage of taprooms and craft beer breweries in Seattle
  • Catch the sunset from Golden Gardens Park in the cool Ballard neighborhood 
  • Do a haunted pub crawl
  • Check out the evening events at Pacific Science Center
  • Enjoy an evening cruise
  • Get a couples massage and stay over at a spa, alone
  • See a show at the 1920s Neptune Theater
  • Watch the city from the Space Needle, closes at 8pm

Practical Information

Getting to Seattle

The main airport in Seattle is Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.

The airport and Downtown are connected by Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail.

Uber and Lyft from the airport to downtown are expensive at around $35-50.

Getting Around Seattle

Seattle has a multi-city transport system including buses, monorail, streetcars and light rail trains. 

Accommodation

Our top tip – be smart about where you stay! This will help you pack as much in during your Seattle day trip.Be warned Seattle accommodation is expensive.

We were on a tight budget so booked into a 4-bed hostel dorm. After years of staying in hostels, this night was the last time we stayed in a dorm. 

The story? Unbeknown to us, we were in starring in the remake of the 90s rom-com Sleepless in Seattle. 

However, unlike in the movie, there was no romantic ending to us not getting any sleep. 

One of our temporary roommates snored like a freight train!Funnily enough, one of the distinct external noises in Seattle is passing locomotives, but I find their toots therapeutic, not stress-inducing.

At midnight we decided enough was enough, I complained and we were re-roomed with no issues. 

So, consider a hostel if you are comfortable with communal living as Seattle has fun ones in great locations such as Green Tortoise, Hotel Hotel and City Hostel.

If you can’t handle sharing a room and weigh up the cost of lost sleep consider a hotel or apartment.

Hotels in Seattle

Next time we visit we will be staying in an affordable hotel such as:

  • Ace Hotel – Modern, close to Pike Place Market
  • Moore Hotel – Traditional building with modern decor, great location

Apartments in Seattle

Seattle has a number of self-contained apartments for rent. You can book an entire apartment averaging $250 but going as low as $150. Private rooms can be found from $65.

Spas in Seattle

Visiting Seattle with your partner? Why not rent out a spa for the night?

Yes, you heard that right.

We stayed at the Little Red Day Spa (3200 Airport Way) on our second night.

Quite the contrast to the night in the dorm I might add.

We enjoyed a couples massage.

The staff then leave and the spa is yours to use. Hot tub, lotions, potions and comfortable beds.

A really special night in Seattle.

Little Red Day Spa Seattle


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Planning a trip to Seattle? Pin to your board


Final Words

There are so many things to do in Seattle, one day is not enough time to explore everything the city has to offer. On a positive note, the energy from all the food consumed will keep you going, you just have to hope your feet can keep up.


Thanks to Visit Seattle, Savor Seattle and Little Red Day Spa for hosting us. Our own opinions as always.

21 Best Things to do in Ibiza: Clubbing, Cocktails & Cultural Attractions

Light show at Ushuaia in Ibiza

Heading to the white isle and looking for the best things to do in Ibiza (Eivissa)? Whether you are planning to party at the super clubs, bar hop the infamous West End, or enjoy a cultured holiday in the Old Town, this guide shares the Ibiza activities and locations you can’t miss!

An archipelago of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, this Balearic island attracts millions of tourists each year.

It is said to have spiritual powers which might explain why visitors return each year!

Let’s find out the best places in Ibiza to add to your itinerary.

Things to do in Ibiza’s San Antonio

There are two main areas on the island where most couples and groups base themselves if they are visiting Ibiza to party – San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa.

San Antonio is situated on the north-central coast of Sant Antoni Bay.

It is the OG location for partying, so it makes sense to start here!

Watch the Sunset in Ibiza

Set aside at least one evening to watch the day slip into night from San Antonio’s Sunset Strip with ambient chill-out music to enhance the experience.

Boat silhouette against sunset in Ibiza

The most famous spot to do this is at Cafe Mambo.

Cafe Mambo (Carrer Vara de Rey, 40) opened in 1994 and was featured in BBC Radio 1’s Ibiza Weekender sessions, where international DJs played while the sun melted into the sea.

Today it is still as popular for revellers taking two hours out of partying to enjoy a slow dinner and drinks accompanied by a mellow soundtrack.

Check when the sun is due to set before making a terrace reservation.

Next door to Cafe Mambo on the Sunset Strip is Café del Mar (Calle Vara de Rey, 27) which was the first bar to open on this promenade in 1980.

It has a huge complex of tables at varying levels, from practically on the beach to elevated for great views.

Architect Lluís Güell envisioned Café del Mar’s stunning interior.

Entrance to Cafe del Mar bar in Ibiza

Next to Café del Mar is Savannah Ibiza (Carrer del General Balanzat, 38), serving an extensive cocktail list and international Asian food with ocean views.

Further up the Sunset Strip is Wiki Woo (Carrer Ponent, 14).

Most of the Sunset Strip bars have a minimum spend of around 70 Euros per person.

If you are on a budget or can’t get booked, there’s a free area to watch the sunset in Ibiza.

Sandwiched between Cafe Mambo and Savannah, join other party goers with their carry-outs on the stony beach.

Remember to pick up your cigarette butts and tins and take them with you after the sunset show.

Even if you’re not clubbing in Ibiza, watching the sunset from one of these bars or the beach area is a must on any Ibiza itinerary.

Sunset Party Cruise

For an up-close sunset experience hop aboard this 3.5-hour party cruise.

During the boozy boat tour, you can expect two drinks, a live DJ, access to the sundeck, and panoramic views of the sun setting over the Mediterranean.

Have Lunch at Ibiza Rocks Bar

Not to be confused with Ibiza Rocks Hotel, Ibiza Rocks Bar (Avinguda del Doctor Fleming, 6) is located on the promenade of Platja de S’Arenal (Beach).

Multiple friends recommended getting food at the bar, especially the chicken pitta, and I can confirm that it is tasty.

A DJ plays at the back of the bar, so it is unobtrusive if you just want to dine and enjoy a few cocktails.

The toilets have an interesting roof so look up as you pee.

Two daiquiris, a chicken pita and a loaded fries cost 37 Euros.

Day Party at Ocean Beach

Affectionately known as ‘O Beach’, Ocean Beach (Carrer des Molí, 12-14) is a popular day party.

Unlike other resort-style clubs (Ibiza Rocks and Ushisha), you can actually go in the pool.

However, you can’t stay at O beach as it isn’t a hotel and lights out is around 10:30pm.

It puts on a series of themed days throughout the week, and the show is a spectacle.

Expect costumed dancers, acrobats, and fizz on your face.

Day tickets are available, but most groups buy packages which include drinks and the use of a sun lounger/bed area.

Bar Hopping at The West End

Not everyone’s cup of tea, San Antonio’s West End is where younger groups bounce about the bars, whilst sucking up Venoms and having fun, or being a nuisance, depending on who you speak to!

Ibiza’s West End features heavily in the 90s TV show, Ibiza Uncovered.

Street art on building at Ibiza's West End

Other Things to do in San Antonio

There are many bars and restaurants to choose from in San Antonio, for example, the beachfront Palapa for salads and cocktails or Gran China, tucked up a back street, for Chinese or Japanese food.

Things to do in Playa D’en Bossa

Those who choose to stay in Platja d’en Bossa describe the area as the place where older party goers stay, many of whom have based themselves in San Antonio before.

However, De’n Bossa is far from quiet with its lively bars and super clubs, Hi (formerly Space) and Ushuaia.

Playa D’en Bossa is the closest area to the airport, with taxi rides costing 10 Euros.

Ushuaia

Ushuaia (Ctra. de Platja d’en Bossa, 10,) is a hotel resort and outdoor music venue which hosts international acts such as Calvin Harris and David Guetta.

The nights at Ushuaia are huge; expect 20 minutes to get through the crowds to the toilets and 40 minutes to get drinks at the bar.

It’s very much a festival feel, with fire flashes from the stage and elbows in the eyes in the audience.

If you purchase your ticket online, you can buy a ticket/drinks package for under 200 Euros which lowers the cost of the event.

If you go for the package, collect two drinks at a time or you won’t get to see much of the gig.

Light show at Ushuaia in Ibiza

Our friends stayed at Ushuaia for two weeks and would say that it is one of the best party hotels in Ibiza for couples or groups who want to balance a resort holiday with a couple of party nights.

Since Ushuaia gigs end by midnight, hardcore party people head over the road to Hi to keep the night going.

Hi

This Ibiza superclub transformed what was formerly Space and made it a playing ground for Gen Z and those with short attention spans.

Hi (Platja d’en Bossa) consists of two spacious event spaces (the Theatre and the Club), two outdoor terraces, and a toilet with a DJ.

Since there are lots of indoor and outdoor options, unlike Ushuaia, which is shoulder to shoulder crowd, Hi is one of the best places to go in Ibiza if you need a bit of breathing space, which someone in your party will at some point during the night.

Each night there is a different DJ or event.

We went to Glitterbox at HI, and honestly, it was one of the best nights of my life.

Honey Dijon played in the Theater, and Horse Meat Disco took to the decks in the Club, both acts accompanied by professional dancers.

When the club ended, we wandered down to Playa D’en Bossa beach and watched the sunrise.

In Hi, a rum and coke cost 19 Euros, a vodka (Belvedere) and lemonade is 22 Euro, and a bottle of water is 12 Euros – welcome to Ibiza!

For tickets, you can purchase online or look out for the boards detailing prices and buy from the bar that the board is perched up against.

The latter is safe; we did it for Hi.

Plane in sky at Sunrise Playa Den Bossa Ibiza

DC10

DC10 (Carretera las salinas) is a club located in an old hangar at the end of a runway.

It is famous for its open roof and its proximity to planes flying overhead.

Partying while planes take off and touch down is one of the Ibiza attractions that people always talk about.

Starting as an underground club in the 90s, DC10 is now one of the most popular clubs in Ibiza.

Bora Bora Ibiza

Bora Bora Ibiza (Playa D’en Bossa) has been a much-loved beachside bar and dancefloor since the 80s.

What’s unique about this venue is its large outside seating section and an inside dance area.

Expect smoke machines and pumping music.

A rum and coke and a vodka and lemonade comes to 32 Euros, but the drinks are free pour which means half spirit and half mixer!

Bora Bora announced that 2022 would be the ‘last chance to dance’ at the club.

We hope someone takes it over!

Mechero Camp

Mechero Camp (Carrer del Fumarell, 2) is a dreamy beach bar on D’en Bossa.

Servers take your order for cocktails as a DJ plays live music.

What’s unique about Mechero Camp is that it has open views of the beach and sea.

You’ll hear the music from MUMAK.

MUMAK Tropical

If you’re looking for a chilled-out spot to catch up on last night’s gossip while enjoying a light and fresh meal, look no further than MUMAK (Carrer de Porreres, 1).

Based on the beach, everything is perfect about this restaurant/bar – the decor, the friendly staff, the cocktails, and the menu.

Everyone rated their meals at our table, and some of the party returned the following days so their partners could have a decent meal too.

All about lining the stomach at our age; eating is not cheating!

One bowl of bang bang chicken and a cocktail costs 29.50 Euros.

Noodle on plate on MUMAK Ibizia

Mogambo

Another food rec is Mogambo which is part of Vibra Mogambo Aparthotel from the Hiperion Hotel group.

The Daiquiri at Mogambo was the best-iced one of the holidays; not all Daquiri come as an iced drink in Ibiza, which is wild because we obviously want the brain freeze in that heat!

The food was great, and some of the group returned for breakfast the next day.

Friendly staff, great location, can’t fault it.

Vibra Mogambo Aparthotel looks like a lovely accommodation option in D’en Bossa, just five minutes walk from the beach, and it has an outdoor pool on-site.

Baloo

Baloo (Carrer de les Begònies, 23) is a Bali-style outdoor cocktail bar.

Some of the seats are rope swings, that kind of vibe, and you can book private spaces in the bamboo teepees.

The toilets are even in keeping with the decor!

DJs play loud sets while customers dine and drink.

I have a receipt for 40 Euros; think I had three cocktails?

It was the last bar on the cocktail crawl with the girls…

Other Places to Eat in D’en Bossa

We had a really tasty breakfast at Big Ben Night where two soft drinks, a full breakfast, and toastie cost 30 Euros.

One coffee, one Irish coffee, an English breakfast and a very milky bowl of muesli cost 24.50 Euros at Dunes.

Dinner at Moorea included two pizzas, water, and a jug of sangria for 58 Euros.

Two pastries, two pizzas, one wine and one beer came to 33 Euros at Emiliano.

Other Clubs in Ibiza

Located between San Antonio and D’en Bossa is Amnesia and Pacha, two of the older superclubs in Ibiza.

You drive past both in a taxi from D’en Bossa to San Antonio so it wouldn’t matter which location you stayed at.

Playa D’en Bossa

A day at D’en Bossa’s beach is one of the most popular Ibiza tourist attractions.

You can rent sunbeds, swim in the sea, and grab lunch or drinks at one of the beach bars that line the shore.

All-Inclusive Boat Trip to Formentera

If you’re looking for things to do in Ibiza aside from clubbing and bar hopping, consider a boat trip to Formentera.

You’ll see this trip advertised all over D’en Bossa.

The cruise includes coffee, pastries, dinner, drinks, access to sun loungers, and two stops for swimming.

On Formentera you can rent a scooter, go shopping at the hippie market, and chill out Ses Illetes beach.

This is one of the more unusual things to do in Ibiza since most people that visit to hit the clubs and sleep until 1pm!

Things to do in Figueretes

Figueretes is an attractive beach area sandwiched between D’en Bossa and the Old Town.

You can easily walk along the promenade to Figueretes from D’en Bossa.

Platja de ses Figueretes

Most people visit this stretch of sand to sunbathe at Figueretes Beach and dine at the restaurants with Med views.

We had an Ibiza coffee at Haddocks but it doesn’t compare to a Canaries coffee which you can read about in our guide to Tenerife.

Figueretes Beach Ibiza in Spain

Things to do in Ibiza Old Town

Ibiza Castle

If you look up from D’en Bossa you will see Ibiza Castle (Zona Castillo) perched on top of the cliff and if you’ve got any stamina left you can walk up that cliff for incredible views of the island and beyond.

Sea view from Ibiza Castle in Spain

The castle building is said to be from the 16th century but there have been ruins found from the 12th and 13th.

The walk up is pretty brutal in the heat so remember to pack water and sunscreen.

Wander The Cobbled Streets

From the castle, you can wander down the tight, charming streets through the Dalt Vila (Old Town).

One street, Calle Conquista, has hand prints from celebs like Penelope Cruise.

Plaza del Sol (Plaça del Sol, 7) and S’escalinata (Carrer Portal Nou) are two restaurants with marina views or there are hundreds of food options around the centre of town.

You can get a taxi from the waterfront, which is what we did to get to San Antonio from the Old Town.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Ibiza (MACE)

Museo de arte Contemporaneo de Ibiza Spain (Zona Dalt Vila, Ronda de Narcis Puget Viñas) is a modern art museum which has been open since 1964.

The permanent collection includes work made on the island in the 1960s.

Outside of Museo de arte Contemporaneo de Ibiza

Ibiza Travel Tips

Accommodation Options

Most people either stay in a villa, an apart hotel, or a resort during their stay in Ibiza.

We stayed at Villa Torres just up from the De’n Bossa strip which was great because we were away from the party noise and could make our own in private!

The villa has a pool, sunbeds, BBQ, outside fridge, and rooms have AC.

Most accommodation options will have additional island taxes so check the small print or ask before booking to get an overall rate to avoid any surprises.

Villa Torres Ibiza's swimming pool

Taxis

It costs 10 Euros to get from Ibiza Airport to Playa D’en Bossa using an official taxi.

Some private hires will try to rip you off by charging 50 Euros and claim that is the price for an eight seater.

However, we had an eight seater on the way to villa and it was still 10 Euros.

In Ibiza, there are official taxis and pirate taxis.

We never had to use the latter, but friends have in the past and say it is interesting…

A one-way trip from D’en Bossa to San Antonio will cost you around 30 Euros.

Buses run from San Antonio to D’en Bossa for those wanting to go to Ushuaia and Hi.

Hi car with a disco ball on it inIbiza

Staying Safe

Our villa owner advised us not to give personal information like what parties we wanted to go to and how big our group was to pirate taxi drivers or anyone asking on the street as there has been a spate of villa break-ins.

Add your accommodation address and a screenshot of its location from Google Maps to your notes just in case you need to get a taxi home and you are worse for wear.

If you are ‘partying’ in Ibiza, check the Pill Report website and  ask others who have already been out for the season how strong it is.

Drink water! Buy at the supermarket every time you go out and pay the 12 Euros in clubs; it’ll be the best bottle of water you’ve ever had!

Wear sunscreen; don’t be the guy that has to sit in the shade for half of the holiday because they f*cked it on day one.

Speaking of day one, it’s inevitable that you’ll rip the ar*e out of it on the first night, so plan your party itinerary around it.

My friend suggests booking O Beach for the arrival day if you’re confident your flight will take off and get in at a decent time.

Blue sea and historic buildings of Ibiza Old Town

Budget

Everyone talks about how expensive Ibiza is.

Sure, if you’re used to Benidorm, you will feel the burn, but if your bank balance is more familiar with city partying, you won’t feel it as much.

We think we spent £1650 between us for six days going to two parties and eating out for two meals each day.

Friends usually spend around £1000-1500 for 5-7 days; it depends on how many parties you plan to attend.

Keep costs down by buying drinks and snacks at the supermarket.

You can’t buy cigarettes at the supermarket, by the way, look for the machines at pubs.

Any tips you’d like to share? Pop them in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed our guide to the top things to do in Ibiza? Tell us in the comments!