Whatcom County newlyweds looking for a hip urban atmosphere should consider a quick trip south to Portland, Ore.
Portland is 262 miles south of Bellingham on Interstate 5 – a little more than four hours by car. Or check Amtrak and enjoy a train tip there.
Where to stay
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Hotel Monaco: Located at 506 S.W. Washington St., the boutique hotel in the heart of downtown offers easy access to the civic hub of Pioneer Square, the waterfront and shopping. Then take the light rail to the trendy Pearl District or the zoo. Details: 503-222-0001, monaco-portland.com.
What to do
West End: The historic area has been redeveloped into a creative center featuring fashion and nightlife. Located between Powell’s City of Books and the core downtown shopping area, the West End offers international design shops, fashion boutiques, cafes and dining. Details: wepdx.com.
Union Way: The shopping arcade at 1022 W. Burnside St. features international flair in the form of Parisian passageways, Scandinavian design and Middle Eastern bazaars. It opened for business in 2013 and connects the West End with the hip Pearl District. Details: 503-922-0056.
Where to eat and drink
Brunch Box: Famous for its breakfast sandwiches, its grilled cheese and its distinctive burgers, Brunch Box, at 620 S.W. Ninth Ave., is a popular part of the downtown nosh scene. Details: brunchboxpdx.com, 503-BURGERS.
Hopworks BikeBar: Dubbed an “eco-brewpub,” the bar at 3947 N. Williams Ave. is powered entirely with renewable energy. Have a local, organic craft beer while you help create the pub’s electricity by pedaling on a stationary bike. Details: hopworksbeer.com, 503-287-6258.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Stumptown has developed cult status since it opened in 1999, and has since spread to Seattle, New York and Los Angeles. You’ll want to check out the company’s downtown location at 128 S.W. Third Ave. for the genuine Portland ambiance. Details: stumptowncoffee.com, 855-711-3391.
Travel Portland: travelportland.com, 877-678-5263.
City of Portland: portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-4000.