Get Out of the House and Enjoy Our (Dreary) City
By Christina Garvey
If you hadn’t noticed, Portland’s rainy (alternating with numbing cold) season is here – to stay. I spent my first winter in Portland hibernating in my nice cozy apartment. All the money I saved from not going out went directly to NW Natural in exchange for heat.
I now spend my spare cash going out to keep my sanity and social life in good shape during the dreary season.
Don’t let the rain and cold get you down with these five outside-the-box tricks to avoid cabin fever in Portland.
1. Sit by a Fire
If you don’t have a fireplace of your own, or you’re sick of chopping wood or paying your high gas bill (see above), get a change of scenery and head to your nearest McMenamins. Almost all locations have cozy indoor or outdoor fire blazing. Or swing by Doug Fir or Rontoms while catching a show or cozy up with a book at Rocking Frog Café.
2. Head to Cartopia
At Cartopia on SE Hawthorne not only can you sit by a fire, you can also cozy up inside a covered tent with walls to stay dry and warm. It’s open late and features a range of food cart options from Belgian-style potatoes to Peruvian chicken and my all-time favorite, eggplant sandwich at the Egyptian cart Tahrir Square.
3. Go for a Walk
Did you know that walking burns more calories than biking? It keeps you warm and you can even get paid to walk while communing with dogs through apps like Wag. With the right gear, you can stay dry while walking in the rain. I suggest checking out Next Adventure’s bargain basement for quality used gear or browse through the rack at one of Portland’s best thrift shops.
Once you’re geared up and ready to go, visit one of Portland’s best urban parks. They are totally free and offer a whole new view of the city. My personal favorite is the Lower Macleay Park that zip zags past the notorious Witch’s Castle and up to the panoramic views at the Pittock Mansion.
4. Take Up a New Craft
Portland has a lot of great resources for people who want to start a new craft. Scrap PDX hosts cheap craft and drink nights at local bars, and Collage hosts free craft nights a local pizza places. I don’t know about you, but both of those options sound equally amazing.
Once you learn a new technique and need supplies, visit one of these local craft and fabric stores.
5. Get Rained On Somewhere Else
Nothing helps you re-charge like getting out of Dodge. Fill up your weekends with a couple trips to somewhere just outside of Portland to get a change in scenery. Bend is only three and a half hours away. Or take a weekend getaway to Hood River, just an hour from Portland.
Staying warm – despite the rain and cold – the Portland way to beat cabin fever!
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