Passport to Adventure: Seattle to Portland

Passport to Adventure: Seattle to Portland

At Amtrak we believe every trip you take has the potential to become your next great adventure. That is why this summer, we have partnered with Passion Passport to help capture a look at the services we offer and the many destinations we serve across the country. Read on for a little trainspiration brought to you from the Coast Starlight:

Coast Starlight BoardingThis past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to partner with Passion Passport, Amtrak, and fellow photographer Chase Blood for a weekend of fun in one of my favorite cities; Portland, Oregon.  

We took an early Saturday morning train from the heart of downtown Seattle. With some great coffee and pastries from Zeitgeist Coffee across the street from the station – we were ready to roll!

Having only taken an Amtrak train from Seattle to Portland once before, I was eager to soak in the beauty all over again. I had remembered how relaxing, scenic, and fun it was the last time I was sitting in one of these seats.

It only took a few minutes for the both of us to be out of our seats, walking from car to car to check out the different views. When you are traveling between Seattle and Portland… the natural beauty just doesn’t end. You have the ability to soak in unique perspectives that you miss while driving.

I am especially partial to views of water and have been my whole life. I sat there daydreaming, watching boats floating on still water, and people playing beach volleyball as we flew past them at 75 miles an hour.

I spent time listening to music in the observation car, which has windows from floor to ceiling and talking with some fellow train riders, who all had a unique story.

As we rolled into Portland I was eager to get out and explore! A good friend of mine had recommended stopping by Nong’s Khao Man Gai for lunch, so I headed that way. This small, simple, and locally owned restaurant does chicken and rice like no where else. The owner’s story of success is also incredibly inspiring – highly recommended!

After lunch, I heard that the Portland Timbers had a game that night. Having once worn a Timbers jersey as a part of their U23 team – I knew I had to watch them take on Real Salt Lake. Although it was an away game, I spent the evening with friends cheering them on and watching a 95th minute game winner by Borchers.

After the game, I headed to the hotel for the night – Hotel Deluxe – which was an awesome experience in itself. The hotel is inspired by old Hollywood glamour and is actually just a couple of blocks from the Timber’s Providence Park, making it a favorite stop for fans.

The next morning I woke up early and walked down to the waterfront. Although it was early, the city was already awake and running, walking, and biking. I walked around on the docks overlooking the morning kayakers and boaters and met a bunch of happy dogs.

A few of my good friends then met up with me in the Pearl at Ovation Coffee and Tea for a drink and snack as we watched the city continue to come alive through the morning.  Located right next to a park, dog park, and fun shops, this is a great place to stop. The service was personal and friendly – you could tell how much pride they took in serving you.

We spent the rest of the afternoon roaming through the city, stepping into small boutiques, and checking out some of the newest construction that is going up right now. I am constantly amazed at how quickly this city is growing – it all looks gorgeous though.

The train ride back to Seattle was easy and relaxing. While sipping on a craft beer, it was a great way to close out the weekend and look back at how fun it really was. Being on a train helps my mind slow down and allows me to be in that moment – instead of thinking about a thousand other things.

I look forward to taking this train again – and to be honest, it can almost be the destination itself.

Author: Tommy was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and fell in love with capturing moments through photography when he first picked up a camera a few years ago. When he is not taking photos, you can find him creating apparel through his clothing brand, Tommy Blades, that aims to inspire and empower community.