Psst! *leans in and whispers* Want to get paid to travel?

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret! With Ebates’ #TravelThursday savings, you can get 10% back on all of your travel purchases made via Ebates hotels and other participating travel partners on Thursday. I used the website to book myself a last minute getaway and saved some cash in the process.

I’m always posting international travel content, but for this trip I decided to stay stateside and head to a city and state I’ve never been to—Portland, Oregon. So I booked a flight through eBates and started my planning!

Where to Stay:

After you book your flight—and get more cash back from Ebates—you’re going to want to figure out where you’re staying. I, again, used Ebates to book a 3 day stay at The Heathman.

The Heathman

There were a ton of seemingly great options in Portland, but there was something about the The Heathman that grabbed my attention. (I think it might have been the paneling on the walls since I’m considering doing something similar in my place.)

*overheard in the elevator* “The Heathman is the 2nd oldest hotel in Portland.”

Judging from the decor and upkeep, you’d never know it. The space was modern and had a cute boutique feel. But don’t take my word…take a look for yourself.

Photo credit: Tasha James

Another great thing about the Heathman was the hospitality. On my last night, I was offered a complimentary bourbon nightcap brought right to my door. It’s almost like they knew whiskey is the way to my heart!

Since I booked my stay through eBates and Travelocity, I got an immediate savings over $45 added to my Ebates reward account. I’m looking forward to that Big Fat Check in the mail.

Places to Eat:

Prior to this trip, I reached out to my network—and my Instagram family—to ask for Portland recommendations. Almost all of the responses I received were for food. As a self-proclaimed foodie, nothing could have made me happier.

Screen Door

THIS. PLACE. IS. HEAVEN! No, seriously. Screen Door has some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t expect a restaurant in the Pacific Northwest to do Southern cuisine so much justice, but I was proved wrong on every level.

It was so good, I went 2 days in a row. I ordered the chicken biscuit sandwich and the shrimp and grits. Both meals were divine!

Pok Pok

The second I asked for Portland recommendations, Pok Pok was mentioned almost immediately…and kept coming up again and again.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a bit intimidated by Asian food—except the basic fried rice & pad Thai, but I figured if it was getting such rave reviews it was worth a trip. But my skepticism crept in again when the words “fried chicken” were mentioned. (Blame it on the Southerner in me.) But Portland and Pos Pos made me eat crow once again. The fish sauce wings were almost too good to eat.

Almost.

Voodoo vs. Blue Star Donuts

When it comes to donuts, there seems to be a bit of a hometown rivalry between Voodoo and Blue Star Donuts. Voodoo wins 1st Place in the Tourist Attraction category, but Blue Star seems to have the heart of the locals. I, of course, had to check them both out.

Verdict: If you’re looking for fun and flair, head to Voodoo. For top notch flavor, put your money on Blue Star.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Salt & Straw – great place to grab an ice cream cone for your stroll around downtown Portland.

Jack Rabbit – great food, even better ambiance. Perfect for happy hour!

Sights to See:

Japanese Rose Garden

If you’re into nature and cultural experiences, you definitely don’t want to leave a trip to the Portland Japanese Garden off your list. I almost missed it myself. I was worried about the weather and made the decision not to chance it and just skip it this trip. But my Uber driver convinced me that it was something I needed to see in this lifetime and this trip so I headed over.

I’m so glad I did because the garden is GORGEOUS.

Knot Springs

Second to the food, I think my favorite part of the trip was soaking in the spa at Knot Springs. This was actually an Instagram find and when I saw the pictures, I had to check it out.

Knot Springs is a membership based hot springs and gym (they allow drop-ins, if space permits) just a stones throw from downtown Portland. I was able to get an early morning session and it was actually the perfect way to start the day.

In addition to the springs—1 cold and 2 hot ones—they also have a sauna and a steam room. I’m still working on my tolerance for saunas, but the steam room was like a little corner of heaven.

This was the first trip I’ve taken in a years where I got to set my own itinerary and it was great to be able to see a city exactly the way I wanted to see it—relaxing and eating…two of my favorite pastimes. Portland was such a quaint city and the people were incredibly friendly. If you ever have the chance to go, I recommend you take it. Just don’t forget to wait for a Thursday and use Ebates to book your trip!

DISCLAIMER: This post was created in collaboration with Ebates & Shopstyle; for which I was compensated. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help make my site possible.