Where to Stay when Visiting Portland

West Coast Road Trip (continued)

Camas Hotel Exterior

This one I had not planned. We finally arrived in Portland after over a week of road tripping from Los Angeles, and I hadn’t booked a hotel assuming there would be tons of options in downtown Portland. As it happens, weekends get booked up quick leaving you stuck with only high priced rooms. Searching for other options, I came across the Camas Hotel. The description said “Romantic European Boutique Hotel”. Over the phone they offered me a room with a great rate, and off we went to Camas. We loved it there. Check Groupon because sometimes they have a $50 per night discount rate.

They have really sweet rooms at the Camas Hotel.

They have really sweet rooms at the Camas Hotel.

Camas is actually in Washington state, just a 20 minute drive from downtown Portland. The town makes a great base for exploring the surrounding territory, just as Lewis & Clark did on their expedition west. It’s a small town with a population of 19,000. Camas has interesting shops, restaurants, spas and salons and is also home to Lacamas Lake. It is fantastically quaint but be warned, most everything closes by 6 or 7pm.

Camas Washington downtown main street road trip shopping

The main street in Downtown Camas.

Camas Washington Liberty theater road trip

The local movie theater in Camas.

Where to Eat and Drink in Camas, Washington

I found the one place that was open after 7pm: the Birch Street Uptown Lounge. You have to try to imagine coming in here from the brisk Washington cold just after dusk; the dim lights, a cozy seat at the bar, the tunes of Count Basie playing overhead.  I watched their bartender – in a white lab coat – prepare specialty absinthe drinks using the classic French Dip Ritual. I discovered their particular absinthe is a rare find; a super-premium type crafted in the historic Franco-Swiss style from an 1855 recipe.

Their liquor collection is top shelf and they make an effort to source the best locally-distilled small-batch spirits in support of the micro-distillery trend which is so popular in the Northwest right now. Their wide variety of wine and beers on tap, sourced from across Washington and Oregon states, also did not disappoint. What a hidden gem this place is!

Birch St Uptown Lounge_Camas_Exterior_Bartender Camas Washington downtown Birch St Uptown Lounge Bar

The next day I found some great dining options. One is the Harvest restaurant attached to the Camas Hotel. They call it comfort food with a modern twist, great for the whole family. Nearby is a great little 1950’s Russian diner called Natalia’s Cafe, the local breakfast spot of champions.

What to Do in Camas, Washington

Right outside the Camas Hotel you’ll find three blocks of small galleries, antique shops (with good prices in most cases) and creative boutiques. Some of them really put a lot into their window displays, not to mention the in-store displays.

Camas Washington Boutique road trip vintage antique shop

One of the displays in Camas Antiques.

Camas Washington Boutique road trip vintage antique shop displays

One of the antique shops, Camas Antiques.

Camas Washington Boutique road trip vintage antique shop pendants

Handmade glass pendants in a Camas boutique.

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suzetteHoly crap, you found me. That’s fantastic. I’m Suzette and I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve built a successful career as a travel photographer where I have the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, and run this blog where I share inspiration for YOUR travel photography. This website is specifically for those of us who love to wander with our cameras. We take it slow. We are curious. We love nature and the outdoors. Most of all, we love taking great photographs.

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