Brace yourselves. The shortest day of the year is almost upon us as it ushers in winter which plans on sticking around for the next three months.
While I’ve sung the praises of summer in Lake Oswego on this blog, I must also be transparent and admit that yes, sometimes the winter months can seem looooooong. With colder temps, wetter weather and less daylight, a summer lover like me needs to come up with a game plan to make the best of things.
Here are a few suggestions for not just surviving winter in the Portland metro area but actually enjoying it!
- Explore some new neighborhoods on foot. This is something my wife and I have done since Covid paid us all a visit. And while we explore Lake Oswego during the week, we often venture into Portland on the weekends and have had a great time checking out neighborhoods like Alameda Ridge, Laurelhurst, Irvington and Eastmoreland. For Christmas last year, my wife gave me a couple books that have been great resources: Walk There! edited by Laura O. Foster and Portland Stair Walks by Laura Foster as well. Believe it or not, there are lots of stairs to be discovered in Portland, especially if you find yourselves in the Westover Terraces and Nob Hill neck of the woods. Bundle up but as you find yourselves climbing, you may need to shed a few layers!
- Try a winter cocktail. I think I’ve shared my wife’s watermelon margarita recipe here and while we still have some frozen watermelon in our freezer, she has found a winter replacement for her favorite summer libation. It’s called The Grave Digger and comes complements of Tieghan Gerard on her Half Baked Harvest blog. Thanks to some tequila and apple cider, you’ll be feeling warm in no time!
- Have fun in the snow. Lake Oswego is often blessed with a snow day or two when you can pull out your snow toys and be a kid again close to home. But if you don’t want to wait for that, make plans to head up to Mt. Hood for some snowshoeing or sledding. Warm up at Timberline Lodge with an Irish Coffee or some hot chocolate.
- Discover a new coffee shop. One of the things my wife and I often seek out on our neighborhood excursions is coffee shops and as you can imagine, there are plenty to try in Portland. Some of our new favorites include Keeper Coffee on SE 41st and Never Coffee Lab on SE Belmont. (And don’t forget our great coffee spots right here in Lake Oswego).
- Discover a new bakery. All that walking and snow activities can work up an appetite, right? Satisfying our sweet tooth is also something we try to incorporate into our neighborhood jaunts, usually with great success! A few of our favorites include Lauretta Jean’s on SE Division (they are known for their pies, but believe me, their morning pastries do not disappoint), VilleVelo on NE Prescott (the list runs long here but don’t miss the biscuits or chocolate chip cookies), and Baker and Spice on SW Capitol Highway.
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