Some destinations may look completely different, but at their core, share similar traits that call to like-minded people from around the globe. Portland, Oregon, for example, is a popular mainland getaway for Maui residents due to its close proximity and similarities in vibe and values.
We like to think of Maui as Portland’s home away from home for many reasons, including the following similarities among the two destinations.
Liberal State of Mind
As of this year, both Oregon and the state of Hawaii passed laws in favor of marriage equality, something widely celebrated by many across the two states. While not as liberal-minded as Washington and Colorado in some regards, Hawaii and Oregon are still popularly known for their large number of liberal-minded residents and political views.
Local Arts & Crafts
Ask any Mauian for souvenir recommendations and you’re likely to be directed to a number of locally-run craft fairs, markets, stands and boutique shops. Local pride is very much alive in the Hawaiian islands, and we always enjoy the chance to recommend and promote residents who create quality goods. Set aside a Saturday morning to visit the Maui Swap Meet to see some for yourself.
Similarly, Portland is home to the oldest continually-running craft institution on the West coast, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and hosts a number of yearly events aimed at promoting their creative and talented pool of residents.
While the view from the bar top might look a little different, both Maui and Portland enjoy world-class restaurants and bars, perfect for the inner foodie (and drinkie?) in all of us. From the intimate, multi-course Chef’s Table event at the Mill House Restaurant to Portland’s Expatriate restaurant and bar, serving up delicious craft cocktails and “drinking snacks,” anyone who values fresh flavor with a flare will enjoy foodie adventures throughout Maui and Portland.
Damn Good Coffee
One thing most people can agree on is a damn good cup’a coffee, am I right? Residents in Maui and Portland have their fair share of amazing choices, including Maui’s Upcountry gem Grandma’s Coffee House and the newly reopened Paia Bay Coffee. That being said, nothing beats a cup of coffee from freshly roasted beans, much of which is harvested from plants only feet away from the roaster.
Portlanders can enjoy the fact that four of their local coffee roasters recently made the list of America’s 50 Best Coffee Shops, including Heart, Barista, Stumptown and Coava. ‘Cause you know what goes well with caffeine? LIFE, brah.
While Maui and Portland certainly didn’t choose to be located near jaw-dropping natural scenery, we don’t tend to hear many complaints. Maui offers residents otherworldly hikes, stunning sunset and sunrise views and unreal stargazing from atop the 10,000-foot summit of the world’s largest dormant volcano in Haleakala National Park, among a long list of other postcard-worthy sights, while Portland offers residents a city escape with driveable outdoor attractions like the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, Oregon Coast, Wine Country, Sauvie Island, Fort Vancouver and more.
Fresh, Local, Healthy Foods
Unlike my hometown of Dallas, Texas, I find that people on Maui are much less likely to jump on the culinary bandwagon of fried butter and similar delicious terrors that are served yearly at the State Fair of Texas. With an emphasis on sustainable, healthy, non GMO fruits and vegetables, Maui is one of the best places in the country to find health-conscious restaurants, local produce from island farmers and an assortment of unique fruits, vegetables and fresh ingredients grown by people who strive to make the island self sufficient on many levels.
Similarly, the Portland Farmers Market is widely recognized as one of the best in the country, offering fresh produce and prepared food items like cheese, meat, flowers and more at their eight weekly markets. Sorry, fried butter. Stick to Texas.
General Human Weirdness
While Austin will always be the capital of Keep It Weird (disagree with me if you insist, but Leslie was my homie), Portland and Maui have their fair share of the oddball crowd as well, from naked drum circles and fire dancing on Maui’s Little Beach to Paia’s hippie-driven, multi-colored, anything goes, who-needs-shoes-in-a-grocery-store approach to life and fashion. Portland, with its more obvious and frequent examples of general human weirdness, stands as an example that life is just better when things are weird.
Active Outdoor Lifestyle
Although most Mauians would swap a bike for a surfboard, the point is that people in both places enjoy being active outdoors as often as possible. And when you live in a place with multiple options for getting in shape outside of a 24 Hour Fitness treadmill backed by another rerun of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, why wouldn’t you make the most of it? Hiking and biking are just some of the ways both destinations lead active outdoor lifestyles, and we definitely appreciate living in a place where running around a crowded city block isn’t our only option for outdoor fitness.
Throw a rock in Portland and chances are you’ll hit a brewery. With so many great options to choose from, Portland has made a well-deserved name for itself in the world of craft beer. Maui, while not nearly as well-versed in craft brew variety, is thankfully home to Maui Brewing Company, who offer up delicious year-round and seasonal varieties of several kinds of beer, perfect for watching a sunset on the beach and sipping after a successful morning surf session.
Do you agree that Maui is Portland’s second home? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, mahalo for reading!